Cal Quotables

Johnson and Lopez steal the show in Berkeley.

Stanford won its third in a row in a blue-collar fashion perhaps more fitting of its East Bay rival: stout defense, ferocious rebounding, and a Brook Lopez and Mitch Johnson-led inside-out attack that wasn't pretty, but scored the most Stanford points in a game since a November thrashing of Sacramento State. Read on for quotes and reaction from both teams' coaches and players.

Stanford Cardinal:

Trent Johnson:

Another typical day in Pac-10 basketball. I tell you what, they really stretch you defensively. They have a multitude of guys who can really score. I think we got some major contributions from guys of the bench. It was a really great win – they were making some tough shots in the first half, 11-of-21.

On the first-half tempo:

Honestly, I felt the tempo was to our liking. I thought we were making them work for what they got. They got 11-of-21 because they were working for it. Any time it's 30 points in a half on the road, that's to my liking.

On Cal's offensive threats:

Christopher, he's very strong going to his right. Fred did a good job defensively. I can recall a deep NBA three he hit. And he's tough off the dribble. He's probably as explosive of a guy as there is in our league. Randle is also a huge force.

On the plan that led to Brook's 23-point second-half and game:

Get it to the big boy on the right block. And for the most part, I thought he did a good job playing with three more. We made some adjustments and had Mitch be the guy who primarily fed it into post and get it to him, because of his understanding of angles. I knew way back in spring he would have an opportunity to make plays.

I asked whether fans should expect more Drew Shiller in future games:

When he shoots well and is ready to play, no question. One of the important things is staying ready. The reason probably he hasn't played is because guys in front of him doing a good job. With this group of kids, I'd like to play them all the same amount of minutes and that's refreshing.

A less than inspiring response.

Responding, I believe, to a question about the twins:

With as much attention as is paid to these two, we're getting so many contributions from everybody. Drew came in before that, Kenny, I thought Law did an excellent job getting key offensive boards off two free throws. And Mitch, look at the way he's been playing.

Okay, it's official: book your Final Four hotels. Trent's in "control expectations" mode, at least for the twins. He only does that when he thinks he's holding a pretty good hand.

On Robin Lopez:

Robin had a really great 36 minutes guarding as good a player as anyone in the conference, and not getting into any foul trouble.

In 38 minutes, Anderson finished with 11 points on 4-of-10 accuracy. Stanford's trend of shutting down the opponents' top scorer continues.

As the presser ends and Trent's about to leave, he leans into the mike and makes sure to throw this out loudly enough for everyone to hear:

I don't know how you feel, but if that's the ninth-place team in this league, there's going to be nine teams going to the Tournament.

Wait, would that include us Trent? I didn't know if we've yet reached that point in the year where it's acceptable to discuss March.

Brook Lopez:

On the mentality that led to his second half:

Attack the basket. I just did what we've been trying to do when they double down. I was just concerned with playing good defense without fouling. I was hoping I could get through rest of half without another dumb foul. Our guards do a good job rotating and sealing off in the paint when I dribble off the baseline, so it's easier to look for ways to kick the ball out. I guess I feel like it's my job to create a lot of easy buckets.

Mitch Johnson:

On whether he gave another speech, after the effect his halftime words against Arizona State had:

We just talked about, obviously, it's going to be an emotional game and we wanted to match their energy and emotion and make it more about basketball. A couple of times they got some big plays, and we did a good job of taking their big blows and responding.

Indeed. For the fifth time this season, Cal retook the lead after falling behind by double digits.

On the post play:

I think [Brook] and Robin down low are getting better. … I think we did a good job crashing the offensive boards. Total team effort.

California Bears:

Devon Hardin:

On the twins:

They're both very skilled big guys and it's tough get a couple of shots over them. It's tough getting shots over them and they provide a challenge in the paint. Brook's such a big body and he's going to finish if he gets anywhere near the rim, so [my plan] was just to keep him away from the block and keep him away from the rim whenever possible.

What makes it so hard? He's 260.[Laughs.] He's skilled. I admire the way he can move with his size.

On Brook's toughest move to defend:

The turnaround baseline because our double's coming from the middle and he favors the baseline shot.

On what he's learnt about his team:

We stick together through adversity and we're going to fight. It hasn't been a perfect season thus far. We're going to fight, keep fighting and pretty soon things are going to swing our way.

