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March 18, 2016

Cuonzo Martin

Jordan Mathews

Sam Singer

Spokane, Washington

Hawaii - 77, Cal - 66

THE MODERATOR: We'll start with an opening statement from coach and then take questions for the student-athletes.

COACH MARTIN: Really good win for Hawaii. I felt they played well as a team. Their guards did a great job controlling the tempo. They played with passion, they played with energy. It was fun to watch them play. So congratulations to those guys.


Q. How frustrating was it, just the build-up to this game with all the injuries and adversity and distractions and everything, how tough was it, just to play in this game?
SAM SINGER: I don't think it was frustrating at all. We kind of moved past that as the week went on, and we were solely focused on this game. And so we didn't let it distract us and unfortunately, we couldn't come out with a win.

Q. When did you guys found out that Jabari wouldn't be able to play, what kind of impact did that have, given the fact that you already didn't have Tyrone?
COACH MARTIN: Well, I found out two minutes, a minute and a half, two minutes before the tip, because he was, obviously, in the starting lineup. And then he went back to the training room again and said he had back spasms and just he couldn't go. So we, obviously, made the adjustment with Jordan and that was it. He couldn't go.

Q. Can you address what, how it impacted you?
COACH MARTIN: Of course it impacts you. The guy's, probably the last 10 games, shooting 55 percent from the three-point line, so he stretches the defense. So when he's not on the floor, you can collapse a little bit more. I thought Roger and Domingo did an admirable job for not playing a lot of minutes. But you lose a guy that shoots it the way he shoots it, changes the game for you.

It was one thing to have Tyrone out, but we expected that, because he was injured. But two minutes before a game start time, it's tough. But you still have enough to win the game, so there's no excuses.

Q. Did he feel anything when he woke up this morning or was it just totally during the warm ups that his back tightened up?
COACH MARTIN: Well, when it got at the halftime of the game, he felt a little stiff at the shoot around, felt something at the shoot around practice yesterday. But he was okay.

Then I guess when he woke up this morning then -- nobody ever said anything to me about it because he felt like he could play. But then, again, two minutes before the tip, he just said he couldn't go.

Q. Jordan, could you address just how disappointing the end of this season is, considering what you guys achieved this year and sort of what your expectations must have been.
JORDAN MATHEWS: It's always disappointing to lose, but it doesn't take away from a great season. 23 wins, grew a lot with these guys. So of course you're disappointed, but you win ball games, you lose ball games. Life goes on. We had a great season.

Q. Jordan, I was wondering your thoughts on Hawaii's back court play, Bobbitt and Smith, and what it was like to guard them today.
JORDAN MATHEWS: They're both really good players. Him, Smith, and the other guy, 32. They're pretty good. They're really good players. Bobbitt hit some tough shots, the one-foot leaner, that's a tough shot to guard.

And Smith hit a couple off the glass late in the second half that hurt us. So they were a really good veteran back court.

Q. Sam, could you talk about the early part of the game when you knew you were going to play point guard for Tyrone, but then you got in some foul trouble, and it seemed like your team never got a rhythm early in the game. How much did that set you back?
SAM SINGER: Definitely set us back. But you got to credit them. They had a good game plan and they really pressured us and got us out of the things we wanted to do.

So I thought Brandon did a great job coming in and running the offense and facilitating. So it was hard to get in a rhythm, but me being in foul trouble shouldn't have held us up.

Q. Sam, with Jaylen getting in foul trouble so early and then really never got in any kind of rhythm, how much did that affect the game in terms of you guys establishing your offense?
SAM SINGER: Definitely affected us. You got to guard him. He averaged 15 points a game this year. And so every time he's on the floor his presence alone just forces the defense to guard him. So not having him out there allowed them to collapse a little bit more on Ivan and made it tough on our bigs and they forced us to hit outside shots.

