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TELECONFERENCE QUOTES
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Courtesy: Washington State Athletics
Release: 03/04/2009
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On WSU's recent play ...

"We were successful in the last three (games) in different ways... Our defense had to win it for us against Arizona State. Against Arizona I thought it was a pretty complete game for us, and playing against a different style. We handled the ball well, in the second half we played well. And against UCLA we didn't defend well, but we really scored; certainly a huge performance by Taylor (Rochestie). But those are three different ways that we won. I think a team that is good needs to win in different ways. You can't always win the same. I'm not worrying about so much even the wins and losses, or postseason play. Let's just get as good as we can and if that qualifies us for something, so be it. But that's been the focus. So from that standpoint, I like that they've finished some games and we've had some good stretches and won in different ways."


On the changes since playing Washington last...

"I think everybody in the Pac-10 is a different team. I hope we're improved. Certainly Washington looks terrific; you can see that, in that environment. All you can be is yourself. I hope in some ways we've gotten better, and with the mix of personnel that we've had with so many young kids and seniors identifying their roles and being in different roles, I hope we're better in that standpoint. I think our rotation is a little tighter. I think we understand what we have to do to be in games more than maybe we understood that earlier in the year. The momentum and all that, that doesn't guarantee you're going to be able to do it in a setting like that, but at least you have a better knowledge of what needs to be done. That is a very important aspect of trying to compete against high-level teams."

 

On games within the game against WSU...

"I won't get too caught up in that. Like I said, I just want our guys to be ready. Taylor and Aron didn't have the best overall games for their senior games. So, hopefully that will be a similar showing for those guys (UW's seniors). They have secured a conference championship, so I don't know if they'll feel that. They can win one outright against us, Washington, so there's going to be a lot of juice in that building, as there always is. But as far as the games inside the game, yeah there are some great matchups. Watching Aron and Brockman in years past, two warriors banging when they go at it, that will take your breath away. I've always enjoyed watching that. We were talking about memories and that was Coach Heideman's memory of Aron. Watching him and Brockman, just how physical, go after each other. And I hope Aron will bring that same kind of mentality, we'll need that. Yes there are good matchups in the guard core, but we've got things we have to do, and that's going to be the focus this week. You're going to have to be able to keep them off the glass to the best of our abilities. Handle their extreme pressure, and play with a toughness that if it's not there, they'll find you out awfully quick."

 

On playing with momentum...

"Whenever you have a few victories you try to build on that. But you have to look back at them and the team you're playing... Just because you've won three in a row, it doesn't guarantee that you're going to play that good. But it gives you a knowledge of how we have to play. So, momentum is important, no question about it. I've been in this game long enough to know that that's important, especially with a lot of young kids. But, it can be taken away quickly if you're not ready to go. Our kids have to understand how probably we're playing against the most athletic team one through five in the Pac-10. In their place, in that environment, in this kind of game, on a senior night, all of those things, it will take your breath away if you're not ready for it. Because they have overwhelmed people with their quickness and intensity. At this point of the year it's about what team can play their style of ball best, and be sound in that."

 

On recruiting Klay Thompson...

"We had gotten a commitment from a player in Seattle and then we had seen Klay and really liked him that summer, but we were full with our scholarships. Then when the player de-committed to us, that opened a scholarship so we went guns a blazin' after Klay. Really liked him in the summer, didn't have (a scholarship) and then really, really liked him when we had one. We went after him hard. At the time it was Notre Dame and Michigan were really after him and most of the Pac-10 schools were done, as we were up to that point. So, we were really fortunate to be able to go after him at that point. That was the July recruiting period. He was a late bloomer. He got better and better as the summer wore on and certainly as his senior year wore on. Having (a scholarship) late was the reason we could pursue him. We saw him in the spring, a little bit, and we liked him. But I don't think a lot of people were after him in the spring. It's in the summer as he got going and had some big games. Then all of a sudden there's a buzz about him and we all of a sudden had one available. We did see him in the spring a little bit and he just got better and better. Mike Burns, who was an assistant (at WSU), was the coach for him in Pump `N' Run. I talked to Mike and he was like, `boy this kid is really complete. He's really good.' At the time we didn't have one, but then when we did, Mike sung his praises. Certainly, as did the Pump brothers and people you talk to who had seen him. The scouting services said he was really coming onto the scene, and obviously you could see it once you got to see him in July. But Mike was coaching him and that helped us make a really solid evaluation."

 

On matchups for Marcus Capers against Washington...

"We're trying to get Marcus to play as well as he can. That's something he can really give us when he's locked in and energetic defensively. Whether it's (Justin) Dentmon or Isaiah (Thomas) that will be a natural matchup, one of those two. They're starting Pondexter at the three, so Klay will probably match on him, so we'll have some matchups. But (Marcus) will have to play well whoever it is, because that is what makes Washington so good, their guards. Then you've got a kid like Venoy Overton, who I think has changed games with his defensive pressure, and just taken apart other teams' pressure because they can't handle his pressure. Their guards are very good. Their athleticism one through five, this is the year, I feel like, they've said they've been building for, and they've shown that with a league championship."

Washington State Cougars
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