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What Tommy Lloyd, Kerr Kriisa and Courtney Ramey said after Arizona’s win over No. 5 UCLA

arizona-wildcats-ucla-bruins-basketball-postgame-tommy-lloyd-courtney-ramey-kerr-kriisa-pac12-2023 Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Arizona pulled off its first win over a Top 5 team in almost a year, knocking off No. 5 UCLA on Saturday afternoon. The win not only ended the Bruins’ 14-game win streak but pulled the Wildcats (17-3, 6-3) within striking distance of them in the Pac-12 standings.

It was the first time since February 2015 that the UA won a game when scoring fewer than 60 points.

“I wonder if they stopped the game at halftime,” coach Tommy Lloyd joked when looking at the box score. “We don’t have many games in the 50s. To have been able to win the game in the 50s against a team like UCLA says something.”

Our full recap can be found here. Below is what Lloyd, Kerr Kriisa and Courtney Ramey had to say afterward:

On winning a low scoring game: “I’m super proud of our guys. Over these seasons, you gotta be able to win multiple ways. Obviously UCLA was able to get that game at their tempo, but I think we were comfortable the whole time. Maybe except for that last minute when we were trying to ride out that lead, but other than that, I think we were comfortable the whole time, which is a good sign for our guys.”

On Courtney Ramey and Cedric Henderson: “I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what we’re as a program, me being in my second year and obviously expectations and standards are really high, which is great. I always welcome that. But, I think about Courtney Ramey. When Dalen (Terry) left us—which he 100 percent should have, so don’t take that the wrong way—at the end of May, we were kind of stuck in a bind recruiting-wise, and things weren’t coming easy. And then to be able to pull Courtney Ramey and Cedric Henderson out of the transfer portal, I’m really thankful for those guys.

“I think Courtney Ramey this week, I don’t know what his stats totally were or whatever, but his impact on the game was significant. He hit some dagger threes and his defense was outstanding in both games. I’m super proud of those guys. Our program is going in the right direction. And hey, I’m all about winning the next game, and you guys know that but I just want to make sure I put that out there that I’m thankful for Courtney and Cedric for believing in us and giving Arizona a chance, because they’ve really, really helped us.”

On Ramey fitting better into the system: “He’s made huge progress. He and I are on the same page now. And it was nothing intentional. He just had different habits. It takes time to kind of break down some of those habits, and get on the same page with what we want to do. But he was tremendous. He took on to all-conference type point guards this weekend and did an exceptional job on both of them.”

On what has changed with Arizona’s defense: “I think we got more aggressive. We got more aggressive, I think our guys got a little more attentive to the scouting reports We take pride and try to do a good job scouting and giving our guys advantages, and I think our guys really embrace that. You talk about the lineup change, bringing Pelle (Larssson) off the bench. I mean, you’re arguably bringing one of your better defenders off the bench. He’s very versatile, he can guard forwards, he can guard point guards, he can guard centers. So I just think the guy’s got a little more attentive. And I thought all along our team had real, real defensive potential. But there’s lots of ways to win games. Usually it’s a cumulative effort between your offense, your rebounding and your defense.”

On if this was the best defensive performance of his tenure: “I would say the best defensive weekend. I think you put the two games together, I think it was our best defense.”

On what he said to get the defense better: “I just told the guys, like, I’m tired of them sitting back. Start out possessions tough. Make it hard early in the possession and then ride it out. You don’t want to be a team that plays the first 10 seconds of the shot clock kind of soft and conservative and then think you can amp it up. From Jump Street let’s go. That was my message.”

On the importance of sweeping the LA schools at home: “They’re huge. You’re going game by game. I told our guys I’m proud of them. It was obviously UCLA’s first loss and we’ve had a couple. Three. So I told our guys we still haven’t earned the right to talk about a Pac-12 championship. You got to earn that right. And that’s not something you talk about, and I don’t talk about winning regular season championships. You don’t just throw that statement out there. It’s got to really, really, really mean something and you got to really, really give yourself a chance. We took a step today, but you know what, we got to go up and play those Washington schools next week, and both of them, to be honest with you, got the better of us down here. So we got a lot of work to do.”

On Oumar Ballo: “He actually really saved us in the first half. I think he went 8 of 10 from the line ... we were struggling offensively and I think he had like eight of our 26 points from the line, and that’s huge. We’ve seen other games where he hasn’t made eight attempts from the free throw line. Oumar, he gets a ton of credit for hanging in there. I mean, I’m sure he wished he would have finished a little bit better, but he played great. I mean, that game was a battle, and it’s a crazy physical, hand-to-hand combat-type game and he did a good job.”