On the Pac-10:

You hear all the hype about how tough it is coming into it. It's true.

On his foul trouble:

I knew they were going to go to Brook and Robin when I wasn't out there.

Patrick Christopher:

On Randle:

Once he saw he could beat his man that's what he did the whole game. In the first half, he was getting himself going. In the second, he was getting the whole team involved. Seven assists and no turnovers – that's good.

Mitch Johnson was usually guarding Randle.

On tempo:

I believe we play a lot better when we're at our best in transition. Basketball is more fun when you're just out there playing, going.

On the loss:

It's another one of those losses. The only thing we can do is come back and practice harder and harder and try to learn from the mistakes we're making. As far as being frustrated, it's game after game. It's on us, though. You have to dig in and find the fight inside of us.

Schadenfreude? What's that?

On the difference in the game:

A lot of those free throws came off offensive rebounds and they get those second-chance shots and that kills us. We can score with anybody in the country, but it's that other end of the court where we've got to buckle down and find some guys, and that's the game right there. This game is about rebounding, flat out. They outrebounded us on their free throws, they converted free throws and if they missed the free throw, they got the rebound after that and it was a continuous cycle.

On his foul trouble:

I've had a rocky start to the season, but I just have to go out there be myself and play. I couldn't worry about picking up another foul, that's what Coach tells me, I just had to go out and play. I don't want to make any excuses for my performance because it is what it is.

Ben Braun:

Any time you score 38 in the paint, that's probably the most they've given up in the paint all season. I commend our guys for taking it to the paint and trying to get to the rim, but like every other team says, they're big at close range. I feel we got a couple of midrange shots and some great penetration, but the Lopez twins came out and got great blocks. I thought Robin did a great job getting 10 O-boards. That's a stat very few guys in the country could get. Rebounding and second-chance points, that really hurt us, that's 21 opportunities that really hurt us. If we can get half of those, we get our transition game going, maybe we get a couple of points ourselves and we separate.

On Anderson:

I think that when you're seven feet and pretty aggressive, that makes it pretty tough to go over you. I think Ryan Anderson is pretty agile and did a good job going around [the twins]. I know he was trying to get foul calls, and the refs said he needs to go straight up and not lean and initiate contact and I understand that. …But if we had it to do over again, we'd earn more of those fouls from my standpoint. If we're going to get called for them, we're going to be more physical and really earn them.

On post defense:

DeVon [Hardin] brought great energy. For all the games to get into foul trouble, this was a tough one. I thought he was good, really wanted the ball down low and was a factor for us.

Stanford defensively does a good job and I think we were able to score, but we need to do a better job on the defensive glass. That was the difference in the game. That was huge. We did a good job challenging shots – they shot 32 percent in the first half. If you can do that and secure rebounds, that's going to bode well for our team.

On Boykins:

Jamal [Boykins] really gave us great energy and he really gives us a lift. It was a terrific effort by Jamal and he's a gamer and a competitor. I told him before the game to be ready and he was.

On post defense of Brook Lopez:

I thought we did a good job early – we had some double-down schemes and that helped. We had some help in the zone and that helped. But in the second, he made his run and I think the key was he did a great job of securing his post position, he had some great reposts. When we can force the ball in at less of an angle for a paint catch, we can defend him. But he not only had one foot in the paint, but two feet in the paint. In the second half, by the time he got the ball deep in the paint, the double was ineffective – it was too late. We didn't get down on him soon enough, but Devon was guarding him and trying not to pick up his fifth.

On his frustration:

Sure, it's frustrating, because this is another game where we can point to some positives that we can build on and are important, but on the other hand, we have to do a better job not just giving up offensive boards but not giving up deep catches. Every time we had a surge at the beginning of the game, every time we had a lead, every time the game was in a good position for us, they came back down, went inside and got an easy touch or foul call.

On Mitch Johnson:

Mitch shot the ball well and I think you have to live with some of those shots. You can't live with second-chance points and putbacks. Even though we were upset about two fast-break buckets when we gave them up, we can live with that. Specifically, offensive rebounds and down the stretch, allowing ball to get in deep on the block, those things really hurt our team.

On point-blank shooting:

We missed some shots today, five or six in the paint. We had 38 [in the paint], we could have had 48 or 50 with some that we missed.

On morale:

Our team is not going to quit. We've been down on teams and come back.


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