Arizona coach Tommy Lloyd and guard Courtney Ramey spoke to the media after the Wildcats’ 88-79 loss to Stanford Saturday night. Here’s what they said.
Lloyd on his overall takeaway from the game: “Obviously a rough day for Arizona. Stanford deserves a ton out of credit. They came in with a game plan and it worked. We weren’t able to flip the script. We had some good stretches in there, but obviously not nearly enough. So I tip my hat to Stanford and Arizona goes back to the drawing board.
On what Stanford did successful at defensively: “They did a good job taking away the paint and switching ball screens. We shot 35 threes and I don’t know if that’s a winning formula for us. A lot of them were pretty good shots. Obviously Courtney got hot and made a bunch of them. We’ll have to evaluate that. When teams do that defensively against us, traditionally we’ve had success, but today we didn’t.”
On Spencer Jones’ performance: “He’s a really good player. Not unexpected. We know he’s a really good player. I think we did a great job limiting, I call them the Jones brothers. They’re good players. We did a good job really limiting their attempts in the first half, and in the second half, we had some breakdowns in our defensive execution, and when you have a breakdown against Spencer Jones, it usually costs you a basket”.
On whether Stanford’s offensive outburst was an aberration: “Listen, they’re good players. I’m not going to take credit away from them. But you know, we had some breakdowns, and then we just made some crazy decisions at the end of the shot clock and gave them a shot or an advantage when I didn’t think they needed to have that. We just got to make better decisions. As a coaching staff and how we prepare, and when the players are out on the court in the moment, we just got to make better decisions.”
On Azuolas Tubelis’ foul trouble: “Obviously he’s our best player. The foul issues were tough tonight. It just felt like we couldn’t get a favorable whistle in some situations, and they’re switching a lot of those things. it seems like we were always the ones getting called for a foul, whether it’s a push off or whatever. That’s kind of tough to swallow when you’re an inside out team and you’re the one getting called for offensive fouls. It kind of flips the script on you a little bit. They were switching the ball screens, they were fronting up the post and they were loading up that help-side defense. That’s what they were doing and they stuck to it. That’s one of the reasons we shot so many threes.”
On the challenge of getting every team’s best shot: “We embrace it. That’s why you come to Arizona. You’re part of a great tradition. Obviously you want to play well, and if playing well means you’re a highly ranked team and motivates teams, that’s great. We feel like we have a style of play that traditionally travels really well on the road. And we have a great fan base that travels with us. Tonight we didn’t play well enough. The one thing I’ll say about this team is every time we’ve stubbed our toe, we’ve really responded. That’s what I’m looking forward to. rolling up our sleeves, getting back to work and getting back out on that court Thursday.”
On whether Arizona could have exploited its height advantage more: “20/20 hindsight is good, right? But I feel like we played the right guys. I wish Zu would have got to play a little bit more. We just got to play better. We got to play smarter, and I think when we go back and watch that film, we’re gonna see a lot of self-inflicted wounds and Stanford was good enough to take advantage of those tonight.”
Ramey on being locked in offensively: “They did a good job of just taking away our bigs., I just shot the ball. My guards and the rest of the people that did a good job of just finding me in open spots. But being a leader, I said this, told everyone, let’s get the ball down low.’ Like (Lloyd) said, we shot 35 threes. I think that’s the season high and that’s not going to win us a lot of games when we’re chucking up a lot of threes. So like (Lloyd) said, we’re back to the drawing boards.”
On wanting to get the ball inside more despite great shooting night: “Yeah, but when you have the player of the year and you have Oumar, why not see what happens? Why not put foul pressure on them? Like coach said, (Tubelis and Ballo) got some bad whistles with some offensive fouls, but they’re our best two players, so why not try to get them going? Yeah I hit threes, but I’d rather see them be getting layups and fouls and putting pressure on them than me shooting. I don’t know how many 3s I shot. That’s something that I will fix.”
On whether he thought he had to take more 3s the way the game was going: “I mean, if I’m open, I’m gonna shoot the ball. But my message that I’m trying to say is we can get our bigs going, especially when it’s tough on them. They did a good job of switching, but me being a leader, I could have just gave them one extra post touch or tell them to keep stealing or tell them to keep rebounding. So that’s something I will fix next time.”