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Brett Boese and Josh Hawkinson after Utah



(What did taking Valentine Izundu out do to the interior defense?)

We tried a variety of things. Fronting, doubling and it just seemed like the help-side (defense) wasn't there. That allowed them – especially Poeltl – to get easy layups inside.

(How much did the turnovers affect offensive momentum?)

It just kind of set the tone for the rest of the game. Once we get down early, it's kind of hard to come back from that. That was pretty much the outcome of the game and that set the tone for it.

(How much harder is it to defend Jakob Poeltl when Kyle Kuzma is also playing well?)

It's hard because they have that inside-out presence where they can dump it in. It's hard to double people because they have such good shooters from the exterior, so it was a tough matchup for us.

(Did you see anything new from the freshmen who played for the first time in a while?)

They got a chance to go out there and show themselves. I think (Robert Franks) stepped up into his role. Viont'e got some valuable minutes that he'll need and learn from, and he can grow from that. His sophomore and junior years are coming up, so I think it's valuable to have those guys coming off the bench and provide some good minutes.


(How hard is it to play with energy when the game seems over so early?)

Yeah, I think it just comes down to your character as a person. You've got to play hard every possession, no matter what the score is. In those situations it makes it hard, but you've just got to continue to play. There's no ways around it. You've just got to continue to play hard every possession.

(Still something to gain from a loss like that?)

Of course, of course. You can always gain, you can always get better. We have a lot of young guys on the team. Junior and I are going to leave this program next year – those guys have so much growth and so much potential for them. They show it every day in practice.

(What's the confidence level like with the losing streak?)

It's just one of those things where we have to rally around, together. Everyone in the locker room has to circle the wagons and play for each other. And know that we have to get better every day. It's a journey; it's not game-by-game. We need to continue to get better, this program needs to continue to get better and the young guys need to continue to learn, as fast as they can, how tough this conference is.

(Does longer perspective help you work through tough games like this?)

I can only speak for myself. For me it's just a character thing. It's all about who you are as a person, to continue to play every possession as hard as you can, no matter what the score is. I can only speak for myself; I don't know about anybody else.

Jacob Thorpe
Jacob Thorpe joined The Spokesman-Review in 2013. He currently is a reporter for the Sports Desk covering Washington State University athletics.

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