David Wear talks about USC:
DW: … just trying to maintain your body and your health. And trying to just get your rest and do what you have to do to manage the injuries you have.
Q: how much more anticipation is there for you going against ‘SC?
DW: I think we're all excited. Just a fresh start. Getting that last game out of our minds. And just focusing. We realize what's at stake. It's the crosstown rivalry. Everyone's going to be excited for this game against ‘SC. Everyone's really ready. We've had a great couple of days of practice. So we're ready to go.
Q: this is another team with a lot of size in the front court. What can you learn from what happened against Arizona State and kind of use that in this game?
DW: we just like to play like we did against Arizona. Just come out physical. Doing the little things. Diving on the floor. Boxing out. And just being prepared to battle. Ready to play physical and come out and hit first.
Q: do you have to talk to the freshmen about the importance of that rivalry? Or is that something that they kind of learn on their own?
DW: no. They'll learn on their own. They already know it's going to be an intense game. They saw how it was against Arizona. That's a huge game for us each year too. And they handled it really well. So they know it's going to be another intense game, and they know what's at stake with a crosstown rival. This will make their whole season if they beat us. They know what's at stake and they're preparing for it.
Q: is there a different level of hate when you see those guys walk into the room with the red and the USC on their jerseys?
DW: no. Not too much. We realize just how long this rivalry has been going on for, and we know this is basically a must-win for us. We know what the fans expect, and we know what all the supporters of UCLA expect. So coming into this game, we realize there's pressure. We'll prepare for it like we did against Arizona and any other teams that we played. Just focusing on what we have to do to get the win.
Q: have you seen the new uniforms? What do you think?
DW: I saw them. They're nice. I really like them. It's something different. Something that I haven't had the opportunity to experience here yet. We've always just had the traditional uniforms. So it'll be nice to switch it up and go with the all-blue uniforms.
Q: Ben talked on Saturday about how much you guys hate to lose, leaving the gym with a loss. Did you see any of that in practice today and yesterday?
DW: oh, absolutely. We were all ready. We just wanted to get that game behind us. And really wanted to get back on the court again and just start preparing for another game to forget everything about that last one. So absolutely. We come back out here. We're ready to focus. Everybody's doing what they got to do. And you could tell the intensity was there because everybody was just so miserable about how the game went last time. So we're ready for USC, and we're prepared for a war.
Q: has the thought of playing without Shabazz [Muhammad] potentially in this game crossed you guys' mind at all?
DW: not really. We just found out today [Tuesday, 01-29-13] that he's had some flu-like symptoms. But I'm sure… he's a competitor. We're all pretty sure that he'll end up playing anyways.
Q: he seems like the kind of guy who would play through it even if…
DW: yeah, absolutely. Anytime you're playing USC, anybody's going to want to… even if you're feeling sick, anyone's going to want to tough it out and get out there on the court and do what they can do.
Q: still, there's the knowledge that some guys are going to have to pick up the slack since that even if he plays, he's not going to be 100%.
DW: yeah, we realize that we might be down a couple guys. We might be down and he might not be 100%. So we realize that guys are going to have to step up, but I think we're more than capable of doing that, knowing that we have had a couple days off… or not off, but practicing. And guys have gotten their legs back and we're rested and stuff. So we're definitely ready to go and we're prepared to do what we have to do to go out there and execute.
Q: from a conditioning standpoint, seems like guys are gassed. [audio difficulties]
DW: conditioning… I think we're very well-conditioned. I think in the Arizona game, I think we were the more conditioned team. I just think in the Arizona State game, I think it was a combination of just being worn out. The emotion leading up to the game and just the physicality of the game. Everybody left so much out there. So it's tough to buckle back down and try to get the energy back to play that [ASU] game. [video terminated before answer was finished]
VIDEO: Wear on Conditioning
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