Dickerson: "We're fighting for our lives"

After a career-high 27 points Saturday in a loss at USC, Noah Dickerson is expecting the Trojans to focus a lot of their attention on him Wednesday when the two play again in the Pac-12 Tournament.

But the sophomore said Monday he's willing to go to the mat for his team and do anything he can to make sure they don't leave Las Vegas empty handed. He admitted UW will have to play like a cornered Dawg and fight for every last scrap because their survival is at stake.

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What’s gotten into you lately? You’re playing at a very high level - “I guess I’m finally starting to get it and understand what I can do on the court and where I need to be to be successful doing it on the court. Markelle being out and just us having the season we’ve having, we needed someone to step up and do other things on the court and that’s what I thought I’d do.”

Was it asked of you? - “Honestly, I always thought I could do it but I felt like now is a better time than any. I kind of got the hot hand and coach kept riding with it and I just getting better and better.”

On getting double and triple-teamed - “With the double and triple-team, somebody else is open. With them coming at you kind of wildly, which means once you split it it’s an angle to the basket.”

How do you deal with being one-and-done right now? - “We’ve had games where we’ve been in it and then all of a sudden we have these lapses and then look up we’re down by 10, look up we’re down by 20. It’s moreso we have to focus and play 40 minutes. We need to learn how to end games. Even last game we were with them until about the 12-minute mark of the second half and we lost it. That’s the outcome. We have to be able to finish these games and be the last team to have the last run.”

It’s nice everyone starting from scratch in the tournament? - “Of course it’s in the back of everybody’s mind, but we have to go in there and do what we have to do. We’ve been getting better. We do things in games we haven’t been doing weeks ago. We just have to come in there and do everything that they’ve taught us and play to the best of our ability because it’s win or go home.”

What are you expecting to see from USC on Wednesday? - “From the jump probably a double-team and the way they double-team I don’t think they practice it all that often but going into practice I feel I practice it more. And in our practice guys move when they see a double-team and either cut or relocate. If they stand in the same spot their man can still guard them. I can see their eyes and they are looking at me. If they end up cutting or relocating it’ll be easier for me to make a pass back to them and they’ll be wide open. I’m expecting to see a double-team at the beginning of the game.”

How has your outlook different right now compared to a year ago? - “I was hoping more last year. It was a better season. We were losing games by two, four points. We had a senior captain leading us who had been through it. We were actually winning games. This time last year was more uplifting. We could really go in there, really make a run in the Pac-12 Tournament and this year it’s kind of different. We’re fighting to survive out there. It’s really hard for someone to lead us if they’ve never had a chance to win, especially at this level. We’re just going in there and just fighting for our lives starting on Wednesday.”

Feel strange to already be in a one-and-done situation given how many games you play in a year? - “Yeah. The season went by quick! I’m old. I’m 20. They say all the time college goes by quickly. I just blinked and I’m a sophomore already. I’m 20 years old. This season went by really, really quickly and I can see what coach is talking about from the beginning of the year to now as a team. I know it doesn’t look like it on the stat sheet and the scoreboard but we have gotten a lot better with the things that we’re doing. Just going to this tournament and getting ready to play.”


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