Ninth-ranked Arizona won its first game at Oregon since 2015 on Saturday, defeating the Ducks 87-78 to improve to 15-5 and 6-3 in Pac-12 play. Our recap of the game can be found here.
After the game, coach Tommy Lloyd spoke to the media. Here’s what he said.
Lloyd on the Oregon State loss not carrying over: “We played better. We’ve been fighting to play better. It hasn’t been coming easy for a while. There have been ups and downs but it’s part of the journey. I’m really thankful our guys hung with it. It’s a good step forward for the for this team this year.
On whether the team locks in more after a loss: “You hope so. You hope there’s a response, but at the end of the day for us, you have to be a mature enough competitor that you’re not riding emotional ups and downs of play bad, then respond and play good. You want that response when you play bad but ultimately I want us to be more consistent. I just thought we had a way more consistent approach today. Our decision making was better. We were solid. Obviously Caleb (Love) played really well but I just felt overall we were in control of what we wanted to do.”
On whether Arizona was in control offensively: “Both ends. Both ends I think we executed our plan at both ends of the floor and and I’m happy. We get up to these leads, these 8-10 point lead sometimes and allow these teams to make runs back which are going to happen some, but today I thought we were really mature with handling and managing the game.”
On Love’s scoring: “He was good. I mean, I didn’t think he was gonna miss. It was beautiful. His points I felt like were really spread out. There was no like two minute explosion, just very consistent and he delivered on the opportunities he got. I mean, Caleb Love’s a really good basketball player.”
On what Lloyd told Love: “ I told Caleb coming out of halftime, I think he had 20 at half, I told Caleb, ‘f you score 20 points, and we win, I mean, that’s the objective here. So just manage the game and make good decisions. You don’t need to play for a record. You don’t need to play for any of that stuff. Just play the right way and that’s what he’s really been doing for us.”
On Oregon’s run at the end of the first half: “Those scenarios are crazy. So you can’t overreact. I mean, the technical is tough. I don’t know. It’d be nice if these kids could express themselves a little bit and I didn’t think there was anything blatant or in somebody’s face, but hey, the refs, they have a job to do. Scott’s a good rep and he called it how he thought it was supposed to be called so we’ll roll with it. I just felt like that there was a couple plays around the basket at the end of the half you hope you get a foul, you hope you make a layup. I mean, first make the layup that’s controllable. You don’t get a foul called and then the the ball gets loose and the guy (Jermaine Cousinard) think it’s the second year in a row he’s hit a half court shot on us. So, crazy.”
On starting the second half strong: “Yeah we came out, it was nice we had the first possession and I think Caleb made a nice controlled shot. So I just felt like the ball was in the right guy’s hands today and we were pretty with good pace, methodical with how we wanted to approach things and we got to the things that are effective for us.”
On the explanation on the technical foul called against Keshad Johnson: “(The ref) said that he kept tapping his head or something, so I guess it’s showing somebody up or something.”
On Kylan Boswell fighting through struggles: “Believe it or not, Kylan is better player now than he was at the start. Because of what he’s gone through. And you know what, he’s probably gonna have some more ups and downs. That comes with being a young player, but Kylan’s really high character, he cares a lot, and it’s hard. It’s hard going through the struggle for the first real struggle of your career. So I’m really proud of how he responded. I mean, he’s been nails, he’s been super engaged with us coaches. He’s doing everything you would want from one of your player.”
On what Boswell is like when he’s in a slump: “He’s really good, he’s really good. Our job, we talked about with our guys, like, Hey, I talked to the four vets and we had a good meeting with them yesterday, and I just told them, Kylan’s a really good player, you guys know it. Like in that Duke game there were stretches he was the best player on the floor. So we know what his ceiling is. Now we just help him, help him along the journey, help him hit it.”
On Arizona being tied for first in the Pac-12: “You just put me back in my game to game, day to day. We play what, Wednesday or Thursday? Thursday. So yeah, we got to come out and we got to play well Thursday. Obviously Cal is playing really well and Stanford obviously destroyed us at their place. So we need a good week of prep and getting better.”
On Arizona having not lost back to back games under Lloyd: “You know what I want to do? I want to win back to back. Then I want to win back to back to back, so like I don’t even think about that.”