HEAD COACH Herb Sendek
HOW HAS THE LACK OF DEPTH HURT YOU GUYS THIS SEASON? ONE PLAYER PLAYING 40 MINUTES, THE OTHER 37, NOT HAVING FRESH BODIES TO THROW AT THEM?
"Obviously we're not a real deep team, but I don't know if fatigue was the reason why we didn't win today. Ideally, we'd like to be a little bit deeper at this point, but I don't know how significant it was in the whole scheme of things. Obviously they have excellent depth and do a great job of rotating their guys."
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT WHEN CARSON GOT HIS FOURTH FOUL AND THAT KIND OF TURNED THE GAME FOR THEM
"He picked up his first foul in the first defensive possession of the game, and then picked up his second foul, in and out, in and out; offense/defense trying to get him to halftime with only two fouls, but still didn't want to sit him for the majority of the first half. Then he picked up his third foul on that charge on the last possession of the first half, and then boom with a big chuck of time left he picks up his fourth. We tried to give him a couple possessions with us on the sidelines, but at that point we were down. They did a good job of attacking him with four fouls, and he was understandably cautious, so I thought defensively that was difficult on us."
COACH YOU'VE DONE A GREAT JOB THIS SEASON CONTROLLING THE TURNOVERS, WAS IT SOMETHING THEY DID THAT FORCED YOU INTO 17?
"They are a good defensive team, and I don't mean to take anything away from their effort defensively, but I'd like to think that we control our turnovers more than our opponent does. Obviously you don't need to look too far beyond that number to see why we struggled. 17 turnovers in a game like this is far too many and that was a significant factor in the game."
COACH TALK ABOUT HOW DOMINANT THEY WERE IN THE PAINT, OUTSCORING YOU BY 14, WHICH IS ALMOST THE DIFFERENCE IN THE SCORE
"Both backcourts put up the majority of the points, Johnson and Lyons for them, Gordon and Carson for us, but we did not get a lot of baskets for us inside. I can remember one where Jordan got a roll on a pick and roll and Ruslan had a jump hook in the first half and I think that's it. We had lay ups, obviously, off different actions, but in terms of our post people we had two baskets. They do a good job of going inside to Hill, who's a tough matchup, a guy who can play inside out and got us inside with Ashley on a couple possessions. Points in the paints, as well as points off of turnovers, went to their advantage."
WHAT WAS Chris Colvin's SITUATION?
"Chris remains suspended and we will get back to everybody on when he'll return."
WHY AT THIS POINT IN HIS CAREER, AT ASU, IS IT NOT CLICKING FOR HIM THAT HE DOESN'T WANT TO WALK THE FINE LINE THAT'S REQUIRED TO STAY ON THIS ROSTER?
"I don't know."
HOW DID THAT HANDICAP YOU TODAY?
"Obviously Chris plays an important role for us, we rely on his defensive toughness, we rely on his ball handling and play making; he's having a really good senior year for us. We'll get through this and come back."
WHAT DID YOU SEE OUT OF CARRICK TODAY?
"Obviously, we've been relying so heavily on Carrick so much, he's having a sensational senior year and today wasn't his day in any way, shape, or form. For us to absorb a kind of game like that from Carrick is a lot to ask for of our team right now, because we depend on him in so many different ways. This just wasn't his day at the ballpark."
WAS IT THE LENGTH THEY THREW AT HIM?
"I don't think it was any one dimension like that, I just don't think it was his day. Even down the home stretch he had a couple wide open shots with no length on him and it just didn't go down. You chalk it up for a guy who's been having a great season, today he didn't have one of his best games, and we're a team that needs him to be at a really high level and have one of his best games on a day like today, playing a nationally ranked team like Arizona."
WHAT DID YOU THINK OF NICK JOHNSON?
"He's a terrific player, he's so explosive off the dribble, so athletic, and they did a good job going to him on dribble isos. I think him and Mark Lyons, in particular, were really good today."
DID THEY DO AS GOOD OF A JOB GETTING TO THE RIM AS ANYONE ELSE YOU HAVE PLAYED?
