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College Quotebook 6

January 15, 2004 Columns No Comments

College Quotebook – January 7th – 14th

by Nicholas Lozito

Leading The Pac

“We’re maturing and learning, and at the same time we’re not losing. A team hits us with something devastating, we don’t panic, we don’t get all bottled up about it. We just come back.”

— UCLA forward T.J. Cummings on his team’s progression from last season. The Bruins are tied with Stanford for first place in the Pac-10 with a 4-0 record.

“I really don’t think that we get a lot of the respect that other teams on the East Coast get. That’s fine. It just makes us more the underdog, so we can come out and prove to people more that we deserve to be with those top teams that they always name.”

— Stanford point guard Chris Hernandez, whose Cardinal are undefeated and ranked No. 2.

“We’ve never been quite as unathletic as people would have you believe. They always say we don’t do this and we don’t do that, and you just kind of chuckle because we’ve averaged 78 points and been at the top of the league in points.”

— Cardinal coach Mike Montgomery

Tough Draw

“We didn’t make the schedule. We’ll just have to go out there and play it.”

— Oklahoma coach Kelvin Sampson on a stretch where his team plays four teams in eight days with a combined record of 42-11.

Keeping Focus

“We understand that everybody’s saying, `Are we going to get lackadaisical?’ No…. We have to deliver the first blow, second blow, third and fourth.”

— Saint Joseph’s guard Jameer Nelson on how his squad will respond to the hype of an undefeated start and high rankings.

New Atmosphere

“This is what I play the game for. This has to be the craziest (atmosphere). I didn’t think it was going to be as loud as it was. My ears are ringing right now.”

— Oklahoma State guard John Lucas, one of many Baylor transfers, after scoring 22 points in the Cowboys’ win over Oklahoma.

“Where I came from, we didn’t really have very many fans, which is part of the reason I came here.”

— Cowboy center Joey Graham, a transfer from Central Florida, after the game.

Prime Real Estate

“It’s really one of the last places you can put a logo, not unless some company signs a deal with a coach to wear a logo tie.”

— Ron Byerly, vice president of advertising and marketing for O’Reilly Auto Parts, on his purchase of the rights to put the company’s logo on Bobby Knight’s sweater for the next two seasons.

“The promotional opportunities are endless. If Bobby Knight gets tossed from a game, O’Reilly could give fans $10 off a muffler!”

— David Carter, principal of the sports marketing firm The Sports Business Group

Hold Me, Coach!

“It’s like a 50-man marching band comes out on the field, and 49 turn right, and Johnny turns left. And Johnny’s people say, ‘What’s wrong with those other 49?’ And they yell at the band director and say, ‘Keep marching, Johnny! Keep marching!'”

— Memphis coach John Calipari on coddled players these days

Watchu Talkin’ About, Willis?

“The court markings pertaining to the lane have not changed in the last 50 years; players have changed tremendously in the last 50 years. So I think the rules committee will be very careful in terms of looking at what adjustments, if any, should be made.”

— NCAA Executive Committee Men’s Chairman Willis Wilson on proposals to extend the 3-point line and widen the lane in college basketball.

What’s Luck Got To Do With It?

“I got lucky.”

— Wildcat forward Erik Daniels on his game-winning basket — made possible by a tipped pass with 2.5 seconds remaining — against No. 20 Mississippi State.

“Sometimes I’d rather be lucky than good. But you have to be good enough to put yourself in position to get those breaks.”

— Kentucky coach Tubby Smith after the 67-66 win.

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