UCLA 107, USC 73
January 5, 2014
UCLA head coach Steve Alford
“I am really proud of our team. We had a great week of practice to get ready for Pac-12 play. They are focused. We told our guys that this was a pivotal week to get better and we did that. We really improved on the backboard and on defense. This is very encouraging. We went in at halftime and said our goal was to have 10 or fewer turnovers. We also said that if we did our job on the backboard they would not catch us.
on playing at a high level after not having played a game since Dec. 28
“It’s not about listening, but about executing. This team really has improved. We are really getting better. I have been in this business for 23 years and you can control what you can – that’s our locker room. We did a great job of focusing. It’s during Christmas, and the campus is empty, so it is a challenge to get focused. I credit this team for preparing for these six days.
on UCLA’s production from the bench
“When you get 40 plus points from your bench, you are going to score that many points. Our bench is inexperienced but consistent. Our bench is getting better and Tony [Parker] is really improving. He was in foul trouble tonight and to score five points and have five rebounds in 10 minutes is a testament to how he is improving.
“The good thing about Zach [LaVine] and Bryce [Alford] is that they have been consistent for 14 games. You won’t find too many freshmen in the country that can do that.”
UCLA guard Jordan Adams
“It feels good this year to let us showcase our abilities on the court. It’s a lot of fun. We have a great assist to turnover ratio, so guys are making better passes. This week, we were focused. We wanted to come out and make a statement.”
UCLA guard Kyle Anderson
"Coach says not to be robots out there – he just wants us to play. It’s cool with the record [equaling the most points scored versus USC], but the win is more important. We just wanted to make a statement. This prepares us for conference play. We did what the coaching staff has been stressing, which is sharing the basketball, and we did that very well."
UCLA guard Bryce Alford
“To me, it’s just about reading the defense. You have to take advantage of what they give you. I hit my first shot, so that was very good for me. Running is our main thing on offense. When we get stops we are really hard to beat. It’s a lot fun. We have lots of freedom, and we are learning how to play together and share the ball.
USC head coach Andy Enfield
“UCLA played a great basketball game. They shot the ball at a high level and their players made plays. Give them a lot of credit, they have exceptional players, and they are very well-coached. When those guys are shooting the ball the way they were and are playing together, they are tough to beat. I think UCLA’s ability to shoot the ball rattled us a little bit in the first half. We started to press a bit and not perform as we have been. We thought they were good on film and they were even better in person.
“I don’t think we quit. For some reason we didn’t look like the same team we have been over the last three weeks. I don’t know if it was emotional or if they were nervous, but we really made some very unusual turnovers for us. We were getting rushed.”
on Omar Oraby’s first-half injury
“Omar is a big part of our team. I thought that was one advantage we might have because he is bigger, he has good footwork and can score on the low post. With him being hurt, out of the game for a while and then in foul trouble, that kind of eliminated the one advantage we had. He’s been in foul trouble a few games this year.”
USC guard Byron Wesley
“We just didn’t come out ready to play. I think the first five minutes really set the tone for us, and we just dug ourselves into too big a hole. This kind of performance is unacceptable, and we just have to put it behind us. Anytime you lose it is tough, but when you lose by almost 40 to your rivals there are no positives.
“UCLA is a really good team. We felt coming in that we would need to play a really good game. We were just not able to get the job done. It’s a long year and we have been in this position before, but this is only the first game of the conference season. We just have to have short-term memory and get ready for Thursday.”