NCAA Tournament: What Tommy Lloyd, Cedric Henderson Jr. and Pelle Larsson said after learning top seeded Arizona Wildcats opponent

Arizona knows who it’s playing against, where that game will be played, and what region it’s been placed in. This is the easy part.

Being ready to go for a deep run in the 2023 NCAA Tournament is where the real work is. And coach Tommy Lloyd isn’t ready to look at the whole group of 68 teams, just first-round opponent Princeton and possibly potential second-round opponents in Sacramento, Calif.

“I don’t care too much about style of play or hey, this bracket looks like this, because you know how these tournaments are,” Lloyd said on the select show’s watch party on Sunday. of the AU at Union Public House. “Support may look like Thursday, Saturday, it looks like something totally different. We’ll just try to do our best to get through Thursday and then we’ll find Saturday after that. I’m still confident we could prepare to win match after match.

This is what Lloyd, Cedric Henderson Jr. And Larsson Skin had to say about UA’s NCAA tournament selection:

Lloyd on whether he’s had a chance to scout Princeton in the 15 minutes since learning about opponent Arizona (yes, that was a real question): “Not at all. We’ll dig that tonight. We’re used to that. We’re used to these fast turnarounds, and after being in the tournament a few times, you go to work tonight and then you have to start setting up your game plan tomorrow, and it happens very quickly. You usually travel on Tuesdays.

At the pace of Princeton: “I know their reputation is the Princeton offense, and maybe they’re leading it. I’ll be honest with you, I haven’t seen them play this year so I don’t want to make any assumptions. The fast numbers I looked at, their tempo wasn’t like…we played much slower teams, who play much slower than those guys. We will find out. I can’t wait to dig into it.

By being placed in the south region instead of the west: “There are only a limited number of spots and someone is always going to get hit. You earn a 2 seed but you’re kind of stuck with other teams in your path and you could be ranked a bit higher than a team, but it makes more sense to ship you off. That’s how it goes. It’s a process beyond me and I can’t fault it. For this group of guys, earning a 2 seed says a lot about them and what they’ve been up to this season, and we can’t wait to take to the court on Thursday and prove we belong.

On UCLA get No. 2 in the West despite Arizona winning the Bruins twice: “I don’t live in this world. UCLA won all four regular season games. I think it has some weight. I’m glad we beat them last night, but they won the regular season by four games, so I think they were rewarded for that, which is legit.

Being more familiar with the quick turnaround from Pac-12 Finals to NCAA Tournament Draft: “I think it’s important. I mean, I know it’s important for me just to have the rhythm to… I was used to Gonzaga all these years, the championship game was on Tuesday. And so you’ve had about five days before you know where you’re playing. And here, of course, it was 6 or 4 or whatever, or less than that, when we ended up on the court and came home very late. I think I’m a little more comfortable with your team’s pace of preparation. But that’s the pace you have in the all-weather Pac-12. You play Saturday night, usually, and then your next game is Thursday. So I think that keeps us on the same schedule that we’ve been following for the past two months.

On whether there is a benefit to having a full roster of players with NCAA tournament experience: “Always. I think every time you get familiar with something, you’ll be more comfortable the second time around. I think even going to the Pac-12 tournament this year, I think we were a little more at comfortable with what it entailed. I think this group is ready to go, and I’m sure they’ll be happy to train tomorrow and start putting together the game plan.

On the lore of the Princeton offense: “Princeton’s offense is a staple of college basketball. I mean, there are a lot of teams doing variations on it. Like I said, I don’t know if Princeton is leading Princeton’s offense. My eyes are going to tell me that, I’m not going to just assume something that Jason Scheer found on Twitter, that it would be their offense.

