Q: So talk a little bit about your impressions of hiring Coach Alford.
DW: I'm excited. I know what he's accomplished, and I know you, know you, he also played under Coach [Bobby] Knight, and played in the NBA so I'm excited, you know, learn more about him. Sit down and talk with him, start working out with him and stuff so my first impression of him is I'm excited. Any time you get a new coach, you know, it's exciting. And just approach it with an open mind.
Q: what do you think about coaching style? Did you watch New Mexico at all play? Do you know what kind of style he plays?
DW: I know a little bit. I definitely know, you know, obviously, from growing up in a basketball family, playing under Coach Knight, I know he's going to be a hard-nosed coach. A defensive-minded coach. And I think I appreciate that and I respect that a lot and I'm looking forward [audio difficulties]. I think, even from my high school days, I think that was something that I was brought up in and taught, that hard-nosed aspect of basketball so I'm looking forward to it.
Q: you know, you have a unique experience. There aren't too many college players that are going to their third head coach. I mean, I can't even name guys. How do you take that? I mean, do you need to just roll with that? That's 3 different styles.
DW: yeah, I've always, you know, just rolled and approached each, you know, each situation I was in with an open mind and, you know, just, you know, with a positive attitude and just kept working and did what I was told. And, you know, just try to make myself better and continue working on my own game. So I'm really excited about this. Again, I'm approaching this with an open mind. Just really looking forward to seeing what he brings to the team and what kind style of play he's going to run and, you know, how it's going to play out.
Q: have you spoken to him?
DW: just briefly. Very briefly, before the press conference.
Q: were you surprised at all about making the coaching change?
DW: a little bit. Yeah, I mean, obviously there have been rumors all year long and things like that and you hear stuff. But I think, after, you know, obviously winning the regular season title, and coming so close to the conference tournament title, I think it was a little surprising but, I mean, at the same time, I wasn't completely shocked.
Q: alright. Do you think it was a justified move? Do you think expectations are too high at UCLA or do you think it was maybe… even though Coach Howland accomplished a lot that maybe the time had come to go in a different direction?
DW: I mean, I'm not really sure. I mean, I just see, you know, he was really successful. Obviously, those last couple of years have been, you know, a little difficult, just with everything that's gone on, you know, with the program and stuff. So, you know, that's tough. Just… Obviously, from outsiders looking in and stuff, you see… you think of a program that's in, probably not the best of shape. But I think we had a pretty solid year, and that we turned it around. And I think we did play really well. But again, I mean, expectations are really high here and, you know, you are expected to make deep runs in the Tournament each year and you are expected to be there, you know, in Elite Eights and Final Fours.
Q: right. Is it hard to have expectations for next season at this point? I mean, I know it's far off but there's a lot of unknowns, but with the returning nucleus, I mean, you guys won the regular season. How would you feel about the next season at this point?
DW: I mean, I'm confident. I think we've got a lot of good players returning. And I think a lot of guys are going to get better over this offseason. And then , you know, with the new coach coming in too, I think he's going to, you know, instill a lot of good values that he's, you know, grown up with over his playing career. So I think that's going to make us better too. So I'm really excited, you know. It's an exciting offseason because that's when you really see, you know, development and you grow as a team, and you see how much better guys are and stuff like that so it's a little too early to judge right now, but I'm looking forward to it.
Q: do you know Coach Alford at all? Have you ever met him?
DW: no, I haven't met him prior to, you know, a couple hours ago.
Q: are you looking forward to the team meeting?
DW: oh yeah, I'm looking forward to it just because, you know, I'm excited to see, you know, what he's about. And, you know, how he is and so, yeah, I'm really excited.
Q: sure. Thanks, man. Really appreciate it.