"They did today. I thought their ability to drive the ball past our first line of defense, and then our second line and finally over our bigs. Our third line was really affected, we had a difficult time from the first offensive possession when Solomon Hill caught it at the top and went in for the dunk. And by the way, I can't say enough about Solomon Hill, I think he's one of the most underrated players in the country. I mean, that guy is so good, so good. He's inside outside, he makes big plays, big shots, is a tough matchup, he is really a special player."
Evan Gordon HAS HAD A YO-YO TYPE SEASON, HE KEPT YOU GUYS IN THE GAME IN THE FIRST HALF
"He did. Evan played an excellent game offensively; even defensively he had the big steal right before the half to give us a little momentum going into the break. Like I said, offensively, we were pretty much limited to what Jahii and Evan were able to muster this afternoon; defensively, the turnovers hurt us, the drive hurt us, and their backcourt alone with Solomon Hill were tough matchups for us, especially their ability to attack Jahii with four fouls. I think that is a fair summarization."
WHEN WATCHING FILM, WHAT WILL YOU TELL YOUR GUYS ON HOW TO MOVE ON AND YOU'RE YOUR NEXT OPPONENT?
"We always try and learn from the game, we'll inspect it closely, and we do that after a win as well, but we'll have to do it quickly because in college basketball you have a few days and the game is on you."
JAHII CARSON--POINT GUARD
ON Jahii Carson's 4TH FOUL AND THE RESULTING DEFICIT:
"I think it changed [the tempo] tremendously. I mostly keep the point guards in front of me but with me being in foul trouble it puts my teammates in an awkward position to have to get out there and guard a smaller guard who can get in the pit and create just as much as I can. I think it had a huge swing. Guys have to step up and guard smaller guys that they're not used to guarding. They're used to having me step up and do that. I just think the temp changed when I had four fouls."
ON HIS FIRST MATCHUP AGAINST ARIZONA:
"I don't think we played to the best of our abilities. Normally we come out, we set the tempo, and we throw the first punch. I think they did that. I think they wanted it more than us and they came out, fed it inside, set hard screens on us. It was loud. We couldn't really hear our coach's commands. They pretty much had what they were going to do already down. I was excited to come out here and play. I know a lot of my teammates were excited. But sometimes emotions flare and things change on the floor. I just think that we struggled for the most part but I was excited to be out there and still be playing with my teammates."
ON ADVICE CARSON MAY BE ABLE TO GIVE THE SUN DEVILS:
"I say we're all different players. My game is getting into the paint and creating for my teammates. Sometimes guys can't get to the paint. It's easier for me to get to the paint. I'm a smaller guy. I can maneuver through the bigs and I'm quicker than most so it's easier for me to get into the paint than others. Sometimes guys, when they're shooters, like to rely on their shooting. I do think that, if we're not shooting, we need to get to the free-throw line and try to get our touch from there. It's tough when the refs aren't calling the fouls for you. It's tough if you're not as quick in getting into the paint like the smaller guys. I just think that sometimes we need to keep shooting and sometimes we need to get to the basket, get fouled, and try to get our touch up."
ON HIS AND NICK JOHNSON'S MATCHUP:
"I wasn't worried about him. He's a friend of mine, but when it comes game time, I wasn't worried about him or what he was doing. I was worried about winning the basketball game. It's cool that we're friends growing up, but when we step on the floor its game time--I want to cut his head off and I'm pretty sure he wants to cut off mine. I was happy for him, of course, always. I was just more disappointed that we didn't get the win and compete the way I thought we should have."
ON HIS TURNOVERS
"Oh we definitely turned the ball over. It's a lot about the fast tempo. Even though we're comfortable playing the fast tempo, I think the crowd and not being able to hear got us frustrated a little bit. I'd been keeping my turnovers down, but I had I think 4 turnovers as well. So it starts with me. I've got to keep the ball in my hands. I've got to get us extra possessions. Once everybody feels comfortable, I think we'll secure the ball and we won't have as many turnovers. I think guys panic when they see their captain turning the ball over. I've just got to keep the ball in my hands, try not to turn it over, try to get us extra possessions and the best shots."
