I thought we played extremely well in the game. The difference in the game was the last three, three-and-a-half minutes of the first half when we did not close the game out in the first half. We turned it over. We missed some rotations. They made us pay, got the 11 point lead and there was the difference. We outscored them in the second half but we could not close the deficit that got away from us in that three-minute span. So, we played well. We played better. This team is still looking for a breakthrough game. I still feel we're going to be a factor in this somewhere. Either knocking off a team that's in the hunt for the conference championship, and obviously getting an opportunity to grow.
(Second chance points during USC's run?)
Not only did we turn it over, it was 11-3 in the first half on points off turnovers. Those are unforced turnovers, where you're better off holding the ball and going back and playing defense, rather than giving them layups. But more importantly, we missed some rotations on that backline that gave them second-chance rebounds, second-chance points that cost us the game. That was the game there in that three, three-and-a-half minute stretch of that first half.
(Young players coping with losing streak?)
Each game in itself is a different challenge. It's not about keeping them up, it's about getting better. And we know where we're going. You've got to think again, where was USC last year? They won three ballgames. Look at them now. Where was Cal last year? They lost seven in a row. Washington? Nine in a row. So you've got to keep big picture in mind. It isn't about keeping them up for the next game. It's keeping them getting better for what lies ahead.
(Playing a team for the second time?)
It was just like last year. I felt like last year's team, once they got comfortable with our style of play, everybody we played for the second time around we either beat them or we got a lot tougher. The same thing will happen this year. With seven new players, you can't speed up the process. They have to go through it. Going on the road, some of these junior college players for the first time being in this environment, now they've got to go over to UCLA. They will play teams better the second time because we are getting better, and we can make the adjustments and they'll understand it better the second time.
(Leaning on Ike Iroegbu more during offensive droughts?)
I think we lean on Ike and we lean on Josh quite a bit, and they respond. It's that third scorer, and hopefully a fourth scorer is what we need. That third scorer is huge for us and tonight it was Que Johnson. We need to get more consistency out of that spot where we can put together a game plan and feel like we've got three guys on their game. Ike was fantastic tonight. Josh played another solid game and then Que stepped up tonight and played well.