Feb. 14, 2006
On coming road trip: "Well, I think the road trip prior to the last one we swept. We just have to be that team. We also have to understand, and our guys have to understand that if you come back 0-3 you have nothing to show for your efforts. Thirty six seconds to go we are tied at Cal, who is tied for first in the league, and that was on the road. We were up three with 2.1 seconds to go at Stanford, and they are one game behind those teams. Obviously, we didn't play as well in the second-half against Washington State, but two out of three games we are right there. So, I don't think there is anything to look back and say, `what a disaster, those last three road trips'. Obviously, it is based on wins and losses, but we just have to make sure this time that it is 40 minutes and we have a chance to be successful."
On Oregon: "I'm not sure. But, I just mentioned about two of those three road trips we had. Oregon has had similar games to what we have had. Oregon has come close to winning some games. I don't like to whine and snivel about it, the bottom line is you didn't get it done, in our case. But, I think Oregon is a better team than the record may indicate. A missed shot here or there, a turnover here or there at the end of the game, 9.6 seconds with the ball at Arizona they have a chance to tie and win it. Against Stanford, at Oregon, they pretty much had the game in their hands, but they didn't pull it out. Why is that? I don't know the answer to that, but I know they have been closer than what some people give them credit for."
On whether the Huskies are a lock for the NCAA tournament:"I don't think so, and I don't know. I know one thing we can do to get there, win. That is the obvious answer, but the only thing we can go by is what we can control. We've got a game Thursday and that gets us a little closer, then we have the next one. Each one you win gets you a little closer. I would like for us to not be in a position where we depend on anyone else, for a team to win or lose, or anyone on the committee to decide if they are going to pick us or not."
On whether the Huskies are in right now:"If it ended today, then yes we would be in there. No doubt. But still, there are six games remaining. We were 11-0 at one time, and I said we would get there, but we lost five. If they just stopped it today and picked the field, I don't think there is any way they could not pick us."
On biggest challenge at Oregon:"The same challenge we have faced every game this year, playing the way we are capable of for a full forty minutes."
On playing Oregon: "Well, obviously their perimeter is very good, they rebound the ball well. But again, we have got to put forth an effort for forty minutes."
On whether the team has gotten better in the last two weeks:"Well, we won't know until we have played the games. But I would like to think so. I guess the only way that will be determined is if we win the games. Like I said, I thought two of those three games we did pretty well on the road, we just didn't come away with the victory. We come short a point or two again, then it might appear that we haven't learned anything. I would think, it being a couple of weeks later, we are a little better now."
On UCLA out rebounding the Huskies:"They were just more aggressive than we were on the glass. They just went after it. I think we out rebounded them, and the first game their coaches probably said we were more aggressive. But this time they were more aggressive, bottom line."
On Roy winning Pac-10 player of the week:"Well deserved, well deserved. He is playing outstanding basketball. I don't think, and I am not lobbying or anything, that there are many players in America doing as much as he is doing to help his team win basketball games. Some are out there scoring a lot of points, some are getting a slew of rebounds. Brandon is rebounding, he is scoring, he is assisting. They really keyed on him in the UCLA game and he still got seven assists. He is defending, he is taking on teams' best players at times. He is playing as well-rounded a game as anyone."
On whether could have played this way last year: "Not after he was injured. If he was injured then we would have begun to see more of what he is doing now. People tend to forget that he was averaging 20-something a game his first two games last year, and that was in the Great Alaska Shootout."
On Roy coming back for Senior year:"I think, for Brandon, that it was great that he came back. He was able to come back and develop more of a jump shot, more range with his jump shot. He came back and became more of a leader. I just think, for him, that it was great he came back."
On Roy being clutch:"Yeah, you know, I am not telling you that he is Magic Johnson. But, I remember playing professionally, and preparing to play against the Lakers. You play against them, you talk about not letting Kareem scoring. You don't talk about not letting Magic score as much as not letting the ball be in his hands, because he was going to do something that led to a game winning shot. Brandon is the leading scorer in Pac-10 games, in the Pac-10 he is the second leading scorer, but yet when you look at the play at the end of the game that led to the Jon Brockman dunk, he may not score, but he will do something positive with the basketball. It is a great, great luxury to have him on the floor."
On whether Roy is an All-American:"No doubt, no doubt. You look around the country at the big time, and see how many are in the top-10 in as many categories as Brandon Roy is in the league. That is with a team with a winning record, with the potential to be in the NCAA tournament. I just don't know if there are that many in America like that. To me, that is All-American."
On what Brandon Roy is best at:"I think when you begin to critique Brandon Roy's game, one part of it is him being a jack-of-all-trades and a master of none. When you start to pick apart one area and critique him, it is easy to forget that Brandon Roy is doing so well in these other areas. What I mean by that is Brandon Roy is versatile enough, talented enough, and smart enough to take what that game gives him, from each possession. He may get 30 in a game or 25, because the other team's game plan is to let Brandon Roy get his but stop the others. He may get a bunch of rebounds, but Brandon Roy's focus is on how to win the game. Sometimes he may score more, sometimes he may assist more. What is the defense giving Brandon Roy tonight? I think he is able to take advantage of that."
