The Rebels could not hide their optimism after taking care of UC-Irvine, 85-57 on Wednesday night at the Mack. There were improvements in many key areas, and the team appears to have regained an air of positivity with back-to-back wins.
The postgame press conference turned the spotlight on the Mike Moser-Anthony Bennett bro-mance, as the big men couldn’t compliment each other enough after dominating as a tandem for the second straight game.
A sampling of the postgame reaction:
Dave Rice called this the best offensive performance of the season.
“From an offensive efficiency standpoint, it was the best game that we have played. Any time you take a look and you get 22 assists and only seven turnovers, and we actually got to the free throw line as well. A big part for us is making sure we don’t settle for jump shots, drive the ball throw it inside and get to the free throw line.”
Mike Moser on the team developing and offensive identity.
“I feel like we’re trying to redefine ourselves as a team. We don’t want to be a team that comes out and shoots 30-plus threes. We want to be a team that attacks the basket, can grind out games by maybe getting to the line early and just being the aggressor.”
Moser on whether Anthony Bennett can keep shouldering such a big load.
“Look at him. He’s 6-9, he can bounce it, he can shoot it and if you let him too close to the basket he’ll dunk on your head and flex afterward. He’s talented. He’s going to continue to do that, most definitely, and he’s going to be on the glass for us. He’s really our go-to guy.”
Bennett on how Moser has influenced his development.
“Mike’s a real cool dude. Every time we’re off the court we’ll just talk and stuff about life. On the court we’re just trying to get our chemistry better. We just keep talking, get ourselves better and look for each other on the court.”
Katin Reinhardt on how the Rebels turned in their best offensive performance of the season.
“I thought we just did a better job of not turning the ball over, not being so tentative. We just took our time in the backcourt when they were pressuring us and found the open guy. We weren’t trying to make any cross-court passes or anything like that, we were just playing solid and I think we’re just going to continue to do that.”
Moser on how the Rebels attacked UC-Irvine’s zone defense after struggling against Oregon’s zone.
“After this weekend that’s something we got in the lab and worked on, being pressed and playing through that and being able to attack the zone. I feel like them zoning today almost hurt them, just because we were working on it so well and we can break it down in different ways … UC-Irvine, they play a really good zone and I just wanted to attack the middle of the zone. Whether it was from the wing, being able to drive and get to the middle and kick, or whether it was from catching it in the post and going high-low, or looking opposite for threes.”
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