ON THE EFFECTS OF Chris Colvin's SUSPENSION:
"It was very disappointing. He's a dog. Chris Colvin is a rough guy. When I step out and I have four fouls, he can go in there and guard the guards. He can guard Solomon Hill. He can guard guys who are tougher for us to guard when we have fouls. I can't foul, or I'm going to have five fouls, so that puts us in a difficult position. Chris Colvin can go out there and set the tempo with his defense. He disappointed us. He did, but as a teammate. There's a possibility that it can happen to people. I think he could have stepped up for us big time if he would have played today, but I always forgive my teammate. He's my guy."
ON HIS ABNORMALLY LOW-SCORING GAME:
"U of A is definitely a good team. They're well-coached. I just needed to show up for my team and I didn't do that today. I had a rough game. They kept telling me to take my shots and stay in the game and keep my head in there but I, as a leader, had to pick it up. Good thing tomorrow's a new day."
ON ARIZONA'S DEFENSIVE EFFECT ON HIM:
"I think I kind of just did it to myself. The way teams lose in college basketball is they beat themselves and I think I did that tonight. I didn't step up for my team, but like I said, tomorrow's a new day and I just have to get back at it."
ON TAKING MORE THREE POINT SHOTS THAN USUAL:
"I definitely settled for the three a little more today. I didn't play my usual game--attacking the rim and playing within the offense. That's definitely something I just have to look back and watch some film on and get back to the old me. I haven't gone anywhere. It's just one bad game."
ON EVAN GORDAN'S KEY ROLE IN THE GAME
"He was definitely energy for us in the first half. He definitely stepped up big in this game and the last game against Oregon. He's really been consistent for us in the past few games. He went out there looking for a shot. He was aggressive in getting to the basket. He just played within himself. We can see him progress. Hopefully he can just keep doing every day. Next game we've got UCLA and USC at home so hopefully he's ready to go then."
HEAD COACH SEAN MILLER
"That was a hard earned road victory, and we knew that Arizona State had an excellent team. I felt that during the game. One of the reasons why we ended up winning like we did is, our defense really returned to us tonight. Sure they had some shots that they look at as they have to make, but for the most part I thought our defense fueled us. Through the 12 non-conference games, that's something we did very well, especially in the biggest games on our schedule. In today's game, we defended with a lot of purpose. Brandon Ashley had his best defensive performance of his young career. You look inside, and I thought when Arizona State really tried to go inside, that we had a bigger player in there. Our size negated some of the inside shots that they got. I thought it was a total team effort. Solomon Hill, I thought, was terrific. When we needed a basket, when we really broke the game open, he had a lot to do with it. Mark Lyons and Nick Johnson also were tremendous throughout the game. It was our team defense and players playing in a big game on the road and playing with a lot of confidence."
ON WHAT WAS DIFFERENT DURING THE SECOND HALF:
"Brandon (Ashley), there's two different types of player he has to guard at his position. Some are more inside players, and a lot of face-up players. It's hard for a freshman, especially with his length, to always be comfortable doing both, but today he guarded on the perimeter excellent. He did it in the first half and he did it in the second half, as well, and in the minutes he played he contributed in a huge way for us. Everybody on our team knows that, and it was one of the many reasons why our defense was better today."
ON HOW THEY WERE ABLE TO SHOOT BETTER IN THE SECOND HALF:
"It was execution, and sometimes its individual players making big shots. They're open, and you either make it or you don't. We have a number of guys who can score--Lyons can really get in the paint. Once (Jahii) Carson picked up his third foul, I thought that was a big turning point in the game. It's tough to be as aggressive when you have three, then when he got his fourth we really tried to attack that fact that he had four fouls, and we did that well. We kind of put him in a bad position with strong drivers and a lot of strong drives happened just because he was playing not to commit his fifth foul."
