Golden Nuggets: Mike Montgomery Ponders Cal's Mental Toughness

USA TODAY Sports

The locker room was not a pleasant place as Monty wondered about his team's mental preparation, David Kravish acknowledged the team's lack of heart, and Allen Crabbe called the loss "embarrassing."

The men's team suffered its worst loss of the season on Wednesday. They surrendered 20 offensive rebounds and managed to shoot even worse from the free throw line (37.5%) than they did from the field (37.7%). During the post-game press conference Monty pondered the mental toughness of his team.

On the game

"No. But, it was pretty apparent from the start that they were way more ready to play than we were. They dominated us physically and on the glass in particular. They had way more shots than we had early. I don't think our percentages were all that different. We were actually playing decent defense in terms of missed shots, but we didn't get any rebounds. They got a lot of second-chance opportunities. We missed free throws. I just think the tone was set right from the outset. When there was a 50-50 ball they got it. We didn't get it, they got it and got second chance points. I think that Aziz was huge in there as far as a physical presence. It was really hard in there for Robert [Thurman] and Richard [Solomon] to rebound because they just couldn't get into a position to jump because he is 270-280. I think that our guards did a very poor job of going and chasing down balls and getting involved. Once we got down we kind of caved a little bit. We caved to pressure and we let them have their way with us. A lot of it has to do with the mental preparation. I think we've got to continue to work on that in terms of every game we're going to play is going to be an absolute dog fight. We've got to be prepared for that and we've going to make our minds up that when somebody pushes we've got to push back, if there's a loose ball we've got to go on the floor; all those things that you have to do."

On whether this group has the necessary mental toughness
"We'll see. It's certainly not the first time we've seen that. So, we'll see. We'll continue to challenge them. I told them, `It's got to be important to you.' You're going to have to understand that we physically are not superior to everybody. We can't walk out on the floor and just be better than everybody. We're going to have to really compete to have a chance. I don't think that's totally ingrained in us."

The players sounded solemn after the loss. Kravish laments the lack of effort.

On Washington's break away in the first half

"Going into halftime down by 14, the consensus is that we are not playing hard and we have a whole half to come back and play hard but no heart."
...
On losing at home

"Wherever you are, losing is not fun. You win, everyone feels good; you lose, everyone feels like crap. We have another game so we have another chance to turn it around. Right now we are 1-2 in conference and we have plenty of time to turn this around. It is just about finding that passion, that drive as a team."

Allen Crabbe called the loss "embarrassing."

On Washington's break away in the first half

"They just played harder than us, that is all you can say."

On Washington double teaming him
"It was nothing I haven't seen before. It is nothing new, it has happened all year. I just have to make plays. It just hurts, it is embarrassing to lose like that on your own floor."

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Cal Men's Basketball: Mike Montgomery Post-game (1/9/13) (via calathletics)


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