Cal senior point guard Tyrone Wallace talks Washington weekend

Cal point guard Tyrone Wallace talks about returning three weeks early from a broken hand, and gives a scouting report on tonight's opponent: Washington.

California Senior Point Guard Tyrone Wallace

How did you feel the first two games back: "I think it kind of took me a little bit to just get in the flow of everything. That game speed is different than anything else, even if you're still running on the side, or doing agility, or whatever the case is. But, I think, as far as my conditioning, I was fine. I did a lot of work with coach Nic [Nicodemus Christopher] while I was out, and I think that helped me. That game flow, I have to fet back used to it."

Do you have a sense of whether you're back in the starting lineup: "No, I don't know. Whatever coach feels. It's just one of those things where I just play, and we'll see."

Was it a surprise when he got cleared three weeks early: "Yeah, I was hoping I would get cleared, and I was told I probably wouldn't. But, I was thankful to go to the doctor, and he said everything looked good, and I was completely healed, so I was able to play."

On Washington: "They're really fast in transition. Makes and misses, they try to get the ball up the floor. They play like a guard style, a heavy guard style, which everybody switches, and everybody pretty much dribbles the ball, so I think we have to be disciplined in transition. Once we shoot, we have to have our safeties back and get ready to play good defense, then, on the offensive end, take advantage of switches."

What is out there for your team the rest of the way in conference: "I think we're one game behind, in the loss column, so there's these clusters of groups that are around the same record. I think, right now, it's pretty much open for anyone to win. I think that, coming down the stretch, whoever plays well and are able to get W's, that's what it'll come down to. I think, lately, we've been playing really well. We just have to continue that play, going in to Washington on Thursday."

http://www.scout.com/college/california/story/1642771-jabari-bird-named-...Four of six games left are on the road: "I think we just need to minimize our mistakes on the road. I think we have some of the same mistakes at home, but they don't affect the game as much, because teams are playing away, and our crowd is there, and so opposing teams don't have a large crowd that's able to pick them up or get them into the game. I think, on the road, we have to be able to weather when teams go on runs, or when we're not able to score the ball. I think it's just minimizing mistakes and being able to play through the crowd and build our own energy."

Considering he came back for his senior season, how frustrating was it being out for three weeks: "I think, whenever you sit out, it's frustrating, not being able to go out there and help the team, help your guys, which you ultimately want to do. So, that was frustrating, having to sit out and not being able to play, but as far as my decision, I'm fine. I stand by my decision. I don't have any regrets. I think going forward, we've been playing well, so if we just continue that, then I think it'll still be a great season for us."

What's the issue at the free throw line: "I think we have to take our time at the line. Coach always tells us to take deep breaths, and anything that is distracting you, don't think about it. Go to the line with a fresh slate, think about making your next one. It's all about concentration and focus. I think we struggled last game, and we'll improve."

Why do they make all their FTs in the last two minutes? "I don't know. I usually start the game off strong from the line, and towards the middle, I struggle, and at the end, I'm nearly perfect, so I couldn't tell you. I have to concentrate more at the line and focus in and knock those free throws down, that are towards the middle, or in the middle of the game, in that area."

From your vantage point, how cool has it been to see Jabari Bird finally have success: "I've been happy for him. Jabari works hard, he's a great guy, a great teammate. He's all about the team first, so to see him play the way that I think we all think that he can play, and know he can play, now, has been a sight. I hope that he continues to play this way, because when he's knocking down shots, and you have Jordan [Mathews], who's knocking down shots, it just makes the game so much easier, and it makes it harder for teams to guard us. I'm very pleased with how he's playing, and not just the three-pointers. He's been attacking the rim, his mid-range game has been nice, so he's been doing a lot of positive things."

How do you get Ivan Rabb involved: "I think, early on in the game, we need to look to go to him, at the start of the game, just to get him in a rhythm, and feeling good. When your team is rolling, the bigs get overlooked, in the grand scheme of things. We just look for them to rebound and defend, but bigs are a focal point for our team. We need them, in order to win. I think that Ivan's done a good job handling it, but we also need to look to go in to him more, in the beginning of the game, and the beginning of the second half, quick-hitter plays to get him some touches. He's also been doubled a lot this year, on the catch. Every time he catches the ball, he's been doubled. I think that's had an effect on his touches, and how much he's scoring, too, because when he gets the ball, he has to pass it out, but I think we'll work on that. We'll work on getting him the ball and making sure that he feels good."

Your impact on him as a senior, on a play the other night where he hung his head and got frustrated: "I saw it. It's basketball. As much as we are for the team, we love to win, you get frustrated when you feel like you're not playing to your potential, or the way that you should be playing. I think for everybody, I think there's a little frustration at times on the court, and so as a senior, as a point guard, when you see that, you come down and call a play for him, to get him a look, to get him feeling good. That's on me to notice those kinds of things, and to go to him the next play down, and like I said, to make him feel better about himself."


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