NCAA Post-Game Quotes: Brook Lopez

Before he boarded the team bus to leave Lexington, freshman Brook Lopez talked one-on-one with The Bootleg Thursday outside Rupp Arena. Lopez discussed his surprise at what unfolded in the 78-58 loss, the lessons learned, where he wants to improve and his answer to the question of whether he will be at Stanford or in the NBA next year.

What are your emotions after this game, looking at the match-up you experienced and the lessons you can take into the off-season?

"I'm disappointed, obviously.  I felt like we came out flat.  I really don't know why.  They were the aggressor in the first half with the way they came out.  Of course, that hurt us pretty obviously - their attack"

You've talked several times in recent weeks about wanting to get back that killer instinct, and you were pretty confident that you would have it for this game.  Now, why do you think that wasn't there?

"I really couldn't tell you, or else I would try to solve it.  I didn't really know that we didn't have it until the game actually started.  All through warm-ups, we felt confident.  We were getting ready to play well, but..."

When did you know that it wasn't quite right for Stanford today?

"I was kind of surprised that Coach [Trent] Johnson called that timeout, like 80 seconds or so into the game.  I knew something was up there, definitely.  He must have seen something."

What lessons can you take away from playing against opponents like David Padgett and Derrick Caracter today?  How was that a good experience for you?

"They just use their bodies really well.  They got me and were able to score with contact."

It's the end of the season, and I know you need a lot of time to reflect.  But how would you sum up what you did well this year and what you clearly need work on as a basketball player?

"I need to work defensively and on just playing with energy - playing every possession as if it was the last."

You had a streak with three baskets in a row in the second half.  I'm sure that felt good at that moment, but is that something you need to do more consistently?

"Definitely."

Trent Johnson said in his press conference that he soon needs to sit down with you and your brother with your mom, to discuss what you do next.  I know this is an emotional time, but what is your mindset for your future?

"I can't really see myself in the NBA next season.  I'm really looking forward to coming back.  We haven't really done anything in college yet.  There's so much more we need to do."

You of course hate to end your season like this, but is there a competitor in you that could say that a bitter performance like this is going to be good to fuel and push you in the off-season?

"Definitely.  That's something I can take away from this.  The way we were punked - I guess there's no other way of putting it - is just something we can take into the off-season.  Just keep working harder and hopefully develop that killer instinct for next season."

What was talked about in the locker room after the game, either between the players or that Trent Johnson delivered?

"Besides the way we played today, don't let this [inaudible] be a damper on the season.  We played really well and better than anyone's expectations.  We're definitely getting hurt, losing [Chris] Bobel and Carlton [Weatherby], with what they brought to the table - energy and the good minutes they brought.  Just look forward and don't let this be a damper."

Is this an embarrassing way to end a season that was probably proud for the most part?

"I think it was.  Honestly, I think it was."


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