Ben Howland talks about the improved shooting against Washington State on Saturday night and the…
VIDEO: Players after Victory
Q: Kyle [Anderson], is that the most in-sync this offense has been as long as you can remember?
KA: yeah, I would say so. Really vocal out there. A lot of unselfishness also. I think that was the key to us scoring points and getting open shots.
Q: Kyle, you made 6 of 7 tonight. You've been in kind of a shooting slump. How hard have you been working on your shot? What do you think the key was tonight?
KA: well, just extra nights of shooting and working on making open shots. I think it paid off today, shooting well. And it also rubbed off on the team as they shot well too. Everybody.
Q: you held them without a 2-point basket for like 6 minutes or something like that. How happy was that for the team as a whole and how happy do you think that made [Ben] Howland?
KA: well, it was great for the team. We built that lead off of getting open shots in transition off of great defensive possessions so I thought that was the key for us.
Q: with all the success you had moving the ball tonight, what was keeping you from doing the same thing in the past 3 games?
KA: I'm not sure. We just came out with the mindset of being unselfish and moving the ball around. That made it easy for us.
Q: Kyle, they took a lot of 3's, especially in the first half. Were you expecting them to jack it up from deep like that?
KA: well, yeah. That's just how we played them. It worked for the first couple of minutes they came out. I think they made like their first five 3's. That's their style of play. Fortunately, we were able to stop it.
Q: [audio difficulties]
KA: I like it. It's cool. I don't know. Wanted to try something new.
Q: Kyle, for defensive rebounding, half of Wazzu's boards today were on the offensive end. For you guys, what else can you do outside of what you have been doing? Boxing out.
KA: we just have to work at it. Everybody has to body all 5 guys. Making contact with the other team and holding the blockout and running to the ball.
Q: Shabazz [Muhammad], people have really been characterizing you guys as an unselfish team this year but that kind of seems like why your offense is working so well. Can you talk about the unselfishness and why it works for your guys?
SM: oh, yeah. I think that was great. We had, I think, 4 or 5 guys in double digits. I think it really helped us out throughout the game. That's how we got such a big margin on them early. Everybody was really doing their thing on offense. That's what it's all about, really. Your teammates acclimated to the offense. It was really great for us.
Q: Shabazz, you've been taking criticism that last couple of days with the reaction to the game the other night. How motivated were you [audio difficulties] just to kind of show that you were a team player?
SM: oh, yeah. They really blew it out of proportion. It was nothing. Everybody was on the floor. I didn't want to kill Larry. But I really congratulated him after the game. [audio difficulties] Just trying to get everybody involved. We're just playing so unselfish. Like you see today, we got a lot of assists and our percentage was really high on the offensive end. Like I said, 4 guys in double digits. We really played well as a team. Played really unselfish.
Q: does it bother you that things like maybe the backpack or your reaction after the [Washington] game seems to get blown out of proportion nationally?
SM: uh, that's one of the things you have to take with being a top recruited player. [audio difficulties] You just have to be smart and keep playing.
Q: Shabazz, Coach said he felt like you were feeling well coming into this game, how are you feeling? Are you over your sickness?
SM: yeah, I feel great right now. I'm at 100%. I feel really good and just being out there and being able to play a lot of minutes and be able to help my team out. Like I said, I feel really good and really confident to go into the Cal/Stanford games to get those wins.
Q: Shabazz, how much different does the momentum on the team feel after this weekend compared to this time last week?
SM: it feels good. I think we're really starting to get our confidence back, especially [audio difficulties]. Like I said, last game, we did a really solid, quality win. I think this win tonight… we played really unselfish, and guys were really having fun out there. Me and Kyle… we really had a lot of fun. That's what it's all about. We're going to build off the win.
Q: do a lot of you think confidence was a little bit of an issue for you guys when you lost 3 of 4?
SM: oh, absolutely. I thought it was an issue. You can't worry about that. I think defense is something we really tried to attack and it worked out for us. After Washington and Washington State.
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