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March 17, 2016

Cuonzo Martin

Jordan Mathews

Jabari Bird

Spokane, Washington

THE MODERATOR: We'll get started with questioning for the student-athletes.

Q. How do you handle the news of the last 24 hours about Tyrone being out?
JABARI BIRD: Regardless of Tyrone, I really feel bad for him, the whole team does actually. It's really unfortunate to see a senior go out like that. He wants to finish his season strong and make an impact. But we've got to move forward and focus on Hawaii, because they're a good team and we're ready.

Q. For both players, how are you dealing with the news about Yann?
JABARI BIRD: With Tyrone, same thing with Yann. It's unfortunate, but we can't really focus on the past now, we got to focus on Hawaii for tomorrow morning.

JORDAN MATHEWS: Like he said, it's unfortunate, but it's in the past, and we came to Spokane to win a ball game, so that's what we're going to do.

Q. Is Hawaii like any team you guys have faced this year, based on what you've seen out of scout so far?
JORDAN MATHEWS: They're unique. Throughout PAC-12 play, you get a lot of different looks but they present some different things in terms of they really want to drive the ball, great at sharing the ball.

They draw some similarities to Oregon State from the film I've seen. But they're very unique. They have a five man who can pick and pop. We have seen a couple of those, but nothing like him before. So, they're a good team, nothing I seen before, but we'll be ready tomorrow.

Q. What part of Tyrone's game does, do other people have that have to pick up now with him out?
JORDAN MATHEWS: He averaged 15, 5, and 5. So we're going to have to pick up the slack in all those areas of the -- he's a big time rebounding guard, scores in a lot of ways.

But I think we're a deep team, relatively experienced team with the juniors we have, so I think we'll be able to pick up what Tyrone left. It's unfortunate, we'll miss him a lot, but we have to win this ball game.

Q. As a team, has this week been kind of an adverse situation for you guys between those two occurrences that we were just asking you guys about?
JABARI BIRD: Yeah, it's been a rough week for the team and everything. But we have had up-and-downs throughout the whole entire year, so it's nothing new for us. The main thing is putting it behind us and focusing on tomorrow's game.

Q. Both of you guys played high school ball in the Bay Area, Hawaii has some Bay Area guys. Quincy Smith. Roderick Bobbitt. Anything you know about them in particular?
JABARI BIRD: Quincy went to my old high school, so I have seen him play a few times, and I played against Roderick when I was a sophomore in high school. Two talented guards, really athletic, can score the ball, and look forward to the matchup.

Q. Could both of you talk about your confidence in Sam taking over at the point for Tyrone.
JORDAN MATHEWS: Big time confidence in Sam. We see how hard he works. Puts in the effort. He goes hard, he can pass. We saw it earlier in the year when Tyrone broke his hand the first time. Sam took the reins from there and there was very little drop off. He did a great job facilitating and being a floor general out there like we need him to be. So I have the utmost confidence in Sam heading into tomorrow's game.

JABARI BIRD: Like he said, we're extremely confident in Sam. He's a great facilitator. He's not the scorer that Tyrone is, but he does his job, plays defense, and we're all behind him.

Q. Can you address the level of distraction that you guys have faced on multiple fronts this week, how you dealt with it, if you're irked a little bit that you had to deal with so much stuff off the court, and just what it's done to help bring the team together, perhaps.
JABARI BIRD: It's no distraction. Both two unfortunate events that happened this week earlier, but we came to win a basketball game and that's all the main focus is.

JORDAN MATHEWS: Just to go off what you said, we're not irked at all. It's part of the life. Things happen. But inside those lines, those 94 feet of basketball, we're unfortunate we don't have Tyrone here with us, but that's part of life, you have to learn with it and go on. We have a great guy in Sam running the point now, so the plan doesn't change, we came here to win a ball game, like Jabari said.

THE MODERATOR: All right. We'll let these two gentlemen go and we'll have Coach Martin in just a moment.


THE MODERATOR: We'll start with an opening statement from coach.

COACH MARTIN: Very excited to be playing in the NCAA Tournament. Tremendous venue. Our guys have worked extremely hard to get to this point. So it's unfortunate we're sitting here with Tyrone Wallace not here with us, whose brought a lot to our program. And the two things with Tyrone Wallace, he decided to come back to school, one to get his degree and the other thing to play in the NCAA Tournament. So it's just unfortunate. But we're excited to be here and it should be a lot of fun against a very talented Hawaii team.


