VIDEO: Anderson on Improvements

Kyle Anderson talks about the improvements he's made this year, where he needs to improve before next year, and what, if anything, he's thought about his NBA prospects...

Kyle Anderson on the NBA:


KA: … I feel… I was a little humbled by being the player of the week. I know I played well enough to help my team so that's what I really feel best about.

Q: what do you think has been the thing you improved the most on since you arrived in Westwood?

KA: I think just, you know, being able to rebound the basketball and that's a big stat. And winning games. So I think that's improved. And helping my teammates out.

Q: you been here now… what is the biggest improvement on the team since the beginning of the season?

KA: I would say rebounding too. We were getting outrebounded a lot of games before and after Washington State, we played a tough team in Washington who's been outrebounding us by 11 every game. So I think we've gotten better with that and I think we'll continue to make that a focal point and I think that'll help us win games.

Q: with… Ben Howland said Shabazz [Muhammad] is one-and-done and all that. How much thought have you given that to yourself and your future?

KA: I haven't really thought about it really. I'm just looking to play this season out. I don't want to play this season trying to have one foot in the NBA, one foot here in Westwood. So I just want to focus on playing my best for UCLA.

Q: have you talked with Shabazz about it at all? Do you guys talk about the NBA or anything like that?

KA: yeah, we talk about it all the time. We're just amazed about being a professional and what it takes and how much it takes. But it's something we want to do down along the line.

Q: Kyle, what was the hardest transition you made from high school until now?

KA: just… On the court? Just being physical. You know, you can't be out there and not be expected to be hit. And maybe sometimes you have to hit first. So that's been really tough for me, but once I learned it, I think I've gotten so far better down the line.

Q: off the court?

KA: I think eating better. You know, your eating habits have to be way different. Proper sleep is required. And that's it really. Just little things like that.

Q: how much stronger and more physical do you feel like you've gotten, you know, now compared to when you came here?

KA: I think I've gotten much more physical. Much more stronger. Before, at the beginning of the season, if you watched me in the paint, I'd be the one to get hit first, but now whenever I go into the paint, I'm looking to hit someone and make contact and just be tougher out there.

Q: was there ever a moment there was kind of a shock to you where you were like, "wow, I need to be more physical." Was there a moment? Getting knocked down or something? Time when you were hurt?

KA: earlier game in the season when we played Georgia, I got hit a few times. I was like, "wow, it's physical out here." So that's when I started focusing in on going down there and hitting someone first.

Q: whether you go to the draft or not, I mean, is that going to be a big emphasis for you in the offseason? Kind of building up your body a little bit?

KA: yeah, definitely want to, you know… really looking forward to, after the season, building up my body for next season. Or whatever the future holds for me. Eating better. You know, working out. Just things like that.

Q: do you still consider yourself a point? Now that you've had this whole year kind of as a 4.

KA: yeah, but only because it's natural. It's what I know how to do best. When I'm in there at the point for Larry Drew [II] sometimes, that's when I feel most comfortable at still even for that short period of time so I'm always going to look at myself as a point guard because that's what I know how to do the best.

Q: do you identify yourself a little less as a point guard, just knowing that you can play down low?

KA: yeah, I would say… I would call myself just a complete basketball player. Really knowing how to play different positions. But point guard is where I feel more comfortable.

Q: have you put on any weight? Or has it balanced out with maybe some fat loss with some muscle gain?

KA: yeah, I've lost a few pounds. I started at 238. Now, I'm at 230 right now. So I'm just being more careful with what I eat. Trying to better myself.

Q: Was 238 before the summer?

KA: well, before the season.

Q: okay.

Q: how much do you guys try to minimize distractions this week, especially because you're in a position to win the conference?

KA: yeah, we try really hard. We don't want to pay attention to any of… what anybody's telling us. Yeah, of course, I know, me myself, I read what's going on, but just being a fan of college basketball. You know, not really looking at what's going on with us or anything. So that's it.

Q: how much more comfortable did the freshmen feel kind of playing a major role on this team now compared to the beginning of the season? Do you feel like you guys are a lot more comfortable kind of taking the scoring load if you have to?

KA: yeah, I think we're a lot more comfortable. You know, the 4 freshmen, we're winners. We came from winning. So whatever it takes to win, whether it's going out there and scoring as much as we can or playing defense or not shooting the ball but getting the ball to whoever's hot. We're just going to find a way to win games.

Q: you guys haven't won in Seattle in a long time. I mean, UCLA hasn't won in Seattle in a long time. Does that kind of… would that put a good cap on the season for you guys to win the conference up there?

KA: yeah, I think that would be a great way to end the regular season. Washington's a tough place to play. So, we're going up there and getting really prepared for it but first, we're looking forward to Washington State.

Q: what have you heard about playing at Washington?

KA: I heard it's tough, but I've heard that about a lot of other schools too. We've done pretty well on the road so far this season.

Q: Thanks.

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