FROM PULLMAN — We have our usual Pac-12 roundup after a full slate of games on Saturday. Read on for that and some additional quotes and video wrapping up WSU's loss to UCLA.
We'll begin, as usual, by linking our game story, which focuses on WSU's inability to take care of the basketball. That's something Ken Bone harped on afterward. You can read those comments below. We also had this postgame review on the blog. … Howie Stalwick has this story in the Kitsap Sun. … The Orange County Register's story focuses on Josh Smith's big day. … Here's the Associated Press recap. … Mike Leach made an appearance in the Tri-Cities over the weekend, an appearance you can read about here. … Leach is quoted prominently in this New York Post story about Patriots receiver Wes Welker, who played for Leach at Texas Tech. … Should also note that DaVonte Lacy had his left ankle wrapped afterward, and wasn't available to play the final five minutes or so. Bone didn't have a more specific update than that. Something to keep an eye on.
As for the rest of the Pac-12 …
California 68, Arizona State 47: The Bears sustained some injuries to key players, but they don't sound too serious. And they were still able to accomplish the expected. Twas not a happy road trip for the Sun Devils.
Colorado 72, Oregon 71: Was able to watch the end of this one, and despite the play-by-play announcer's absurd claim that officials are supposed to back off their whistles at the end of games, they got it right. E.J. Singler committed an obvious foul in the final seconds, and the Buffaloes took advantage and stayed tied with California in second place.
Here are some additional comments from Bone and WSU players from last night …
Coach Ken Bone
(Opening statement) “I thought our guys played hard but we played real sloppy and turnovers really cost us. You can’t turn it over that many times. We don’t have a defense for those turnovers that end up in breakaway layups. That really hurt us in tonight’s game. Sometimes turnovers don’t really affect the game as much as they do others. But tonight, those turnovers were costly.”
(On UCLA's height wearing on them) “In a game, I believe the longer it goes, the more a team with height and size, length, they gain the advantage and down the stretch, last 10-12 minutes, their height hurt us. They had a number of layups, dunks that we just had a hard time contesting.”
(On his response to UCLA's zone) “Continue to execute and continue to look for Brock in whatever we do. That won’t change. So whatever we’re trying to do, i thought our guys did a great job of that. We got him the ball quite a bit. He wasn’t quite as efficient in the second half, because I thought they did a nice job with the zone, even in their man, just kind of corralling him, being around. Josh was on him a couple times and Brock tried to go on him and couldn’t get an angle.”
(On defending Smith) “We just kind of changed things up. We tried to change things up depending on what it looked like they were trying to achieve on the offensive end. He’s a hard guy to guard.”
(On DaVonte Lacy's ankle injury) “DaVonte’s ankle’s wrapped. I have not had a chance to talk to him about it. Or his foot. I’m not sure yet. I yelled out 'DaVonte, let’s go,' and they said 'DaVonte’s not here.'”
(On what he takes away from the game) “I think the fact that we weren’t able to make as many threes, we didn’t shoot horrible form the 3-point line the second half, 5 for 14, but we had some really good looks and it would have been nice to make one or two more. I think we executed well but we didn’t make a high percentage of those threes. And then the other thing is, we only had five turnovers in the second halfm but it just seemed like they were costly turnovers, and we couldn’t afford to turn it over, especially late in the game.”
(On UCLA switching to zone) “I would agree. The zone was effective. We stil scored out of it but not like we did in the first half against their man. We have two more threes against the zone, it looks a lot different. But we didn’t shoot a great percentage, and then whenever — the way their zone was set up, we were not able to isolate Brock as well.”
(On whether the zone affected Brock) “I’m sure they did, because I think he had quite a few points by halftime and he was just doing a great job. The zone affected him and if it affects Brock, it affects us.”
(On what he liked defensively) “I like the job we did with a sense of urgency to get to those shooters. I thought our effort was good trying to get out on their 3-point shooters today but again the turnovers, you were mentioning at the beginning of the game but the beginning of the second half, also, where we had two or three turnovers … that’s on me. I’m the head coach. Twenty-three games into the year, we should not be as careless with the ball as we were today.”
(On where they go from here) “I think what we take from it is UCLA has some great talent, they’ve got a number of All-Americans, and we did some really good things today. Unfortunately we lost by a couple points, so that kind of exposes a few things that we did not do well. There’s no doubt that we turned the ball over and at times we didn’t execute well, but there were some things we did extremely well today also.”
(On the turnovers) “I thought there were too many unforced errors. There were a few times where I thought UCLA did a good job with aggressive play, but really the turnovers I’m concerned with were the ones where we were lackadaisical and too comfortable making a soft pass, it seemed like.”
Senior Abe Lodwick
(On the turnovers) “As long as Ben Howland’s the coach of their team, they’re going to be a good defensive team. Good defensive teams force you to turn the ball over, so passes you can sneak through or that you can be a little bit more casual with in other games, it doesn’t work against UCLA. We found that out early and unfortunately we didn’t correct it enough to get the win.”
(On poor shooting down the stretch) “There’s just times shots don’t fall. I felt like we had some good looks. I myself had some good shots late that didn’t drop. Same is true for the guy next to me (Mike Ladd), (and) Brock. They were making tough moves to the hoop. Sometimes those are fouls, sometimes they’re not. Can’t expect to get bailed out. They played good defense, too. They closed out last year, they closed out this year and I can’t wait to play them again.”
(On Motum's performances) “It’s fun to see. It’s fun to see a good friend and a teammate do well and to be a part of that. He’s having success because guys on our team are doing a good job of finding him and he’s getting his spots and we’re getting him the ball, so it’s a team effort. But individually, he’s doing a great job and it’s a lot of fun to see. I’ve known that he’s been good for a while. … It’s not like he’s gotten tons better. He’s just getting a lot of opportunities and he’s making the most of them.”
(On UCLA taking Motum away) “Every team we play is going to try to take him away and he’s done a good job of still scoring. If a guy on our team is taken away like Brock, other guys got to step up. We’ll do that in the future when it happens to Brock and he’s going to score for us too. It just happens.”
Junior Brock Motum
(On the turnovers) “Turnovers in any stage of the game are going to hurt your team, especially when it leads to fast break points and they convert off turnovers. … Take half that back and we win the game by six or whatever. Turnovers, especially down the stretch, were costly.”
(On playing against UCLA's zone) “It was the same thing. The zone didn’t affect me that much, it was just touches. Our guards were hitting their shots on the perimeter so we just go to our strength. If they’re going to hit shots then you just go straight to them. I got my share in the first half. That made them go zone. That stretched it out for our shooters, just play to our strengths.”
(On whether WSU beat itself) “They played really good. I just thought we had them most of the game, the last five minutes they came back and got in front and we couldn’t claw back from behind and get in front. I think they still won, taking nothing away from them.”
(On guarding Josh Smith) “Josh Smith’s a big dude. We just tried to stop him getting the ball, tried to front him, pretty much tried everything. He was still pretty effective. He’s a big dude. Once he gets it down there, there’s not much anyone can do. He played a good game and they ran some good plays and got him some good touches close to the rim and that’s where he was most effective tonight.”
(On Smith on the defensive end) “He’s a big presence in there so you’ve got to adjust your game a little bit. He’s a good player and he’ll be a good player at the next level I think and just taking up space in the key is what he does best, and he plays to his strengths like anyone else would.”