ON IF THEY TRIED TO EXPOSE THE BASELINE:
"No, we kind of ran a two-man game with Solomon (Hill) and Mark (Lyons). That worked well for us, but just generally speaking we had some really strong drives, and we converted. It's not easy to convert against (Jordan) Bachynski with how big he is, but we did convert a number of times. It was just guys playing hard, playing well, and playing with a lot of confidence."
ON NICK JOHNSON GAINING CONFIDENCE FROM MARK LYONS:
"Mark Lyons brings qualities to our team--every point guard does. He has great belief in his own ability, but he also believes in our team. He's used to winning, he's used to playing in big games, and he's used to performing in big games. When one player feels that way, it can become contagious. No question, I think that hasn't just rubbed off on Nick, but that's rubbed off on anybody. Like I've said dozens of times, Nick is a sophomore, Nick is a freshman, that's the growth you want to see as an individual. He's really playing at a very, very high level, and he does it on both sides of the ball."
ON MARK LYONS BEING A FACTOR FOR AN ENTIRE GAME:
"He was aggressive throughout. He gets to the foul line and he's such an exceptional free throw shooter that that's one of the weapons we have in our offense. You can take it for granted that the ball always goes in, but when you talk about a point guard closing out games, a lot of times it's their ability to make free throws, and again that's something he does very well."
ON IF THE PHYSICAL STYLE OF PLAY WENT IN THEIR FAVOR:
"We knew we were the deeper team, but that doesn't always mean in a given night that that's going to work. Over the long course of the season I bet that has more benefits, but we can withstand foul trouble and we don't have to get into the fatigue side of things as much because we do play our bench, and our bench has really came in and helped us. Jordan Mays, for example, had a quiet offensive game, but he was excellent, too, on defense. The 13 minutes he played were very valuable."
ON HOW MARK LYONS HAS HANDLED THE DIFFICULT POINT GUARD POSITION:
"It is. That's an important position in college basketball. He's done it very well. Mark (Lyons) is more of a combo guy, which is fine, and you want to use the strengths that he has. He continues getting better and better playing the point guard position, and really Nick (Johnson) is a combo guy as well. A lot of the times Nick probably doesn't get enough credit for being almost like a point guard out there, whether he's with Mark or not. We have two guys that can run our team and play that role with us, and same thing with Solomon (Hill). Solomon many of the times can push the ball and make good decisions. Solomon Hill was excellent today. I thought he was the best player on the court because when he scored, it really mattered. The game had huge doubt of who was going to win or lose, and from an offensive perspective I think he had three or four baskets that broke the game open."
ON NICK JOHNSON
"(He was) excellent. It was a total game, a game that he's played quite a bit through our first 15 games this season."
ON STOPPING Jordan Bachynski:
"We were hoping that our size would mean a difference than it was a year ago. Obviously, with what we had a year ago, that was clearly to their advantage. Our young big guys are much bigger, and we hoped that they would do a good job, and they did."
ON THE LACK OF TIMEOUTS HE CALLED:
"I didn't think about it, I guess we just played. We were flowing pretty well so I didn't want to screw that up, so we refrained from doing it. Plus, when you sub in then your guys don't get nearly as winded, and I thought that worked in our advantage not to stop the game, than it is to theirs."
ON IF THEY ARE IN AS GOOD OF SHAPE AS THEY COULD BE AT THIS POINT OF THE YEAR:
"It's hard to be 16-1, you guys know that, but we have a huge game coming up on Thursday. One of the things we did really well before this game is we practiced really well. We practiced hard, we watched film, and we tried to work on our weaknesses. Everybody showed up on time and worked and knew this was a big game, and we have to do that same thing all over again so when we get to Thursday, we're ready."
SOLOMON HILL- FORWARD
ON KEY TO WINNING THE GAME:
"Just staying with it. Chris Colvin didn't play today so you are looking at them only going about 6 or 7 guys and we don't think six or seven guys can compete for forty minutes. They played good through the first half but we broke them down in the second."
