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Cal vs. Utah postgame quotes: Jordan Mathews & Ivan Rabb locking in on defense

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Go Bears!

Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports

California Head Coach Cuonzo Martin

Opening Statement
"Great game. Both teams played really hard. It was probably a tough game to officiate because it was so physical. Both teams played really hard and tried to do the best job they could without fouling."

On Utah's Jakob Poeltl
"Poeltl was even better than I thought live. Credit goes to their staff in his development. He's tough to defend with his size, skill level and athleticism."

On closing out the game
"Sometimes if you have a breakdown and a guy hits a three, guys put their heads down. We stayed with it and kept our composure. Good teams make plays. They are a really good team. They aren't going to think the game is over until the buzzer sounds."

On Jordan Mathews getting hot in the second half
"Just keep it moving. It's just a matter of making shots. They did a good job on him in the first half. Credit Mathews with staying within the game and playing both ends of the floor. Three weeks ago, if his shots weren't falling or he wasn't in the flow, he wouldn't give it to you on the other end of the floor. He was very engaged tonight."

On Ivan Rabb's offensive performance
"That should be him. He has that skill. It's not new to see that. When he gets to the point where he demands the ball every time down, it will be tough."

On Jordan Mathew's development as an all-around player
"I'm really happy for Jordan. He's probably the guy I've rode the hardest since I've been here as far as playing hard on defense. He's really grown up as a basketball player. He's a strong player and a good athlete. He was just so consumed with shooting balls, he didn't' understand the importance of defense. Now he wants to be the best player he can be. He's a student of the game."

California Players

Jordan Mathews, Jr. G

On his second half
"I got to the line early and have been trying to work on other things to get myself started in the game and help us win. Earlier in the game I got a rebound and hit JB (Jalen Brown) up the court for an easy layup, so when your shot is not falling, you have to do other things. You have to rebound, you have to defend, so that actually helped me get my shot going and helped me be able to make plays."

On him and Ivan Rabb both getting hot in the second half
"[Jalen] Brown said it all when he said ‘go ahead and go into your bag," and Ivan reached into his bag of tricks. He used his post-work, going right, going left and he is extremely hard to guard. It's like that in practice and we see it every day, so when he does it in the game, it's nothing new. At the same time, when he's bumping like that, you have got to give him the ball every time down."

On Sam Singer
"He is a great stabilizer for us. He does a lot of stuff that doesn't really show up on the stat sheet, but he's always moving the ball and always getting us together. He's been great for us and he played great defense on (Jordan) Loveridge, (Brandon) Taylor at times, (Isaiah) Wright; it didn't matter who it was, but Sam was helping us there."

On Kingsley Okoroh and Kameron Rooks not fouling out tonight
"They did a great job. Kam and King battle each other and Ivan every day, so going against another big like (Jakob) Poeltl is nothing they haven't experienced before, but I think it speaks to their mental toughness that they didn't lower their aggression despite having three fouls early. They played the same way and were able to close out the game for us."

Ivan Rabb, Fr. F

On facing Jakob Poeltl
"He's a very good player, really tall, long and athletic and did what everyone thought he would do tonight. I have to hand it to our bigs Kam (Rooks) and King (Kingsley Okoroh). They did a really good job today and forced him to use his off-hand a little bit. I have to give it to them, because they defended really well today."

On being unbeaten at home and 2-0 in Pac-12 play
"I think our potential is really there. We are improving on defense, and my man right here (Jordan Mathews) has really bought in on defense. The bigs are anchoring it, but Jordan is busting through screens and doing everything that coach has taught us through the summer. Everybody on the team is buying in and I think that is why we have been playing so well recently."

On his big second half
"I definitely was more aggressive, but I think it was more my teammates pushing me. Everybody was telling me ‘go ahead, you can score if you want to score.' If I catch the ball, I'm trying to get a bucket. Of course I will always hit the open man, but in this case I was trying to get a bucket or get to the free throw line."

On his excitment for this game
"Honestly I wasn't really looking at the game like that. Of course I knew it was a big match up, but at the end of the day, I knew I didn't play so well in the last game with the foul trouble, so my thing today was to stay on the floor, perform well and help my team win. I could have played badly today, but as long as we won, it's no big deal. My teammates did a great job of staying on me; like I said about the foul trouble last game, they were just telling me how I need to stay on the floor. They can't afford for me to be out and sitting on the bench, so I think I did a great job with that today."