"He got up and told us we were not a tough team and it was time to show people how tough USC was," guard Daniel Hackett said. "We did by winning five consecutive games."
"Coach Johnson is like Papa Angry," forward Taj Gibson said. "He doesn't say much often, but when he lashes out, it wakes you up. He turned off the Oregon film and just said, 'You think you're tough, but are you really tough?' Guys snapped out of it."
USC swept Oregon and Oregon State to finish the regular season.
"We took that as a challenge," guard Dwight Lewis said. "Someone saying you're not tough, when you know you are? We wanted to prove we were a tough team and we had heart."
When asked about his team's toughness," USC coach Tim Floyd said:
"They can kill you, but they can't eat you. Obviously, when you had to take the path we had to take to get there, you're just thrilled to be in this field," Floyd said. But, he added, "At this point, that's yesterday's news. Put the DVD your mama made under the bed and start getting ready for the next one, Boston College."