Players Talk about LBSU Win

Larry Drew and Shabazz Muhammad talk about the improved defense against Long Beach State, and Shabazz's improved play over the last few games...

Larry Drew and Shabazz Muhammad after Long Beach State:


Q: Coach [Ben Howland] talked about how you playing defense the way he wanted you… we just had that conversation. [audio difficulties]

LD: [audio difficulties] stopping the ball early. Pressuring. [audio difficulties] He wants me to pressure to the best of my abilities. [audio difficulties] jumping to the ball. All the little things that is going to help this team defensively. All I got to say is the coaching staff… they were really on me about Mike Caffey, his playmaking ability. Coach [Scott] Garson [assistant coach], he let me know straight up. He said, "If we're to have any chance tomorrow, it starts with you on the defensive end. You have to come and bring it for 40 minutes." So I took it upon myself to go out there and try to stop him.

Q: could you send Mike [Caffey] getting frustrated as the game wore on?

LD: I was looking for little signs like his facial expressions. I think he kept his feelings pretty well. He did have an off game. I know with any type of competitive athlete, who really has a passion for his craft, and has a poor performance, he or she is going to be upset or frustrated or whatever. I don't know what he's feeling right now, but it doesn't matter to me. [audio difficulties]

Q: Shabazz [Muhammad], can you talk about after they had cut the lead to 7, then you and Jordan [Adams] kind of took it upon yourselves to do the scoring… I think you guys scored the next 11 points. Can you talk about how important that sequence was?

SM: oh yeah, it seemed very important. We were down and we needed a bucket. Jordan does good at getting out in transition. And it's just a great thing when we have another guy that can score just as well as I can and do things that I can do also.

Q: Shabazz, can you feel this team getting more and more cohesive on the defensive end in terms of communicating, rotating, other things that Howland has been talking about?

SM: oh, absolutely. I think it's just a mindset thing. [audio difficulties] We're getting really aggressive on offense. [audio difficulties] stop defense. Getting out in transition. Good wings. Get out there and Larry's looking to pass it to us.

Q: Shabazz, in the second half when you guys were getting the easy baskets, did you notice the 2 guys [Jerry West and Oscar Robertson] that were sitting there when you were driving the lane?

SM: oh, absolutely. It was the best. I saw them up on the big screen. I didn't know they were sitting right there. Talk about being surprised. Just knowing we have to respect the game since those guys are there. They're so high profiled. So we're just glad to see them watching us, and it's a good atmosphere for us.

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