Q: how excited are you that the conference is starting here?
JA: I'm excited. Being that I'm a freshman and to start the PAC-12? Excited to see what the PAC-12 is about. So I'm excited.
Q: that big smile on your face. What is it about conference play that really slides it up and gets the gooses going?
JA: you get to play your rivalries. Teams in your conference. You want to be the best in your conference. You get to prove that to them.
Q: you excited to start some rivalries? Is there someone you're looking forward to playing the most?
JA: I don't know. I'm just excited to go out there and win. I think we'll do very well this season.
Q: what's Coach [Ben Howland] been telling you in terms of what to prepare for? It's kind of a different game.
JA: that every team is going to come play their hardest. No team wants to lose to another team in the conference. To be prepared every game.
Q: he said that teams come in and see "UCLA" and it just ups it for them. How much of that do you realize going in and how much of it is, "I've got to defend the letters on my chest"?
JA: yeah, I've noticed it. The first time was the Cal Poly upset. Every time we come to play, people will try to beat us. Just [to try] to beat UCLA.
Q: you've been surprised how things… or does it feel like to you that things have progressed just leaps and bounds in the last 4 or 5 games?
JA: yeah, I think our energy in the last 4 or 5 games has been a little bit better. We're trusting each other more out there on the court. I think we're all coming together.
Q: anything special for New Year's?
Q: just hanging on the couch, watching TV?
JA: just chillin'.
Q: people say it's overrated. Is New Year's overrated?
JA: it could be. People have their resolutions.
Q: how much pressure does it take off you offensively with Shabazz [Muhammad] playing as well as he is the last few games?
JA: it's taken a lot off of me. I think it takes a lot off of him too because teams have to worry about both of us. I love playing along with him.
Q: have you given him some tips on his 3 stroke? It looks pretty good from 3.
JA: actually, he's been putting some extra work in. So I'm excited for him. His shot is looking better.
Q: do you think he's more relaxed now?
JA: yeah, I do think he's more relaxed. More calm now. He's letting the game come to him now. He's more comfortable out there.
Q: and can you talk about just the freshman… you… and Kyle and him [Shabazz]. And what you guys have been able to do. Has it surprised you [about] the impact that you guys have had right away?
JA: it hasn't surprised me. I'm just glad it's working out. I just need to get better.
Q: do you guys feel more comfortable with your defense to this point?
JA: yeah, we feel comfortable in our man defense. We work on it every day in practice to get better at it. I think we'll stick with that.
Q: what does Larry [Drew II] told the pressure about? What it's like going into conference play… [interview ended]