COACH HERB SENDEK
On confidence and skill:
"Well I don't think the two are separable, one goes hand in hand with the other. Through our hard work and diligence, you gain greater confidence and your belief system is bolstered. The best way to be confident for the test is to prepare well, not to cram the night before. I think our psyche will continue to improve as our work ethic, preparation, and diligence to get better every day continues."
On road games:
"We haven't been as good as the people we've played on the road. Our performance has not been up to a standard that would allow us to come away with wins."
On playing at home vs. away
"I think in the most general sense, most teams tend to be some measure better at home. The top teams in the country, like Syracuse, are winning at home and away but most teams tend to be some yardstick better at home. There may be some exception to that but right now we are one of those teams that play better at home. That hasn't always been the case; we've traditionally been a pretty good road team. Right now, I don't think its as much a function of where we play but its how we play. I also don't think its as much of a function of who we play as what we do. Our focus has to be internally. Its not about the opponent, its about us. Its not about the site, its about us."
On our focus:
"We are tremendously motivated to have a great practice today on the heels of an outstanding practice yesterday. Every time we take the floor, we're going to do our best and we're motivated to do well. Hitch hiking on what I just said, for us its not about Washington or Washington State. Its about Arizona State. Its always about us and we're going to invest everything we have. We are tremendously motivated."
On moving forward:
"Just like I said, to have a great practice today. To teach the game, to learn the game, to get every bit of juice out of the peach that we can, to enjoy the process, to be consumed with the process, to instinctively and desperately find every which way to get better, to have fun in the process, and to give everything that we have."
On the NCAA tournament and bids:
"I haven't paid any attention to it at all. Obviously the only way we would get a bid is if we won the tournament so I'm really tuned out. I have a deaf ear to it. A couple years ago we finished second in the conference with 12 conference wins and didn't get a bid. Everyone said that our league was down that year and by some metrics it was. But the reality was, Cal got in and did well in the tournament. Washington won the Pac-10 tournament and made a heck of a run and I think represented our league very well and we had finished ahead of Washington that particular year. Its not an exact science. I don't know how you differentiate between teams in college basketball at that margin anymore. You saw it this past week where in Salt Lake, Utah could have named the score against us and we were fortunate enough to win this week. So its always the next game."
On the team's health:
"Fortunately for us we have nobody on the sideline right now. We have some of the normal bumps and bruises that you have by mid-February. Trent continues to do well but I don't know that he'll have his normal explosiveness any time for the remainder of the season. He did most of what we did yesterday but we have to be careful and make sure we keep a good pulse on how he feels."
On improving field goal percentage:
"On a more serious note, one of the ways to be a better shot making team is to first be a better passing team. That has hurt us as much as anything. Its reflected in our turnovers, its reflected in the missed open cutters that we have. I can show you any number of clips where we have guys who are open that we're not hitting on time. That has an impact on field goal percentage. Its not because our guys are selfish or they don't have a willingness to do it but we have to become better at seeing and passing. Those are two things that haven't been our strengths this year that we're working hard at getting better at. One guy who does that very well for us is our freshman Jonathan Gilling."
On being imbalanced:
"For me I think its really good if we're completely out of balance. By that I mean that we need to be way out of balance in favor of fundamentals and right now we have to be out of balance in teaching. Teaching needs to be higher than coaching. There's a profound difference between teaching and coaching. Fundamentals need to be higher than schemes. If we're out of balance its because we should be. If we're not, than that's my fault."
On how often we don't hit the open man:
"Frequently. Its hard to quantify what I mean by frequently but suffice it to say it happens far too often. In some instances we're making plays that we shouldn't make. We're trying to thread the needle and make too difficult the play. We have both forces working against us. In one hand we're failing to capitalize on some openings because of our vision and our passing and then because of our decision making we're trying to make some plays that we have no business making. It seems to me the Broncos took advantage of Tebow's strengths. He didn't try to make a lot of plays that we're outside of his box. In other words he didn't try to play like Brett Favre. Its ok to no be able to do certain things as long as you know that. Sometimes your success is a function of the plays you don't make. So we have to get better at that area and simultaneously seeing and hitting the open man. Sometimes guys are worth their weight in gold because of they plays they don't make."
On his ankle:
"Pretty happy with the way it held up. Its obviously still swollen and sore but this time, this week it's a lot better than it was this time, last week."
On his practice participation:
"Most of the half court segments and some five on five but no full court."
On the effects of his ankle:
"If I catch the ball late in the shot clock, I have a hard time getting past people but its getting better. I still have to learn how to play without a good first step because at the end of the day I'm not always going to have that. It's a good learning process."
On moving forward:
"We have a great opportunity in front of us. We've had a hard go here this season and now we can really find out what we're made of going into these last games and Pac-12 tournament. We just need to come every day and work hard. There's definitely some winnable games left on our schedule so we'll see what we're made of."
"Even Washington is doing well. We feel like if we would have played better here we could have had them but obviously they're a much different team at home so its going to be a challenge on Thursday."
On being a spoiler:
"As much as it is nice to be a spoiler we're really focused on ourselves. It doesn't really matter to us who wins and if we spoil it."
On going on the road:
"If we learn how to deal with the opposing team's crowd and really stick together I think we'll do fine."
On this weekend:
"This will be my third time going up to UW and I'm looking forward to it. They always have a great crowd and they always play differently at home then they do on the road so I'm looking forward to a good game."
"Coaches have really made that one of the key points this season. We just have to pay more attention and take better care of the ball and don't try to make home-run plays. That's probably the biggest thing."
On not having a true point guard:
"Obviously we don't have a true point guard and that may hurt us at times but at the same time we're going to go out there and compete with the guys we have. To tell you the truth, I feel like every game we've played this season we could have won. We really hinder ourselves at times but that could obviously make a difference."
On what the team needs:
"You can call it killer instinct or handling adversity but there's something that we need to find as a team and when we do I think we'll have a better season and different outcomes in a lot of games that we play."
On Jahii Carson:
"Good. He's explosive. Shooting the ball well. He's a good player."
On Jahii Carson, Evan Gordon, and Bo Barnes:
"Obviously the team is going to be different when you add in three different players, regardless of who they are, but I think next year they can definitely bring some positives to the team."