On confidence against UCLA: We’re pretty confident. It was tough the first time but we made some mistakes that we can correct. At this point it’s not so much about them, but how we come out and play
On the first game against UCLA: It welcomed us to Pac-12 play. They’re a great team. They’re going to come in ready to play and try to take us one-on-one. We have to be ready to play.
Has he mentioned anything about playing in Pauley Pavilion to any of the younger players: Nothing really. We can’t get caught up in where we’re playing or who we’re playing. It’s about wins and losses. We have to threat it like another game.
Do teams really come in with a chip on their shoulder playing a team they lost to earlier in the year? Yeah definitely. That’s not a speculation, that’s a fact. Nobody wants to comeback after a loss and lose again. They’re thinking that now they have us at home. But at the same time we’re thinking about who we powered through adjacent UCLA and came back strong against USC. We have to keep those chips on our shoulder.
Does experience in overtime games, like the one against UCLA, help the team handle overtime situations, like against Utah: Definitely. When we hit that shot to go to overtime coach told us we’ve been here before.
On the difficulty in switching and covering post players: The hard part isn’t him getting the ball and shooting, but boxing out. They scored more on offensive rebounds than on their first attempts. Since we front we’re always not heir backs. The rebounding is the harder part.
On switching every screen: If you look at the game, we make them throw over the top. Outside looking in it looks like they have an advantage, but we have shot blockers waiting and we know what we’re doing.
On high pressure disrupting the flow of slower tempo offenses: When you have big teams that are structured offensively, our pressure can make them uncomfortable. Anytime we can get a team on their heels like that it’s impressive.
On knowing when it’s time to be a scorer versus the time to be a playmaker: For me it’s simple. If one of those guys is going I get them the ball. If not I’ll try to create something. If someone is open I get them the ball.
On the difficulty of switching every screen: The tough part is communication. Also trusting everyone is hard. We have to trust our help is going to be there. There are a lot of nuances to our defense that aren’t seen by many but are part of our identity.
On going back to facing UCLA and USC after two close home wins: We all know that they want to get back on us. They don’t want to lose to us again, this time at home. We have to start on defense and play our style of play. We’re confident and ready to go.
Does going to play at UCLA mean anything special? It’s just a game to me. I’m ready to go play and do what I do and help my team win.
On learning Romar’s style of defense: I come from Rainier Beach, so defense is first and I like defense. I didn’t know what it was going to be like, but I knew that I would have to buy in. It took time but I knew it would pay off. It’s hard and tiring. But it’s fun.
On playing at Pauley Pavilion:Yeah. It’s a powerhouse for basketball. I’m excited to have the opportunity to play another game.
On Matisse Thybulle: They know he’s an athlete and that he can defend. I feel like he’s a real good system guy and does things right. He shows us in practice that he’s an offensive threat. He does whatever is asked to help the team win.
On the team better off with Marquese Chriss on the floor, not in foul trouble: We’re real good. We need him to be on the floor. We joke about how he can’t stay on the floor. He’s still learning and getting used to it. He’ll get better as the season goes on.
More on Marquese Chriss and fouls: We tell him we don’t need those silly fouls. He knows. It just happens. Then we just move on and keep his confidence high.