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February 14, 2009
Post-game Quotes: Oregon
Regarding second-half play - "We weren't really focused. We were playing just to finish out the game. We weren't attacking like we were in the first half, and I think that gave them confidence. We gave them life and they fed off that life. We didn't finish the game the way a champion would."
Regarding the tandem of himself and Thomas - "We're like a two-headed monster. We take a lot of weight off of the bigs shoulder's. They don't have to fight as much to get open, knowing that we can attack the rim and dish it off to them. It all plays out."
Regarding playing against different styled teams in Oregon and Oregon State - "It's very difficult, especially because you only have a day to prepare for them. You go from a zone standpoint to a man standpoint on defense. Oregon shoots a lot of threes, so we really have to emphasize on taking them off of threes."
Regarding entering the home stretch of conference play - "It's about to be a lot of fun. This is where champions come out and play. Once the light is on, we just have to come out and perform."
Regarding Oregon win meaning more to him - "I enjoy it from the standpoint that they're a rivalry, and it gives us momentum going into the UCLA game. I think this win will help build our team's confidence."
Regarding team getting to the foul line - "Coach emphasizes on attacking the basket - either feeding the post or driving. Once we drive, we do a good job of getting contact and finishing. We have drills in practice with pads, where we work on driving to the paint and dishing to the post."
Regarding feeding off of the other guards' play - "I think we feed off of it a lot. We're the ones that start with the ball and try to get it into the big men as much as possible. Especially me J.D. starting off the game, we always tell ourselves that we've got to be aggressive and make pays. When Venoy [Overton] comes in, he's the energy guy."
Regarding playing against different styled teams in Oregon and Oregon State - "I hate the Oregon State defense, I hated it. That's why I like playing Oregon. They get their points out of transition, and that's something me, J.D. and the guards like to do on our end."
Regarding entering the home stretch of conference play - "These last five games are big, especially this next one. We can really separate ourselves from the rest of the conference if we get this sweep [of UCLA and USC]."
Regarding his ability to finish the basket with his left hand while being fouled - "That's something I've worked on. I see what the defense is going to do, and I try to stay in the air longer then the big men. When they come down, hopefully I'm still in the air. It's ust maneuvering and seeing what they're trying to do. Coach emphasizes on being aggressive, and I'm just being aggressive and trying to get to the foul line."
Regarding getting more touches - "Personally it feels better, but it feels the same as a team. This whole year has been about team goals and what each of us can do to make the team better. If we're getting the win and I'm only getting so many touches, that is fine."
Regarding four Huskies scoring at least 20 points each - "It really shows that we can attack from a lot of different areas. We have a lot of different guys that can get the ball in the hoop. It makes it hard for teams to guard, because if you are double teaming someone, there is someone else open on the other side."
Regarding team sharing the basketball - "Instead of doing the one-on-one thing and trying to take on the entire team by yourself, we're passing the ball around and maybe giving up an open look to get someone else an even better look."
Regarding his mediocre first-half play - "You've just got to forget about it. I missed some shots I should have made, and they will bug me a lot later tonight when I think about it, but for the most part I have to forget about it and move on to the next play."
Regarding being able to work the ball inside - "Things opened up a lot and our guys did a better job of looking inside and playing inside-out. J.D. was on fire in the first half, and that stretched them out a bit and gave us a little more room to work inside."
Regarding the state of Oregon's program - "I still look at them as a dangerous team. I can't see them not winning a game in the Pac-10. They're going to have a night where they're going to play really well, and I'm just glad it wasn't us that they knocked off."
Regarding the improvement in his free throw shooting - "I think the best advice I got was from my brother a couple of weeks ago. He said 'if you make it, you make it, if you miss it, you miss it - who cares'. He told me to just have that attitude, and that has relaxed me a bit. It's something I worked really hard on in the summer and it's good to see it pay off."
Regarding playing against different styled teams in Oregon and Oregon State - "It can be hard to just turn your mind around and switch it from finding the seams against Oregon State and grinding it out, to all of a sudden today playing a faster pace game like a track meet. It's tough, especially when you only have one day to prepare. But we know all of the guys in this league, just from watching and seeing each other play."
Regarding being a game and a half up in the Pac-10 standings heading into the UCLA game - "That's a pretty nice spot to be in. That means that USC and UCLA are going to be hungry. There are going to be some battles, and it's not going to be easy. We're going to have to play 40 solid minutes, and we can't come out in the second half and do what we did today, that isn't going to get us anywhere."
Regarding the magnitude of the UCLA game - "I think our guys will realize how big of a deal this is. I will do my best to show them. With this thing winding down and this being my last time heading to L.A. to play these schools, it's unbelievable how much more focused I am as a senior. As a freshman, sophomore and junior, you think it's going to be there forever, and I'm going to try and get them to realize that."
Regarding only having four more home games left in his career - "It's crazy. I never imagined my senior year would go by so fast. It's flown by, but I have to just take it a game at a time. I can't worry about the last game yet. I will save all of my emotions for when that time comes."
Regarding the game in general - "I thought we played really good basketball in the first half. But in the second half, I thought we let our guard down a little bit on the defensive end early, which allowed them to get into a bit of a rhythm, and it allowed Tajuan Porter to get going. Obviously we won the game, all that's good, but we can't allow ourselves to let what happened in the second half happen."
Regarding Tajuan Porter's play - "In the last four games we've played against Oregon, Tajuan hasn't hurt us, we've kind of been able to hold him at bay a little bit, but once they got a little bit of an offensive rhythm, he got going, man he went crazy - that's not the first time he's done that in his career. We knew what he was capable of doing, that's why we've always concentrated on him so much, to try to not let him do what he did. When he gets going like that, it's hard."
Regarding being a game and a half up on UCLA heading into a match-up with Bruins - "That's all it means, we're a game and half up on them, that's all that means. We could come back next Monday and we're in third or fourth place, that's how this league is right now. Do we have focus? Are we going to practice right this weekend? Are we going to pay attention to the details? That's all we can worry about. It's great that we're at that position, we've worked hard to get there, but the moment that we start to relax, Oregon can score 59 on us in a half."
Regarding Quincy Pondexter's play - "[He's] playing sound basketball. He's playing all-around basketball. He's getting a lot done out on the floor. I keep saying he's been like a rebuilt engine. He's taken his game apart and rebuilt it. He's more improved in all aspects of the game."
Regarding Justin Dentmon deserving to be named Pac-10 Player of the Week - "I would hope they would give him high consideration - he's been pretty good."
Regarding getting to the foul line more than opponent - "If you look at all of our games, we've gone to the foul line quite a bit more than the rest of the conference. I think that's just how we play. I don't think this is any different than any other game, We usually try to play inside-out, whether that be throwing it inside, driving it inside or attacking the glass."
Regarding Jon Brockman's play - "I think Jon worked as hard as he's worked in a long time to get open, and just really show himself. That was one of the points before the game, is we wanted to make sure we went inside. The first couple of sets we ran were for Jon Brockman, so we were really trying to get him the basketball the whole game. They tried to front him and not let him catch the whole game, so I thought our guys did a good job, and Jon did a good job of working together for him to get the basketball."