California Point Guard Tyrone Wallace
How is playing the point different with new scoring options, and having to balance being a scorer and distributing the ball? "I think it's difficult at times, but I think I've gotten a lot better with it. You've just got to gauge when to be aggressive, versus when to make a play for someone else. With the increased talent on the team, you've got to think to yourself, 'OK, when does Jordan [Mathews] need a shot,' or, 'How can we get Jabari [Bird] involved, or get Ivan [Rabb] a post touch?' Those are things you have to be cautious of, as a point guard. I think I've done a pretty good job."
Is it helpful that Sam Singer can come in and take over the point, and allow you to create for yourself off the wing? "I do like playing with Sam. I think Sam just adds a different element to our team, as far as, he's able to push the ball up. Sam is looking to pass first, so he's getting everybody invovled, also, but I think the No. 1 thing for me, as a point guard, is to always be aggressive, first. If I'm coming off a pick-and-roll, coming down the court, I'm looking to make a play for myself. If I don't have anything, you put pressure on the defense to make them slide over and help, and that creates something for someone else. I think you have to always be aggressive, and while being aggressive, make the right decisions."
Is Cal-Stanford still a big rivalry, and will he talk to the younger players about that? "Yeah, it's a rivalry. Football, basketball, every sport here, Cal-Stanford is a rivalry. I look for them to come out and be aggressive and try to set the tone, but we have to come out, ourselves, and be aggressive, and hit first. I expect for it to be a battle."
"I think they (the younger players) know it's a rivalry, but every game is important. When you're playing Stanford, it's just that extra juice when you get ready for the game. I think we'll do a good job in getting these guys pumped up, the younger guys, and we'll be ready to play, coming off of two losses."
What problems does Stanford cause? "They're very aggressive driving the ball. They have Rosco [Allen] at the four, stretch four, so that can create some mismatches, with pick-and-roll. He's able to take advantage of that a little bit, and crash the glass. That's been an area of weakness for us. We have to continue to improve in that area."
The game is on FS1, with Gus Johnson and Bill Raftery, so do you talk about the bigness of this game on a national stage? "I don't think we necessarily worry about if the game's televised on whatever it is -- ESPN, it doesn't matter -- I think our biggest goal is to go out there and try to get this win. We understand it's a rivalry, so both teams are going to go out there and be playing their hearts out. The biggest thing is to try to get a win."
With Reid Travis out indefinitely, they're light in the front court. Will you try to get Rabb more touches inside and control the low post? "I think, every game, we try to put emphasis on getting Ivan the ball in the post, as well as the rest of our posts -- Kameron [Rooks] and King (Kingsley Okoroh). We feel they have an advantage. Some games, we've done a better job, some games we haven't done as well at getting the ball in the post. I think we'll come in and try to get Ivan established."
What do you think of how Ivan and Jaylen Brown are coming along? "I think they're doing well. I think they have their games where they do better than others. I think we have to improve as a team -- these two also -- and we also have to improve on the defensive end, as far as not having so many breakdowns, being able to communicate and understand what we're supposed to do in certain situations on defense."
Do you expect to see a lot of zone from Stanford? "Yeah, I do expect to see zone. We went over zone offense. We've gotten zoned before, so I think we're getting more used to learning how to attack the zone. I think we'll be fine."
Early in the year, against the zone, you passed the ball around the perimeter until someone took a three, are you figuring out other ways to attack that now? "Yeah. I think it's important to get the ball into the middle of the zone, and work from there. We get the ball in the middle, then we have inside-outside threes, we've got the post on the duck down, or you can create for yourself, right there, in the high post area."
Coming off of two losses, how important is it to break that and get your first road win of Pac-12 play? "I think it's very important to get this win. Coach always talks about protecting Haas and protecting home, which we've done a good job of, but he also talks about how it's important to go out there and get six wins on the road. We haven't done well on the road yet, so far this season, so it's important for us to go out there and get a road win."
Have you had any players-only meetings like after the Incarnate Word game, after this trip? "No. We're fine."
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