On Brandon Roy not receiving the national attention he might deserve:"Well, I think the way Brandon goes about his business is kind of unassuming. I don't know how many times my wife has said, `I couldn't believe Brandon Roy, I thought he had 12 points.' I said `well, look at the box score too, he had nine rebounds, he had five assists' and he doesn't do them in as spectacular a fashion as some would like to see, but he gets the job done. Another thing is, how many times have you seen Brandon Roy in a crowd of three defenders, and the next thing you know, they are behind him, and he is going up for a lay up. Things he does on the floor where most would run people over and draw charges, or get their shot blocked or travel, and he gets a lay up. You say, `well that was a nice little lay up', well that was hard! That was difficult, but his footwork is so good and he is so smooth, he scores very easily. People take that for granted."
On the new starting lineup: "Well, we are 2-0 with it, and we have to go from there."
On what the new lineup does: "It offsets a little bit, the two. I think Bobby, Brandon and Jamaal in there takes one away of the scorers. One coming off the bench, may give us some boost of the bench in terms of scoring. Not all three are looking for their shots at the same time. The thing with Mike Jensen, he may not fill up the stat sheets with numbers, but he knows our system as well as anyone. He is able to go out and execute within our system as well as anyone. Our defensive concept, offensively where the screen should be set and all of these things, that is just an intangible level of experience that you can't put your thumb on. What we may lose in terms of scoring at the beginning we don't lose in terms of execution.
On how Williams feels about not being a starter:"I'd be shocked if Jamaal Williams wasn't starting and he said `hey great, this is awesome!' He is a competitor, he is a very good basketball player, and you know guys like to hear there names announced. I think initially he was down about it, but he has responded, and certainly his play has shown. He has gone out and played hard, in practice he has come out and worked hard. I think sometimes the initial news, you may not particularly like. But, with his character he has gotten beyond that, and he is willing to do whatever to help the team."
On Williams' minutes: "He is getting the same, and he is getting the same amount of shots. The only difference is that he is not getting his name called."
On whether Williams is happy to come off the bench:"I don't know if he would say it that nicely. But, the important thing is that he has agreed to cooperate with it. If we have got a guy on the end of the bench who says `coach I don't care if I ever play, you are the coach', I don't know if we want that type of player on our team. You want a guy who is fiery, that wants to come back and practice. `I'll show the dumb coach that I should be in there.' He is a competitor, you want that, but you also want the balance so when the coaches make a decision about how it is going to be, then you cooperate."
On whether he will start again:"That is kind of week to week, we will just see how things are going. We went for a long time with the same starting lineup, and we lost a few. We decided to make a change and if we continue to win don't just change for changes sake."
On Oregon State: "I don't think it is revenge at all. I think it is a healthy respect for Oregon State whenever we play against them. At times they have been tough. We were able to get by them pretty easily last year here, but other than that we have either lost them or they have been pretty close. I think our guys understand that. I don't think our guys look at Oregon State and say there is no way that they should have beaten us. We have a respect for Oregon State."
On significance of UCLA win:"When they start talking about quality wins, there is a quality win. It is huge as far as the tournament is concerned. They are our league leader right now. To be able to say that you knocked off the league leader with a high RPI, that definitely does not effect you in a negative way."
On Harvey Perry:"It was his first day yesterday, so he wasn't even a participant in every drill."
On bringing Perry back:"We don't want to bring him back and let him go 100 miles per hour. Whenever you come back from an injury, you like to come back slowly, which is what we are doing with him. I think that is smart."
On how long it might take:"When Mike came back, we were bringing him back slowly, then all of a sudden he was ready. So we will see."
On attributes of Perry:"An excellent defender with a lot of quickness. Contrary to what people think, he is not a point guard, he is just a ball-handling guard. He is very athletic."
On red shirting Perry: "I would say as the days go on, and as you have alluded to, there comes a point where it is senseless to let him play when you only have a couple of games left. So, we have just got to see."
On injuries:"Justin practiced the entire practice yesterday. But, his toe is still a little sore. Other than that, we are ready to go."
On being on ESPN: "I think, you know when ESPN did the "All-access" show last year, you could call up a recruit and they would know who we are just because they watched. I think, when something like that is done, the country sees another side of your program other than when you are out there just playing games. I don't think it is negative at all. If you have a program where you have questionable characters on your teams, and things are not going well then it may not help you very much. We have good kids, so I think it is good."
On what is was like being followed by cameras:"It was awkward, very awkward. Sometimes we were just like `fellas, could you give us a couple'. But they were very good, they didn't ask us to do anything that we were not comfortable with. They were great guys."
On whether the Pac-10 is a solid league:"I think so, I don't know if it was last year or the year before, but things go in cycles. When North Carolina won eight games the ACC was down, they didn't have as many as they do now. I think, no matter what the so called `experts' say, at the end of the day this is still the Pac-10. There are teams in the Pac-10, even though we have taken our non-conference lumps, that are capable of beating teams around the country. The RPI is one criteria, even though it is an important criteria, it is one criteria that they factor in when selecting the field for the NCAA tournament. It is definitely a worthy conference, and when it is all said and done, I think we will get four in, minimum."