Q. In what's probably been a very difficult week, how as a staff have you guys tried to maybe black out that chatter and keep the guys focused specifically?
COACH MARTIN: Well, for me, I just think the difficulty is on the surface. But in our program it's everyday life style. And we'll be talking about with our players, things happen in life, whether it's basketball, in the classroom, family members. It's a part of -- a bump in the road, you keep moving forward. We don't spend a lot of time, we're not consumed with it, we talk about it deal, with it keep moving. That's life.

Q. Get this out of the way early here. What can you tell us about the discrepancy in the timetable that was presented in the report about when you were told by the female reporter that her concerns actually were sexual harassment from Yann?
COACH MARTIN: The thing about that, I don't want to deal with that right now, because we're playing in the NCAA Tournament. And I think if you have any questions about that you can talk to Wes and we can deal with that later. And that's a university issue. But right now, the biggest concern for me is our basketball team and the NCAA Tournament.

Q. Follow-up, can you just address the investigation that the university said involves you and just sort of clarify what you've been told about it.
COACH MARTIN: That's all right. I'll say it again. Well, that's a university issue and the most important thing for me is our basketball team playing the NCAA Tournament. We'll deal with that at the appropriate time.

Q. Can you talk about your plans at point guard for the game tomorrow. You announced that Sam Singer is going to start and is Jaylen going to be back up as it was a during those five games?
COACH MARTIN: Sam will start the game for us, and then with Jaylen, also Brandon. Brandon, even though he hasn't played in a while, he's played really well in practice, and I think that Brandon has really grown as a basketball player. So I think all three of those guys at some point will be at that position. But Sam will start the game at the point.

Q. You mentioned that you addressed things with the players. Is it just something you guys went over Monday morning or how did that process go?
COACH MARTIN: Well, the thing about it when we talk about things, again, whenever something takes place around the country, and I feel like it's a topic for us to talk about, we always talk about it, address it when we need address it, just to keep them aware of situations in life. But also make them understand that there are more important things than just putting the ball in the basket.

So, when the situation took place, we addressed it, we talked about it, we moved on. But we are not spending days and days talking about the same topic. We get it handled, we move forward.

Q. How exactly did Tyrone get hurt yesterday?
COACH MARTIN: He was just in practice. Moving. It's what we call a dry drill. It's not contact, really. It's kind of a walk-on, he's moving his feet, sliding. He got his hand caught up in a guy's shirt, just unfortunate. But wasn't really five on five contact. So it just is a tough, tough deal.

Q. Over the last several days, what have you gleaned of Hawaii and their kind of style of play that you have to be prepared for?
COACH MARTIN: Well, talented team. Some experience. Talking about change, they probably went through some level of adversity with coaching changes and stuff they dealt with. So they will be ready, so they have seen a lot.

But they stuck together as a unit, so it says a lot about their program and their team. And they play well and Stef is a very talented big guy, can score the ball inside, outside, put the ball on the floor.

They have other good pieces, Bobbitt is tough point guard. Can get to the rim, can make plays. They led the country in steals last year. So they have the parts to be very successful.

But I guess there are a lot of ways in watching film, I'm not saying they're St. Mary's, but similar style in some of the stuff they run offensively, but two different programs, obviously.

Q. Hawaii is a team that has been through some adversity this year and responded well to it. Do you look at them, obviously different circumstances, but do you look at them and kind of in a way get inspiration from them?
COACH MARTIN: Well, I look at them and it says a great job for their program, but not necessarily inspiration because everybody goes through something at what level you never know. Sometimes programs go through things it's not necessarily talked about.

But for us it's, again, it's a bump in the road. We continue to push forward, because this is good times right now. You have 68 teams in the NCAA Tournament, so you work hard to get to this point. So you are supposed to rejoice and enjoy this and have a lot of fun with it. And that's what we'll do.

Q. Given that this is a big distraction, you seem to be able to sort of compartmentalize things and focus on what the issue at hand is. When you're laying in bed at night, are you worried about what the possible fall out of all this could be?
COACH MARTIN: Not at all.

Q. Do you envision that you'll be the coach going forward at Cal?
COACH MARTIN: I don't worry about those things to be totally honest with you. I think you been around me long enough to know that. My job is this basketball team winning ball games, graduating young men, developing young men and anything else is a waste of time.

