Final Four: UCLA quotes & note about press conferences in general

By Eric Sorenson - March 30, 2007

At the risk of getting fired from CSTV yet again - I've gotta say, the NCAA media team here in Atlanta does such an incredibly quick, efficient job of typing and distributing press conference quotes, there's almost no need for me to physically attend the pressers.

So unless I want to be sure to talk about some of the facial expressions or laughter in the room, I can get every quote and every uttered word in each press conference.

None-the-less, here are some of the somewhat interesting quotes from UCLA's press conference. (Quotes-be-damned, it still pales in comparison to seeing the whole team and coaching staff trying to sink half-court shots for the last five minutes of the practice.)

Coach Howland:
- We're really excited to be back. It's a great, great honor to be a part of the Final Four. Just an unbelievable field this year.

On the NCAA selection committee:
You have to commend the NCAA selection committee fo rthe great job they did selecting the field and the seeding of the field, with the way things played out. There are four outstanding teams here in Atlanta.

On the "Princeton offense":
You go back to the old school... Pete Carril is truly a genius in college basketball. His philosophies you see how not only at Georgetown, but you've seen the NBA over the last decade both in Sacramento and the Wizards right now. A number of different teams imploy that offense. We all thought of Princeton being a slow-down offense. If you emply it at the NBA level, these are the highest scoring games. It's about passing, cutting, moving without the ball, knowing how to play basketball.

Going against Noah and Horford:
Well we know we're going up against two of the best big guys on the same team in the country. They're really a rarified duo. I can't think of another one in recent memory that has two lottery picks either this year or a year from now.

Talking about Noah's passing:
He's such a good passer. I think when you see a good basketabll player - you can't be a good passer and not have a good understanding of the game. Good passing skills and understanding of the game, correlate.

Howland the stats gearhead:
Florida is shooting 53% from the field. They're shooting 40% from threes, 42.3% in the last 22 games. Inside the three-point line they're shooting 59.8% as a team. They're holding their opponents to 40%. They out-board their opponents by seven boards a game. I mean, this is an incredible team, one of the great teams in college basketball history.

On being a UCLA junkie as a kid:
UCLA has always been the dream job for me. As a child, watching the Wooden teams play with Dick Enberg doing the call. Each and every replay game on KTLA back in the day at 11 o'clock. Watching those games as a young player, idolizing all the players, wanting to be a player. As a coach, that was always to me, the pinnacle job: UCLA.

Aaron Afflalo:
On seeing Florida celebrate last year's title:
I definitely wasn't happy. (laughs). I had a lot of anger, a lot of pain as well. It's just different to watch other people celebrate agaisnt you. But those times are gone. They came out and competed. They played very hard. We didn't put forth the effort that we needed to. They were deserving of that championship last year.

On the Bruin defensive reputation:
We have the personnel to play that type of defense. The way Josh (Shipp) sees the floor on the defensive end. The way Darren can pressure the ball. My willingness to try to stop whoever. The physicality and mobility of our bigs allow us to play a certain type of defense that has really worked for us.

Posted by Eric Sorenson at 02:45 PM on March 30, 2007

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