Feb. 14, 2009
Arizona Interim head coach Russ Pennell
"I'm really proud of the team today. We played hard. Ben Howland is a great defensive coach, and we knew that they were going to push us, especially in the second half. We knew that they weren't going to give up. UCLA is very tough minded, and our guys matched that mindset today. We were on point from tip off. I'm proud of our effort, especially after our first meeting with the Bruins. It's been a great turn around in the last five weeks."
On the lack of 3 pointers in the second half
"We have guys that can make the three, but I didn't want them to force any shots. We didn't have as many looks in the second half beyond the three point line, but we were able to get in the paint and score there. We took a lot of good shots today. "
On capitalizing on UCLA's turnovers
"They turned over the ball a lot today, and we were able to push the ball more, thanks to the ten steals on the defensive end. We were able to get the ball down into the paint, and get more inside looks."
On No. 13, Nic Wise
"It's a pleasure to watch Nic play. He's been doing a terrific job this weekend. He is fearless, aggressive, and whenever we're going to be going up against a good point guard, he is always stepping up.
"We're getting better every day, playing with lots of effort. We're not changing things much, it's more that we're doing the same things, but better. We just want to be able to finish strong these last three weeks, and not get caught up in the streak."
Arizona Player Quotes
On the defensive effort:
"We got after it. We applied pressure from the start. We tried to trap as much as we could and just frustrate them. It definitely worked, we were able to get a lot of steals from that pressure."
On being a "different player" lately:
"I'm just trying to be more aggressive. I'm attacking the rim more. On the defensive end I'm just trying to move around more, play hard and create chaos out there."
On tournament/conference implications of this game:
"I'm not thinking about that al all. We just take it one game at a time. All we're thinking about is going up to ASU, getting a win. They play zone so we have a week to prepare for that."
On the play of Nic Wise:
"I can't believe some of the shots he made tonight. It was really impressive. He's been stepping up for lately. He's been a clutch player. It's contagious. When one person makes a shot, other guys see it and start knocking down big shots too. You see one guy playing hard, you're going to go hard too. We go all out every game every play."
Keys to his play lately:
"It's just confidence. This style of play that we have been playing as of late really suits my style. It gives the point guard a lot of freedom. It's a lot like Coach Olson's offense."
Jerryd Bayless' pre game pep talk:
"He told us to just seize the opportunity. He was in the same situation as us. At the beginning of the season people counted us out, and he wasn't getting a lot of playing time. Now, he's getting his chance and we're on a run down the stretch. He just told us to take advantage of this opportunity."
On early season troubles translating into success now:
"It helps us by giving us more confidence when we step out onto the court. It starts in practice. We've been having really productive practices lately. We all go really hard and apply the same pressure we do in games. We're more coachable now."