Matt Haryasz Interview

It was an incredibly disheartening loss and performance for Matt Haryasz on his Senior Day. Finishing the regular season on a slide that all but assures he will close his Cardinal career outside the NCAA Tournament, while also enduring an individual slump, the 6'11" senior is left looking for answers. He graciously agreed to help our own search for answers before leaving Maples that sad Saturday.

Matt, what do you think let you guys down today?  What didn't go according to plan?

"I think a lot of things didn't go according to plan.  I don't think we played any good defense.  We gave them too many transition buckets.  We turned the ball over too much.  We didn't do a good job on the glass.  We let some of their key guys get off.  I think there were a lot of factors that contributed to today's result."

You guys have a quick turnaround before you head to the Pac-10 Tournament.  How do you think you guys can get back to where you were playing a month ago?

"I think we just have to come out and realize that it's one-and-done now.  If we lose, we're done.  Somebody told me we'll have either Cal or Arizona, which is a tough first-round match-up for us, but for us to make the NCAAs now, we have to earn our way in.  That means we'll have to beat all the best teams in the Pac-10 to get there, so it's not going to be easy."

On the flip side of the NCAAs would be if you play in the NIT.  Is the idea of not playing a home game in the NIT about not following today's Senior Day?

"Yeah, I think that's kind of the idea.  Just have the Senior Day for the seniors like we did today, and have that be our last time on the court.  That was kind of the idea - yeah."

Was it just the seniors who made that decision, or was it an entire team vote?

"It was the seniors and the team, really - everybody's decision."

You have a lot of people asking you about your offense, your vision - all of that.  I know you see a lot of double-teams now, but your free throws aren't even going down the way you used to stroke them.  What do you think that you need to do to get that skill back?

"I'm just going to keep pushing through the rest of the season.  And when the season's over, I'm going to keep working hard.  I think that's just the best thing for me - just keep working hard and get into the gym.  Work on my shot, work on my free throws, work on my moves - everything.  I've got a lot of work to do, but I'm willing to put it in.  And I'm going to get there.  I'm going to get to where I want to be."

Is there anything you can put your finger on, where you can practically improve this week?

"I think it's just a rhythm thing.  I just have not been in the same rhythm where I was earlier, and that's attributed to double-teams and my eye.  But no excuses for me.  I just need to step up and make plays."

Matt, we did that interview back in the beginning of the year talking about how emotional you are, and how confidence is an important part of basketball for you.  Is it at all that the eye injury and the double-teams have taken confidence away, and that affects skills?

"I don't think that my confidence has been taken away. Well, it's not low.  I'm not down on myself.  I'm just not as high as I was when I was really rolling there.  That's just how things go.  I think sometimes things have a tendency to snowball, and that could be the case with my free throws.  But I'll bounce back.  I'll work on it this week, and I'll knock 'em down when we play on Thursday."

You're a guy who appreciates the home crowd - the fans, the Sixth Man - more than probably anybody else on this team.  You probably had a vision in your mind for a long time about what your Senior Day should be like.  How disappointing is it, and how much does it hurt to have it play out like this?

"You know, it's tough to go out this way.  But like I said to someone else, Stanford has given me so much.  Maples and the basketball program all have given me so much.  I have given so much back.  This is not the way you want to go out, but this is in no way ruining my experience here by any stretch of the imagination.  I'm blessed to be here.  I've had a great run and a great ride.  This is not maybe the way you want to go out, but this is not going to stop me from enjoy what I've had here."

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