home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


November 26, 2013

Justin Cobbs

David Kravish

Mike Montgomery


Syracuse – 92
California – 81

JUSTIN COBBS:  I'd just like to say I'm proud of my team.  I like the way we fought without our big guy, Richard Solomon.  I think we played hard and gave them everything we wanted.  Just couldn't pull it out at the end.  Felt like they got a few calls on their side which helped the game.  But all credit to them.  They played hard.  I'm just proud of these guys and we'll bounce back tomorrow.

Q.  Coach Boeheim said he feels that you guys are a much better team than the one that played Syracuse last year.  Would you agree with that?  Can you expand on that a little bit?
DAVID KRAVISH:  Yeah, I agree a hundred percent.  We've got a fire and tenacity in us this year.  As opposed to last year where we were taking a couple games for granted where we had a few in a row.  I think we are ready and focused on each individual game and where is this bringing in all of our energy and all of our heart.  It's really encouraging today because we had some freshmen who plays who haven't normally played, so, when you're going up against No. 18 in the country and you're playing some freshmen who haven't been playing, you might expect them to really step up and play great.  So it's super encouraging and really looking forward to the rest of the season.

Q.  How tough was it today playing without Solomon?
JUSTIN COBBS:  First and foremost, I think without Richard, I think we had a great chance to win this game.  Like Dave said, I'm proud of these freshmen who usually didn't get the opportunity to play.  They came in and stepped up, weren't afraid, and played with a lot of heart and confidence.
Like I said, I'm proud of these guys.  But, yeah it did hurt us.  It got us averaging the double‑double, and doing what he does and bringing the intangibles that he does, without him on the floor, of course it's going to affect our team.  We did miss on the night but it doesn't give us an excuse to why we lost this game, but, yeah, it did bother us that Richard wasn't on the court.
THE MODERATOR:  Coach, Justin and David did a fine job making some comments and answering some questions.  Wanted to hear from you, if you could make some opening comments.  Folks would like to ask you a couple questions.
COACH MONTGOMERY:  Well, it's disappointing.  I thought we played really, really hard, really pleased with the effort.  We had some lapses of things and I don't think in that level of game you're going to be able to win if you have lapses.  They killed us on in‑line out of bounds, scored a whole bunch of points.  Cooney kept coming off the baseline, couldn't get out to him.  We knew he was a great shooter and that's obviously what he likes to do is come to his right shoulder from left to right, and we kind of, we're there, but we have to drive him off the lane.  We played a man short.
Initially we thought we've got to zone it, but came out and played man because I didn't want to lose our aggressiveness.  I wanted to stay aggressive, and the kid did a great job.  They hung in there and they battled right down to the end getting David with two and Ricky with two in the first half obviously hurt us.  And we kind of came and pressed at the end, and maybe we would have had a chance.  I thought David's foul was critical in terms of having to steal 7 points to go to 5.
But I'm proud of our guys.  There are some things that I really like about this group in terms of their fight.  We just have to understand that you have to be better than a team like this.  You're not going to get even up and win.  So you're going to have to be better, and they played pretty well.  We did a decent job on Fair.  He's quite an athlete.  Their two guards really hurt us off pick‑and‑rolls, and that was a little inexperience with our big guys in terms of how to handle it.  With one day prep, we probably weren't able to do the job we needed to do.

Q.  There was a sequence in the second half where Cooney hit a three‑pointer, then Ennis stole the ball off the inbounds and they got five points in a very short time.  How much did that take out of your team at that point?
COACH MONTGOMERY:  Well, it was careless on our part to have the steal to start with to make it a five‑point play.  Cooney did a great job coming off those baseline screens, as I say, coming left to right.  Basically in the zone that we were in, that's an area that should have been covered.  You have one, if not two people there.  But he really gets a rhythm coming to his right.  But then we probably lost our focus momentarily, and just kind of turned and got careless with the ball and he steals and gets‑‑ so it goes from 5 to 10, as one of the coaches, I don't think I even saw it to be honest with you.  The radio guys felt like they gave them a basket they didn't get.  I don't think our radio guys saw it.  So it happened pretty quick, so that was big.

