Herb Sendek: I’ll take any question that you have.
Q: Herb, with so many guys playing 40-some minutes yesterday in an overtime game, how much of a factor do you think fatigue was during those last 5-7 minutes?
HS: you know, I think it was more of UCLA doing a great job on the backboard, making key shots. They really made some clutch buckets and really were tenacious on the offensive glass. Those two things, probably more than anything else, moreso than our ability to trace it to fatigue, tilted the game in their favor. [Shabazz] Muhammad really was a difference maker down the home stretch, especially with his rebounding. And obviously, Larry Drew [II], you know, really played an excellent game. Almost perfect from the field. 2-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio. But really proud of our guys’ effort as well. I thought they really battled. Had a couple opportunities on the offensive end that we didn’t cash in, and as it turned out, didn’t have that room for error.
Q: Jordan [Bachynski], can you just talk about… you didn’t play that much, considering your team’s approach in that last game, and in this game, you kind of came out and had 10 early points and kind of got it going. Talk about your performance.
Jordan Bachynski: I think, more than anything, it was my teammates. I mean, Jahii [Carson] had a ton of assists today. Me and him really had it going on the pick-and-roll. We knew that this was a great matchup for me. We needed to take advantage of it.
Q: Jahii, you had talked, I think yesterday, about how important this tournament was for you and how badly you wanted it. Can you just kind of explain your emotions right now?
Jahii Carson: I’m a little disappointed. You know, I always want to win every game. But, you know, I’m just happy to be able to get a chance to play with these guys, you know. It’s a blessing for me to be here and play in front of all these people. But of course, I want to win the basketball game. It’s a little disappointing. It’s my first year here, and I just wanted to come out here and win this.
Q: Jahii, on that final possession when you guys were down 3, you brought the ball down the court. What was going through your mind? What did you see? It looked like maybe you could’ve pulled up but you just… Jonathan [Gilling] had an open look as well.
JC: yeah, you know, I could’ve either shot it myself or pass it to Jonathan like I did, but I just felt like he had the better opportunity than me. You know, catching it off the pass is much easier than off the dribble, especially at the speed that I was coming so I just felt confident that he was going to be able to knock it down. He’s been hitting 3’s this whole tournament so I just felt confident in giving him the basketball and seeing if he can make the play.
Q: Jahii, what happened in that little fracas at the end? Do you have a clearer idea?
JC: I just think Carrick [Felix] went for the ball and got a foul. And I think Shabazz thought he was being a dirty player which is not even like Carrick’s character so I think Shabazz was, you know, a little bit excited and energized and tried to, you know, make some ruckus with Carrick and you know, I just tried to separate everything because Carrick’s not the type of guy to get into any ruckus but I don’t know. I just think that emotions were high and he thought Carrick was trying to make a dirty play, but it wasn’t that at all.
Q: Jordan, it looks like you guys may not have a chance to play in the NCAA Tournament. Just how disappointing is that, just given the strides you have made as a program this season?
JB: I mean, it’s really disappointing. That was our goal all season. That’s what we worked for. It just sucks. Nothing else really to say. It’s just really disappointing.
Q: can you all kind of discuss what it was that UCLA was doing that really gave you guys problems?
HS: rebounding. 14 offensive rebounds. You know, down the home stretch, like I said earlier, that was as much a key as any. And anytime they had an open look down the home stretch, they made it. They didn’t let us off the hook. You know, whether it was Drew, the Wear brothers. Any time we had a breakdown, there was no forgiveness on their part. They were making shots.
Q: Jahii, there’s, sort of in the social media universe, panic. Your fans want to see you back here next year in the PAC-12 Tournament. Do you have any thoughts of your future?
JC: no, I don’t even think about that at the moment. You know, I was thinking about trying to come out here and get a championship. The first championship in my collegiate career. You know, we still have, I think, no matter what we do at this point of this season, we still have something to focus on and that’s continuing our win streak and trying to build some more chemistry to end our season well.