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What Tommy Lloyd, Oumar Ballo and Cedric Henderson said after Arizona’s win over Colorado

arizona-wildcats-postgame-comments-tommy-lloyd-oumar-ballo-colorado-buffaloes Photo by Christopher Hook/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Arizona Wildcats overcame a slow start to eventually overwhelm Colorado Saturday evening, beating the Buffs 78-68 at McKale Center. Our game recap can be found here.

After the game, coach Tommy Lloyd, big man Oumar Ballo and guard Cedric Henderson Jr. spoke to the media. Here’s what they said:

Lloyd on controlling points in the paint: “Well, I think usually it’s one of our strengths. Defensively, Colorado has a really good team at driving the basketball and they do a great job of getting out there and getting free throws, which they got a little bit today, which makes the points in the paint a little bit misleading. But we obviously want to go inside and then defensively we want to protect the paint. It’s nothing more complicated than that.”

On letting the team figure it when down early: “They gotta figure it out better than that. I mean, we’re at home and you’re playing in McKale and you have an experienced group that’s won a lot of games. I don’t know if they need me calling a timeout and chewing him out two minutes into the game. I don’t know if that’s the smartest thing for our team. Maybe we can utilize that timeout better later in the half. They did right the ship. I think by the almost the second media timeout, we had evened it up, and once we evened it up we did okay. But we got to start off better than that. We didn’t play great tonight by any stretch. Colorado gets some credit for that. Our values have to take some accountability for that. We got to play better. We got to play cleaner. We got to play tougher. We got to play smarter.”

On the early turnovers: “The early ones seem crazy to me. I don’t know what to attribute to. Casualness, maybe. So we’ll take a look at them and we’ll evaluate them. We had some turnovers early, we had some turnovers late. Not that you ever want to turn the ball over in a game, but I think you definitely want to turn it over early. And you don’t want to turn it over late. So that’s something we’ve got to address. My logic is get off to a good start let’s finish strong. Those two things. We got we got to be better.”

On Azuolas Tubelis sitting a lot the last three games: “It’s not part of the plan, Zu sitting. Oart of it maybe is a little bit bad luck, and a little bit self inflicted wounds by him. He’s got to be smart. And he’s got to play better. He’s had an amazing year. I think he’s conference MVP, but I guess that’ll be determined. But we’re still we’re still fighting out this season. At this point there’s still games to be played. Four games by some teams, three games by others. He’s got to play better. He’s just got to play better. He’s a really good player, and hopefully he’ll figure it out.”

On how Tubelis sitting has allowed Lloyd to other things with the lineup: “I’m always gonna look at it as a blessing in disguise and that’s how you have to attack it and we need to be We got to diversify our minds a little bit. I think that playing small with four guards out there is good for us and, and playing the five guards together for a stretch is going to be good for us too.”

On using the extra days of rest in the week ahead: “I’m not worried about Zu in particular. This is our All-Star break. We need a break. We’ve been on a six or seven week stretch of two games, and kind of the same rhythm at practice. So we need a few extra days off this week to kind of refresh physically, mentally. We need a few days of practices to work on Arizona, clean some stuff up, and we need to kind of tighten things up for the stretch run.”

On Henderson being more aggressive: “Cedric is a good player. I’m so proud of the way he’s played for us, and we’re so lucky to have him. What’s funny is, I think I’m probably pretty hard on him in my head. But overall, I think he’s played so well, He impacts the game in so many ways, and I didn’t realize he had 15 points. You would have maybe catch that, but I would have said seven or eight, so that really shows that he played well and impacted the game in a lot of simple effort areas and that’s great to see.”

On Pelle Larsson’s outing: “Pelle did a great job. He had some matchups where he had some advantages at and he felt like he drive the ball. And he got fouled. He’s doing a great job. I think he picked up eight fouls. For a wing to pick up eight fouls in a game is pretty significant. Because not only is he getting free throws, it’s get us closer to the bonus.”

On whether the coaches will take a few days off this week: “For sure. No doubt. I need a few days off. No doubt about it.”

On how he plans to spend the next couple days: “First off for me personally, I’m gonna go watch Lauri Markkanen and Domantas Sabonis go play in the NBA All-Star game. Then I’ll come back Monday, probably hang out. Hopefully my pickleball court is done in my backyard, finally. This weather is going to kind of warm that up. Then I’ll hang out at home and I might sneak in a little film in between then. We’ll probably give the players a couple days off and then practice Tuesday and evaluate from there where we’re at.”

