March 9, 2013
Arizona Head Coach Sean Miller
On the game:
"There are a lot of special Saturday afternoons around the country where they recognize seniors that will no longer be a part of the team. Today is a reminder of how special it is to be a part of Arizona. I think we sold out every conference home game this season and that's why it is so hard to lose at home, we have a great crowd here. I am very proud of the team today. I don't think I have ever gone harder in practice mid-March. But it's not just a coach thing or a player thing, everybody wants to get better. I think that no matter who you were here to cheer for Arizona State earned their points tonight, we are just a better team and harder to beat when we are locked in."
On improving the team:
"We had gotten off the path with defense. Arizona State has one of the best offenses in the country. If you look back at games like their UCLA game, they lost by one point. They had a few heartbreaking losses this season. They always play tough. I think today's margin was because of our defense. We had the stops and we kept the game moving at the rim."
"All the young guys have it and then lose it and work hard to get it back. It's our job as staff to help them get there. They are playing with confidence and that is what we are looking for in our players."
On Nick Johnson's game:
"Nick was the best player on the team today, possibly the best player out there. He knows that. He played like he has with us this season, if he's not energized it's not the same team. It's not just up to him it's all of the guys. In LA against UCLA he had moments and he's gone back to that. He has been practicing really hard."
On Kaleb Tarczewski's improvement:
"Kaleb continues to evolve and improve. Not just because he was 4 for 4 from the field today, his rebounding had a big impact today. His is no where near where he can be or is going to be but if you look back at December and where he was there, it is a great improvement."
On going seven minutes without substitutions:
"The first segment of the games was long. There was no stoppage and because of that we couldn't sub. When [Jordin Mayes] got in he played like he did in LA, his 12 minutes today weren't fill time, they were a productive 12 minutes."
Arizona Player Quotes
On the game
"It was good. We really came out defensively and got the stops we wanted. They made their run and we made ours. At the end, it's always good to be able to put guys like Max [Wiepking] and Quinton [Crawford] on the court."
"We had a lot to play for; nobody wants to lose on senior night. We had our crowd behind us and with a crowd like that your chances of losing are almost zero to none, especially with the McKale crowd."
On urgency of the win
"We just needed to get back to our defense. It was good to see it on the floor after talking about it in practice. It was good to get after it and I think guys on our team were revved up tonight."
On the Pac-12 Tournament
"You always want to improve your seed. We've been to conference championship games in back-to-back years and we've come up short. It's good to get the bye. It's a big difference. We always want to win, whether it's the NCAA tournament or our conference tournament. We want to get to the conference championship and win it."
"If we keep our defense like this, I think our momentum can take us pretty far."
On final game in McKale
"It was good to win, especially against ASU. Getting Max [Wiepking] in there was a big difference. We had to keep the same pressure we did in the first half. In the first half we did a great job and we continued to do it [in the second]. In games like Cal, we didn't bring it out in the second half and we ended up losing. It was good to put two halves together and show that we can really get after it. Playing a game like this against ASU on senior night was great."
On fouls in second half
"We take examples from practice. Our coaches call fouls for us, and some guys don't think it's going the right way. So we take our attitudes from practice and use it towards the game. There's nothing you can do about it in practice and it translates to the game. If you think a couple calls don't go your way and you get upset, that leads to bad defensive habits. Once they call a foul it's not going anywhere, it's going to stay on the books and you just have to focus on the next play."
On getting to end of the season form
"I think it will take a couple more games. We really fed off our home crowd. We'll see about the next game. We have some days to practice with the first-round bye so hopefully we can come out the same way."
"We had to stop [Jahii] Carson. He loves to drive and kick so we wanted to build walls aroound him and play defense. I think we did a good job of that."
On Nick Johnson's play
"We missed him out there, and it was good to have him back. He's one of our best defenders, if not our best defender. He needs to continue that for us to go deep in the Pac-12 and NCAA tournaments. It's good to have him back and hopefully he stays because I want to get to the Final Four."
On the play of Kaleb Tarczewski
"Coach wanted Kaleb [Tarczewski] to get more touches so in practice we looked for him and it translated into the game. I think he played one of his best games. He's not a freshman anymore. You could call him a sophomore, because he played hard today and it's something we'll need from him in the future."
On "guaranteeing" win
"Solomon [Hill], Mark [Lyons], and I couldn't go out with a loss. Nobody wants to lose this game, especially on senior night. We played hard and it started in practice. We worked for it."
On end of game thoughts
"I felt a lot of emotions. I thought about my mother, my grandmother, everything that I've been through: the coaching staff, my father, my brother, everybody. It's one of those moments I'll never forget."
On playing well
"It all started with our team defense. We were getting stops. This past week in practice has been about defense; getting stops and getting out on the break."
"I feel good. I think the biggest thing for our team is defense, and I'm glad we're back at it."
On three point shot early in the first half
"I just saw an open shot and took it. They chose to play me how they played me, and I just shot the open shot."
On his dunk
"Solomon got a steal, threw it up, and I was out on the break and just dunked. That's always been something to get me hyped up."
"Everyone loves to see a dunk. It was great for the crowd, great for me. It made me pick my defense up a little more."