clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

What Tommy Lloyd, Courtney Ramey and Adama Bal said after Arizona’s win over Morgan State

arizona-wildcats-mens-basketball-morgan-state-bears-tommy-lloyd-courtney-ramey-adama-bal-postgame Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Arizona’s record is 12-1 after a 25-point win over Morgan State, wrapping up nonconference play. The Wildcats head into the holiday break that’s also the unofficial midpoint of the college basketball season, and coach Tommy Lloyd gives his team a good grade so far.

“I’m proud of the guys, told them at midterms we got an A, but unfortunately finals are where it’s at,” Lloyd said.

Our full recap from the 93-68 victory can be found here. Below is what Lloyd, Courtney Ramey and Adama Bal said afterward:

On finishing nonconference play: “So we finally got through it. We’re happy with where we started. We’re all looking forward to a couple days’ break, I know the guys probably need a couple days away from me. And I need some time with my family, and then let’s going, The Pac-12 season is here and we can’t wait to get started on it after Christmas.”

On trailing in the first half: “I think they hit a few shots and maybe had us ... uncomfortable. These games aren’t going to be just a 40-minute fast break frenzy, alley oop dunk contest. We’re spoiled. Morgan State ... has got it tough, they’re road warriors. They played good and I bet they have a pretty good conference season once they start getting some home games under under their belt.”

On Azuolas Tubelis’ open-court pass to himself: “I don’t know if you can recreate that again. I’ve seen him try some little things that haven’t worked. But Zu is really coming on, and he’s so consistent. And he scores in different ways, and to make a couple of threes today, and he’s handsy on defense, he gets out in transition. He’s hitting the offensive glass. I love where he’s at, and I think he’s gonna gonna continue to improve.”

On if Pelle Larsson responded well to Lloyd’s criticism: “He’s getting there. I mean, I still think there are some possessions that he and I will go back and watch together that I think that we’re going to be able to pinpoint, things in areas he can grow on. He and I’ve had some good conversations and, the one thing I know about Pelle is, he might be a little bit of a slow starter, but he’s a strong finisher. And I know he wants to play great for the team and he’s a really good player on a really good team right now. And good. But again, there’s room for growth and we’re gonna attack that.”

On Oumar Ballo: “Oumar gets an A-plus. I mean, he’s been incredibly consistent. On the offensive and he’s delivering. His free throws, for the most part, he’s probably never going to be Rick Barry, but he’s making them when he has to, and just the foul pressure he’s putting on the other team. And then defensively, he’s our anchor. There may be some possessions today he probably wished he would have been a little bit more aggressive earlier in the possession to allow the guy to get position or get a catch. But all in all, I’m really proud of Oumar. And now, you know what? The crazy thing about basketball is you got to keep delivering. So we just got to keep him focused on delivering.”

On where Tubelis ranks among running big men he’s coached: “He’s probably right at the top. There might be some guys you’d say, hey, in a foot race, these guys are equal. But I would just say the consistency with what he runs maybe separates him from the pack a little bit. He’s a incredible runner, and he’s got great hands over the top.”

On playing the bench more: “I tried to cycle them in and get them some to run with the main group. Maybe disrupted our normal setting, you know, pattern a little bit there. But all in all, I was really happy to finally finish the game. And to see Dylan (Anderson), Dylan’s had some struggles, like all of our freshmen have, and he maybe hasn’t gotten as many opportunities as some of the other guys just because the numbers but, his last four minutes were incredible. He had a duck-in angle basket, something we really value. He had an unbelievable vertical contest. He had an unbelievable run the floor, sprinting the floor. And then that three he can make at the top of the key. That got me fired up. Hopefully that this gives him a little more fuel to his fire and lets him know that he’s improving and he’s got to stay on it. He’s gonna be a really good player.”

On bench usage overall: “At some point, you gotta go for it. I should have played Ced more, and I went and kind of told him at the end, I’m trying to play some of these young guys. The young guys going into conference season, they haven’t had many opportunities, and Ced unfortunately had to sacrifice. That’s something I’m aware of, but I love where Ced’s at, and I’ll make sure he’s okay with that. But to to see the young guys come along, because we’re gonna need then. We’re gonna need them. I’ve been continuing to say that and I think they’re getting a little bit closer.”

On improving before Pac-12 play: “I’m gonna take a breath, and I’ll probably have my little notepad and I’m gonna be focusing on things I think we need to do to get better. And we’re going to attack after Christmas. For me, the preseason or nonconference portion of our schedule is done. It went well. And now I’m going to move forward and not think about it too much, but just focus on the things I think we need to do to improve. Whether it’s areas we need to tighten up or if it’s things we need to add to our packages. I have a list of things that are already on my mind that I want to do. I’ll chew on those things for a couple of days, and I’ll get some input from the staff.”