On seeing Dalen Terry, Bennedict Mathurin, Christian Koloko, Justin Kier, and Zeke Nnaji back in McKale: “It’s awesome. They’re such great guys. It feels like they should still be playing for us, because they’re obviously young enough to play for us. We had so much fun with them, and if they’re so easy to be around and it’s really cool when you go in that locker room and you have Justin, DT, CeeLo, Ben all in there. I gave them a hard time that the lights at McKale must be pretty bright with all these sunglasses on. And then Zeke, add him to the mix. He’s the same age as a lot of these guys. They came to the locker room with us and it was really cool. Obviously Zeke I think is going to be really involved in our program with his sister playing here now. Probably be spending a lot of time here in the offseason and working out with us which is gonna be really cool.”

On coaching against Kevin Durant at Texas as a Gonzaga assistant: “I remember he was extremely talented. I remember his arms are so long that he had a long sleeve probably triple X shirt on that came up to about halfway up his forearms. And I remember we kicked their ass. We got them pretty good that day. But I think he’s an incredible talent and I think it’s really cool for the state of Arizona. Obviously the Suns had a great run last year, and hopefully they’re getting primed for another great run because it looks like they are.”

On Kylan Boswell’s technical foul: “I think our guys have to be smarter. Obviously, we know where the refs’ sensitive spots are. You can’t show up another player. You can’t dunk and do a chin-up. And so we just got to be smarter, because right now, it’s about us. It’s not about any individual. So if we make a great individual play, we can’t make it by doing an individual act. It sucks, because I think that those kinds of things are good for the fans and bring some excitement to the game, but I also understand why they’re trying to curb that type of stuff. Kylan and I will talk about it. But Kylan is getting better and better and better. You can really feel his impact on these games.”

On Ballo being back to full health: “His energy and effort would show that today. I think Oumar has been back for awhile. I think Oumar, he had that one tough week when we had the Washington schools at home and he wasn’t feeling well and he had a few family issues happen that same week. But he’s kind of pulled through it and he’s great. For him to have 18 and 16, those are big-time numbers.”

On being named a No. 2 seed in the early bracket reveal Saturday: “It’s kind of meaningless. I didn’t feel like we played like that team tonight. We obviously got to play better. At the end of the day, it’s just about getting better. If you stub your toe, you’re gonna be quick to fall. So, let’s hope we can learn from some of these games, continue to get better and then come Selection Sunday, we’ll see where we end up.”

On the committee appreciating Arizona’s non-conference wins: “I hope so. I thought we had an appropriate schedule for this team, and I thought we took advantage of our opportunities. It’s good to see them reward that, but what they did today doesn’t have any real leaning of what’s going to happen on Selection Sunday. I didn’t even know to be honest with you. I woke up kind of did my own thing this morning and got ready for this game and I didn’t even watch it I think until somebody told me when I kind of got down to the office this afternoon.”

Henderson on the adjustment of starting versus coming off the bench: ”It actually felt more comfortable. I’ve started everywhere I’ve been in college. It was more difficult for me to adjust to coming off the bench.”

On whether he was more aggressive Saturday: “Honestly, I was just getting mad (at the game’s start). We turned the ball over five times. We’re weren’t locked in to start the game off. We needed spark so I thought I’d try it, and I tried it. After that we were all just really locked in. We gotta do better to pick it up.”

On Pelle Larsson’s play off the bench: “He’s played more aggressive. He’s become what we saw coming here this summer, the Pelle we all expect him to be. He’s playing amazing.”

On the importance of driving to the rim: “I think the Stanford loss really showed us that when our bigs aren’t in, or even when they are, we still need to drive to the rim. We can’t just rely on trying to throw the ball over the top or trying to get the ball to the post. We have to figure out ways to help them out. Pelle coming in and just driving once or twice and getting a foul just makes the defense change. We get different looks. Now Courtney and I we can shoot shots. So it changes it up a lot.”

On getting after rebounds when Arizona plays a smaller lineup: “It doesn’t change. It’s more so now we really have to make sure we get the ball, because we can’t Oumar or Zu to go get it. Me and Pelle are really down there a lot.”

On playing at McKale Center: “It’s a dream. It's what every high school kid wants to play at. This crowd’s amazing. Everyone loves you. You’re able to play around people that are

Ballo on Tubelis’ recent struggles: “‘Basketball is something where you’re not guaranteed to have a good night every night. I’m not worried about Zu.’

On coming out the gate flat: “We just had a slow start. We’ve got to get ourselves together as a team and do what we do.”

On Terry, Kier, and Mathurin in attendance: “It was great. I’m glad they have a couple days and get time to come to see us.”