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Arizona Postgame Quotes, 12/31-2011
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: December 31, 2011
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Dec. 31, 2011

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Arizona Head Coach Sean Miller

"We always look for energy and effort, especially at the beginning of the game, and we really got that tonight. The opportunity to play in front of a home crowd like this is such a privilege, and they really feed off each other, whether it's the crowd pumping up the team or vice versa. We had a lot of good leadership, a lot of guys played hard, and our defense was intact.

"Arizona State is good at getting the ball to a variety of players, meaning that our backcourt, along with our front court, has to post up. It really inverts the offense and requires a lot of concentration, and tonight, we definitely were focused. Arizona State's Achilles Heel is their turnovers, and I know they're working hard to correct that, but Josiah Turner's five steals in twenty-one minutes was a huge contribution to our performance."

"We didn't hit the 70-point mark, and the obvious answer why was that we weren't successful in transition. Most of our turnovers came during those moments, but you live and learn, and move on."

"Nick Johnson and Josiah Turner did very well tonight. Nick shot three of five from three, which is better than where he was before Christmas, and it's good to see all that hard work pay off. Josiah continues to develop, and we played him with Jordin Mayes together for the first time. He has a lot of talent, and there were a handful of really good plays from him tonight."

"We are by no means a large team, and it's important that we start swarming the post in order to compensate, and Jesse Perry and Solomon Hill really came out aggressively and set the tone tonight. They both did great with second shots."

Arizona Player Quotes

#44 Solomon Hill
On team's performance
"We need to close better; we almost lost the second half. We started strong but the first five can't do everything, that's what we need the bench for. The bench is there for intensity, we need better things from Kyryl (Natyazhko) and Angelo (Chol), can't be all on the starters."

On the rivalry
"I love the rivalry. Even without the students we were able to pack it in. I love the crowd, we all feed off the crowd, me and Jesse (Perry) were ready to go from the tip. It's my favorite game of the year. Even though it's a rivalry you can still have fun, the young guys need to embrace it and I think they're doing that."

On improvements the team has made
"Rebounding and our transition game, we stopped looking to coach for the plays unless it is an out-of-bounds play. Even against the zone, (Jordin) Mayes and Josiah (Turner) pushed the ball and kept the tempo up. We box out a lot more now and that really helps our rebounding."

#13 Nick Johnson
On the rivalry
"It feels great beating ASU, I'm just glad to be on this side. I'd like to say it was just another game but I was emotional, you know my dad played here and I was recruited by them for four years so it feels good to do what we did."

On the highlight-reel plays
"They get the crowd and the bench into it, it gives everybody that extra `oomph' but for this game they should already have it. The real important things are when we get three open shots in a row, not the `wow' moments."

#33 Jesse Perry

On scoring tonight
"I just let the ball do what it is going to do. I don't worry about who gets shots. Coach always stresses our guards to push the ball, and that makes it easy for me because I like to run."

On team's potential
"We aren't close to what we're going to be. We are going to be right there at the end with a chance to win the Pac-12."

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