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Arizona Postgame Quotes, 12/20/2006
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 12/21/2006
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Arizona Head Coach Lute Olson

 

“I thought it was a well played game on our part. Memphis also played well. They have outstanding quickness in getting into the lane. They’ll be very good as they gain more experience.”

 

“Early in the game, we played man-to-man on defense and they were too quick. They had too many penetrations, so we switched to a 1-3-1 zone defense, which cut down on their driving.”

 

“We weren’t aggressive enough in the first half. At halftime we told them all five guys have to crash the glass. The fast breaks we got in the second half were because we were controlling the defensive boards.”

 

“The bench was a key factor. As you can see, Jordan Hill is gaining confidence all the time, and the thing I like about him is that he’ll learn from this experience. I thought Daniel Dillon came in and did great in that bottom position of the zone.”

 

“The reason we’ve had the superb record playing at home that we’ve had over the years is because of our fans. I’m proud of our players tonight, but I’m also really proud of our fans.”

 

“It was great to see Mustafa (Shakur) come up with the most valuable player award. He’s just such a different player this year than he’s been before. It’s his defense; it’s his leadership. You can see his ability to really break the defense down.”

 

“If you look at where we started defensively and where we are now, I think it looks like night and day. Rebounding-wise, we’ve been getting better and better.”

 

“This is not a team that’s going to plateau. I think this is a team that will keep getting better because they play hard, they practice hard, and they really enjoy playing together.”

 

“Regarding J.P. Prince, I met with him and his father yesterday and again today. The feeling was that they just need to get him back home and feeling well. They feel like they can do that better there (at home in Memphis), and then they’ll make a decision as to where he will go. We’ll get him his release right away so he can go somewhere and be on scholarship. He’s been very popular in the program, and the last words he said to me were that he is an Arizona fan and always will remain an Arizona fan. We wish him well so that he can get himself back health-wise.”

 

Arizona Student-Athlete Quotes

 

Senior guard Mustafa Shakur

 

“I just feed off of my teammates all the time. I know I have to step up and do the things that will help us win. We just want to win.”

 

On beating a Top 25 team for the first time this season:

“It felt great. They (Memphis) played great. My hat is off to them. They played really well in the first half, but we kept fighting. It was a ?'grind-it-out’ win for us.”

 

On the team’s performance in the second half:

“We came out and made big plays. We rebounded better and got some steals defensively.”

 

On whether or not the team viewed the game as a ?'big game’:

“Every game is a big game to me and my teammates. We lost some games last year we shouldn’t have lost. We come to play each night.”

 

Senior forward Ivan Radenovic:

 

On two made field goals and subsequent free throw conversions after being fouled:

“I think the first time I got a pass from Mustafa’s penetration. I tried to avoid charging, and he (defender) leaned his hip into me and fouled me. On the second time, I penetrated and shot the ball kind of awkwardly. I was just trying to get the shot off.”

 

On the team’s improvement:

“I think you can see we’ve improved a lot (since the beginning of the year), especially defensively.”

 

Junior guard Jawann McClellan

 

“This was a very tough win for us. We had to grind it out. We proved to everyone we can win in any way; we can win ugly or pretty.”

 

On recovering from a slow start:

“We came out flat and made a lot of mistakes. Once we settled down, we started to play well. We just talked about playing calm at halftime, and that’s what we did in the second half.”

 

Arizona sophomore forward Marcus Williams

 

On the physicality of the game:

“We know we can go (inside) and bang. We don’t shy away from playing a physical game. I think that was the scouting report on us before this season. We have got some swagger this year. This is Arizona and we can play with anyone.”

 

On the play of Mustafa Shakur:

“He is being ?'Staf. He is playing the basketball we all know he can. He’s doing a great job.”

 

 

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