Q: does [Coach Howland] seem happier at times?
KA: no. Me and Jordan [Adams] were watching the Colorado game the other day, and we just noticed how other coaches are so calm and cool. But Coach Howland is jumping around and yelling and screaming, and that's what we like. We like being intense out there. We like doing things like that. We enjoy it. At the time, we don't enjoy it, but when we look back at the games, it's pretty fun to see.
Q: does it help you play defense when he's playing defense on the sideline like that?
KA: yeah, it actually does. It gets us fired up. When he sees us tired, he screams at us to push through it, and it helps out a lot. It does a lot for us.
Q: how much different is the attitude now, especially after Colorado, compared… I know it's a long time ago now, but compared to the nonconference time, you know people were questioning Coach Howland's job and that sort of thing, and wondering whether you guys are going to be as good as people said you are. Now, does it kind of feel like things have kind of taken a step back? Maybe relaxed a little bit more?
KA: yeah, it kind of takes a little bit of pressure off of us, but at the same time, it puts a lot of pressure on us. We're playing really well right now. It's pretty obvious. But we don't want to lose sight of what we've been doing to get here. We want to do the same thing. Still work hard every day. And continue our success.
Q: does it help to have a coach like Coach Howland who's so intense, to keep reminding you of that? You're never kind of sitting back and relaxing…
KA: yeah, it does. You never really notice it, when maybe we're getting penalized for it in practice but to sit back and look… for someone who's kept us so humble with these big wins we've pulled off lately… it's a blessing.
Q: are you settling into your role a little bit better now? It looks like you're kind of focused on rebounding and then playing the point when Larry [Drew II]'s not in.
KA: yeah, I realize it's what it takes to win games. That's all I want to do. I hate losing more than I love winning games. As long as we're not losing, as long as we're playing well, getting better as a team, everybody is happy, everybody is being unselfish, it really makes me happy.
Q: I think Seth Davis or someone from Sports Illustrated said you were kind of the "glue" guy. Do you kind of see that that's your role maybe?
KA: Yeah, I feel as though it's important, in case anybody gets rattled, I just feel the need to be able to calm us down out there on the floor. Calm us down, down the stretch and keep us together.
Q: what was it bothering you the most earlier in the season when you were really struggling with your shot?
KA: just losing. There's never a game where I'd be pretty mad that when I've walked off the court but we won the game… there's never a game like that. As long as we win, I'm the happiest kid in America. Those games that we lost and then me shooting so poorly, just it'd really hurt me inside.
Q: was there any adjustments you tried to make earlier in the season? Or did your shot just kind of come around after awhile?
KA: yeah, I knew it was going to come around. These last 4 years of high school basketball, I started off the season slow. Shooting the ball not where I wanted it to be. So I knew it was just going to come around. Got in the gym a lot. Really worked on it. Really worked on shooting free throws. Just calmed down out there more, and it all came together.
Q: Larry didn't have his best couple of games. And it looked like, in the last game, you kind of took over the point a couple of times when he was on the bench and kind of led a little bit of a run. How much of an advantage does it give you guys to have you there, able to kind of lead the point at a high level?
KA: well, it's really important. It's a great asset to have. When you have 2 point guards out there on the floor. And one happens to be 6'9" who can give you something else as far as rebounding or guarding a big. So it's really the best of both worlds. Whether you want a smart speedy decision maker. Or someone who's much more methodical, and who's going to make good decisions. Either way, it's just a great asset to have for a team. Not a lot of teams are lucky enough to have that.
Q: that Utah game… you walked the ball up the court, and then you took that 3 from the top of the key. Is that something you had in mind going into that game? You wanted to show off your 3 at the start of the game?
KA: no. It's just something. I had to shoot for some reason. I don't know what told me to shoot it, but I did. I was pretty happy it went in.
Q: you went on plenty of winning streaks in your basketball career. Does 9 games mean anything to you, especially given how much… I don't know what your longest was…
Q: 60 games?
Q: Does 9 mean anything?
KA: yeah, it means a lot. Winning to me… maybe it's just the losing part, but I hate losing. And winning games… it makes me so much happier inside. So to win 9 games at such a high level of basketball, really does a lot for myself. Does a lot for the team. For the team's confidence. So I'm happy it's going this way now.
Q: having won so many games in a row when you were in high school, does it kind of help you to stay focused or to harness that kind of momentum, going forward, to keep winning?
KA: yeah, it does. One of the things that I got from my high school coach, Coach [Bobby] Hurley, in high school, is just take it one day at a time. And that's something I see in our huddles now. It's worked my last 2 years of high school and maybe it'll carry over to here. Let's just take it one day at a time. One practice at a time. Lead it over to the next day. Then to the next game. One day at a time. Never go to sleep worrying that you didn't get better.
Q: is taking it one day at a time… is that different in college than it was in high school? Maybe a little more difficult?
KA: it's a little bit more difficult. But you just need more focus. Make sure everybody's up and ready to get better, including myself. It's a little bit more difficult, but it's something that you have to put up with in order to be great.