Arizona played its second game in less than 48 hours on Sunday, and after letting UT-Arlington hang around for 18 minutes the Wildcats cruised to another blowout victory.
And while coach Tommy Lloyd was disappointed in how his team played early on, he’s glad it happened and even more happy with what came after the uneven start.
“I was kinda happy how we responded in the first half because it wasn’t coming easy, but you don’t start games up 30-0,” Lloyd said.
Our game recap can be found here. Below is what else Lloyd, Oumar Ballo and Jaden Bradley said after Arizona’s third game scoring at least 100 points and fourth it one by 30 or more:
Lloyd on the first half compared to the second half: “We have a standard that probably wasn’t met in the first half. UTA probably gets some credit for that, and our guys probably get a little bit of blame. Coaches are involved in that, too. I just think the lesson is that success and winning doesn’t come easy. It always has to be based with effort and layer it with intelligence and passion and unselfishness. And now you got something, but if you don’t put all those things together, you’re gonna come up a little bit short. There’s always that kind of back and forth, that fight early in a game. They took a little bit of a lead, we made a run, and then I was kind of disappointed with some of our shot selection, with a couple. We’re a program where we play with great freedom, but we also play with intelligence and unselfishness. We addressed that, and I think those are great lessons for us to learn. We kind of obviously fixed it a little bit and we got on a little bit of a roll there in the second half.”
On the last two opponents making 3s early: “Belmont, I felt like we were a little more locked in, and maybe some of the threes they were making were from guys that weren’t necessarily 3-point shooters. Maybe a little bit of a scout-based feel. This one was, our effort wasn’t there on loose balls and some rebounding things early. Some of the situations where we want to take advantage and pressure them. That’s what happens. But it’s great to learn that stuff. You have to be a little bit of a realist as a coach, even though you’re a big dreamer, that every half of basketball ain’t going to be perfect, and you have to respond and learn and make some adjustments, and a lot of times those adjustments are just mentality and effort.”
On his comfort level with the top 8 players in his rotation: “I am comfortable with any of them. Even a guy like KJ (Lewis) who just really impacts the game. Even like loose balls. KJ is 75-25 he’s getting them. I always joke in practice, like, who’s gonna get a loose ball besides KJ, because he gets all of them and he does it in games. And those are run starters, those start runs and create easy transition offensive opportunities.”
On Jaden Bradley: “JB, I thought, played obviously his best statistical game today. He’s been rock solid for the most part, but he’s a really good player and I want him to kind of find his way in this program. For a guy to be come authentically good, which he will be and he is, you can’t like script it. It’s got to kind of come within the system, within the flow of the game. And I thought he found his opportunities today and really took advantage of it and it was great.”
On Kylan Boswell: “Kylan I thought had a little bit of a breakthrough just with some of his post entry passes. Obviously that’s an important part of our system is those early post-ups in transition, and just his ability to see them and find them. Sometimes some of these young players, they kind of struggle to see through the bodies, when there’s a lot of bodies on court there are bodies in front of you and this and that, but down maybe inside there’s a big advantage. Can you see through the trees a little bit? I thought he had a little bit of a breakthrough with that today, which is exciting.”
On if this is his most-balanced team: “That first team was really good, had eight players and you had an explosive guy like Benn, so we weren’t quite as deep, so guys maybe got more more opportunity and more shots. And Zu was right there. Then last year’s team we ended up kind of slicing it a little thin, only played seven guys for the most part. I think the depth gives us the most balance, for sure.”
On facing Michigan State on Thanksgiving: “We’re fired up. I mean, we get an opportunity to go play one of the great programs in college basketball. Coach Izzo is someone I really look up to. They’re a program that’s built on grit and fight, and I’m expecting a knockdown dragout. They might have lost a couple games. This James Madison team sounds like they’re kind of like one of the talks of the the majors in college basketball. I hadn’t watched a game yet, but I heard they’re really good. And then they lost a tough one to Duke in the Champions classic. They’re going to take this as an opportunity to come play another national-caliber program, and I know they’re going to take a big swing and we’re going to do the same, so I’m fired up. I’m fired up. I think it’s a great opportunity for us to continue to build and try to have a successful season.”
On how the game was arranged: “I’ve known (Izzo) for years and he’s been really good to me. It was put together by other people, but I think there was a mutual respect there. I bugged him a little bit here and there to see if we could schedule a home and home type thing or something like that, it just hasn’t happened yet, but we’re grateful for this opportunity, for sure.”
On the crowd energy: “I told our guys I don’t know what to expect. It’s Sunday afternoon. I don’t know if people are going to be sleepy after lunch and church, or are they going to come out breathing fire. But we need to be the spark. Our effort and energy need to be the spark for the crowd. We don’t need to wait for the crowd to get us going. I think there was a good kind of back and forth with some of our guys making some energy and effort plays and then the crowd responding and building a little bit of momentum for us.”
On if these last 3 home games taught him anything about his team: “I pretty much slice it game to game. I feel like we’re right where we should be. We’re going to play a great program, and I know it’s going to be a really hard game. It’s gonna present a lot of challenges, so I’m excited for that. If we win, it’ll be awesome. If we lose, we’ll be alright. It’s a long season and whatever happens that game, we’re going to try to—obviously we’ll play our best, and hopefully we do play well, but if we don’t, we’re gonna learn from it. I’m just excited for that opportunity.”
On going beyond 8 players for meaningful minutes: “It’ll vary, obviously. Conrad (Martinez), kind of there as the 11th guy, he’s good player. I’m uncomfortable with all those guys in some form or fashion. I think where I’m most comfortable is we have live reps now. Now we finally get a little bit of a break. Our schedule has been a little kind of jagged a little bit. Now we get a little bit of three days to kind of obviously prepare for Michigan State, but then kind of clean up some of our stuff and maybe add some of our next layers to what we want to do. So I feel good now that we have real live bullets to teach with and for the players to learn from.”
Ballo on Lloyd saying he was banged up Friday: “Nothing really too much, I just got hit in the knees and they were trying to rest me.”
On having Motiejus Krivas as his backup: “It is just a big relief for me when you get a guy who can come in and do as good as you can. You can keep pressure on the other bigs. I’m really grateful that we have him.Man it’s crazy, he’s just a freshman. You don’t see that nowadays. Mo’s a pro, he’s only a freshman but he’s a pro.”
On if this is Arizona’s deepest team with him: “We have more depth. We have so many starters on this team. It’s unfortunate we can only play five. I’m telling you, we have eight starters.”
Bradley on his performance compared to the first 4 games: “I had a couple games under my belt, coaches were in my ear, my teammates in my ear giving me that confidence. It felt great today. Getting two feet in the paint and taking the right shot.”
On the better play in the second half: “(UTA) came out hot, making a lot of shots from 3. I think they had 6 threes at halftime. We came out with more ball pressure, contesting their shots.”
On facing Michigan State: “It don’t matter who steps on the court. Duke game was hard, every game is tough. You have to come in with the mindset you’re playing a great team.”
Brian J. Pedersen www.azdesertswarm.com
2023-11-20 02:30:00 , Arizona Desert Swarm – All Posts