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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883


WSU players after Colorado


(Is there a chance you will transfer to another school for your senior season?)

I think some people might take the easy way out and want to leave, or think we'll be a bad team since we only won one (Pac-12) game this year. For me, I'm personally going to stick it out and turn things around.

(What can this group do to improve?)

I think we need to be more cohesive and I just feel like there were like 15 different lineups and it took until the end of the season to find a group of guys that really played hard together at the same time. Starting out 10-2, 12-2, 10-4, you know those type of starts that it's really tough to come back from. You've got to work your way, climb your way back so I think when that happens, it's really difficult to get back in the game.  Starts will be a big thing to work on during the summer.

(Is it especially important for players to stick around Pullman this offseason?)

Yeah, definitely. I think so. We're getting better skill-wise, which I think we can do in Pullman; we have the right trainers and people to work us out and so I think just change our mentality, continue to get in the gym, get shots up, and then just playing together, having fun and learning each other's strengths and weaknesses and knowing what everyone else can do can really benefit our team.

(If some of the close losses earlier in the year had been wins, could that change the season?)

Yeah, I think it does because it changes your mentality when you put in the hard work and it translates to a W instead of an overtime loss to UW and Colorado. Instead of being 1-12 or something like that, you're 3-11 or something like that. It can change, I think it can do wonders, but that didn’t happen and we only had one win this conference season.

(Did DaVonté Lacy's decision to not transfer for his senior season influence your decision to stay?)

I don't know. I mean, he was a good leader, a good person to have in our program, and I know he worked so hard to try and reverse it. So it kind of hurts me, hurts our team that we kind of took a step down this year, because I think he put us in a pretty good position to succeed with he and coach Kent and the seniors last year, and we kind of fell off the platform, so to speak. It's kind of hard.


(If some close games played out differently would the rest of the season have been affected?)

Yeah, because we were working so hard outside what everyone else was seeing. In practice and the weight room. And when you work as hard as we work, and you get the same result, it's hard to keep bouncing back. If we just would have made a few more free throws in a couple games, and locked up in a couple games, we probably would have had more success and it would have been a different season.

(Do the losses affect you more this season?)

Yeah, it hurts a lot more since I'm a captain of this team and the season we had was pretty bad, was really bad actually. It hurts because you're in a leadership position and people are looking to you to lead, and you guys don't do well. That hurts pretty bad.

(Is there anything you would change about the way you approached this season?)

Since we have seven new guys, the merging together sometimes takes time. We had a lot of slow starts, so if there was one thing I would have changed throughout the season, it would have probably been the slow starts.

(What's your gameplan for the offseason?)

Focus on getting everyone together. I know we're going to get better individually, but individuals don't win games. It's about the team. So, getting our continuity, getting more continuity with the team. And everyone's going to be a year older, and nobody's going to be new, except for our freshmen that we're gonna have next year. So we know what to expect and we're going to have a good season next year.

(Is it important for everyone to stay in town this offseason?)

Yeah, I think it's very important because just staying in town will help us grow together. I think that will be a good thing for everyone, if they could do that.


(What was the biggest lesson you learned this year?)

The biggest lesson was, at this level everybody can play. Everybody's strong, fast, you can't take no days off in this conference. That's a big thing, because everybody plays at a high level.

(What's the biggest thing you want to work on this offseason?)

Be more of a face-up, attack the rim. I've got a good jump shot. Be more explosive toward the rim, play above the rim and just get stronger in every aspect.


(What would you change about the way your team approached that game?)

Josh Scott didn’t play last game, so that was a big adjustment. He's great player and so I guess that changed. We focused on him a lot.

(Did focusing on Scott open things up for George King?)

First couple possession we doubled down on him and that gave a couple guys open shots, and they hit it. So we he was a big force in the game.

(What's your goal for this offseason?)

To get more consistent. We have everybody back except for Junior and Brett, so we basically know what to expect for next year.

(Did it take a while for this team to gel?)

Yeah, well, having a lot of newcomers, they don't know what to expect in the Pac-12, but now they do. So for next year whoever coach Kent brings in next year, they can show them how tough it is.


(How did Colorado gain such an advantage after two close games?)

Defensively we didn't get a hand up on top of shots. The offense was kind of struggling for a minute and it just wasn't our day today.

(What's your priority this offseason?)

Get my mind and body right. Make the right play, learn when to pass and when to shoot. Get my teammates involved and just be a better player all-around.

(Were there times this season you didn't feel like your body was right?)

Coach Thom does a really good job of keeping our bodies right and keeping us healthy. Also, our trainer does a really good job, too.  I had no issues this year.

(Anything the team could have done to have had a better season?)

Just figured it out earlier, so we could have a winning record.

(Did the losing streak ever become an obstacle itself?)

Yeah, it took a toll on us because it was just loss, after loss, after loss. It kind of breaks us down but we just have to be stronger mentally.

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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