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Video: Ernie Kent after Arizona


 

ERNIE KENT

Looking at tape, I thought that was as good as Arizona's played in a while. And I know Sean has tried to get his team back in a rhythm after opening up on the road with two tough losses.

And they certainly have gotten back in the rhythm. I thought they played extremely well in the game. They were physical, they shot it well from the perimeter. We had no answers for them inside. We doubled early on, the perimeter got hot. We tried to take care of the perimeter, the big guys got dominant. So again, hats off to them; I thought they played terrific. We've got to get a little big better before we play that team in Pullman.

(What you liked early in the game?)

I thought we played with great energy and great focus on the game plan. We were able to control the tempo by getting up and down and I felt like we were in control of the game early, and stayed connected with them.

Mentally, we had some slippage. And they're too good of a team to have some slippage down here in this building and on the defensive end of the floor. All of a sudden, you give up a 3. You give up another 3. We gave up three 3s in that first half that should not have happened, by three different players, and all of a sudden their confident, starting to feel good about themselves, and they controlled the first half down the stretch.

(Offensive tempo open the door for Arizona to make runs?)

Not necessarily. They play fast, too. They're a very, very good basketball team. They can score in a lot of different places. They're very good. When they're on their games, they're going to put up points.

(What you saw from Robert Franks building on Thursday's game?)

I just still see maturation of a player that's kind of growing up here on the road. He's getting some more minutes obviously and we'll continue to bring him along.

(Crowd contribute to mental slippage?)

You'll have to ask our guys that. I don't know -- this crowd gives a lot of fuel to Arizona when you play down here, so I don't want to say the crowd had an affect. That's us.

(Biggest thing your team learned on this road trip?)
I think they learned how hard you have to play on the road. I think they understand how tough it is to play, particularly dealing with other people's crowds on their floor. Dealing with officiating, everything. You've got to be able to handle all of that. Calls are not going to go your way. So, it's mental fortitude that you need on road. And for new guys coming into the program who don't quite understand that, they have to go through it to understand. So hopefully the road will allow you to come back and regroup and play better next time we come down here.

(Would you like your players to shoot more 3-pointers even if it brings down their percentage?)

I like them to shoot good shots.  So if it's a good shot, if it's a 3, shoot it. I didn't think we had a lot of good looks tonight, because I thought their defense was pretty good.
 



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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