Larry Drew and Shabazz Muhammad after Washington:
Q: Larry [Drew II]? Can you take us through that last sequence there and what was in your mind? Why did you decide to keep the ball in your hands?
LD2: I mean, obviously, I knew I had enough time for me to get to the basket or create a shot for one of my teammates. And I mean, I think the defense pretty much dictated it. My eyes were on the rim. And I saw the opening. And I have confidence in my jumper, and I took the shot. And we won.
Q: Larry, it's not the first time that you hit a shot at the buzzer. What goes through your mind as time's winding down in those kind of situations?
LD2: I either create a shot for myself or for one of my teammates. If I happen to be able to take a shot, just going up there and having all the confidence in the world that I'll knock it down.
Q: Larry, how surprised were you that Ben [Howland] didn't call a time out? Did you look at the bench, thinking a time out was coming?
LD2: I think Coach Howland… I think he has an idea of… just in terms of… in situations like that kind of [know] what I can do, in terms of, like I said, create a shot for myself or somebody else. I don't think he wanted to slow us down. He had confidence in me. He just let me go. I was glad that he didn't call a time out.
Q: were you surprised?
LD2: um, I guess. In a situation like that, you don't have too much time to be surprised. You can be surprised later. But like I said, I was glad he didn't stop me.
Q: can you talk about that steal?
LD2: [audio difficulties] I read his eyes. We had a man to my left, running the wing. So I came in. Took a quick shot early in the shot clock. Came off. Every time something happens on offense, like a turnover or something like that or missing a shot, I just want to make it up with my defense. Like I said, I got the ball to Shabazz [Muhammad] and he did the rest.
Q: Shabazz, can you talk about what it means to win a game where you guys were outrebounded by 10. You guys only shot 33% from the floor. I mean, was it just kind of lucky that things fell the way that they did?
SM: oh yeah. Big time. [audio difficulties] We got outrebounded by a lot but like I said, Larry made 2 big plays. The one that she said where he stole the ball and for him to step up and hit that big shot, you know he's our senior leader.
Q: Shabazz, on that player he made the steal, you were kind of lagging up the court. What happened there?
SM: oh yeah. I was trying to get the ball. I almost had it. Was out of bounds and I fell. And then I tried to sprint back, and then I saw that Larry stole the ball and I was like, "that's great," and I dunked the ball.
Q: Larry, can you talk about… after the ‘SC game, the comment you made about how you would approach the next game against USC. You said, "I want to kill them." Can you talk about… do you have any regrets about that? Is that just showing your competitiveness?
LD2: yeah, I mean, just competitive spirit. I might have worried about trying to say it a little wrong but I don't regret it or anything like that. I do want to go out there and do want to get after every team we play that I'm out here. Go out there and win. That's why I came back. I believe that I have all the tools that are necessary to go out there and win. I don't expect anything less.
Q: Larry, you've been through a lot of college basketball. In this type of a game where both teams kind of labored through it, to win one of these games, what can that bounce be out of this?
LD2: wait, what was that last part of the question?
Q: what can the bounce be out of a game like this that was so laborious to win?
LD2: ummm. It was a confidence booster. Just goes to show that if you keep playing and you don't give up, don't stop playing hard. Some games you'll have to get through and win ugly. Like I said, if you just stick with it and keep playing as hard as you can and have some heart, good things will happen at the end of the day. I think we shot 33% for the game. Guys got good looks. We just weren't hitting shots. And some days are like that. But as a team, I'm proud of the way that we stuck together. We just kept battling.
Q: Shabazz, do you get the feeling that… a lot of people kind of counted you guys out after the USC loss... as a team, did you guys talk about that? Did you feel that even nationally, falling off the radar, that [audio difficulties]
SM: oh yeah. I think so. The USC loss was such a bad loss. We know that we can play with anybody in the country. We're going to keep winning. It's a great win for us against Washington. Like I said, we can play with anybody in the country. So they're going to doubt us and say that we can't play with anybody, but we know we can.
Q: Larry, can you talk about what this kind of shot means to you? The buzzer beater. Considering the road you traveled. Where this ranks…
LD2: I'm a pretty humble person. It was something that was necessary in order for us to win. I'm glad to win a game. As far as myself goes, I'm not holding myself on a pedestal any higher than anybody else, especially on this team. That's all I really care about. Just glad we won a game. I mean, obviously, I'm glad I hit the shot so we could win the game. But if Jordan [Adams] or Shabazz or Travis [Wear] or Dave [Wear] or whoever made the shot, I would feel equally as happy and equally as excited. Like I said, we won and that's all I care about.
Q: the way your teammates embraced you after that…
LD2: see this mark on my head? This red mark?
Q: did somebody head butt you?
LD2: I don't know what it was. It might have been Norman [Powell]. [audio difficulties]
Q: Shabazz, you guys have shot under 40% the last 3 games. Is it just a matter of trying to shoot yourself out of that slump? What do you guys have to do to get out of that slump?
SM: yeah, I think it's just we're rushing it. Like Larry said, we got good looks. I just missed shots I usually make. In some cases, it was like that. Others, just try to get offensive boards and play hard defense. And just try to play as hard as I can. And we got some good stops at the end of the game.
Q: you guys have said you guys are happy to winning luckily, but do you feel like after the USC loss, that you guys need a win that's really emphatic for the tournament or your own self-confidence?
SM: I think so. We have plenty of wins on our resume that we've gotten, and I think that they're really important for us. But we definitely need another win where it's solid. Just to build our chemistry. Like I said, the ‘SC loss was so bad. Coming in here with an ugly win… We'll take it but we definitely do need a really solid win.
Q: yeah, Shabazz, are you a better team now than you were a month or two ago? Are you getting better? Or are you staying the same? What do you see?
SM: absolutely. I think we are a better team. We have trust and Larry's one of our teammates. To start, we had to trust Larry to shoot that shot and he stepped up and it was big time. And knocked it down. I just think our chemistry is better. It's just something we're doing off the court where we're all friendly and stuff like that. I just think the chemistry is better, and it's really helping us out a lot.
Q: Larry, you talked about in the last game how it's about shooting and passing. Where are you in that process now of what the defense is giving you? Trying to balance between being a shooter and being a passer?
LD2: where am I? I think I am somewhere in the middle, I guess.
Q: do you think you could more of a scorer?
LD2: most definitely. I feel like I can definitely put the ball in the basket when I need to. But on a team like this when we have so many horses and so many guys who I can get the ball to and fill out the basket like Shabazz, like Jordan, like the twins, like basically everybody that we have, I feel like my playmaking ability is easily my better game. That's just the type of player that I am. I'm a pass-first point guard. Old school if you want to call it that. But at the end of the day, I just want to do whatever it takes for our team to get the "W".
Q: on that last play, when did you realize that you had to take the last shot?
LD2: probably when I got the ball.
Q: did you see Shabazz clapping for it at the top of the key?
LD2: naw. I didn't see him. I saw the rim. It was just one of those things, man, where you just want to just give yourself the best opportunity to get a good shot off and the rest of it will take care of itself.
Q: Shabazz, clapping. You obviously wanted the ball?
SM: oh yeah, I wanted the ball. But I mean, Larry, he's such an aggressive player. And I mean, when the ball went up, I knew it was going to be good. Everybody was on him and attacking him. And I was just like, "man, I know Larry's either going to have something broken or have some scratches." So I was going to wait until he got up to congratulate him. That was a big time shot. And we're all so happy we won the game.
VIDEO: Players after Win
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