Q. You've lost a player that averaged 15 points a game, where do you think that you can replace that scoring that you lost with Tyrone?
COACH MARTIN: Well, again, it's part of the game. Everybody loses someone at some level, injuries, stuff happens. You have 13 scholarships. So there's no excuses, it's part of the game. Because if you have an issue with it in trying to get 13 Tyrone Wallace's when you recruit him, it's part of it. Sam Singer is a junior college player, very talented basketball player. We won games with Sam at our point. I'm not worried at all. Sam will do a great job at the point guard position and whoever backs him up will do well as what.

Q. Can you speak to what Yann's role in game management and on the sideline was and how you'll adapt without him there?
COACH MARTIN: He was a part of, just like all three of our other assistant coaches. All those guys did scouting reports, all of those guys brought a level of energy, they worked with the guards, so it wasn't a case of a guy just did one thing. Our staff they do a lot of different things. But the biggest thing that all of them do is they have their hands on our players, it's a tremendous relationship. So when you lose guys like that from a relationship standpoint it's always tough. But he's impacted our practices with energy, passion, enthusiasm, and we just have to pick up those pieces.

Q. When you begin the process of looking for a new assistant right after this the season ends, is that the plan or?
COACH MARTIN: I'm not in a rush to do any of that right now. Again, right now it's having fun. And after that part it's making sure our guys continue to do well in the classroom. Those are the things I'm consumed with. We don't necessarily need a new assistant coach right away. The most important thing is enjoying this now, make sure our guys take care of business in the classroom, and then we'll go from there.

Q. What's your players' mood right now? Are they excited about tomorrow, have they been able to block out these things as well, especially not having Tyrone with them and also can you address why specifically Tyrone did not make the trip with you guys.
COACH MARTIN: Tyrone just really wanted to make sure the hand is okay. We felt like there was a possibility he could possible get here and play. So he stayed back and get it check. And if he's okay to go, we fly him in. But he obviously won't be able to play tomorrow. But you never know. But that was the biggest reason why Tyrone is at home. But as far as our guys, I mean, again it's just like losing a brother. But they understand. We lost him before. So it's not a case of -- I think it would be a little bit tougher if we would have lost Tyrone, this is the first time we lost him. That would be tough. But we played games without him. Sam played well without him. Jaylen played well at that position without him. So we'll make adjustments, but I think, more than anything, they would like for him to be here on the floor and playing, because we owe him that as a senior. And it was one of the reasons again why he decided to come back to college to be a part of this setting.

Q. To follow-up on the question I asked before with Tyrone out, does that mean that maybe Ivan needs to step up more offensively and demand the ball more and be a bigger part of the offense?
COACH MARTIN: I think he and Jaylen. I think he and Jaylen, because both of those guys, as well as Jordan and Jabari shoot the basketball, Ivan and Jaylen, their level of play and what they bring to the table demands more than one guy to defend them. If they're playing well. So if that happens, other guys can get shots, they can make plays for other guys. So, yeah, you need -- I don't know if demand is the right word, we need to be more assertive and get him the ball. He needs to have a better presence of wanting the basketball. We got to -- it's a two-way street. Same way with Jaylen. He hasn't shot the ball well, but we need him to be aggressive at all times because he puts so much pressure on the defense.

Q. Hawaii comes from a low profile, one-bid league, but every Christmas they host a major tournament, Diamond Head Classic, and they have been 4-2 the last two years against teams like Oklahoma, Wichita States, they beat Auburn. Those two losses were one was overtime, the other was on the final possession. So do you think that's as much a measuring stick as how good and dangerous this team could be as you've even coming from a one bid league?
COACH MARTIN: Well, I think they're good because they're good. Obviously, coach has done a great job in coaching them, putting them in a position to be good. And I think you get a lot of help and a lot of prep work when you play in a tournament like that. I saw the game against Oklahoma, I saw the game against Auburn, I saw the games against Long Beach State. So they're a good team. I just think that they're in a one-bid league because they're in a one-bid league, it doesn't mean they're not a good team. They can play anywhere. They have the talent to do that. So, it was just unfortunate that their league only gets one team in the tournament. But they're talented to play anybody, anywhere.

THE MODERATOR: All right. Thank you, coach.

COACH MARTIN: Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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