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Bruin Hoops Q&A - NCAA Tournament Preview
Courtesy: UCLA Athletics  
Release:  03/12/2001

March 12, 2001

What do you know about Hofstra?
"I know they've won 18 straight games and own the longest winning streak in the nation. I know they are a hard-nosed team that is well coached. They like to penetrate and are very good on getting offensive rebounds. They won the America East and I can't wait to play them." -- Senior guard Ryan Bailey

"Hofstra is on an 18-game winning streak and playing very well right now. They have seven seniors. They're playing pretty good basketball." -- Sophomore forward Jason Kapono

"I know they're from New York and that Speedy Claxton went there last year and Roberto Gittens is still on the team." -- Junior Guard Billy Knight

"I know they have the longest winning streak in the country. They play hard and have a good, young coach. Speedy Claxton played there last year and I like Speedy. They're a team that definitely deserves respect and I expect them to come out and play hard against us." -- Senior guard Jason Flowers

"They're a hard-nosed, New York team that really gets after it. They are really good in the red zone and in the paint in terms of getting finishes and making sure they get dunks down inside. We have to make sure we cleanup the first rebound that comes off and make sure we don't get beaten on the boards." -- Freshman forward T.J. Cummings

"We've watched a lot of film on them. They are a very quick team and we're going to have to contain their penetration to the basket. We're going to have to stop them from getting offensive rebounds as well." -- Junior forward Matt Barnes



"They're very athletic. They're like Gonzaga of the East. They have found a style of play that allows them to compete with teams out of the Big East and the Big Ten. I told our kids just to do the math. Penn State, who they played tough, beat Michigan State, a No. 1 seed. St. John's, who they beat on their home floor, knocked off Kentucky, a No. 2 seed. This is a team that is very capable of making a run in the NCAA Tournament." -- Bruin head coach Steve Lavin

"I know they love to push the ball up the court. They don't really shoot too many jumpers. They'd rather get lay-ups and put backs and shots in the paint." -- Senior guard Earl Watson

What are the keys to victory?
"Play tough. In the Washington game our offense played very well and we scored 94 points, but our defense just wasn't there. We had no defensive intensity. Our defensive intensity needs to be top notch going into this game if we expect to get a victory." -- Senior guard Ryan Bailey

"We're just going to have to play tough D. They're one of those teams that will probably look to penetrate more rather than beat us from the outside. We're going to have to keep the ball out front and just play tough, hard-nosed defense." -- Sophomore forward Jason Kapono

"We're going to have to play our game, stay aggressive and play great defense." -- Junior guard Billy Knight



"To beat them we are going to have to play defense. We're going to have to rebound too because they really get after the boards. Just play the game possession by possession. If we do those things we'll be alright." -- Senior guard Jason Flowers

"We're going to have to get stops in the half-court defensively and we're going to have to take care of the ball offensively. I think our biggest point of emphasis coming off the Washington weekend is to get our defensive mindset back. Our sense of urgency on the defensive end of the floor will be necessary if we expect to win." -- Bruin head coach Steve Lavin.

"We won't need a Superman effort from any one player. If everyone does what they are supposed to do, we'll be just fine." -- Junior forward Matt Barnes

"Stay focused and play the way we like to play. If we play together and focus on defense, everything else will fall into play." -- Senior guard Earl Watson

Greatest tournament memory
"The 1995 National Championship when UCLA won. I was a part of that game because my brother played in it and had one of the best games he's ever had in his career. Just to sit there and watch him win an NCAA title as a freshman was something special. Plus the fact that it was UCLA, a team I grew up watching, and now I'm playing for UCLA. It was the greatest sports memory in my life." -- Senior guard Ryan Bailey



"The Sweet 16 game last year when we beat Maryland." -- Sophomore forward Jason Kapono

"Beating Maryland by 30 last year." -- Junior guard Billy Knight

"One of my favorite games that I can remember was when UCLA beat Missouri in the second round in 1995. People thought the game was over and Tyus Edney went coast to coast and got the bucket to win it. That was big time!" -- Freshman forward T.J. Cummings

"My freshman year playing with Baron (Davis). I took a charge against Miami in the first round and Baron jumped over me after I took the charge and blocked the shot above the square on the backboard. It was amazing!" -- Senior guard Earl Watson


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