If he can contact other coaches, he knows some tips: “There are 363 Division 1 teams. We don’t have enough time to sit around and split hairs over who’s running what. What you do is you find out who you’re playing, get the movie, you start watching it, and then you start creating a scouting report from there. That they lead the Princeton offense, and I’m sure that’s evolved from Pete Carril, and I’m sure Coach (Mitch) Henderson has his own version of everything. We’ll just spot the team we’re playing against and we won’t make any assumptions.

On keeping Oumar Ballo and Azuolas Tubelis in the game together against UCLA when it was necessary to keep things small: “They’re two first-team players from every conference, and I don’t want another team’s replacement to impact what we’re going to do. You go small, we stay big, I mean there are give-and-takes, aren’t there. This band, I felt like they were playing pretty well. They had guys that I felt like, even though they were small, we still had matchups that I was comfortable with defensively, and so we kind of got by.

On Tubelis’ play lately and if it will prevent another mediocre NCAA Tournament: “I know last year he had bad games. I don’t remember how he played in the Pac-12 tournament. I know he’s playing well right now. I know he had a great year, and I know he’s a very good player, and the look in his eyes right now, I guess he’s going to stay focused and keep playing at a high level.

If this team is better prepared for March Madness than a year ago: “Here’s the deal: we could all sit here and speculate on last year’s team, this year’s team, the team three years from now, whatever. What matters is the team you have right now, team you’re going to play right now Pete Carril’s offense doesn’t matter But Princeton 2022-23 does matter I don’t spend time thinking about the differences and comparing things, I don’t care. I’m just going to lock myself in and try to do the best we can to prepare to win on Thursday.

Playing through injuries: “I think everyone is probably stoned this time of year. We have an amazing coaching staff, and I didn’t recognize them yesterday, I just (had) a lot to do at the end of this game, but our coaching staff did an amazing job. Justin Kokoskie, Chris Rounds with strength and conditioning, and our team of doctors have done an amazing job getting these guys ready to play and helping them play at a high level. So we will continue to attack like this. We have top class coaching staff, medical staff in Arizona, it really is world class stuff. So we’re just gonna keep doing that. I’m sure everyone has nagging wounds. I mean, it’s just that time of year. We have a strong and resilient group. And I’m sure most of the other teams in the tournament are in the same boat as us. I think our guys love each other and play for each other, and if they had to go through a little bit of pain to do it, I think they’re ready to do it.

On Ballo playing with a broken hand: “I said to Oumar, if you have something to give us, if you feel he can help us, help us. Otherwise, I mean, that’s fine too. I mean, I understand how it goes. But Oumar is a warrior, he’s a guy with character, he’s tough. He always puts the team first, so he looks ready to go.

Staying with a rotation of 7 players for the NCAA tournament: “I’m sure if you took a little time and looked at the minutes and rosters across the country, I bet there are a lot of teams playing a tighter rotation than you think. It’s not just us, it’s just kind of how college basketball is these days.

On organizing a watch party open to the public: “The community is an important part of what we do, and so we wanted to find a way to share that experience with the community. gave us this opportunity.

Which is harder to get in, Princeton or Lloyd’s alma mater Whitman College: “Certainly Princeton, because I entered Whitman.”

Henderson on playing in the NCAA Tournament: “It’s big, it means a lot to me. This is the first time I’ve been to the grand ball.

On Princeton: “I don’t know them per se, but I’m sure we’ve come across a team that looks like them.”

By beating UCLA for the Pac-12 title: “It’s a nice victory, but it doesn’t matter. It happened, we won it, now it’s time to turn our attention to another team.

Larsson on his best preparation for the NCAA Tournament: “I have gained experience now, and just the maturity and patience that the tournament requires. We have that now.

If he would have liked to be in the West region: ” I do not care. I’m not from here so I don’t care where I play.

On his thoughts on Arizona’s game-winning possession against UCLA: “Take the fucking ball, roughly. I knew there would be two possessions because of the shot clock, so I just tried to play on the rebound. Zu had a great shot, it was inside and out, I actually thought it was going to go in. And Oumar tipped him (the first), so it was huge for him.

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