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TELECONFERENCE QUOTES
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Courtesy: Washington State Athletics
Release: 02/17/2009
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On USC...
"They played a triangle and two, some box and one for about half the game. At times they'll really face guard your two good players, and you have to have other players step up and knock down shots. They'll have Dwight Lewis, who wasn't present (last time we played them), their leading perimeter scorer who provides the threat, kind of like Calvin Haynes for Oregon State. He can score in a variety of ways so that will certainly help them. We'll have to play and attack whatever they throw at us."

"After coming off of this weekend where (we) played well against Oregon, played well for half against Oregon State, and frustrated to not be able to play well in the second half. The test will be to our guys a lesson of life, 'Can you dust yourself off and get back up and try and finish strong?' That will be the challenge because our last five games are against the league's top five teams the way is sits right now, although that can change. That will be a tremendous challenge. To your original question, they are physical defensively. Coach Floyd has those guys playing good defense. We try to play real solid defense so hopefully we will shoot a little better than last time."

On bouncing back after the Oregon State loss...
"Time will tell. I know they were discouraged. I was frustrated, but, as I mentioned...we have talked about it before when we have been in this spot. Young kids seem to respond a little better than older coaches and guys as far as their feelings. It is a tremendous challenge and great lesson of life. `Can you get back up? Can you get back up and go play?' We will need to do that against this kind of competition."

On the play of Klay Thompson...
"He's been real solid. I just think he's...he's at times creating his own shot. He's playing a little sounder, good shot selection. You're seeing his range...there's small things he can work on and you know, defensively, he gets, at times, like a lot of young kids, loses some vision and gets exploited. But even there he's working harder. He's just improving. He's a heck of a player. I think he'll have a nice future as he gets stronger and keeps working on individual improvement. Like I said, he's a marked man and he's been able to produce some and I'm sure that will be tested quite a bit these next few games."

"I don't put expectations on guys in terms of what kind of numbers they'll have and this and that. I expected him, once he got here and we watched the preseason stuff, I knew he'd be one of our significant scorers. He's wired to score. I knew he had this ability in him and to see him doing it at a so far pretty consistent level is good. He's his own harshest critic, he'll point out things when he needs to get better...But I think, I like what he's becoming and I thought even in the Oregon State, not to change, but I thought Marcus, DeAngleo and Klay, all three of them did some nice things. But Klay, he's making the most of his opportunities and I think as I mentioned last time, these experiences are good for him. But I know he wants to win and I know he gets frustrated and I like that. I like that he's not at all like `oh look at me'...he's not shocked that he's scoring and doing these things, he's wired that way. He expects to compete and to play well and I like to see that in him. A lot of good freshmen in this league, I'm sure there will be some ups and downs and he's, up to this point, done some good things."

On the Pac-10...
"It's a better league than most people think. It's up there with most of them, I'll be honest with you. I don't know if it gets the, if there truly is an East Coast bias or not, who knows about all of that, but it deserves a good amount. What did we get last year? Six in? I think that should be considered this year, I really do. But again it will depend on records and how all the conference tournaments and upsets and things like that. It's a quality league...look college basketball isn't quite as strong as it was last year I don't think, at least a lot of the teams...I don't think there's quite as many, there's more parody. But I think the Pac-10 is a pretty solid league and I've heard people bang on it a bit, but I think as the season's progressed it's showed It's pretty good. Of course I'm biased, but I really think it is. It's a well-coached league. If there's not five teams or six teams in, than I think something's wrong."

On USC's tough loss to Arizona State Sunday...
"Yeah, I'm sure they'll... this is an important stand for them and their postseason hopes and their NCAA chances, the spot they're in. I'd love to be in their spot. We're not looking quite that way from a Pac-10 record. They'll have to fight like crazy, but if this league has taught me anything...every team's capable and you don't know when your night's going to come. I've said that many times, but it really is true. I think teams can go on the road and win in this league...it's harder. I take my hat off to Oregon state for coming into our place and doing it to us. They'll (USC) certainly be ready, but I believe that if we're ready and play well, we're capable. If we don't, we're not and that's pretty much the case with pretty much...it might be 10 teams this year. There were a few teams last year that could not come up with their best performance and still win, I don't know if that's the case this year, I think you have to play pretty high level basketball to win in the league, whereas last year a few teams probably didn't have to."

On the starting lineup...
"We'll take a look at it and see. I thought we played pretty well against Cal, Oregon, half of the Oregon State game. But I'll look at it...a lot of it has to do with match ups, what they're going to do, how they're going to play. I thought Marcus played pretty well. But personnel wise I think we're pretty locked in with our four guys and it's just a matter of who that fifth starter would be and it's kind of rotated between Daven, Marcus, Nikola...those three are kind of fighting for that spot. And it just really depends on the week of practice, the couple days practice and the personnel we're playing against."

On the second-half struggles...
"It is (frustrating). I talked to our guys about it. I said, `mental'. My father would always tell guys `it's a neck up game.' I think when you get to this stage of the year and you've had so many reps physically and systems are in place and knowing what needs to be done, there's not as much confusion. It becomes competitiveness and all that stuff is defined by how sound you are mentally, how tough-minded and I think that, that's what's sometimes maybe has frustrated me, as some of our lapses haven't been getting over. I can handle being beaten and you're going to have mistakes in games, that's part of the game, every team will have them. But when there are some unforced errors or the unnecessary lapses mentally, that have occurred, and I think that's what the rest of the year is for most teams...how mentally sharp and sound they will be down the stretch run. So that's always the challenge and when that falls away or you lapse just a little bit, that's the stuff that doesn't sit well with me."

Washington State Cougars Men's Basketball
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