Opening) I’ve said this several times this year, I just couldn’t be prouder of our team. This is a good Stanford team. They have Aaron Bright back. They have their guys, except Anthony Brown who’s obviously out for the year, but they’re hard to defend. Our guys came out and held them to 26 percent in the second half. It was just a great team effort. Aziz hits those free throws down the stretch, it was awesome. Desmond Simmons, even though Dwight Powell scored 19, he had to work for those. Desmond did a really good job and gets 13 rebounds. C.J. almost gets a double-double, just hit big shot after big shot. Just a great effort by our guys against a really good team.
You were concerned about all the travel. How did you handle it?) I felt like I was interested to see how it would go with the travel. I thought we had strong lefs at the end and strong minds. So, maybe it didn’t affect us.
What was better about the defense in the second half?) There was a certain way we wanted to defend certain players. We were helping off the wrong guys in the first half. In the second half, we got it together. We were better in remembering who we were supposed to help on and who we weren’t supposed to help on.
Why N’Diaye on Huestis and Simmons on Powell?) I’d like to say it was a great genius move on our part, but we went back-and-forth 75 times and then we were going to change it again, because we just weren’t sure what it was. But Aziz did a good job of staying in front of Huestis and moving his feet, because they certainly attacked him and went at him.
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The rationale behind it was, when you look at their statistics, Powell has many more shot attempts and many more free-throw attempts, which means he’s more aggressive and a more intrical part of their offense than Huestis. If he’s going to have more reps at it, we felt we put Desmond on him because he was going to go at it some more than Huestis would.
We kind of thought that this is the best that we can do with the people that we have, Just make sure he doesn’t drive around us. See if he can make shots outside and he made his first one and after that he slowed down.
Wilcox vs. Randle in the second half) I thought, again, we played smarter in how we were defending him. We stayed down and kept him in front of us.
High-post seems to be giving you good shots late in the game) Whether we would have won or not, the questions was asked of me earlier, why change, that was one of the reasons I said. I thought in the last five minutes of the game, we could get better shots and I knew that when we were in halfcourt, we ran this, we would get better shots and our guys are comfortable in it. We sprinkle in a different set or different wrinkle, I thought we got pretty good shots at the end.
It seems you really aren’t rattled then) No, because guys know where all the pressure releases are. They know if you guard it one way, there’s an escape hatch, so to speak. And our guys now, we didn’t understand those as much and we’re still learning them, not flowing like we’d like to be, but we have an understanding of that and it helps us to not get rattled.
Timeout when you were up six with 11:38 left?) We wanted to rest our guys. Couple of guys were getting winded. C.J. was getting winded and if that game keeps going back-and-forth, maybe we use everything up we still had in the tank. We still had some left and we wanted to save that, so we called the timeout.
To win your first three on the road, how does this set you up?) If you don’t lose your advantage when you’re at home, then it puts you in a favorable position. If you split on the road, that’s pretty good. But, we were able to sleep three on the road and I’m ecstatic we were able to do this. But, we can’t give our homecourt advantage away now and take a step back and throw away what we worked so hard for the last two weeks.
This team believes in each other. It really does believe in each other. The camaraderie and chemistry that we spoke about earlier in the preseason, I think is really starting to take shape.