For Johnathan Loyd, Thursday’s game against California is going to be somewhat personal. Both he and Dana Altman have failed to beat California in their three years together and they will be looking to end that streak following a loss to now No. 15 Colorado last week. The Golden Bears are currently riding an 11-game winning streak against the Ducks and are among the four unbeaten teams in the Pac-12.
Loyd spoke with local media before Wednesday’s practice.
California’s coming up. What do you see in them?
“Yeah, we played against (Justin) Cobbs a couple times, so I already know what he’s going to bring. A good player, a real good player inside, one the best tandems we’ve got in the league, so it’s going to be a tough one. But we’ve gotta play defense and play hard from the tip.”
What’s it been about this matchup? They’ve won 11 in a row against you guys.
“I wish I had the answer, I haven’t beaten them yet. “Even when we play them at their place, we’ll be ahead the whole game, and then at the end, they’ll get us at the end, I don’t know. It happened three or four times to me, so I really want this one.”
Are they in your head?
“No, they’re not. I’m just trying to get them.”
You guys don’t go down there this year. This could potentially be your last chance to beat them, unless you meet in the tournament.
“It’s true. It could be our last chance, so you know how important this one is to me. I really want this game, I do. I’m not going to lie to you, I really want it.”
Did the Colorado game teach you anything about yourselves you didn’t already know?
“Coach (Altman) always said it’s (defense/rebounding) that’s going to bite us, the way we were playing defense, just trying to outscore people and it did. We scored 91 points, like I said, that’s a lot of points and they outscored us so it came back to bite us.”
You guys have got a lot of new players to come together on offense, but you can’t seem to get them to come together on defense. Why is that?
“Different principles, I would say, from different places and trying to break those habits. We’ve met as a team a couple times and tried to talk to each other about it because hearing it from coach is not exactly the same as hearing it from your brothers. So we’re just trying to get it through to each other. It’s me, Jason (Calliste), Mike (Moser), D.A. (Dominic Artis) trying to preach what we know and how to think out the game and hopefully it will pass over.”
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