clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

What Tommy Lloyd, Filip Borovicanin and Pelle Larsson said after Arizona’s win over Southern

arizona-wildcats-mens-basketball-colgate-december-nonconference-schedule-kylan-boswell-tommy-lloyd Zachary BonDurant-USA TODAY Sports

There’s a big difference between playing Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium and hosting Southern, there’s no denying that. Having the latter come after the former, with not much time in between, may have contributed to Arizona’s sloppy start in what ended up being a 97-59 win on Monday night.

Tommy Lloyd had a different perspective.

“I think we played a really good team,” Lloyd said of Southern, who in its last game won by more than 20 at UNLV. “We’re kind of learning our way just like everybody else. I tip my hat to Southern for the effort and energy they played with. I thought defensively we were okay early. Offensively, we weren’t great, and then we kind of settled in there a little bit. Luckily our defense was able to create a little bit of offense, and we settled in and kinda looked a little more sound in that second half.”

Our game recap can be found here. Below is what Lloyd, Filip Borovicanin and Pelle Larsson had to say about the victory:

Lloyd on Arizona overcoming the slow start: “I think we kind of wore them down a little bit. I think our guys got a little more comfortable with their physicality. We were able to maybe pin some fouls on them, get some free throws. I think we obviously did a better job getting the ball inside in the second half.”

On Keshad Johnson having a career-high 17 points: “He scores the ball pretty easy, and a lot of us based on effort and energy, which is an incredible skill to have as a basketball player. He’s got great effort and energy, and so it’s a joy to coach him every day.”

On if he’s surprised at Johnson’s play so far: “Ke’s been really consistent for me. Ke played in the national championship game last year, he played a lot of great games at San Diego State. I don’t think Ke feels like we’ve arrived. He’s mature enough and understands that there’s a bigger picture that we’re playing for and preparing for.”

On if Johnson’s effort rubs off on others: “I think it is rubbing off. I thought Caleb (Love) might have played the highest effort maybe he’s ever played with in a college game, I thought it was incredible. Maybe the shooting numbers don’t show it, but I thought he really played extremely hard and pretty unselfish on the offensive. Pelle has always played hard. Kylan (Boswell) has the potential to play hard, and is learning how to play harder. Jaden (Bradley) plays hard. KJ (Lewis) plays extremely hard. I mean, I think that core group of guys is a high, high effort group. I do definitely think it’s infectious, and what it does, is it establishes a standard. This is the standard of which we play. And other guys got to get themselves to that standard.”

On the freshmen playing against a turnover-seeking opponent: “It’s a little bit of adjustment playing in a game like this against teams that are extremely quick and aggressive to the ball. Maybe they haven’t played against it that much. The nuances of our game are a little different than theirs.”

On what he’s liked most about Caleb Love’s play so far: “It’s just his willingness to learn. I mean, listen, these seasons are marathons. I don’t think Caleb is going to accomplish his goals at Arizona in the first handful of games. So we’re building, we’re building, and definitely I’m getting more comfortable coaching him. He’s getting more comfortable playing for us. He and I had a great meeting today, and I got nothing but positive things to say in how he’s contributing to this program.”

On having 6 players in double figures, 19 in 3 games: “I always like to be balanced. Of course, you look at some individual stats because they tell a little bit of a part to the story, but the main one that I look at is I look at our team stats. I want to know how many points it says under Arizona, then I try to figure out how we’re getting those points. I don’t really care who they come from, or how we get them. We’re a passing program, we’re an attack the paint program and we’re a pressure defensive program. Those three principles are things we hang our hat on.”

On having 24 turnovers: “We had high turnovers all night. I mean, they’re a really handsy team. At some point you can’t be surprised that they’re gonna try to take the ball from you. So, if you have an advantage, you got to find a way to secure the ball and deliver,and that’s just something we have to learn. The Duke game, a lot of our turnovers were caused by just kind of getting stripped from the ball. Our ball security’s got to tighten up a little bit.”

On the value of using only reserves the final 11-plus minutes: “Basically our ninth, 10th and 11th players are going to make us, and they’re good players and they deserve an opportunity. And I think our top eight guys are willing to sacrifice a few of their minutes and stats for those guys to get experience because they practice against them every day and they know how hard they’re working. They know how much basketball means to them, so they need to get some reps in, and so to be able to give them an extended run like that, maybe they’re not used to playing that long, so fatigue becomes a factor. So it’s maybe not totally fair to judge the whole 10-minute run but, but all in all I was glad we were able to do it.”

