Howland's Friday Teleconference

Ben Howland updates Travis Wear's status and talks about the team's improved effort level heading into Saturday's game against Washington...

Q: Update on Travis Wear?

A: Travis practiced today, and we're planning to start him tomorrow, assuming there's no setback trouble. He practiced only 32 minutes prior to today's practice, so we'll see how he does.

We watched the entire game yesterday after our walk through against Washington. Our players were obviously very disappointed, and responded with a very focused and spirited practice, which always makes you feel better.

Q: How do you make sure something like that effort doesn't happen again?

A: I honestly am not worried about that at all.

Q: How much of a relief was it that Colorado beat Oregon yesterday for you guys?

A: Our league is a very difficult league. I thought Colorado would win that game. Colorado is a very tough place to play. To win without Roberson even speaks higher about that team. Oregon is a very good team. Our league is super competitive. Anybody can beat anybody on a given night. Washington State came out and handled us, and you really have to give them credit. There's just not that huge of a difference in talent level between the first place team and the last place team. If you don't bring it every day…that's been proven.

Q: Do you guys feel you got lucky to still be in the conference race now?

A: I don't if it's luck, but we are where we are, tied with a game to go.

Q: What makes you sure you won't get that kind of effort again?

A: Just the learning that we've got to play every team the same. There's a lot of things that go into why we lost the other day, but the main one is that I didn't do a good enough job of impressing upon them the difficulty of that game. But I am very confident that for the remainder of the 2012-13 season, you will not see another effort like that out of our team.

Q: What made you think the conference would come down to the last game of the season?

A: Just that our team and our league was so improved. I knew it was going to be a dogfight, and we would have that kind of conference race, and that's where it is.

Q: Why has Washington been such a hard place to play for you guys?

A: They're really good. They won the Pac-12 title in the tournament or the regular season 4 of the last 6 season. They've had really good players, they're well coached. Lorenzo Romar is one of the best coaches, not only in our conference, but in the country. He's built a terrific program. It's a very difficult place to play, and they have great fans. All of the above.

Q: Last time you guys shot poorly, was it something they did or just a slow night?

A: You know what, it was a very hard fought physical game. I thought it was a slug fest. I'm very thankful we got out of that game with a win. They've got a veteran team, very senior dominated team. They're going to be a problem when they get to Las Vegas for whoever they face.

Q: Expect an up and down game tomorrow?

A: Whenever the opportunity arises, when either team has the opportunity to push it, they'll push it. That's the way we've both played all year. We don't want them to run on us, we want them to try to score on us in the half court, and I'm sure they want to.

Q: Do they primarily play man or zone?

A: Primarily a man team, but they will play 2-3 zone.

Q: Is Jordan Adams going to guard C.J. Wilcox?

A: yes. And Suggs is playing great. He's playing his best basketball of the year right now. I think Gaddy is terrific. I think #33, I can't pronounce his name, is playing very well, played very well against USC. The thing about what they did against USC is they crushed them on the boards. We have to block out and not give them second and third chance opportunities.

Q: What's the level of excitement of the team heading into tomorrow's game?

A: I think we'll let our actions speak for themselves.

Q: But are guys excited?

A: We'll let our results and actions speak for themselves. But I guess what I'm trying to say is that yes, they are.

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