FROM PULLMAN -- We have plenty of quotes to pass along after Washington State's 75-65 win over Utah at Beasley Coliseum on Wednesday. Read on.
(On WSU's 3-point shooting) "It was much needed and the three that I recall the most is I think we were up 47-31 and they ran off 10 quick points. And then sure enough, Brock (Motum) steps back at the top of the key and hits a big three. … That one by Brock, we really needed that. They had a great run going and we weren’t doing what we needed to do offensively and they were getting buckets. Speaking of threes, that was a huge three by Brock Motum."
(On the balanced scoring) "It’s nice to see. It’s nice to see that everybody got involved and I think the reason why, and we talked about it the last few days, is Utah’s a great defense. They really (are). That’s a credit to our guys to be able to shoot the percentages they shot from the 3-point line and from the field against a team like Utah, and we needed those threes. It was nice to see everybody involved because the way they guarded Brock, obviously it’s a chore to get him the ball, and when he does get the ball he’s just crowded so much. So it’s nice to see other guys step up and not hesitate a bit and just fire it up."
(Does Mike just give you what you guys need?) "He really does. That’s a good observation. Here’s a guy, a fifth-year senior, one of our captains, and he shows leadership by example of just stepping up in ways that we need it. I like the way he just lets the game come to him, he doesn’t force the issue too much, plays aggressive, but really does a good job of letting the game come to him."
(On DaVonte Lacy's game) "He came out and he hit the first two threes he shot and it probably just settled him down and had a good ballgame. He did a good job."
(More on Lacy) "We had a little talk yesterday. I said, 'you know, if you don’t hit a three this game, I’m just going to tell people you’re just not a very good shooter, you got lucky your first year.' We’re trying to loosen him up a little bit, let him relax, go out and play the way he’s capable of doing. I thought he did it."
(On WSU's defensive gameplan) "We did a lot of switching. When you end up switching a lot you do that, just like (Jason) Washburn’s on the perimeter a lot too, if they’re switching, they create the switch and bring the big out and now the big’s on the perimeter guarding. We did some of the same things with Washburn."
"It’s the most pleased I’ve been after any Pac-12 win (laughs)."
(Halftime adjustments?) "Really no adjustments. We told the guys, 'keep playing the way you’re playing, they’re going to surround Brock and take that away, but if they take that away, it opens up other opportunities.'
"I really liked the way we executed. We shared the ball well. We had a few turnovers but we sharaed the ball well and we found open guys. I thought our shot selection for the most part was very good and that has a lot to do with shooting a good percentage."
(What have you been working on in practice) "Just be more aggressive and play more confident. I was a little tense at the beginning of the year just trying to get a better feel for the game, but now I have more confidence and just being more aggressive."
(Does it help not handling the ball as much) "I don’t really feel like it makes a difference. I need to help mike out a little bit more handling the ball because mike has to guard the best defender and bring the ball up the court and score points so I’m going tolook to help him a little bit more."
(On balanced scoring) "I think it means a lot because I think five people on our team scored in double figures. That’s just a big confidence boost for everyone on our team. We know what we’re capable of."
(On making 3-pointers) "At the beginning of the game we were hitting a lot of shots and they had to come out and actually defend that, so that gave us opportunites to get into the paint."
(On making shots early) "Yeah, I mean my teammates never lost confidence in me. They always said 'keep shooting.' I’ve been shooting well in practice and stuff, just been getting up extra shots so I knew one was going to fall eventually. I couldn’t miss the rest for my life. As soon as it went in I felt good. … We shot pretty well, I think."
(On teammates stepping up to make shots) "They were going great in the first half so there wasn’t really a need for me to get many touches. When they shoot like that it spreads the defense out. … In the second half there was a lot wide open. In the first half I just had to do little things like try to get rebounds, play good D, get some assists and find my teammates. They were hitting shots, and great job by them."
(On closing at the end) "I think we still have a lot of areas to improve on. We didn’t close it out exactly how we’d like but we’re still taking steps in the right direction from the previous games. We won, so that was the main thing. I think at one time we were up 17. I think we need to keep improving and get the ability to get that to 20 or 25 and not even give them a chance, even if they hit some lucky threes at the end."
(On Mike Ladd's progression) "Last year was not a true representation of how he’s played just because of the injuries he sustained. This year he’s playing confidently, making shots. He’s always been a great player, good defender, great rebounder and he’s a scorer, too. He’s really versatile and I’m really happy he’s stepping up."
"I let the game come to me, and with the offense we ran and Utah keying in on Brock so much, it left guys open and I was one of the guys and my teammates found me."
(Is that how you need to execute regularly?) "Yes, I feel like if Brock isn’t open it opens up opportunities for other guys to make plays and when you key on somebody so much – every time he touched the ball he would have two or three guys on him, so somebody will be open weakside."
"I think it’s real important, especially tonight guys hit shots and I feel like our offense went well. It just all has to work better on the defensive end. If we can get stops, we can get points."