On the overall play of the international newcomers: “It’s obviously a work in progress, but I expected it to be. I just know how long it takes the freshmen from Europe to make that adjustment. We gotta hang with them. And then the biggest thing is they gotta hang with us and trust us that we have experience in this area and we’re going to help get them there in a safe, efficient way.”

On Jaden Bradley’s play so far: “I think Jaden is going to make a big jump. I think Jaden’s got a lot of little things he’s going to be able to improve on in these next couple of weeks that I’m excited about. And I think it’s going to kind of help bump us up another notch. He’s a team player through and through, so he sacrifices a lot of maybe some individual things he could do for the team. And now he’s gotta find a little bit of a balance of maybe doing some things for himself, to kind of get that confidence maybe that he will need to deliver. I love having him on our team. I feel 100 percet comfortable when he’s on the court.”

On being able to sign 3 recruits in November after one each the previous 2 years: “Signing early, it’s not something you take lightly. You put a lot of effort and energy into recruiting guys to sign early. There’s probably a pretty extensive process behind the scenes to get a kid to sign early. We’re settled in as a program now, we’re in our third year, we’ve had a chance to get through four recruiting cycles. We have proof of concept in how we play. We know the kind of players we think will help make us successful here. It’s just kind of a collision of all those things. And then there’s some good players in our region that made a lot of sense to play at Arizona. Carter, Jamari and Big E, I’m really excited about those guys. I think they got great potential here in this program. I can’t wait to get them here and then help them grow as basketball players and grow as people and help them through the struggle that comes with adjusting to playing at this level.”

Larsson on playing better in the second half: “In the second half you get like a second chance to make a good start, so we just took advantage of that. We knew we didn’t have the start like we wanted, so we got another chance at it and got it done.”

On if Arizona had a hangover from the Duke game: “No, I don’t think so.”

On Keshad Johnson: “Everyone has a lot of respect for him. He plays really hard, so that’s gonna affect everyone on the team to do the same.”

On having 19 players in double figures thru 3 games: “Not surprising, just good to hear. Team success leads to individual success. Everyone has been working really hard in practice. We have a lot of guys having a good day any day. It’s just really good to hear.”

On adjusting to the new block/charge rules: “It’s way different when you’re off the ball. But on the ball it’s still kind of the same thing, I feel like. I don’t think they’re trying to take that out of the game, I think that’s a good part of the game, and it’s mostly what I do when I take a charge. It can be dangerous playing, coming off the ball and trying to take a charge on someone, people are high up in the air, so I think it’s a good thing.”

On being able to avoid injury when taking a charge: “I’m not too worried about myself. If the other guys is flying in, maybe they will land and get hurt. I don’t want that. I’m never trying to hurt anyone. I just try to take it the chest and fall back on my ass.”

On Caleb Love: “He was plus-39 plus/minus, so just shows that he’s playing harder and harder every game. Great guy, mature guy, I didn’t expect anything else.”

On KJ Lewis: “KJ can be like an amazing defender. He is already a great defender and has been giving me troubles like in practice from time to time. He’s an inspiration to me to how hard he plays. He has impressed everyone with how hard he plays. He knocks down a couple shots. But it’s hard for any any freshman in college to kind of find your spot. So I just tell him to keep keep working and he’s doing a great job.”

On jumping to No. 3 in the Associated Press Top 25: “We went from 12 to 3. We’ve only played like three games. Stuff like that usually doesn’t matter until you get to the tournament.”

On if having a higher national ranking is a motivator: “Probably more of a motivation for other teams, maybe. So we’ll just take that as a challenge. We know that any team that wants to play us wants to beat us real, real bad, and wants to make headlines. We want to beat them as bad as they want to beat us, we want to win every game. We have big goals.”

Borovicanin on his improved passing: “I feel like when I first came here I struggled a lot with jump passes. Coach Tommy started to talk to me about me jump stops, jump stops might really help me.”

On being ranked 3rd: “I don’t think we’re thinking about at the moment, we’re just taking it game by game to win every game.”

On not playing against Duke: “I was actually really happy for our team to win the game. Also hard for me to not get in the game, but I’m just like moving on. Game after game, I’m taking you every single game to get better and to do what’s best for the team with my spot in the rotation.”

On fighting for playing time on such a deep team: “I’m not thinking about that, I’m just thinking about getting better.”