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March 14, 2012

Allen Crabbe

Harper Kamp

Mike Montgomery


South Florida – 65
California – 54

THE MODERATOR:  We're joined by Cal head coach Mike Montgomery and student‑athletes Harper Kamp and Allen Crabbe.  Coach, an opening statement.
COACH MONTGOMERY:  I didn't imagine that happening.  We dug ourselves a huge hole in the first half and probably as bad as I've seen us play.  We just didn't seem to have energy.  They shot the ball in, we couldn't make a shot; they were getting loose balls, we couldn't get loose balls.  We weren't doing much of anything.
We dug ourselves a huge hole.  We've had problems with physical teams the last few weeks.  I think they were no exception.
At one point it was 22‑2 in the paint, which is something that we knew was going to be a little bit of a problem.
They had good spacing, and their little guard really hurt us.  We worked as hard as we could to try not let him split the double, and he split it almost at will.  Got inside, made every shot.
So we didn't have a lot of encouraging things.  They played great.  Give them credit.  They were fired up.  They played hard.  They played well.  They made shots.  They made plays.  We didn't.
So obviously the end score was a little misleading, but at some point we just implored our people to keep competing, trying to get back and get respectable, because it was looking like it could get out of hand.
THE MODERATOR:  Questions for the student‑athletes.

Q.  Allen, what was it that Rudd, No.2, was doing on defense against you?  Was it anything that you hadn't seen before?  How was his style of defense?
ALLEN CRABBE:  He was just physical with me.  Not letting me get thescreens, not letting me get to spots that I'm comfortable in.
And obviously that's something that I had to learn a lot this year with other defenses not letting me get wide‑open shots and stuff.
Just gotta give credit to him for not letting me get comfortable, not letting me get into a rhythm.

Q.  Harper, can you talk about having this be the way an otherwise pretty good season ends for you guys?
HARPER KAMP:  Yeah, it's tough.  We had, I think, a good start to the season.  We had 24 wins overall.  So it's hard to go out that way.
But I think we just kind of‑‑ Coach said it in the locker room, we just had‑‑ we let up at some point, maybe stopped working as hard.  We thought maybe things would come a little bit easier, especially at the offensive end.
I think we kind of just thought that people were going to let us have shots or something, and it was not that way.

Q.  Allen or Harper, have you seen anybody quite like this?  You guys got a lot of reports on how good they were defensively.  Was it hard to understand exactly what they were like until you stepped on the court with them?
HARPER KAMP:  I think they were just very disciplined.  I didn't notice them out of position much.  And that helps when‑‑ and then you add the physicality, I think it really helps.
And they were in the right spots keeping us from making solid cuts, from making hard cuts, and we knew that going in.
But there's things you can do to counter that, but I just don't think we did that well enough tonight.

Q.  What were you thinking walking off the court at halftime?  It had to be startling for you and for the team.
ALLEN CRABBE:  I mean, we just didn't have any energy.  And, speaking for myself, it just seems like I take too long to get into the game.  And I just feel like we just didn't have any energy.  That's all I can really say at this point.

Q.  Harper, South Florida has a reputation of being a mediocre offensive team and they struggle all the time.  Did you expect them to come out and make almost 70percent of their shots the first half?
HARPER KAMP:  That was hard.  They made pretty much, I think, every open shot they took.  And I think it's really our fault as players for maybe underestimating them at times.
Maybe the reason that they got that reputation for being a mediocre offensive team is because they play against great defensive teams every night.
So I think we maybe had the wrong impression, and we let them‑‑ and myself, I mean, I let‑‑ I think I had two 3s shot over me without a good hand contesting it.
And it was just‑‑ we were a mediocre defensive team tonight.

Q.  Allen, any thoughts on why it takes you as long as it did to get in any kind of a rhythm, or in general, not just tonight, but maybe this season?
ALLEN CRABBE:  I guess it's just a mindset.  You gotta come into the game ready and just telling yourself that you're going to be aggressive and attack.
Whether they box and one you, you've got to go out there and be aggressive.  It seems like I only play in spurts; I do something good, and I just disappear.  It's real inconsistent with me.  I just gotta learn from it.  Just gotta keep an aggressive mindset for the whole 40minutes.
THE MODERATOR:  Thank you.  Questions for Coach.