On Burmeister and Gasser: "I think both of those guys just want to be able to contribute. They both have tremendous attitudes. One of the most difficult things in sports, besides injuries and losing, is being able to get yourself up to contribute, and not having your name called. The flip side is not being ready to come in and being called upon. You, have to stay up and ready, and I think they have handled that pretty well."
On Zane Potter: "Well, first of all, if you spend any time with Zane you will say that he should be popular. He is a great, great human being. He is witty, he has a sense of humor, he had a fever a couple of weeks ago. He was out of it, couldn't even practice. Finally, he came back and I said ` are you going to be able to play today?' And he said, `yeah coach, don't feel any pressure to start me, I'll work my way in." He has just got that sense of humor, he pokes fun at himself, and he doesn't take life to seriously. He is not a sensitive guy, when you spend anytime with him, you sense that about him, you pull for him. You go out and you see Leon Powe, you see the UCLA big men, you see Brandon, and he doesn't quite look like those guys. So you kind of pull for him, and when he goes out on the floor he gives everything that he has got."
On Joel Smith:"As I said last week, the adjustment Joel is trying to make is that last year he had Nate Robinson, Will Conroy, Tre Simmons, and Brandon Roy out there. All whom took responsibility, and set him up really nicely at times. This year that list of guys has been cut down considerably, he has had to try and make the adjustment of trying to make more plays for himself. It is just the adjustment he is trying to make. Also, as I have said before, sometimes when guys don't play it is not all that guy. There is someone else who is stepping up and doing a good job, and they get all the credit."
On Ryan Appleby: "In terms of Ryan Appleby, you tend to forget that Ryan played sparingly at Florida. Then the second year, he redshirted. He has not had a whole lot of college experience. Then he comes out and scores 18, six three pointers against Loyola, he helped us against Gonzaga with some big shots, and against Arizona, even though we fell short. But at the same time I think some other parts of his game were a little rusty. I think what we have been seeing is Ryan Appleby becoming more of a complete player, without a lot of people recognizing that. The first area is that he has become a better defender than he was at the beginning. He works so hard out on the basketball floor. I also think his ball handling, with pressure, has become better. As the season has progressed, he has done what most people would do who haven't had a lot of experience, get better. I think the same thing has happened with Justin Dentmon, Justin played well at the beginning of the season, teams scouting him and he takes a step back. Now he makes the adjustment and plays above the scout. I think he has gone two consecutive games without having a carrying call against him. He is not over penetrating as much, without a destination. In the end, I think we are seeing a couple of guys who are maturing as the season goes on. That is what is supposed to happen."
On gauging how well Dentmon will play: "How hard he is playing. A lot of players feel that if they hit their first shot, they are ready. A lot of times, that has nothing to do with it. You are focused, you are getting down and playing hard and getting lost in the game. I think a lot of times that will help you, in that regard. If you remember back to the Air Force game, he didn't do anything in the first half, then he came out and scored 12 points in the second half. In the Gonzaga game I don't know if he did a lot in the first half, but in the second half, he took over. So, you can't really judge him on how the early part is going. You have to judge him on what kind of intensity and focus he has."
On his play since "the foul":"He handled it like a man. He didn't make excuses. He took it upon himself to say, it is my fault. He was mentally wounded for a few days, but I don't think he has had a poor performance or averaged a poor performance since that game. He has played very well since then. It is good to see him bounce back like that. He has got character, he is capable of doing that."
On how the other players helped him recover:"You know what, I am not in the locker room all the time. I am not in the dorm room with those guys. But you know what? You have to give a lot of credit to those seniors, and the way they handled it. You know, I didn't sense that they were bickering behind his back. I am sure they teased him a little bit about it, but they supported him, they stood by him. I think that has helped quite a bit."
On Jon Brockman: "I think has done great. He is rebounding the ball well, he is fourth in the league in rebounding as a freshman. Other than Mbah a Moute I don't think any of the freshmen are doing that well on the boards. He is scoring about nine points a game for us, as a freshman. If you are a freshman and you are scoring eight points a game anywhere, you are doing a good job. He is scoring nine. He has picked up what we are doing defensively, and, especially when the game is rugged, you need him out on the basketball court."
On where the team is mentally: "I say this far to often, but if we can go on the road and play well, I like where we are mentally. So in these two games, I like where we are, going down the stretch."
On team's confidence: "I would think with the two wins last week we are fairly confident. But instead of blindly optimistic, we are cautiously optimistic. I think that is where we are at."
On whether Hairston can take over a game: "Yeah, yeah the same goes for Aaron Brooks. Those guys are talented. Any given night, they can go out and dominate a game."
On overall progress: "If we can go on the road and handle our business the right way, then I can say we are definitely headed in the right direction. Then we are headed the right way at the right time. You know, we have the four guys who have gone through the wars, the seniors. But those are the only ones who saw significant time last year. They experienced tough times, and great times. They have experienced blowouts, and getting blown out. So, when you do that much together, you can pretty much handle anything you are faced with. This year's group hasn't experienced that as much. But with every game we play, the more we mature."