VIDEO: Anderson talks USC

Kyle Anderson talks about the new uniforms for the USC game, how much impact that rivalry has had on him, and his familiarity with defense-oriented coaching...

Kyle Anderson talks on Tuesday:


KA: I don't really care for them.

Q: why was that?

KA: I like them, but it's not really that big of a deal.

Q: you don't think it matters for recruiting at all?

KA: yeah, it could. If recruits like it. If some of the high school kids like them. If it depends to them. If it works, yeah.

Q: but it's not your color?

KA: I like blue. It's cool. It's something nice. It's a change, wearing blue at home. So I'm up for it.

Q: what about ‘SC? You guys, obviously, I'm sure are up for that. Kind of a different level of rivalry.

KA: yeah, big rivalry game. Pretty excited for it, especially since it's my first time participating in a rivalry game like this so I'm pretty excited. USC is a good team so it's going to be a good game.

Q: what do you expect in terms of maybe a little extra trashtalk from them? Or probably more so from fans?

KA: I think it's going to be very intense from fans. Fortunately enough for us, we have the homecourt advantage. So it's going to be very hostile from our fans. We're going to get their best because, of course, it's a rivalry game. So a win is up for grabs at this point.

Q: if Shabazz [Muhammad] isn't able to go tomorrow… I don't know, have you talked to him? How is he feeling?

KA: I haven't talked to him today yet. Probably will talk to him later tonight. I'm sure ‘Bazz will be up and ready for the game.

Q: you've known him a long time now. A year now. 2 or 3 years. Do you think he's going to play whether he's got a fever or not?

KA: yeah, I think he'll play. He's extremely competitive. He wouldn't miss a game like this for the world. I'm actually surprised he missed practice. That's how competitive he is. It's just unfortunate that he's coming under the weather. I think he'll be ready for the game tomorrow though.

Q: do you expect you may have to pick up some slack if he's tired and wearing down out there?

KA: I feel we will collectively. Not just me so much. I feel, as a whole, we will. He brings a lot to the table as far as defense on the perimeter, rebounding, strength, and most of all, scoring obviously. So I think we will as a group.

Q: personally, do you go into a game like ‘SC with the rivalry, feeling like you have to prove something on a stage like this when maybe a few more people are watching?

KA: nothing to prove. Just more intensity. More kick because they're bringing it for sure since it is a rivalry game. We're definitely coming in, looking to be aggressive before they can be more aggressive with us.

Q: Coach [Howland] said he might have worn you guys down a little bit last week between the Arizona and Arizona State games. Is this the most conditioning maybe you've ever done with a team? Are you guys doing a lot of conditioning every practice?

KA: oh yeah, we're definitely doing a lot of conditioning. But I think it helps a lot because we have guys who play so well at the end of games, Shabazz or Travis [Wear] in Colorado. Or whoever. So I think it's paying off. I think a lot of us are in shape. And the conditioning during the week before games is helping out a lot.

Q: has it been tough to do those Thursday-Saturday transitions? Have you guys noticed that at all?

KA: yeah, it is tough. Especially when it comes down to preparation for a good team on Saturday. We've lost 2 Saturday games. You kind of look at is as if, "did we prepare well enough for these Saturday games? Do we have to take Fridays more seriously as a team?" So just adjustments we look to make as far as being mentally ready for the game.

Q: have you ever had to work on defense as much as you guys are, probably in the last few weeks?

KA: yeah. Coming from my high school team, defense was stressed a lot like Coach Howland so yeah, I'm kind of used to it with defense being such an emphasis. So yeah, I'm used to it.

Q: does it seem like everyone's used to it? I've read that some of the guys… this is kind of new to them.

KA: yeah, not everybody comes from being so well prepared for the college game and knowing what it takes to be a good team and knowing that defense has a lot to do with that. So this is new for a lot of guys. We're just looking to buy into it. Buy into the system defensively. And it's helped us out a lot. Hopefully we'll keep pushing it.

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