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February 27, 2009JUSTIN DENTMON
Regarding tough shooting night:
"Try to get in rhythm, but it just wasn't falling for me. I tried to change up in the second half, what I was doing wrong. Thought I was rushing it a little too far out, I was shooting off of my psalms instead of my finger tips. They told me to work inside-out, work off my teammates, don't rush anything."
"No hesitation at all. Shooters keep shooting, that's what they tell me."
Regarding the turnover at the end of regulation:
"I was looking at the clock, thinking we had a timeout. I was just hoping they were going to foul me. I should have given it up. Selfish move on my end. I regret that. I almost agave it away. I almost gave the game away. If we wouldn't have come so far this Spring time working hard, I don't think we would have won this game. I think mental toughness and being together at the end of the game really helped us bring that game out in overtime.
Regarding ASU's defense:
"They run out on you, so they force you to drive a little bit. They collapse and force you to kick out to shooters. I think they made a lot of adjustments from the last time we played them. They were more dialed in on their zone. I give credit to their defense and give credit to the players on the team."
Regarding winning ugly games:
"We're doing a lot of little things. We're rebounding well, we're scrapping. Venoy comes off the bench and does a great job of getting at other guards. We play team basketball, that's the main thing. We stick together though adversity to get a win."
On winning the Pac-10 championship:
"It's so close we can taste it, but the next two games aren't going to be easy at all. Washington State is a tremendous team, they're well coached, they play really hard, and Arizona is one of the hottest teams in America, so we can't slouch right now. We have to come ready and prepared and get ready for Saturday."
Regarding winning for the seniors:
"They're great leaders. They're some of my best friends. To have them go back to the NCAA tournament is tremendous. It's great for all of us, from to freshmen to the coaches. It's a great experience right now.
On getting the win:
"It was a very tough game. Arizona State is a tremendous team. They really do a great job on defense and they do an even better job of getting great shots every time. It was another team effort to get this win."
Regarding his team winning tough games:
"We've had some teams that have had a lot of heart. I think our hearts have gotten bigger and bigger as the year has progressed. What our guys did tonight, in the poor shooting night, was very special. We couldn't get the ball to go down from the outside. I thought Jon Brockman stepped up and did a good job on the inside. Our guys did a good job of getting him the basketball."
"Justin Holiday and Darnell Gant, they may not make the headlines, but they had headline performances defensively."
"Venoy Overton, again gave us a great lift and spark in the first half. We were able to somehow find a way to win."
"Quincy Pondexter played a great all-aroudn game. Matthew only played nine minutes, but he was very effective while he was in there."
On ASU being a tough opponent:
"James Harden and Jeff Pendergraph and The Sun Devils, they're a heck of a team. Coach Sendek and his staff are doing a heck of a job. They usually win those games, and we we're very fortunate to come out with a victory against a very good basketball team, but we did what we had to do on the defensive end. I thought our intensity was at a high level. We were active."
Regarding packing in on defensive end in second half:
"Sometimes our strength can be our weakness. We have fantastic guards that can make plays. Sometimes when those plays aren't there, we have to be able to shift gears. We just tried to help our team shift gears in the second half, and I thought our guys did a good job of it.
On winning ugly:
"It's something that we've talked about with our teams since we've been here. We've never really had a team that was able to do this, where we just couldn't get anything going offensively, but yet we're able to win games against good teams. This is the first year since we've been here that we've been able to do that. In times past, if we couldn't score, we'd have a tough night. This team has been resilient in terms of their effort and their grit. Guys understand the importance of getting stops."
Regarding what he though after Justin Dentmon's turnover forced overtime:
"We've got to find a way to win in overtime. We knew going into that overtime Pendergraph and Harden still had four fouls. With our depth, I thought we could be the fresher team in the overtime period."
On holding Harden to only four points in the second half:
I think our guys knuckled down. You don't guard Harden with one guy. I'm giving praise to Holiday and Gant, but we guarded him as a team. We had guys running at him, bluffing at him, trying to keep him off balance a little bit. He is a load to try to defend.
Regarding winning the Pac-10 title:
Right now, I'm jumping up and down on the inside, but at the same time, i do understand we just played the first half. The second half is going to be Saturday against a team that had their way with us when we were down in Tucson. They are another tough team that presents a tough match-up for us. Their triangle, we've not solved that mystery yet. We're going to have to make sure that we get together and do a better job than we've done on them in the past.
Regarding what they have accomplished thus far:
"I think we have accomplished about one-third of our goals so far in terms of these next two weeks.? That's a big one-third, but it doesn't mean much if we lay an egg on Saturday and aren't ready to play next week."
Regarding working the ball inside in the second half:
"We wanted to pound it down low because Jeff had four fouls and we knew he would do what it took to stay in the game.? We knew he wasn't go to swing at it a lot or try to block a lot of shots, he would just stay solid down low.? We did a good job of attacking him."
Regarding playing against Jeff Pendergraph:
"We have a blast out there.? He always tells me he's going to run me up and down the court and get me tired that way, and I just tell him I'm going to bang him down low.? We get after it a lot and the refs always have to come up and tell us to calm down.? I think every single game they've had to tell us that.? But there is nothing dirty, there is no foul play, we are just playing hard.? He's a great player and he does a lot.? He's a load but he's fun to play against."
Regarding winning ugly games:
"Terrible shooting night, had a lot of ups and downs, they got up by five in the second half but we were able to stay in it mentally. That was a very mature win I think you can say, it was a very gutsy performance.? The last two years, there was no possible way we would have been able to pull ourselves out of that."
Regarding Justin Dentmon's night:
"Justin didn't have a great shooting night, but he stayed in it mentally and hit some big shots at the end of the game.? All of a sudden he had a turnover that allowed them to tie it and send it to overtime.? We were sitting on the bench and I think for about five-seconds he hung his head.? Our team just did a great job of lifting him up.? We told him we win and we lose as a group, and I sat down and told him 'Justin you are going? to be able to win this game for us, you are going to get another shot at it'.? That is exactly what he did, he hit some huge free throws at the end, and he's the reason why we won."
Regarding Venoy Overton's defense:
"I would be willing to bet that most people in the league hate playing against Venoy.? Not in a dirty way, he's not out there cheap shoting anyone, but he is all over you.? He's turning you the entire way down the court, and he's going to be right there in your face the entire time.? That gives us a lot of energy and if you saw in the first half, when we went on our run, Venoy went in there and really stuck it to them, and was with them the entire way.? He just gives us that energy and swagger and it really lifted us.? Not to mention those six free throws; he hit some huge free throws down the stretch for us.
Regarding finishing strong:
"We have been in this spot before and we let it slip against Cal.? We just had to finish plays because we knew we would get stops.? I am just proud of these guys."