On what the officials told him about the late goaltending call being waved off: “That it wasn’t a goaltending. I didn’t get any explanation other that it wasn’t goaltending. That was a great officiating crew. I was on them pretty hard tonight, but they did a great job and I have tons of respect for those officials. And if they reviewed it that long, and that’s the conclusion they came with, I mean, I’m gonna be okay with it. I might have liked a foul on the first dunk, but they didn’t call it, so you can’t review that. And they claimed there wasn’t a foul, so they’re probably right.”

On the chances of holding Jaime Jaquez Jr. and Tyger Campbell to 10-of-35 shooting: “If you play great defense, probably pretty good. Our guys I thought played great defense. They played great defense. They did a good job of trying to direct shots away from those guys, even though they took 35 shots, we wanted their role players to see if they could impact the game. And they made a few plays, but I think our guys did a great job defensively in making it hard on them.”

On getting UCLA’s bigs into foul trouble: “We put a lot of our pressure in (the paint) and at the rim. Oumar’s a tough guy. That’s a problem for teams. And so that gets us closer to the bonus. I wish we would have taken a little bit better advantage of that tonight, but we didn’t.”

On seeming more about the big picture than normal: “I do always say day to day, but I also am runing a tremendous program and an organization. So I’m always thinking big picture. I think big picture, but I also understand the only way to be good in this business is being good day to day. You can’t be so focused on the big picture that you’re missing the now.”

On only playing 7 guys: “We won, great. I told those other guys hey, that’s just how it goes some of these games. I think we needed to tighten up that rotation a little bit, and if we need an eighth and ninth guy to step up they got to earn it.”

On the guards doing more in the second half: “They were really pressuring us and we couldn’t move the ball freely. So our guards got to take advantage of that, you got to kind of fight force with force. See if you could pick up a hand checking foul, see if you can drive a closeout and create an advantage. It was far from perfect, but for the most part our offense I thought was pretty good in the second half until the last couple minutes when we’re trying to nurse that lead.”

On holding UCLA to 9 second-chance points despite 18 offensive rebounds: “You battle, you keep battling and you try to strip the guy, or maybe put a guy on the line here and there. You just keep battling. We knew their bigs were really good players, but maybe not proficient finishers. You just got to stay in the play.”

Ramey on making 8 3s this weekend: “The biggest difference was the ball went in this weekend. Last week it didn’t. I gotta give credit to (my teammates),they kept telling me to shoot the ball.”

On UCLA’s defense: “They took away a lot of things, but I think we battled. Our bigs played well, our guards played well.”

On playing a low-scoring game: “This was kind of like a Big 12 game for me. I was kind of used to it. In the Big 12 games are like this. So you have to be great down the stretch and just adjust to the game. The games are physical and they’re a physical team, I think we matched them, but it’s something we can get better at.”

On holding Jaquez and Campbell down: “We didn’t want to give their good players good shots, we wanted to make them take tough shots.”

On defending Campbell and UCLA’s other guards: “I want to show that I can play both sides of the ball. It was kind of like my niche at Texas, as an on-ball defender. They’re great players. They made some tough shots today. My job was just to make it tough for them.”

On what Lloyd said at halftime: “I think Tommy came in the locker room and told us to be aggressive. Pelle had some great drives. I think our bigs just controlled the paint better in the second half.”

On the late turnovers: “The press came, we had some turnovers, but it’s all things that we could fix.”

Kriisa on UCLA’s defense: “Our beginning was shaky. They did a great job defensively. (Adem) Bona is a great player, a physical guy, but I think Oumar did a great job there. I gotta give credit to Oumar for his free throws there, they were huge. I’m really proud of him.”

On Azuolas Tubelis having 11 points in the second half: “He still had 14 (points) but maybe the stat line is not what he’s used to, but I’m just happy that he stuck with it. When you’re up three at halftime with Zu having (three) points, I think we’re in a good spot.”

On the importance of the last 2 wins: “Obviously they were big wins, these are the wins that we have to win at home. But we’re not really thinking about the title right now, we just gotta get better. We got to clean up a lot of stuff, especially at the end of the game. We should have punched them out, but we were a little bit shaky with our passing and stuff, even though we knew what it was coming. We have a lot of things to clean up, but I’m really excited.”

On the UCLA rivalry: “I mean, it’s fun. I would say it’s a big big rivalry, and sadly there’s not much left of it anymore, because they’re leaving soon. So we’re trying to get every piece of them that we can get. I want to say something (else) but I can’t say it, sorry.”

On Arizona’s defense: “I think we proved today that we can win low-scoring games. Everyone keeps talking about our offense, offense, offense, but nobody really talks about how good our defense is. I think today we really proved it.”

On breaking the press on that final possession: “We had three turnovers earlier, so one time it has to work, right?”