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What Tommy Lloyd said after Arizona's win over Utah

Utah v Arizona Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

After losing on the road at Stanford, No. 10 Arizona returned home and took care of business against Colorado and Utah.

“I love this team,” Tommy Lloyd said. “I love where we are at but like anybody else we’re scratching and clawing to have a great season. We got to stay on point, we got to keep our guard up, we got to keep a chip on our shoulder and we got to keep fighting for success. So, I like where we’re at, and I’m excited to see where we go.”

Here’s what Tommy Lloyd said after the 92-73 home win against Utah:

On Pelle Larsson and Oumar Ballo scoring their 1,000 career points: “The 1,000 point thing for me guys, for one I’m not a big birthday guy. I’m sorry, I mean it’s another day. And I’m not a big milestone guy with basketball. I just don’t think you played for those things and I’m really proud of those guys for getting it but listen, whether they have 999 points or 1,001 are really good players and they’re great guys and I love having them here. I thought about a couple days ago, you almost get emotional, Pelle (Larsson) took a chance on me, he did. I haven’t won a game, haven’t coached a game. He was getting recruited by Kansas and us and it was a battle and he put faith in us when he came here and we’re lucky. Arizona is lucky and I’m lucky that he did.

“O, he was obviously going through some tough times., he and I were together and for him to be able to flip it like this. I don’t think anybody three years ago would have said Oumar Ballo would score 1000 points, because at Gonzaga he didn’t score many. Sixty, so 940 points at Arizona. Anytime you score 1,000 points in your career in college and he’s going to do it in three years, it’s pretty special. I’m really proud of him and he’s a great guy and he’s a force.”

On having all five starters in double figures: “We want to play balanced basketball. I was proud of Caleb (Love) tonight. Caleb as we know, he can get hot and he got on a heater for a minute and then I just told him hey take a breath. You kind of got us a little separation now let us bring it home. Twenty-three is good enough and I told him going into the last game, hey I’ll take 15 points and great defense. He’s really grown in that and he’s a game changer. So, I’m happy for that but the balance is something we strive for. We don’t really tilt our offense in one direction for any one player. We want to make great decisions to play great team basketball and we have talented players so they can do some stuff on their own when they get the opportunity.”

On the bench: “Our bench has been really great. Those three guys have been steady off the bench for us. They really are changing the game and it might not be scoring and stuff like that but they’re really getting in the game. KJ (Lewis), JB (Jaden Bradley) were in there and we made a run in the first half. Jaden, plus minus can be an interesting stat if you really dissect it but man he comes out on the high side of it a lot for somebody that doesn’t score a lot of points. It’s something we got to really drill down on and I feel really comfortable with him out on the floor. (Motiejus) Krivas is coming on, obviously had a great game last game and today he didn’t play as good but I think when he goes back and watches the film he’s gonna see he didn’t double down on some of the habits we worked on and tried to establish last game and he got a little sloppy with some of his posts up today so there’s room to grow.”

On Keshad Johnson: “Ke was a guy who came here and when we were told great kid, plays hard, winner, ultimate team guy, which he is all those things but maybe a little bit limited offensively and for him to score 20 points quietly, pretty special. And he hits a couple of threes early in the game and gets a couple baskets and I did still see room to grow there. he and I are going to talk, we talked during the game and after just on some ideas we can continue to help him get better and find more opportunities, but he’s a really good basketball player to score 20 in a meaningful Pac-12, it shows how far he’s come.”

On defending Utah in the second half: “They're something to guard, they’re smart, they’re calculated. They have some matchups that make you make decisions, 55 (Gabe Madsen) he is a heck of a player and he puts you in situations where you can really guard him well and he still makes it. Which can be tough and I thought our guys did a good job kind of handling that and and then we kind of got a little bit of a lead on them, made a little run and then they kind of maybe tilted their offense to kind of go more perimeter and a lot more pitch and catch stuff we would call and I thought our guys did a good job adjusting. They even played (Branden) Carlson at the five, we had O (Ballo) out there so, we lived with a couple of threes at first and then we switched to a switching defense and that was able to get us over the top.”

On if the last two games are more the defensive standard: “It better be, we’re not trying to give up 100, that ain’t a winning formula, we need to be a great defensive team. I can’t wait for this week of practice, we do need a little rest. We’ve been on a gauntlet. Christmas ended up not being a rest for us. We have not had a break, we played a really tough schedule, right into the road in the Pac-12, I think it caught up to us a little bit against a good Stanford team. Going back home was great but we need a week where we can just take a breath, have a couple of days off and really focus on ourselves. So, I’m excited to get back to work this week and obviously being a great defensive team is going to be number one on the agenda.”

On holding Branden Carlson to 7 points: “We tried some different coverages on him in, tried some different coverages and maybe switched a few things normally we wouldn’t and we just wanted to see how they would react to it and maybe take away some of his easy stuff. Some of those pick up pops and he’s a good player and I just know this, I have a feeling those threes are gonna go in when we play at Utah. So, we got to stay locked in on him and he presents a lot of challenges because he scores inside, he scores outside. He really forces you to kind of dig deep in your defensive arsenal, make some decisions.”

On Kylan Boswell's growth as a facilitator: “He’s getting there, he had the one at the end over the top to O and I didn’t realize he was trying to get O his 1,000th point. I didn’t like it because we had five something minutes to go, let’s run a little clock unless we have something easy. But he’s coming along and I think he hit the roll on a tough one today and when they got out of a timeout, they really hedged or trapped the ball screen and he dealt with that a surprise attack a little bit. So, he’s coming along a bit, but there’s room to grow there for him as well. But I definitely think he’s getting the repetition that he needs and he’s right there.”

On Larsson getting called for more blocks this season: “That’s not him, last year those are all charges but the rules change which is fine. I have no problem with the change of rule they made on the charge so it’s just a little harder to draw charges now than it used to be. Especially if you’re a secondary defender.

“He’s already adjusted. He fouled out in the Michigan State game because I think he tried to get three charges and I just told him you got to be smarter, you’re too good of a player you got to adjust so whether you vertical contest or you avoid the charge block situation, you gotta do it. You can take charges on the ball as the primary defender, still kind of the same but the secondary defender it’s really hard when you’re rotating over so you just probably got to figure out an alternative instead of taking the hit and put it in the ref’s hands.”