Larry Drew and Travis Wear talk after USC:
Q: Larry [Drew II], this is your first time playing ‘SC. Does this one hurt more than the other losses because of the rivalry aspect?
LD2: this loss hurts because we lost a game. A game that we felt like we should've come out here and won. It's a little disappointing about our effort coming out of the game. First half. Second half hurt us a little bit. [audio difficulties] … all the way to the game on the defensive end. It's disappointing.
Q: this question's for both of you. Could you guys tell that Shabazz [Muhammad] was really struggling through the flu-like symptoms that he had? Could you guys tell at all that he was sick out there?
Travis Wear: no. I didn't notice it at all. ‘Bazz is a competitor. You can go out and play when he's on the court. He's not going to let that stuff affect you.
Q: you guys had the game where you guys were up 6. You weren't able to capitalize on that. What was [audio difficulties]
LD2: stops. And rebounding. No matter how late a lead you have, if you don't capitalize on the opponent's mistakes and force them to make mistakes and make rebounds, there's no way to increase the lead. I thought there were a couple of possessions where we had to get stops. And we had to, in order to make a run and just build the momentum back onto our side… but we never got it. We never got the chance to do that because we couldn't make stops. It was that simple.
Q: Travis, Ben called this a soul-searching for you guys. In that case, what will you be looking for during that time?
TW: it was obviously a tough loss for us. We have a week off until our next game. We just need to get out in practice. We need to go at each other. Go at each other's throats [in practice]. That's how we're going to get better. Turn things around.
Q: Larry, what have you learned about this team in the past week? You've beaten Arizona and then lost this last week.
LD2: we can be really good at times. And we can be really bad at times. I try not to focus on the negatives but in this business, within the last week, we've also had games we hadn't won. We need to figure out what it is that we're not doing consistently and just try to change that. Fix our mistakes.
Q: Larry, there was some talk this week with there just being one game, that the guys were looking forward to enjoying some time off before you guys get back into it next week which is the one game this week. How much do you think that played a role into tonight and the focus of tonight's game?
LD2: I don't think it had that much of a difference, to be honest to you. It was the last game. I don't think my teammates or anybody came in thinking, "okay, this is one game and then we get to take off. Let's come in and do whatever." I think, for the most part, we were all competing. Pretty focused and pretty together coming into this game. That's why I'm so surprised at the outcome. I really didn't expect to lose. [audio difficulties]
Q: Larry, less than a week ago, you guys had one of your best wins of the season. What's changed in that span to kind of bring you guys to where you're at now?
LD2: like I said before, in Arizona we got stops and we got rebounds. Guys boxed out. Opened the door to the fast-break game. That's what we do. We can't do that if we don't get stops and get rebounds. We shut Arizona down. It was 21-5 at one point. And these last 2 games, we've been getting out to a slow start. Kind of just letting teams like hang around and around. No one's going to say anything [audio difficulties] 8 point deficits, 7 point deficits, 10 points deficits. Obviously, it's a time to come back. But why are we down in the first place? We shouldn't be down. We should've play harder from the jump. We have to figure that out as a team. That's what we have to do better.
Q: Travis, [audio difficulties] getting outrebounded?
TW: box out better. We both had the same of offensive rebounds. 12 and 12. They had 32 defensive rebounds. We only had 24. I think we could get some more offensive rebounds. Cutting down on the rebounding margin, we could shoot a better percentage as well. We just need to keep improving on blockouts and limit their second shot opportunities and try to get on the offensive glass and make some more transition points.
Q: Larry, you guys have been such a good shooting team most of the season. The last 2 games, you guys kind of shot yourselves out of these games. Is there something different with the offense that is going on? Or is it just a shooting slump?
LD2: it's got to be a shooting slump. You're right. Guys are missing shots that they usually have been hitting. We just have to get in the gym. Make more shots. I noticed that we have been in a bit of a slump, shooting-wise, and obviously it's affecting our games. We're athletes. We just have to overcome it.
Q: you guys play at Galen [Center] in a few weeks. How are you guys going to approach that game?
LD2: I'm going to push the game. Just go out there and kill them. I've just very, very disappointed that we lost on our home court. Throughout everything. The "all blue" thing. We needed to go out there and win. Obviously we have games before the ‘SC game that we have to get ready for. And that's our main priority. That's what we're going to focus on now before the ‘SC game.
Q: this question's for both of you. ‘SC is having some problems over there, coming in. Did they surprise you in any way?
TW: no. Not at all. It's one of the biggest rivalries that there is. We're going to get their best game. they're going to come out and give it their all on our home court. USC versus UCLA. It's the crosstown rivalry. Going at each other's throats. It's not surprising they came out and played as hard as they did.
Q: Larry, have you noticed how much teams have specifically tried to slow you guys down and is that kind of the root of maybe your offense maybe struggling the last few games?
LD2: yeah. Well, I mean, on the break, I don't see teams necessarily slowing us down once we get the ball out on the break. In the halfcourt set, yeah. Obviously as a player, it's tempting because I want to shoot more. I probably haven't been shooting as well as I could this entire season, but I always practice on my shot. I want to shoot the ball but at the same time, it's like that's pretty much what the defense wants me to do. Take away from everything else that's been going on this season. Like take away from guys like Shabazz and Jordan. "Yeah, let's have Larry shoot the ball like that." [audio difficulties] I need to get to the rim. And I can still get guys open looks. It's something I'm going to have to adjust to. Getting into the gym and just getting up more shots and making shots. [audio difficulties]
Q: how do you keep that from getting in your head? Or does it?
LD2: obviously it gets in your head. You expect someone to come out there and guard you and then they're not guarding you. It's not something I think of during the game. Like "it's the Larry Drew show". "let Larry shoot it all and take them out of their offense by letting him shoot." I try to listen to the coaches. Like I said, making my own shots, getting it to my teammates. I need to play harder. We needed to run the offense and get the right looks. So that's what I'm going to try to do.
Q: Larry, were you watching them celebrate?
LD2: no, not so much.
Q: Travis, were you watching them celebrate?
TW: no. But I heard them.
VIDEO: Players after Loss
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