Ben Howland talks about Larry Drew's improved shooting, the number of plays he's running this year,…
VIDEO: Anderson Talks Offense
Q: what was the difference in your shot?
KA: I think just confidence, really. I think that's all it is. Just having confidence that I'm going to make every shot. I know I'm not but that's what it is for the most part.
Q: when your confidence is low, are you kind of scared to shoot? Are you not looking for your shot as much?
KA: yeah, kind of not looking for it. Second-guessing my shot. But when my confidence is up though, I think that's when I make most of my shots.
Q: why was your half-court offense so effective against Stanford but not so much against Cal? What changed between those 2 games?
KA: I think we just slowed. With just everything. Our pace. I think we really focused on executing. Sharing the ball. Setting screens. Just like the little things that helped us win that Stanford game.
Q: how different is this week not having a game until Sunday?
KA: it's not as bad as I thought. But it's preparation for a good USC team that's been playing really well lately. We just want to take every advantage we can with it and get really prepared for them. They're a great team.
Q: after having a tough time against Cal's big men a little bit, did you kind of take it as a personal challenge going against [Josh] Huestis in the Stanford game?
KA: um, yeah. It's a lot of great guys in this league that play my position. So every game's going to be a tough game. Every matchup that I have is going to be a tough matchup so I just have to come out there and play.
Q: what have you learned about the ‘SC-UCLA rivalry? [audio difficulties]
KA: before the game, I didn't really think anything of it. It was just this cool rivalry. But to lose to them, I really got the hang of the rivalry, and I'm ready to play now, especially with everything coming up to it. I'm in now. I'm sold.
Q: was it fans? The arena? Students at school?
KA: no. Just the other team. How excited they looked when they beat us. They did all that extra stuff in the middle of our court. I'm sold on it now so I'm looking to go do something.
Q: how difficult of an adjustment has it been kind of playing post defense this year and learning how to rotate the way Howland wants you to rotate?
KA: it was really tough in the beginning but after days of practice and focus, and, you know, just you have to work really hard to become good at it. Just like everything else in life, it's becoming easier as I go on.
Q: would you celebrate on their court the way they celebrated on your court?
KA: absolutely. Absolutely. Absolutely.
Q: how has Larry [Drew II]'s shooting the last couple games improved?
KA: it's done a lot for us actually. It's able to free guys up and make guys guard him which opens up his drives which opens up easy baskets for us since he's such a good passer. It's done a lot for us, and I think it showed in the Stanford game. So, you know, he's going to continue to make shots and the offense is going to continue to gel.
Q: you think it's going to make teams think twice about sagging off of him?
KA: yes, yes, I think so. Next is me making shots like Larry.
Q: Howland said he narrowed the playbook down to just 9 sets for that Stanford game. Do you notice something like that? Having fewer plays that he's calling from the sideline?
KA: well, you know, we didn't really notice it in the Stanford game only due to the fact that we did so well in transition. Again, transition baskets, there's no need for the half-court game so much, but when it came down to half-court offense, that's when we started running plays. But it wasn't really a half-court game for us, Stanford. So doing so well on transition, it kind of is a reason to narrow down the playbook.
Q: when it comes to the half-court though, do you prefer having a thick playbook or a thinner playbook in terms of the number of plays to call?
KA: I don't know. It's really up to the coach, really. I came from a high school where we had 30 plays. I've played for coaches where we had 2 plays. So it doesn't really matter.
Q: how do you plan on spending the off days?
KA: I've got class in the morning. Come back and take a nap. And then probably go back… have another class at 4. And then probably go shoot at night time.
Q: how much shooting do you plan on doing?
KA: just a quick 45 minutes. Get in and get out.
Q: did Coach kind of stressed that to you guys? He said there were a lot of gym rats. You guys were being in the gym a lot.
KA: oh yeah, he yelled at us for that. For being in the gym so much, but we can't help it. It's what we do. This is actually my first time having access to a gym where anytime I want… I'm used to going out in 20 degree weather to the park. So I'm in here all the time.
Q: who is it normally with you?
KA: I normally take the freshmen with me. We're in the gym all the time. Just always.
Q: so Shabazz [Muhammad], Jordan [Adams], Tony [Parker].
Q: so 45 minutes?
KA: yeah, for tonight. He doesn't want in here all night.
Q: are you going to make sure you have a timer?
KA: no. I'll know when.
Q: so 45 minutes is what you're telling us.
KA: oh, yeah. Yeah.
Q: is it just shooting or are you guys playing 2-on-2?
KA: oh, no. That was before the season. Competitive games of horse. But not during the season, we won't play competitive games. We'll wait until after.
Q: who rebounds?
KA: we usually call the manager.
Q: oh, okay.
KA: he'll come rebound for us. That's great.
Q: do you think USC might have snuck up on you a little bit last time? It was just their first few games under Bob Cantu [Interim Head Coach]. Now, do you feel like you're a little more prepared for what they bring under the new coaching staff?
KA: oh, yeah. We're definitely ready for what they have. If they're going to do the same things they did the last game, we're making adjustments. It's just going to come down to who wants it more. That's what it's going to come down to. Overtime, the last game. Who wanted it more. The next game, it's just going to be all heart and that'll take care of itself.
Q: would you say you guys didn't want it enough last time?
KA: not saying that. I would just say that they got more 50/50 balls. More loose balls. They wanted it more.
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