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Dave's Diary: Wildcats keeping focus against lesser teams

Chris Coduto/Arizona Daily Wildcat
Hassan Adams drives to the basket during the first half of Arizona’s first exhibition game of the year against Sonoma State on Nov. 9 in McKale Center. Adams leads the Wildcats’ pregame defensive sliding drill, popular with fans in McKale Center.
By Roman Veytsman
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
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In this edition of Dave's Diary, David Bagga, a 6-foot-4, 175-pound walk-on this season for the Arizona men's basketball team, shares his thoughts on seeing floor time against Sonoma State, his pregame ritual and opening his college career in Hawaii.

On getting into the team's exhibition game against Sonoma State on Nov. 9:

It was so cool. It felt really good to get in there and get the support of the crowd behind you. It was really a great experience.

On the crowd's reaction:

Yeah, I heard the crowd chanting my name. It was really cool. I was like, "Wow!" It was a great feeling.

On his teammates hassling Arizona head coach Lute Olson to get him in the game earlier:

It's not as important as winning. As long as we're winning, that's all I care about, whether I get to play one minute or 10 minutes. As long as we're winning, taking care of business on the court and we're playing like a team, that's the most important thing. The (guys) are always giving me advice and tips, like what to do when (I) get out there. They were saying, "Just calm down, relax and let the game come to you, and you'll be fine."

On his first shot attempt, a missed jump shot:

I didn't think they were going to pass it to me right there, and then I just forced it up. I didn't think it was going to draw any iron, but it did. At first I thought I kind of forced it, but then as I came down after I released it, I thought it might have a good chance to go in. On its downfall, I thought, "OK, maybe it will go in," but then it just missed.

On the locker room before the game:

(Everyone) just said, "Don't take any opponent for granted, take every opponent seriously. Go out and play hard no matter who you're playing against because these games are preparing us for Maui." We have to be prepared for any opponent that we play. We have to come out and execute, and they were just reiterating that over and over again. I think we did a good job of executing Wednesday night.

On his post-game routine:

I just went back to my dorm and relaxed for a little while, hung out with a couple of people. I had a little bit of homework I had to do, so I did that and then relaxed for the rest of the night because we had practice the next day and we had to prepare for that.

On his pregame ritual:

I pray before every game, always just pray that everything goes fine and that it will be a good game. I usually shoot (baskets) before the fans get here, just so I can have some time to myself.

On the team's pregame defensive slide drill:

That's something that the coaches (came up with). I didn't know what that was until they told us two or three days before the game: "This is what we're going to do in pregame - Hassan (Adams) is going to lead us on the defensive slides, and you're going to take a charge every two or three times." I like it. It was cool. It got the crowd into it, too because every time we were doing it, it seemed like the crowd was getting more pumped up. It was a good feeling.

On the student section in McKale Center:

I love the student section. Those guys are the best. I think every game, it'll be crazier and crazier.

On going to Hawaii for the EA Sports Maui Invitational Monday through Nov. 23:

I'm so excited, but at the same time, we're going up there to win the tournament. We're very focused on winning that, and I think we can win it, with the talent we have on our team. If everyone plays like they should be playing, I think we will definitely bring home the Maui Invitational (title). I've never been there before. It's weird it came in college, my first time going to Hawaii. You can't ask for a better experience.

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