FROM LOS ANGELES -- We once again empty out the notebook with some additional quotes from WSU's 76-62 loss to UCLA here on Saturday night. Read on.
(On the lack of offensive in the first half) "It started because we didn’t get stops. If we get stops in a row that’s going to translate into offense and we can be a little more fluid because we can get out and run in transition. But when we’ve got to rebound the ball out of the net, take it out and then get into our set, it just takes so much longer and it kills your momentum. When we can build on stops I think we can build on offense and that just leads to it all. It seemed like every time, the first like 10 plays, we’re taking it out of the net, then getting into our set, and it’s hard because their defense is set and they’re ready rather than pushing it down their throats on the fast break and transition and stuff like that."
(On UCLA's defense) "Their defense really plugged it in. They got some loose balls and we turned it over early and they could run. … I think the second half we played a lot better, we executed our stuff a lot better. We won the second half. But it’s just been all season, we need to put two halves together and once we do that we’ll be a lot better as a team."
(On WSU's second half) "Even though we weren’t hitting shots I thought we executed better. We took our time, knew our sets we were running. There was no excuse to start like that because our defense was so flat. We’ve got a lot of stuff to work on but hopefully we can get the home sweep this week. We’ve got to get in and practice some stuff, make sure we get stops and execute on offense and I think that’ll lead to some more wins."
(On the offensive struggles in the first half) "Offensively I think we came out and relied on too many jumpers. At first they were falling but you can’t shoot 3s the whole game and hit like we were hitting the first four or five minutes, so I think we relied too much on that."
(Did UCLA make it hard to get in the paint?) "Not necessarily. I think we just shied away from … they’re good, they’re very talented, very long, athletic. But I think we could have got into the lane if we wanted to. I just didn’t think we chose the right way to attack them."
(On defending UCLA) "It’s hard to beat a team if they shoot 60 percent. Our average on the season is what, 56 points or something like that? We shot average, they just hit a lot of shots and it’s hard to beat a team if they hit that many shots.
"They got easy baskets and if you don’t make a team work for their baskets, it’s hard. They got easy ones and it is what it is."
(On playing well in the second half) "It’s like I said, when we’re close we still don’t give up. We were down 15 in the first half. We could have gave up and lost by 30, 40 points to a team that good. But we still fought. We lost by 14, so I think we won the second half. We started slow. We just can’t win that way."
(On the first half) "We turned the ball over way too much. We had three turnovers at the end of the first half. We played at their speed, you know. We weren’t executing as well the first half. I feel like we came out in the second half and executed well. Still, we couldn’t get stops when we needed them. Every time we scored, they scored."
(On UCLA's offense) "They just made shots. Every time I looked up they were hitting a shot. Every time they shot I felt like it was going in, just dropping. But some shots we contested pretty well, some shots we were late to rotate. We tried to pack in the key as much as possible and they hurt is in different ways, penetrating and kicking. We tried to pack it in and halftime we tried to adjust and they continued to hit shots."
(On improving in the second half) "We settled. I feel like Coach wanted us to execute. That’s what we talked about at halftime and I feel like we came out and did that. Then again we didn’t get stops."
(On how they improve going forward) "We’ve got to have two good halves of basketball. Lately we’ve been playing one. It’s usually the first half we play good first, and then we play catch-up the second half. So two good halves of basketball, and then defending. I think we did pretty good on the boards, 31-22 I believe today. I think we did pretty good on the boards today, we just couldn’t get stops."
(On what UCLA did defensively) "They were pressuring and denying the wings at times and it affected us the first half. The second half we adjusted. We played at their speed the first half. The second half we played at our speed. We got way better looks and executed."
(On WSU's poor offensive first half) "I thought UCLA did a good job of denying passing lanes. Their quickness and length really hurt us and kind of snowballed into frustration, I think, of trying to execute. It was just hard to execute. UCLA did a good job."
(On not wanting to play as fast as UCLA) "Yeah, because they’re really deep with a lot of talent and I don’t think what we wanted to do was get into an up-tempo game with UCLA on their homecourt especially. That didn’t help the situation. Sometimes there’s a false sense of security when you’re hitting shots and early on, we hit those first five 3s, I think our guys were feeling good. But that’s the first five minutes. There’s still 35 to go and I don’t think it bothered UCLA too much. It might have bothered coach (Ben) Howland. But that’s the way they want to play. They want to get up and down and they’re good at it. So I don’t think it helped us at all."
(On what he told the team at that point) "We still need to run our offense. I’m happy that you guys made your 3s, but we’ve got to execute our offense and if we take a little bit of time off the clock, that’s OK."
(On the second half improvement) "I thought our execution the second half was very good. We set screens, we shared the ball, we got some really good looks at the basket, especially close to the rim."
(On UCLA's shooting) "Speaking of execution, they sliced us up and they made shots. Their shooting was outstanding."
(On UCLA getting so many looks inside) "That was disappointing but when a team starts making shots like that from the perimeter it just stretches you. So now our guys are concerned about the ability that they have to make shots on the perimeter and they attacked the inside. You’ve got to be able to have a balance defensively and stop both to be good."
(On Brock Motum coming around in the second half) "I thought Brock did a good job and I thought he let it come to him, which was good. There were times he made some great passes. Him and D.J. (Shelton). D.J. had six assists tonight, and between your two bigs that start to have eight assists, that’s pretty good. But it also shows that we’re sharing the ball and trying to execute together."