clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

What Tommy Lloyd, Kerr Kriisa and Kylan Boswell said after Arizona’s win over Southern

arizona-wildcats-college-basketball-tommy-lloyd-kerr-kriisa-kylan-boswell-postgame-southern-tigers Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

Arizona’s second game of the 2022-23 season was a lot like the first one, with the Wildcats scoring in bunches but also turning it over a lot in a 95-78 win over Southern on Friday night. Along the way, Kerr Kriisa put up his second career triple-double.

Our full recap can be found here. Below is what Kriisa, freshman Kylan Boswell and coach Tommy Lloyd had to say about the victory:

Kriisa on the triple-double: “I never play for stats, but triple-doubles are something special, especially in college. I gotta give a lot of credit to my teammates, they made the baskets that I passed to them. I just got lucky today.”

On Southern’s press: “They played hard, they just came out as a group and pressed us the whole 40 minutes basically. I think they knew that they gotta change something up in order to come play in McKale. I think that was their tactics. We made a lot of turnovers, we made a lot of easy baskets but on the downside we made some easy turnovers.”

On putting on a headband again after not wearing one in the first game: “The reason that I didn’t really wear a headband last game was because I felt like I was practicing really good without it. I just tried it out, but apparently I got really, really bad comments and bad messages. I’m just trying to live, so I guess I had to pull my headband back out.”

On Boswell: “When Kylan came and he said he’s 17 I almost shit my ... poop, whatever. The kid is 17. Actually me and Pelle (Larsson), we went back and watched the photos when we were 17. We didn’t even look close to like what Kylan is doing on the court and like IQ he has, all kinds of stuff. Kylan’s really coming along, obviously he has a lot to learn, but I think we’re there to help him. He’s going to be a great point guard for this program.”

Boswell on the physicality of the college game: “Everybody is men. It’s not really that big of an issue for me anymore.”

On what type of contact has been hardest to get used to: “Initiating, for sure. I’ve gotten hit all the time.”

On how he’s felt so far after having foot surgery in June: “I was pretty nervous going into the exhibition game, the first game. I’ve kind of gotten adjusted. I actually was surprised how well my foot did, not hurting, no swelling.”

Lloyd on how the game played out: “Southern, man, they battled. And I knew it was gonna be like that. I thought for a stretch of the game we played really well and I thought for other stretches we didn’t. That’s what happens in the early season. I take my hat off to Southern, I mean they played their tails off and they’re relentless.”

On his team struggling with the press at times: “It’s kind of an eye opener for some of our guys, especially some of our young guys. I mean, they need to understand, these games you don’t take for granted. You’re not in high school anymore. You’re not playing AAU basketball. I mean, you’re playing all Division I players who are good players and hungry and have pride. So, I obviously I was disappointed with how our younger group finished. There’s going to be some great lessons learned from that. We have standards in this program, in effort, intelligence, and they didn’t meet them. It’s that easy. I think we have a veteran group is setting a pretty good example for them, o they need to open their eyes.”

On if he considered putting rotation players back in late: “I mean, it’s hard. Here’s where you’re at when you sit in my chair. You probably think you have the game under control. And so you’re gonna get the win. But yeah, we have standards on how you want to play, and those standards weren’t being met. You put one of the main guys back in, what if he gets hurt? These seasons are long and they’re not easy. And then the other thing that disappoints me is, we have what we call our green squad. Our walk-on crew that’s really good, and for them to not get much of a chance to play because I think that (second) group was minus-15 in that five minutes, which is pretty impressive to do minus-15 in five minutes.”

On Kriisa: “I think Kerr is good in every game. Listen, nobody’s going to get a triple double every night. Kerr’s just a good basketball player, he has such a high IQ and got a great motor and he’s competitive. You could coach him on a cerebral level, where he understands what’s going on, and he’ll look at you and you’ll nod and for the most part he’ll go out and do it.”

On Kriisa taking chances: “I think Kerr’s biggest strength is his confidence and he’s not scared. There’s some times that he’ll do some risky plays, and he probably knows that Coach probably isn’t going to love this, but he’s still not afraid, which is important. These guys can’t be—maybe some of our younger guys are a little bit scared of me and making mistakes, they gotta get over it. They gotta grow up. I think our veteran crew, I definitely know this: hopefully they have a healthy respect for me, but they’re not scared. And they go out and they make plays, and sometimes they’re a little too aggressive, but in the end that usually is a good thing for us when they’re that aggressive for a long period of time.”

