Quotable: Cougs fall short at Oregon
FROM EUGENE — We have a few remaining quotes to pass along from WSU's 68-61 loss at Oregon on Wednesday. Read on.
(On Oregon's pressure) "It seemed like they turned the heat up in the second half and we didn’t handle that pressure as well as we had hoped."
(Did that wear you guys down?) "It very well could have. They’re a quick, quick backcourt. They’re a quick fonrtocourt. There’s a reason why they’re ranked 16th in the country. I think first half we did a great job but I think second half they came out and just turned the heat up and it hurt us."
(Did you think your players tightened up after they got that lead?) "I don’t think so because I don’t think it would have set in like the first minute of the second half. But I thought where we got hurt was that first four or five minutes of the second half. They kind of set the tone in an aggressive fashion and gained the momentum and we never really rebounded from that. We hung in there for a little bit and then down crunch time they did a good job defensively, but they didn’t defend the free throws very well, but we didn’t make those either. So the fatigue factor could have very well played a part."
(On getting the lead back after falling behind) "I felt like we were hanging in there. I didn’t feel like, 'hey we’ve got a huge run now,' but I felt like we were hanging in there, we were in decent shape, a couple guys in foul trouble.We were in decent shape but that’s when we’ve got to be able to execute things and, again, make free throws. We weren’t able to do it."
(On Oregon's rebounding) "Their rebounding on the offensive end, especially in the second half, was superior to what we did."
(On playing Keaton Hayenga toward the end) "Great shooter. Keaton’s been lighting it up in practice. Not a real active kid, not super quick so sometimes it’s hard to defend at this level. But we thought situational, if there’s a situation we can put him in to get a shot up he can shoot it. So that’s what we did."
(Were you getting good looks from 3-point range in the second half?) "Probably not as good of looks. The first half we had some great looks, some really open shots. It’s hard to gauge the leg deal but when you have a few guys playing 38 minutes, 34, 34, it makes me wonder if the fatigue played a big part in that."
(Is there anything you can do to offset that?) "I guess there is, but what I want to do as a coach is try to stay in the game. So sometimes I feel like if we rest certain guys too many minutes early on, it’s sometimes difficult to stay in the game. Tonight’s situation, I felt like we were playing good basketball so therefore we kind of milked it and went with the guys that were getting the job done to be up 39-29 at half. Second half, we tried to use timeouts and slow the game down a little bit if we can and hopefully play well and make shots but it didn’t happen tonight in the last 20."
(Did their pressure bother you?) "At first, but we expected that and had to adjust and after a while we slowed them down and got in our offense pretty well."
(Did that wear on you at all?) "They got some small guards but they’re pretty quick, especially guarding. They make you work. And that slows us down offensively and it kind of makes you tired."
(Does that affect your jump shooting?) "Yeah, it does. Being out there you’ve got to work especially when they’re playing you so tough and tight you have to wrok, especially at the point guard position because they’re quick on d so you’ve got to work to get the ball across the court and on the defensive end you’ve got to work on the defensive end so you get pretty tired off that too.
(Did you get as good of 3-point looks in the second half?) "I felt like offensively, second half, we had a lot of late shot-clock attempts and they play good D, and it was tough to run the offense with them playing the defense they were playing. But at the end of the day we’ve got to attack and find open guys or attack and lay the ball up or dunk it. Just got to make plays."
(General thoughts) "It was nice early on and then just couldn’t keep it up in the second half toward the end. They hit some big shots and we missed some. We weren’t great at the line toward the end, which hurt us, but that wasn’t the only factor. … All in all it was a good game. I think we got better. They’re a tough team but we should have had that win."
(On Oregon's offensive rebounds) "When you think you’re playing great D for 34 seconds, the shot goes up and they get the ball, you know? Another 35 seconds you have to play and it’s just tough when you have a couple of repeats on their offense because wear and tear on defense is obviously tough but when they get a second chance it makes it tougher."
(On how Oregon guarded him) "There were a couple different guys that guatrded me. Sometimes help was coming, so they'd play man-and-a-half, so if I look to drive there would be two guys coming. They just mixed it up and it was hard to read but I think next time we’ll get them."
(On Oregon's rebounding) "I think we just lost our attention to go box out and find guys and keep them off the glass. They have a couple guys that are big, strong, athletic guys so if you’re going to just go out and try to compete and try to outjump each other, then it’s going to be hard to keep a team as athletic as them off the glass. I think we need to just get back to finding a guy, our principles that allowed us to have a rebounding advantage early in the game and allowed us to get a lead early in the game."
(On Oregon's deep frontcourt) "It definitely makes it a little harder, but I think in the first half we showed if we play as hard as we can and we pay attention to detail, we can kind of counter that with how hard we work. It definitely would make it hard for any team when a team is a little deeper than you as far as long, strong, guys like that."
(On fatigue playing a factor) "Maybe, yeah. Definitely if you look at the free throw aspect of it. Mike, I don’t think I’ve ever seen Mike miss that many free throws in practice or in a game, so definitely fatigue probably had a part in that. Brock is playing however many minutes he’s playing. It’s definitely got to be a little harder for him to hit shots and rebound and stuff like that down the stretch. To a certain extent it has to play a role deep in these late games that are close."