Howland's Friday Teleconference

Ben Howland breaks down the last five minutes of the loss to Washington, why he didn't call timeout on the last play, and what challenges UCLA will face tomorrow against Washington State...

Q: What's the latest on Travis Wear?

A:
Travis sustained what is being termed now as a high ankle sprain. It's mild in nature. There's not a lot of swelling. He has not practiced today, and he did not go through any of our walk through. He's just been getting treatment.

Q: What's his status for tomorrow?


A: Unlikely.

Q: How will that change your rotation? More time for Anthony Stover?

A: And Brendan Lane. Both Brendan Lane and Stover will play significant minutes.

Q: Will Josh Smith start?

A: Yeah.

Q: With Josh last night, he played a season high in minutes. Is his stamina getting better?

A: I think it is getting better, and I think he was also very excited about playing in front of his family and friends in Seattle. So that was obviously his best game of the year. He really played well, and I thought he did do a very good job. I'm just pleased with that, and hopefully he can continue to have consistency with that type of play here as we move forward.

Q: Does he have that type of stamina where you can count on him for 30 minutes?

A: He hasn't played 30 minutes yet, so I wouldn't say 30 minutes, no.

Q: Watching the film did anything jump out at you?

A: Just kind of what we talked about after the game. We hurt ourselves with some fouls down the stretch which were disappointing. You know, it was a ten point lead. Lazeric Jones' fourth could have been a no call, but you don't even put him in the position to make a call. Tyler Lamb got one down 8 from behind after we turned it over, on a key turnover that was unforced. We really hurt ourselves. I mean, give them credit, they won the game. Terrence Ross made some very big, tough shots down the stretch. But we really hurt ourselves down the stretch with some bad mistakes.

Q: On the last bunch of road games, it seems there's always a big stretch where the opposing team gets on a run. What needs to happen to kind of stop that?

A: Basketball is a game of runs. There's always going to be runs by the other team. We, I thought, did a really good job for the most part, but stubbed our foot at the end of the game yesterday, with about six minutes to go. Down ten, Josh makes a spinning move that goes in and out, if it goes in with six minutes to go, we're up twelve. Maybe that's enough, I don't know. I don't think it's any one specific thing, but we lost a little bit of poise I thought at the end of the game last night. And Norman Powell's playing with the flu. He feels better today, so that's one positive. I thought he was a lot better today than he was yesterday, the day of the game, just in terms of his health and how well he's feeling.

Q: Basketball is a game of runs back and forth, but what do you need to do to limit the runs?

A: Execute better, whichever end of the floor you're talking about, offense or defense. Both.

Q: You guys seemed to handle the zone ok until the last few minutes. Did they do anything differently?

A: No, we just did a poor job. I thought we should have just stayed more simplistic. But we actually had a couple of opportunities where we set those high screens. One was for a turnover, and one was the last play of the game. Each time the guy inside was open, and we just didn't see it, and that's like the first guy you look for. One shot was rushed against the zone. But, we did attack it well until the last four or five minutes. And we'll see a lot more zone tomorrow. Washington State plays a lot of zone. They play a 3-2 zone. They'll play some 2-3, but they play a lot more 3-2. And they'll switch everything man to man like Richmond played. So they change their defenses up and play a lot of different defenses, and zone will definitely be a big component of it.

Q: On that last play, did you think about calling timeout?

A: Well, we had already decided what we were going to run, whether it was man or zone. And actually we had Josh wide open underneath the basket. And didn't see it. Did anyone get a chance to look at that last play? If you look, it looks like Zeek was coming off the screen up high and Josh was actually unguarded underneath the basket, he just needed a bounce pass.

Q: How does Washington State change without Faisal Aden?

A: Well he's obviously a really good player and put up really big numbers, but they did play well last night without him. Their freshman DaVonte Lacy is really having a great year for a freshman guard, averaging double figures. Their two big guys, Brock Motum and Abe Lodwick, are really playing well, especially Motum. Motum is averaging, I think, close to 20 in conference right now.

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