On Oumar Ballo: “Oumar is great, he’s a really good basketball player. He’s really grown. He’s taking the defensive part, protecting the rim serious, and he looked awesome doing that. He’s really rebounding, he’s rebounding out of his area, getting balls up and kind of high pointing them which he really never did before. Offensively, he’s really kind of calmed down. He’s just ... he’s a load. I mean, I don’t know how many fouls (seven) but it was a lot. I think one game this year, maybe like our St. Mary’s scrimmage he drew 12 or something like that.”

On the double-technical involving Pelle Larsson in the first half: “In competitive moments emotions are gonna rise and you can’t be afraid of it. Now, you need to temper it a little bit. You got to be able to play and understand the purpose is to win the basketball game. It’s not to get into chest pumping contest. Pelle and Oumar, I got on them a little bit. They don’t need to be doing, I don’t care what the other team did. We need to huddle up and say, lkay, guys, let’s kick their ass as a team. You’re not going to throw punches. You’re not going to get in a fist fight, so why would you go bump somebody in the chest or go in their huddle? That’s fake tough. What real tough is, huddling up as a team and saying alright, it’s on. I respect Southern. I have no issues with how they played. It’s great for us to get pushed to that limit, because it teaches us a lesson on how we need to respond when emotions do get high.”

On the cause of 43 turnovers in 2 games: “It’s young players, old players, I mean it’s just mistakes. We’ve gotta clean it up. I think when we’re not turning the ball over, we’re pretty efficient. We just got to keep learning, we got to keep learning. Teams like that are hard, because they just keep coming. Human nature tells you when you get up a certain number of points or, hey, they hadn’t pressed the last few possessions and they put it on, you just kinda, you relax, and then you maybe relax and you can make a decision that you normally wouldn’t, and throw a cross-court pass and they break on. You just gotta have a better understanding of just valuing possession and we’ll get there.”

On if facing a press like Southern’s will help for the NCAA Tournament: “Listen, you’re about four or five months ahead of me. I’m worried about cleaning up a bunch of stuff Sunday at practice, that’s 100 percent where I’m at now. It helps the toughness, though, because you can’t simulate the perstistence and the effort that they play with press. We can’t simulate that very well, so it was great. I’m appreciative that they came here and they battled with us and they played as hard as they did because it’sonly going to help us.’

On Kriisa going back to a headband: “I didn’t even notice. I don’t notice those things. I like triple-double Kerr, whatever that looks like.”

On Boswell’s first 2 college games: “I think he’s doing a good job settling in and figuring out what it’s like at this level. And playing against high-pressure teams I think he’s looked pretty poised. I think as he continues to get some games under his belt, some minutes, he’s really going to help us, which is huge. Obviously, we’re gonna get Courtney (Ramey) back soon, and that’s gonna help our overall depth, but I’m more than comfortable with Kylan Boswell on the floor.”

If Boswell and Kriisa will continue to play a lot at the same time: “I’m gonna let that play out. Courtney’s a good basketball player, and he’s had a really good fall with us. And I think he’s gonna have a great season. Kylan is having success, but at the end of the day I keep telling you guys I want to kind of give him some time to develop. I’m excited to see kind of what kind of jump he makes this week in practice with a couple of games under his belt. But you guys can see what a special talent he is, and he’s only going to get better.”

On being able to watch his son Liam play for NAU at ASU on Thursday: “It was awesome. Obviously I’m proud of him. He’s an awesome kid. This Division I basketball deal is not easy, nd he’s grown up and it’s still not easy. I’m sure maybe he at times he was doubting himself the last couple of years. He didn’t really get many opportunities for whatever reason. For him to go to a program where he gets to play a little bit, I think he’s really appreciative. I watched him last night, and I who his dad is, so I can tell how he’s playing with his jump stops and his pass faking and stuff like that. I’m excited for their, I think they’re going to have a pretty good season when it’s all said and done.”

On Southern, and having to play them on the road next season: “I have a lot of respect for those programs. I mean, those programs have to overcome long odds in the Division I basketball business landscape. Obviously, they’re probably not as well-funded as programs like we are, and they gotta go out and play you all these road games. And the cool thing about today was, for every time in the history of Arizona basketball today against Southern would have been a guarantee game, where we call a guarantee game where they would have got paid to show up and battle. But the cool thing for them is, next year they get us back there on the second game of the year. I think it’ll probably have a little more meaning and impact when we get to go back there and have that full experience. We’re looking forward to it.”