On this team’s biggest strengths: “I think this group knows how to win games. And I think that’s an incredible skill. And I also think our greatest strength is I think we have room to grow. I don’t think we have come close to our ceiling yet. So I’m gonna be in a growth mindset and figuring out how the team to get better, week by week, in late December, January, February, because that’s what it takes. And that’s really what it comes down to. We’ve kind of put ourselves in position to have a successful season and now we got to continue to double down on getting better.”

On tying for the second-best 50-game start for a Division I coach: “I don’t pay any attention or pay no mind to it. I’m incredibly grateful that I’ve gotten this opportunity. And I’m incredibly grateful that I’ve coached some good players. I’m looking at my shooting numbers and my averages and they’re pretty low. I’m thankful for those guys. Those guys do a great job and they let me coach them, and I’ve been on them. I get on those guys probably a lot more than you guys know. And I’m pretty persistent. And I know sometimes it’s annoying, but it’s what I think it takes to help individuals and teams grow. And so I’m going to stay focused on that.”

On the defense: “I think there’s a lot of room for growth there. Philosophically, we went one direction and then we kind of went another direction. Maybe we need to get in between those areas a little bit, and I just got to get comfortable pinpointing game by game what we got to do to be better. And I think we have we have a lot of room to grow at that end of the floor. I don’t look at the analytic numbers. I mean, I know what our our efficiency ratings are, but I don’t look at how they compare to other people, because I’m just focused on winning the next game. What do we got to do to win the next game? And I know defensively overall, we can continue to grow and get better.”

On 3-point defense: “It’s a really interesting thing. There’s different schools of thought. I think you can afford to give up a few more threes if you’re doing a great job protecting the paint and letting up free throws. You kind of have a give and take to all this stuff. Traditionally I’ve been a guy that would be way more comfortable taking away threes, and then relying on length and athleticism for rim protection and size. Those are the little things we got to figure out, and that’s my job to kind of put this team on the right path.”

On Adama Bal: “He said he felt better. I asked him for the game, he said he felt better. Continuing to get him to grow and be a little bit more consistent would be a shot in the arm for this team.”

On Henri Veesaar: “I thought he had a good first run. He impacts in the game with his activity on defense and hopefully rebounding above the rim. For a 7-footer he had a great, quick reaction on a rebound, looking up the court. We just got to help him offensively to kind of figure out where he can impact the game. He’s a young, developing player., who’s getting stronger, and we got to kind of help him identify areas he can kind of hang his hat on offensively. He doesn’t have those right now. That’s gonna be part of my thinking over the next few days.”

Ramey on trailing Morgan State early: “They’re a good team. I felt like they had a solid game plan. They made shots early. With teams like that you got to try to take their confidence away earlier. Unfortunately we couldn’t. I think in the second half we made some runs and kind of pushed our lead.”

On if Arizona took the opponent for granted: “We treated this game like a Tennessee game. We knew how good this team was. I feel like when you start overlooking opponents, that’s how upsets happen. We took the mature approach and just looked at the game as another opportunity to get better as a team and grow. I feel like those games or games where we can allow (our bench) to play and grow. We’re gonna need them throughout the season, because having a deep bench is how you succeed in March.”

On Morgan State hitting 12 3-pointers: “When a team is coming into our building, they see us being ranked top five in the country they want to knock us off, so they’re going to play their best game, and we got to understand that. We can’t take away every shot. They did a good job hitting their threes today. I think it was good for us to battle back and just like not get too worried and just remain calm and stick to our principles and our game plan. I think we kind of adjust our game plan throughout the game, which is pressuring them more, trying to take them out of their action. They were a team who was slow, looking for backdoors, so we tried to play conservative at the beginning of the game. I think our pressure throughout the game kind of led us to make a run.”

On how he’d grade Arizona: “For me, I’m not gonna be too satisfied. It’s a long season to be played, I’ll give us a B because we let a game slip against Utah. I feel like we win that game then I’d give us an A-plus. We just got to have growth mindsets and just understand that as we come back from this break we play a good ASU team. We can’t overlook them because they’re good, too, and we’re playing them on their home court and it’s a rivalry game. So we got to be hungry, we got to be the ones going into their place thinking like they’re the better team. That’s why I’m kind of hard on myself and the team.”

Bal on trailing early: “They were playing hard defense. They were putting pressure every time.”

On his ankle: “I feel like today was better. I was moving better. I was running better. Obviously I’m still healing, but it’s getting way better.”

On Arizona’s recent play: “Utah was a game we should have won, but I think we learned from it. I can’t wait to get back after the break and start the Pac-12 season, because I think that definitely we can get better.”