Q.  Yesterday you spoke in detail about attacking their 2‑3 zone based off the tournament in March.  Now that the game is through, how do you feel you guys did in that regard?
COACH MONTGOMERY:  Well, we had 81 points, which is not bad.  We shot 51% from the floor.  If you look statistically, obviously there were some things that happened pretty well, 52% from the floor.  We're missing too many free throws.  I thought we weren't very patient sometimes, but that's kind of something we've got to get better at.  We had some ideas of what we wanted to try to do.  It's a good zone.  I mean, it takes away certain things.  One of the things that obviously hurt us is where they're vulnerable on the baseline, if you could get it to the high post.  Didn't think we did a great job of getting it to the high post and going low.  David got a couple shots inside.  Ricky got one.  But that would have been an area that I thought we could have exploited had we been a little bit bigger consistently which we weren't able to be without Solomon.
But, again, statistically, it looked pretty good.  I think the problem was we had some lapses just in terms of defense.  I think as much as anything, the in‑line out of bounds hurt us as much as anything.  They probably scored 15 points on in‑line out of bounds in the zone.  So that probably hurt us as much as anything.
But, again, the statistics say we did a good job.  The numbers say we didn't do a good job defensively, but I thought we did for most of the game.

Q.  There was a play in the game where Jerami Grant had a really big tip slam and the crowd went crazy and Syracuse fans went crazy.  Do you remember that play and did that shift momentum in the game at all?
COACH MONTGOMERY:  No, it's a dunk.  Lot of people dunk in college basketball.  He's obviously a tremendous leaper, so made a great play.  We didn't block off.  I think had they made the lay‑up below the rim, it would have counted the same, but I wasn't too concerned about that.

Q.  Coach Boeheim talked about shooting in a small gym like this maybe favorable.  You guys were both over 51% in the game preceding Gonzaga with 69.7%.  Do you agree shooting in a small gym is better?
COACH MONTGOMERY:  I don't know small.  He plays in a real big one, so they're probably used to that back drop.  The rims are a little bit soft.  I don't think there is any question about that.  When you're a kid and you played at the YMCA the rims were typically soft, these rims are soft, so they'll hold a lot of balls.  They're not hard rims.  In some places you go, they're really hard rims and boy it really has to almost go straight in.  Here the ball will keep the ball in.  I'm sure that's a factor.  I don't think there is any question about that.  I don't know if it has anything to do with the size of the gym other than maybe these kids grew up playing in gyms like this, so they're more comfortable with it, but I think the rims being soft probably contributes.

Q.  Was Tyler Ennis more aggressive with the ball and looking for his own shot than maybe you guys had expected?
COACH MONTGOMERY:  Yeah, I think he's a really good player.  As a freshman we felt like maybe he was trying to defer a little bit to the veterans.  I don't think we did a great job of getting him squared and making him shoot over the top of us.  I thought we got a little lazy on the pick‑and‑rolls.  Obviously we had to stay attached to Cooney.  When he got to the basket, I think sometimes maybe the big guys were a little bit reluctant to come over.  That's where typically Richard Solomon is very good at coming over and maybe getting some of those shots out of there.  But I think our guys were a little bit reluctant.  One, David got in foul trouble, and Kam, not going to do that.  So, yeah, he was more aggressive and better, and obviously was a huge factor.
We felt like their offensive rebounding, we felt like the guards, thought maybe we could contain.  When you look at it, there were 51 points between their guards.  That's probably not what they're normally used to.  Fair, I thought we did a decent job on him.  Obviously, Christmas and Coleman, some of those guys, didn't get as much done.  So switch to the guards and they did a heck of a job.

Q.  Tyrone Wallace and Justin Cobbs are two of your better players, and they were going up against C.J. Fair and Tyler Ennis, two of Syracuse's better players.  Do you think those match‑ups were key in this game on defense and offense?
COACH MONTGOMERY:  They had 51, we had 27 if you just want to look at it statistically, we didn't do a good enough job.  We played man, and you have to contain the ball, which is our objective on Ennis, and we didn't do that.  For us to win in a game like that, Justin has a really good game.  He ended up with decent numbers.  He was 1 for 6 from three, and they shot the ball a little bit better from three than we did.  So there were key match‑ups across the board.  I thought Ricky did a really nice job on Fair, again, just battling.  Fair is a tough match‑up for a guy 6'6" because he's taller and can shoot over the top.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297