FROM SEATTLE -- Emptying out our notebook and passing along some more quotes after Washington State's 72-68 loss to Washington here on Sunday. Read on.
"Kids played hard and we made mistakes on the offensive end, especially, at the end of the game that were critical mistakes and gave Washington a good opportunity to have more possessions than we had. And that makes it difficult to win ballgames."
(Was it mostly because of the turnovers?) "I thought all in all we did a pretty good job on the glass against a team that’s been rebounding very, very well, and most of it was just taking care of the ball. Bad turnovers."
(Was it anything UW did defensively?) "I think Washington did a good job defensively. They got out and pressured the ball, denied. And also I think fatigue factor might have set in. it just looked like sometimes a lack of energy to really, really get open hurt us."
"I thought our guys did some good things. There were some very good minutes of basketball that our guys played. But at the end of the day, we didn’t take care of our business down the stretch, and Washington made plays and we didn’t."
(On the failed inbounds play in the final minute) "We had a couple different options -- first option to Brock (Motum), second option to Royce (Woolridge), and I think Washington defended it pretty well and took away those options we had and five seconds went quick. Before you know it he had to throw the ball in."
(On UW's defense on Motum) "They did a good job, and he did a good job too. I think Brock did a nice job of maintaining his composure and letting the game come to him. At the same time, after 40 minutes he scored 18 points for us, so that’s a credit to him and our guys for getting him the ball in some situations."
(On his team's defensive effort) "I think we had some great possessions. They scored seven points off of shot fakes, five in the first half and a bucket in the second half where we went for the blocked shot, they made a nice little shot fake, one bounce, pull-up and those hurt you after playing good defense for 30 seconds. To give up a bucket like that, those hurt."
(More on the turnovers) "Pretty frustrating, because usually we take care of the ball better than that. If that’s the way we play all the time then it’s like, you know what, that’s just who we are, but we don’t average 18 turnovers a game so I thought we needed to do a better job of taking care of the ball."
(On managing the losing streak) "It’s hard to lose a game, and lose the next game, and lose the next game, and lose the next game. That’s difficult. But I think our team is handling it well all things considered. It’s not like they’re like 'yeah we’re OK, we’ll be back the next game.' They’re not excited or giddy about it. They’ll be back at practice tomorrow, they’ll work hard and we’ll go out Wednesday and we’ll play again. They’re trying to do the best we can."
"We’re definitely frustrated. We came out and were playing well at the beginning. If you take some of the turnovers away I feel like it’d be a lot dofferent of a game. We’ve just got to keep our heads up, we’ve got two more games next week and then we’ve got the Pac-12 tournament. So we’re going to go home, work on eliminating so many turnovers and just keep working."
"We’re not getting blown out. That’s what I always say. We’re just going to stay confident and keep our heads up because every game is close. We fix a couple things, we tweak a couple things, and 4-point losses turn into 4-point wins. We’re just going to keep our heads up and keep grinding because we feel like we can still turn this season around. It hurts to lose, especially all these games on the road but we’re not going to hold our heads down because we know we can play with anybody."
(On the turnovers) "A lot of the turnovers were unforced errors, mental mistakes, so we’ve got to work on being more mentally strong, and I take a lot of responsibility for that type of stuff because I’m the point guard so I’ve got to go home, get my head right and make sure that doesn’t happen again."
(On what caused so many turnovers) "You can’t say it was Washington because we play against the pressure in practice and that doesn’t happen. A lot of them were unforced. Just a lack of focus and knowing what to do. I know on the last one I didn’t have any timeouts and I had to try to get it in and it’s just hard when they’re all covered."
(More on the inbounds pass) "They cut off Brock and we had another option, then we had one more option and they were switching and it was just hard to get through it all. It was rough. No excuses."
(On the offensive numbers) "We shot pretty well today. We’re a good shooting team. We came out hot, we stayed hot for the most part but Washington was just hotter down the stretch. They hit some big shots. (Scott) Suggs, Abdul (Gaddy) hit some big shots, (C.J.) Wilcox ... those three carried them down the stretch."
"It’s hard just because we’ve got to keep plugging away and not having the success we work for and not seeing it pay off is hard but we’ve still got to keep plugging away. This team’s not going to quit."
(Do you think the team improved today?) "Yeah. I think we did. We played really well. We executed, a lot of our problems down the stretch were execution and I think we executed throughout the whole game. So I think we did if you ask me. Our defense was good for the most part."
(On countering UW's defense of him) "We worked on a lot of stuff this week. I think we did. We forced a quick changeup when (Shawn) Kemp was guarding me and (Desmond) Simmons came in and I missed a couple times on a couple looks and I missed a couple easy looks but yeah, it was a lot better response than it was in Pullman the first time."
(On offensive execution) "I think we exceuted really well but down the stretch we had the turnovers, 18 to their 13 and that’s five extra possessions in a 4-point game. It’s hard to come back from something like that."
(Do you think the team has improved during the losing streak?) "It’s hard to say that, but yeah, I think we are. It’s hard to say that when you lose nine times in a row and you feel like you’re getting better each time. It’s tough because eventually you need to put some wins on the board. It’s disappointing but still, no one in the locker room has been giving up. It would be easy after nine games in a row. It would be easy to give up. Anyone. Credit to all our guys. No one’s looking past the next game and no one’s looking in the past. We look at it as we’ve got a 2-week season and the Pac-12 tournament. Hopefully we can finish strong."