FROM PULLMAN -- Above are videos of Ken Bone, Brock Motum and Mike Ladd answering questions after WSU's 59-50 win over Fresno State on Sunday afternoon. Below are quotes. Read on.
(General thoughts) "Coming off a game like Gonzaga, big game, great crowd, then we come in here on a Sunday afternoon and totally, totally different atmosphere and finals begin tomorrow. A lot of time you’ve got to deal with the adversity at hand and I thought first half we were pretty bad and the second half we were better. But we’ll get better. Every once in a while you take a step back and I thought tonight we didn’t execute like we should have but when it was crunch time that last eight or 10 minutes, I thought we played pretty good basketball."
(On WSU's defense) "I think the job we did defensively – holding them to that, and then 2 for 20 from three, I thought our defense was good. We did not come up with as many defensive rebounds as I thought we should have. For them to get 16 offensive boards was disappointing. When they miss 18 threes, it is hard to block that rebound off. We’ve just got to keep working. We’ll get better at it."
(On Brock Motum in the first half) "Brock, once again, kind of bailed us out with his scoring and I’m glad they never doubled him, which surprised me. Because it allowed him just single coverage and he’s pretty good in those situations."
(On Junior Longrus playing 21 minutes) "Junior’s done a good job. He did not have his best game today but he’s done a good job. D.J. (Shelton) got into foul trouble. He finished the game with three but he had three early in the second half so yeah, Junior played more minutes than usual tonight."
(On Will DiIorio being out) "He did a good job. We really did miss Will. It doesn’t show up on the stat line a lot of times but we missed his defense, his hustle, his ability just to bring it for the 15-18 minutes, whatever he plays per game. We could have really used him out there today."
(Days off for finals week?) "Not a couple. We play Thursday. We’re going to take tomorrow off and the rest of today."
(On handling Fresno's press) 'Not bad. Not too bad. It wasn’t great, it wasn’t perfect but at the end of the day I thought we did OK."
(On seeing more press as the season progresses) "They press a lot. so I don’t think it was a situation where ‘hey, we’re playing Washington State, let’s press.’ We might see that at times. But they press quite a bit and I thought we handled it fairly well."
(On Robert Upshaw) "He’s good. We saw him a lot in high school and we knew that he could really play. Big kid, he’s got a great presence. He gets in there, rebounds. He had six blocked shots. He’s very good. He’s a very good player. We recruited him. ... He’s a very good player. He’s got a chance to be a pro."
(On DiIorio's sprained ankle) "Still sore, probably out another week or two. It didn’t look like there was a lot of swelling, it was just black and blue."
(Are you concerned about a lack of balanced scoring?) "Yeah, I am. That’s why we drew up the play in the timeout to try to get (DaVonte Lacy) going. We just said come down, hit him at the wing and he’s going to drive it, and DaVonte’s pretty good at that. That’s exactly why we did it, to get more people involved in the scoring. Ultimately, I’d love to see 10 guys each score eight points. That makes us harder to guard and less predictable. But it’s not an equal opportunity thing. So we go to our best players, maybe to a fault."
(On turnovers) "Disappointing. I thought our ability to handle the ball and actually to get loose balls and rebounds, just a lot of times it seemed like we were more careless than Wednesday night."
"We still have a lot of improvement to do. We’ve got some really good pieces that I think we can put together and slowly but surely I think we’re doing that. We started off not great but it shows in our potential that we can pick it up in the second half and we’ve got to sustain that the whole game. I think if we can piece the pieces of the puzzle together, we’ll be in pretty good state going into Pac-12 play."
(On the early start) "It’s a Sunday morning, but that’s no excuse to how we started. We had our practice yesterday morning, scout, shootaround, walk through last night because we had graduation during the day."
(On Upshaw) "He’s a big guy. He’s a tough matchup for us down there. We don’t have the size that he has. He’s pretty raw but he has s lot of potential and I think he’s going to be a pretty good player."
(On scoring all of WSU's points the final 14:10 of the first half) "I had no idea. I’m just aggressive all the time. My teammates put me in great positions to be successful. I’m just really thankful for my teammates. If I’m in the position to score, I’m going to score."
(On playing against his former team) "It was fun to get out there and see some guys I played with and some guys I showed around when they came on their visits. A lot of young guys on that squad that weren’t there when I was there. There was some motivation even though we came out kind of soft in the first half. The second half I felt like we played more aggressive and attacked them."
(In what ways were you soft?) "Not rebounding like we should, and when they pressure us, we need to attack more and not be so passive."
(On being more aggressive) "I took on the role the last few games of running point and being a leader out there as a senior. This was a game some guys were cold I usually find, and the guys that usually score, so I felt like we had to be more aggressive. Especially after seeing the first half, nobody was really being that aggressive except Brock and some guys, but I felt like I just have to be more aggressive the second half."
(Does playing the point open things up more for Royce Woolridge?) "I think it is. Royce can score it. He’s a good scorer. If I can be running point I can find him, he can get more shots up and get good looks, as well as the other guy."
(How do you like handling the ball more?) "It’s a lot of pressure, especially since this is my first year actually running point guard but I’m learning and I think I’m getting better at it."