Weekly Coach Menzies Interview :: 12/14/09 Your thoughts on the win last night?
Marvin Menzies: I was obviously very happy that the team went out and performed with some passion and chemistry. I was going to be very happy with them regardless of the result but to come home with a 'W' on the road is a positive thing. The offense looked the best that it's looked all season.
MM: They were more patient and they did a lot of the things we've been trying to do in terms of driving and creating opportunities for your teammates. They finally starting to get that and guys did a good job of spotting up and being ready on the weak side. It turned out to start to click. I wasn't too concerned with it not clicking eventually, it was just a matter of time. Now we've just got to sustain it and learn why it was successful. We knew we could score the ball, we've been scoring it consistently in practice and shooting it well in practice, it was just a matter of putting it together in a game. Gordo Castillo had a big game, his second in a row and he's starting to emerge as another scoring threat for the team.
MM: I had high expectations for Gordo from the beginning of the year and so did other people and as a result a lot of people keyed on him. He's doing other things now to make himself available and doing the little things that are giving him opportunities to score. Quite often when you set good screens you set yourself up to score. But he's also rebounding and he's just playing with a higher basketball IQ which is helping him to achieve other things. Jonathan Gibson had a tough night from the field but hit 9-of-10 free throws and I was impressed that he was able to stay in the game mentally despite his shot not falling last night.
MM: Gib played for the first time, played extended minutes at the point guard position. There's two different gears that you've got to have mentally and sometimes it's difficult to flip/flop back and forth between the one and two spots so I think some of his shots were a little challenged but he'll make that adjustment and learn how to flip that switch. What he did do well was he didn't add a lot of extra dribbling in his attack to the basket and with his quickness enabled him to get to the line as a result to going body-to-body off the bounce and he obviously shot it well from the free throw line and helped him keep his attitude in a positive direction. What are your thoughts on B.J. West's play?
MM: I was quite happy to have the opportunity to get him in the game. I was very excited for him. He's a very positive kid with a great spirit and is a big time team guy. To get him the chance to whet his whistle with seven minutes in such an intense rivalry in a great atmosphere was a big plus and hopefully he'll be able to build on that in this road trip. Tuesday night you face UCLA at Pauley Pavilion.
MM: UCLA is a little down in terms of their record but they've played some very very good teams, a lot like us. They've got some very good talent. We're expecting a very tough game, especially being on the road and going into a storied facility with their tradition and history there. It's something that no matter what their record is, they're still UCLA and still one of the most storied programs in all of college basketball. It's a great opportunity and hopefully our kids will be up for it. Friday night you take on Pepperdine, what can fans expect to see from the Waves?
MM: Pepperdine is a team a lot like us in terms of their youthfulness. They've got some talented kids. Right now the bulk of their scoring is being led by Keion Bell, who I feel is the catalyst, I feel like if we can do a good job on him and keep some of the other guys in check then we should give ourselves a chance to come out with a victory on the road which would be another huge plus for us at this stage. What does your team need to build off of last night's win and keep the momentum going?
MM: Well we've just got to keep doing what we've been doing which is working hard in practice. It's one of those things, I didn't give them any miracle serum, we changed the lineup a little bit, we limited our rotation a little bit and tweaked some things offensively and as a result we had a productive output. We'll continue to do that and make adjustments accordingly.