Players after Cal Win

Kyle Anderson and Travis Wear talk about the improved rebounding and defense in the 79-65 victory over Cal on Thursday night...

Kyle Anderson and Travis Wear talk after California:


Q: Kyle [Anderson], can you talk about that stretch? That jumper… [audio difficulties] pair of free throws. Shabazz [Muhammad] with that 3. You guys are back to 11.

KA: Well, I think it all started with defense. We got some stops. We were able to score on the other end. It opened the game up for us overall. But it all started with defense.

Q: question for both of you, 8-man rotations. How do you guys feel about that? Do you think that it helps? Not having to bring in 10, 11 players but just 8. Talk about that.

TW [Travis Wear]: yeah, I think it helps. I think it helps you get in more synced with each other, not bringing a whole bunch of guys off the bench. We expect what we're going to get from each of us and I do think it's easier.

KA: yeah, I think it's easier. It helps a lot of guys get in and out. Get a more of the flow of the game. a lot of teams in college basketball, they run 8 men or maybe 9 at most so I think it's a good enough rotation.

Q: Kyle, where have you seen the most improvement on the defensive end with you guys since the beginning of the season?

KA: I think the help defense or team defense, as other people would say. I think when somebody gets beat off the ball, somebody else is there. It helps everybody. It's all collective effort. If everybody buys into the whole defensive thing, we're going to get wins.

Q: Kyle, your overall reaction to playing your first conference game? And obviously, they made a run at you guys and you guys were able to make some plays down the stretch to get the win.

KA: our first conference game was tough. They did makea run where they cut the lead. I think we made some good adjustments. Got some scores offensively. Got some rebounds defensively when we needed them. We got beat on the glass, but there was a stretch when we got some key rebounds and I think that helped us pull away.

Q: Kyle, seeing how Jordan and Shabazz were kind of struggling in that first half, did you kind of feel like you needed to step up a little bit? Take on the scoring a little bit?

KA: no. Not really. It just happened that Larry [Drew II] found me at great positions to score. I capitalized on my opportunities with my free throws which helped us out a lot. I thought it was Larry really.

Q: Hey, Kyle, in the first half, you had a lot of possessions [audio difficulties]. What does it take for the fast break offense to run like that, apart from getting stops on defense, what does it take for your team to embrace the fast break offense like you have?

KA: rebounding. Rebounding is very important. Especially when I'm able to get rebounds. I was pushing myself on guys in position to score. So it all starts with rebounding. We haven't done too well tonight. But our transition game was still running really well.

Q: Kyle, when you look at your stat line, what are you most proud of? The rebounds? The double-double? Not missing free throws?

KA: I would say the rebounds. There was a point where we were getting outrebounded. Most of their points were coming off second chance opportunities. When Coach [Ben Howland] put me in, I think around the 9 minute mark, my focus was to go in there and make sure no second shots came in from their way.

Q: Travis, 6 for 11. You started off real hot. How did you feel? Do you feel like you have it going on?

TW: yeah, I feel like I've been shooting the ball well lately. My teammates have been finding me. It's easy when they create, and I just have to make the shot. But yeah, my shot's been feeling good.

Q: Kyle, are you sick?

KA: I was pretty winded out there. I had just come off a cold. But I'm coughing right now. I hope not.

Q: Kyle, can you talk about Shabazz in the first half? Did he seem frustrated at all? I know he started 1 of 7. Talk about the second half where he was 4 of 6. Can you just kind of see it in his eyes that he really wanted to get it done?

KA: well, Shabazz is a mentally tough kid. He's going to make it happen for him somehow. So I think the adjustment he made in the second half was just letting the game come to him. He hit some big shots for us in the second half.

Q: Travis, how much did you guys [audio difficulties]. You guys were primarily man tonight.

TW: yeah, we played man-to-man the whole game. I thought we did really, really good. And our help-side defense. Especially helping off penetration and rotation down. The second rotation, especially. I thought our defense performed well. Obviously, we need to cut down on the second chance opportunities for them. If we do that, we'll be really good.

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