Oct. 25, 2007
LOS ANGELES -
UCLA Men's Basketball
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute
on being on the Naismith Trophy Preseason Watch List
"It's an honor and living proof of your hard work and how good your team is. All those honors are based on how good your team is. It doesn't matter right now. All that matters is our team and what we do and I think if we do the right things, then all the awards will come for not only me, but everybody else on the team."
on his health
"My health is good and my knees are fine. Everything is good for the most part."
on his knees bothering him more than he realized last year
"They might have bothered me more a little bit, but I wouldn't say that. A lot of people would say so. All I know is that they now feel good and don't hurt as much. I'll be able to tell you more half way through the season when I have all those games on my legs and I'll see how they feel."
on if he feels the arrival of Kevin Love will change the tempo the Bruins will play
"Definitely. We want to use our athleticism and our quickness and having a guy like him [Kevin Love] here that can run and play up-tempo will definitely help us. We definitely want to get out and run, but all of that is created by our defense. We want to establish our defense first and create turnovers so we will be able to run."
on changing his shot
"It definitely feels good. It feels a lot better. Shooting is a season-long activity and you have to work on it all the time. There are people that have long careers and are still working on their shot and continuing to get better. That's what I am doing. I'm trying to get better all the time and I'm trying to be the best shooter I can possibly be. I've put a lot of work into it. I did over the summer and I'm continuing to do it so I can stay consistent throughout the season."
on the team's progress so far
"Everybody is doing well. We always go hard at practice and it makes the games easy when you go hard at practice."
on Coach Howland's comment that he could guard any position
"I played point guard in high school so I could definitely guard a point guard. The thing I'm most proud of is my defense. I continue to work on it and continue to get quicker. If I continue to do that, it will help my team a lot because I can switch when we need to and we'll have no problems doing that."
on his love for defense
"I just think winning is all about defense. All of my coaches have stressed defense. When you play good defense, it creates your offense. It makes us want to play better on offense. We want to go out and make stops, get rebounds and then get our chance to score against them. I just like doing that."
on his soccer playing days
"I started as a goalie and then moved to midfield and ended up playing striker. I pretty much played all the positions."
on the physical practices the team has been having
"There was no knock over today. I didn't get knocked out today. It was a good day, I guess."
UCLA Men's Basketball
on what he is doing during practice
"Right now in practice I go through warm-ups and before practice I meet with the strength and conditioning coach and he'll put me through a workout that includes running and sliding and some jump training. During practice I work on my rehabilitation and the strengthening of my shoulder. I can shoot some and I do some shooting drills after practice."
on his range of motion
"For the most part, I have full range of motion. Right now, it is about strengthening. I still haven't turned on some of the muscles and I'm using other muscles to counteract it. So I just need to get the right muscles moving and build those up. I can't lift much upper body yet."
on if he is where he should be in the recovery process
"I spoke with the doctor and she says that I am on course. Now that I have my full range [of motion], it's just all about getting the strength back in the shoulder."
on getting back to practices
"I can't wait to get back to practice. Everyone is practicing hard and competing for playing time. I have to sit back and watch and hope I can be in there. It's hard, but I know when I come back I'll be fine. I'm just trying to take it one day at a time."
on what will be the hardest part when he comes back
"My shot is fine right now, but obviously I'm not going at full-speed and there is no defense, but I've been able to get my form back. I should be fine in the conditioning department. Getting my strength back will be the hardest part because I still can't lift weight with the upper body. It will take some time to rebuild my upper-body strength. Once that happens, I'll be fine."
NOTE: Head Coach Ben Howland joined the call to alert the media that Lorenzo Mata-Real did not practice today. He sprained his right foot in Wednesday's practice (stepped on Alfred Aboya's foot). His X-rays were negative and he will miss tomorrow's practice and will more than likely return to practice on Oct. 27th or Oct. 29th. The injury is not related to his earlier foot injury (more ankle than foot). His right foot was in a precautionary boot today.