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Quotes From Men's Basketball Coach Bob Bender's Weekly Press Gathering
Release: 02/29/2000
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Feb. 29, 2000

SEATTLE, Graves Builing Conference Room -

ON WSU'S WIN OVER CALIFORNIA:

"They earned that one, they've had so many overtime games and dealing with Jan-Michael Thomas getting hurt, what else could happen. In the last home game for Chris Crosby it was a hard-fought, well-earned victory. It's a confidence builder for them. I thought they did what they've done well to stay in a lot of games, they attacked the glass, but they made plays to win it. It's a reward and that can excite them as a team."

ON WASHINGTON STATE'S CHRIS CROSBY:

"He's a guy who certainly can get hot from three and Kevin Eastmen used to post him a lot. He's coming off the Cal game with a lot of confidence, especially from three and we've got to be conscious of where he's at."

ON SENQUE CAREY'S INJURY STATUS:

"Senque Carey is out indefinitely. He did not practice today. It will be day-to-day. It's a hip flexor injury and where the complications come in is that he has numbness down the front of his thigh. Until that numbness goes away, we won't know what his availability will be. I don't think it's anything that's long term but for right now he can't go. Saturday is quite a while off and I think he will be fine and available to us."

ON MICHAEL JOHNSON'S INJURY STATUS:

"Michael Johnson is fine. He practiced today. It's no problem. It was just an ankle sprain."

ON THE PLAY OF UW GUARD BRYAN BROWN:

"If Senque couldn't go Saturday, a lot of burden falls on Bryan Brown but he's better prepared than he ever has been based on this past weekend. I thought he played pretty well on Saturday considering who we were playing and being behind. He sees things that we want him to see it's just a matter of timing in trying to complete a play. Where his biggest improvement has been is that he's done a good job defensively on the point guard. All we've asked him to do is contain, keep his shoulders square, and keep the ball in front of him and he's done a good job of that."

ON THE CAREER OF SENIOR DEON LUTON:

"Time goes so fast, a player's career goes by so quickly. I remember going out to Del City, Oklahoma and watching Deon Luton play his senior year. He was a high school center and the furthest away I saw him shoot the basketball that night was from the free throw line. How far he has come working on his ball handling, passing and skill work. He worked at it and became a better defender. He's won us some games with his jump shot, none bigger than the Xavier game, this year the UCLA game and last year the New Mexico game."

ON CHRIS WALCOTT'S DEVELOPMENT:

"Chris Walcott is a good role model for a lot of young players. There's a lot of kids who hope to be a division I player and it isn't perfect but they believe in themselves and all they want is a chance and he's that guy. He came here with no guaranties other than for an opportunity and he earned a scholarship in the first year he was here. He went from that to an important part of our rotation and to a starter. He's a self-made guy and he has proven he belongs in the Pac-10. To go from where he was, you appreciate that even more."

ON ANDREW MORITZ'S WASHINGTON CAREER:

"We put him on scholarship this year as a reward. As a walk-on, you have to be at practice at 6:30 in the morning and be at study table at 1:30 in the afternoon and take care of all the other responsibilities yet you're not getting your education paid for and that takes a certain type of sacrifice. Not only for him, but also for his family. Andrew Moritz is one of those guys that make a team better because of the personality that he brings."

ON THE EXPECTED INPACT OF NEXT SEASONS RECRUITS:

"We'll have three guys who can handle the ball like a point next year. C.J. Massingale and Curtis Allen will play right away and compete right away to start. Between now and the start of practice we've got to get them to understand that and not just come in here trying to fit in. We need them to fight for playing time and fight for starting positions. They're good enough to do that and it will also help us as a team. I believe DeMarcus Williams will get right in the rotation too. We need him to become more confident that he can do that. All three of these kids have to come in and help us right away. They're going to help in the areas we've struggled with this year."

Washington Men's Basketball
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