ON WHAT A WIN AGAINST ASU IN TEMPE MEANS:
"It adds on too it; if we can get a win here, anywhere in Pac-12 play. We want to be competitive this year. I really think other teams like UCLA, Oregon and Washington are showing out the gates that they're teams that you have to know. Getting a win here just adds on to it and we look forward to the next game."
ON STOPPING ASU'S OFFENSE:
"Knowing who we have to guard is a big part of what we have to do. Jahii Carson did go off tonight but the other guys, like Evan Gordon only had three points in the second half and that is something big that we want to keep going."
"Those guys were worn out. In the second half you cant really ask those guys to play that hard and competitively for forty minutes straight, as big as the game is you just can't do that. We started to break them down more and execute our plays."
ON WHAT YOU WERE SEEING ON THE BASELINE 2ND HALF:
"Well if you keep moving them they get kind of sloppy there on the baseline. Again that's what I mean with the forty minutes. You get somebody down with forty-minute press time, you don't really have too many timeouts to go to, the crowd gets you going and at the end you start patting and trying to get a sub, but there is no subs. We do that same thing with practice but luckily, I have Kevin Parrom come in for me. We have a lot of guys come in for us so we are always fresh and always attacking. You get those guys in foul trouble and they start second-guessing. Jahii Carson started guessing his defensive stance because he had three fouls. Three or fouls and you start thinking a little different, so we just start putting people in foul trouble."
ON HOW HE WAS ABLE TO NEUTRALIZE Jordan Bachynski:
"Kept Kaleb Tarczewski on him. Honestly, I had one post move were I spun and passed it because Bachynski was coming to double team and try and block the shot. He started hesitating on some of the block shots he wanted to attempt. We kept Tarczewski in play, in open spots getting to the rim, and by Tarczewski making the right plays guys start second-guessing. Guys don't want to leave, then Tarczewski gets an offensive rebound and gets the put-back. It is a give and take when you try and block shots. If you leave your man, someone has to cover and if you don't they have a wide open layup."
ON MARK LYONS' TURNOVER AT THE END OF THE FIRST HALF:
"Lyons is a defensive guy and was more geared up to get the ball back. He apologized to the team for the sloppy play but came out and executed in the second half."
ON THE GUARDS' ABILITY TO GET TO THE BASKET IN THE SECOND HALF:
"It was all based on Jahii Carson's and Evan Gordon's foul trouble. Once Carson got three fouls he was suspect on defense. He didn't want to get that forth foul, so once he switched over to Nick Johnson, we would have Johnson drive the ball and then Mark Lyons. We just kept coming at them in waves and that is something we are able to do because we are so deep as a team."
ON THE INTENSITY OF THE FIRST HALF:
"We knew we were going come out hard in that first half, but we knew the second half was the place we were going to get them. You can't play hard for forty minutes. We had the depth to go to. Chris Colvin was out and that is a big part of their lineup, some guys that really don't get deep minutes and once you start going to different lineups in big games it's going to wear on you."
MARK LYONS- GUARD
ON BEING THE BEST GUARD IN THE PAC-12:
"I don't want to be the best point guard in the PAC-12, I want to be the best in the country. I'm aiming for the moon, so I can be amongst the stars. I play every game as if it's my last."
ON THE DEFENSE THE TEAM PLAYED:
"They have great shooters. Carrick Felix has been shooting the ball well this year. We were just making sure they weren't getting easy shots, close out a little harder and make them take tough shots."
ON THE WIN:
"We just got a great win over a great team. Our conference is only getting better. We are getting better on defense, if we keep it up sky is the limit."
ON HIS FIRST AND LAST SHOTS:
"I don't worry about my first and last shots. I'm going to miss and make shots, I'm just going to come out and play my next possession as if it's my last."
ON THE GAME CHANGING AS Jahii Carson PICKED UP FOULS:
"The plan was to keep attacking him. You have to go after people that are in foul problem. He is the engine to that team, so we have to keep going at him. He has to be defense and offense, which is tough. I have to do that every game, so I know how difficult it is."