Q.  Mike, obviously you won 24 games, did a lot of good things.  But can you talk about it's been a long season.  You started off way back in the summer going to Europe.  You went through some serious health stuff.  How are you feeling and just kind of how do you reflect on the whole season?
COACH MONTGOMERY:  Well, you know, the last, gosh, three or four weeks we just haven't been‑‑ just didn't look like we had.  We weren't hungry.
We had the two great home games.  We needed to have Oregon, Oregon State.  Put ourselves in a great position.  We played really well in those games.
And we headed out on the road and win a conference championship.  And we all of a sudden lost our mojo.  I don't know.  It's been hard.  And our two seniors have been really, really good.  Some of the young players really don't know what it takes and how hard you have to play, and just seemed like we lacked the hunger coming into some of these games.
And it's been that way.  We had to really scrap to beat Stanford, which probably got us in the tournament.  And that was a huge relief to be able to do that.  But the other three games we just haven't really matched anybody's energy.
We're not very physical.  We've gotten beat up pretty good just by teams that are stronger and push us around a little bit.
And it started to catch up with us towards the end of the season without question.

Q.  Following up on Jeff's question, it's not a topic you like to talk about, but just your health in general after having that scare in the fall?
COACH MONTGOMERY:  My health is just like yours.  Well, it's not that bad (laughter).
I mean, I'm fine.  I have nothing‑‑ I have nothing to report.  Who knows what's going on there.  I didn't know I had it before.  Everything's good.  It's been a long year.  It's been tough, the Europe trip and then that whole thing and so forth.
But I've been through a lot of these, and you lose your last game a lot, almost always.  If you're good, you lose your last game and you feel bad, you feel bad for the kids.  You feel bad for playing as poorly as we did in the first half, in particular.  You want to represent your university better than that.  You want to represent your seniors better than that.
We just struggled toward the end, some of which we maybe should have known.  David is getting against 250‑pound big guys in there and he's not able to hang in.  And Robert tries.  And we kind of ran out of people that could do things.
And we have to have three or four people be able to make plays.  When they don't make plays, we've got big problems.

Q.  There was a lot of chirping when USF got in from people who said they didn't belong.  After looking at them up close, how far do you think they can go in the tournament and do you think they belong?
COACH MONTGOMERY:  Well, I don't think there's any question we belong.  They were chirping at us for not belonging.  For a while it sure looked like everybody might have been right about that.
I don't question that kind of stuff.  They have a strong, physical basketball team.  They beat a couple of teams late.  If you look at their schedule, there was‑‑ they beat a couple of good teams late, but early on there are games they won at home.  You can look at everybody's schedule and make that argument.
We didn't allow touch.  I think Harper was correct.  We stood there and allowed people to shoot.  We felt like if you look statistically at their team, they didn't shoot their ball very well from 3.  They were not a very good 3‑point shooting team.
We felt like they were an in‑the‑paint team, and yet they shot it in right, just made baskets from 3.  And then at one point it was 22‑2 in the paint.  We couldn't do anything about keeping the ball in the paint.  Hated to go to the zone late.
It was just ‑‑ thought, well, let's try something, let's see if we can't make this thing respectable.  And they started missing shots.  Now, is that because they were up 20 whatever and we were down?  I don't know.
But I don't know how far they can go in the tournament.  I can't predict that.  They're going to go in as a 12 seed against a 5 seed.  You presume the tournament committee knows what they're doing.
You presume that on paper that Temple's a better team.  But if they shoot the ball the way they did tonight, if Temple doesn't do a better job than we did defending, they'll run into problems.
The one thing about it is that little guard is good.  And he doesn't lose his poise out there.  He controls the tempo.  And they play slow.  I think Temple, knowing Fran, will probably not be uncomfortable with playing slow.
But he has the ball and he's not fazed with the late shot clock.  He splits it and he gets it to where he wants it to go.
So they look like they belonged tonight.  I will say that.
THE MODERATOR:  Thank you, Coach.

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