JA: … every little mistake. We can go the whole day just on defense. So he really drills it into us.
Q: yesterday, [Coach Howland] said you guys did mostly offense.
JA: yeah, definitely we did offense. Running our sets and plays.
Q: is that kind of a treat?
JA: I don't know. I guess so.
Q: do you think you're getting the idea that some of the success you had offensively recently has come from the defense?
JA: yeah, I honestly think it does. Teams come out and rush shots. Or have possession for the whole shot clock and then we get the stop and go down and score. That makes a team frustrated.
Q: was that something you guys had to learn? That it starts with the defense? I'm sure you had coaches tell you your entire life…
JA: that's something you learn by yourself. Seeing that defense really is our best offense.
Q: how different are the demands on you defensively as opposed to say high school?
JA: it's a lot different. In high school, you can just outscore your opponents. In college, you have to play defense at some point during the game in order to win. It's really different.
Q: it seems like you adjusted to college offense pretty easily. I mean, scoring 20 points a game, that sort of thing. But was it more of an adjustment learning how to play defense at this level?
JA: yeah, it's playing defense for the whole game. You can't play defense for one possession and then take off [for other possessions]. Playing for the whole game is the biggest adjustment.
Q: is that still kind of a work-in-progress for you?
JA: yeah, it is.
Q: and is it just a matter of keeping the intensity up?
JA: that, and getting into better shape. Coach runs us a lot so we can stay healthy the whole 40 minutes of the game.
Q: getting ready for your first road trip, how is the mindset of the young guys?
JA: we want to go harder than them because they're at home. We don't want to come out lackadaisical or anything.
Q: do you feel before like you're in good shape?
JA: no, still feeling out the [nuances] of the game.
Q: how tough is it going up against a team... I mean Utah is probably leading the league, I think, in field goal percentage defense. I mean, knowing that you're going to have to kind of work to get your shots off. Is that kind of a difficult challenge?
JA: we haven't really thought about that. We've been so focused on our defense. We haven't really worried about our offense yet.
Q: have you noticed teams trying to really slow down the pace of the game a lot, given how much you guys like to get out on break?
JA: yeah, a lot. Cal and Stanford.
Q: and have you guys seen the tape yet?
JA: no, probably walk through it tomorrow.
Q: do you feel like they're a team that's probably going to do the same thing that their statistics indicate?
JA: yeah, I'm pretty sure they're going to try to slow us down. Make it a slow game.
Q: how do you think you guys have matured just in the past month or two as a team?
JA: I think we matured a lot. There are no attitudes on the bench or in the locker room. Everybody is find out their roles. Everybody is going hard in practice. I think we've matured a lot.
Q: were you guys hearing all the noise a month ago? "UCLA isn't as good." Do you hear that stuff?
JA: yeah, we hear it a lot.
Q: is it hard? Is it hard to deal with?
JA: yeah, it's hard to deal with. But at the same time, you can't think about it. You still have the season to play. So you have to just go out and play.
Q: you feel like it's all calmed down at this point?
Q: No? You're still hearing it?
JA: as soon as we lose, it's back to the same thing again. We just have to stay focused.
Q: is that kind of what you signed up for? Thinking about the past this program has had.
JA: yeah, the last couple of years haven't been all that great. Us, this year, coming in trying to change all that. Of course, we're going to hear it.
Q: tweets? Is that how you guys hear it?
JA: tweets. Everything. The media. Everything.
Q: I asked Kyle [Anderson] this, do you remember the biggest crowd you played in from of in high school or AAU? On the road?
JA: can't remember.
Q: is it going to be like anything compared to what you're going to face in Utah or on the road?
JA: it could be. Our first road game.
Q: coming in as a freshman, do you read what's in the media? Especially at the beginning of the season. Do you do that more now than you did at the start? Less?
JA: I try to stay away from that kind of stuff. It kind of brings you down.
Q: [audio difficulties] do you feel like you're better prepared for that after playing against Stanford last week?
JA: yeah, Stanford is actually like a test against Utah. They slowed us down. It was a low scoring game. so yeah, I think we just have to play better defense and make them shoot quick shots.
Q: how hard is it, you know, after going through that stretch where you guys are going from 90 points a game to getting through grind-it game like that?
JA: it was tough. We usually just go out on breaks, score in transition or shooting 3's. But we just learned that we have to [be able] to score differently on offense.