Q. Can you address what's been going on, you think, with Jaylen the last five games. Seems like he's lost all confidence and rhythm and flow and not shooting the ball well and even lost some aggressiveness.
COACH MARTIN: I can't answer that specifically. He would only be able to answer that. I think he struggled somewhat and started thinking about it. And I think for him, as a young guy, it's very hard to play the game the way he plays it when you get two, three offensive fouls and charges in a game, it's hard to have aggressive rhythm to you. So just unfortunate. I think that's the biggest key, the biggest contributor. So now he's thinking about it and then teams letting him shoot the jump shot. If you are going to defend him, you would rather have him shoot on the perimeter rather than driving the ball.

So if your shot isn't falling, then you are a little hesitant to drive the ball, because of the way the game is officiated. But it will be fine. I think that was just a toughest part. It's hard when you probably averaging two or three offensive charges a game, it's hard to get in a real flow.

Q. Are you surprised that this game was called with such a tight whistle? You played in the tournament and a lot of times they let them -- a little more physical play go, but this game was called really tightly tonight.
COACH MARTIN: Well, not necessarily surprised because the key is you're supposed to officiate the game the way you officiate all season long, so not necessarily surprised. And those are the legitimate referees out there, so that has nothing to do with the outcome in my opinion of the game. Hawaii won the game.

THE MODERATOR: Before we continue with questions for coach, we'll go ahead and dismiss Jordan and Sam. Take questions for coach.

Q. You guys made a nice run there midway through the second half. I think you got down ten, then you came back with a 9-2 run. It was 47-46 with 12 minutes left. A lot of time. Did you think that was a momentum turner right there where you had the chance to seize the lead and get the momentum forward and then they weathered the storm?
COACH MARTIN: We turned the ball over. But that's what good teams do, veteran teams. Strong back court, experienced guys. They find ways to win the game, maintain their composure, they played made plays. I think we were down one, and we turned the ball over and the game changed from there.

Q. How difficult has this week been for you and your team and your coaching staff given all the different factors that have come up, and does it leave the future cloudy for -- you don't know about a couple of are freshmen, whether they will be back, your own situation, how do you look forward from here at this point with any clarity?
COACH MARTIN: Well for me, I'm fine. My situation will be what I determine it will be, so I am fine.

But as far as our team, our team's fine. If you talking about Ivan and Jaylen, there's plenty of time to talk about that whatever they decide to do what they want to do.

But I just think what happens when you have a level of momentum, you're going into something, and you hit a bump in the road. And then with the situation that took place with one of our coaches. Then all of a sudden, Tyrone goes down, and then Jabari Bird.

I mean, it's tough for young guys to overcome, but for us as a staff, as men, this is life. And like Jordan said, you deal with these things all the time. I would rather deal with them now rather than 15, 20 years down the road. So, it's part of it. It's no big deal. We still have to lace them up and play the game. I think Hawaii won the game tonight. Obviously, a lot of factors, you can say this or that, but they won the game.

Q. I think this is the fifth PAC-12 team to lose so far in the tournament. Has this kind of surprised you how the conference has done so far?
COACH MARTIN: No, I just think outside of maybe 1 and 16, this is basketball. It's a neutral site, teams play ball games, everybody practice, they prepare, they perform. And so I don't really get caught up in who beat who. It's a big time basketball stage atmosphere, the adrenaline, people make plays, stuff happens. Not at all. I was only concerned with our team and how we lost the game. But other than that, everybody prepares the same.

Q. Given where you guys were at the start of the season, the expectations, do you feel like this is an opportunity lost because like you alluded to, that there could be some personnel changes going forward. Are you going to lament that this was something that you guys couldn't turn into something bigger?
COACH MARTIN: Personnel changes? I'm not sure what you mean there. But, you mean in players?

Q. Right.
COACH MARTIN: Well, you always recruit. I like the guys we have returning. Obviously, you want to add pieces, but you always recruit. That's part of your job as a coach. Just kind of move from there. Just got to plug the right pieces in and make the right decision.

But, again, it's hard to -- Roger, Stephen Domingo, and Brandon hadn't played a lot and all of a sudden your playing a lot of minutes against an experienced team. That's not an easy thing to do. I don't think it takes a way from their ability to play the game. I think it has more to do with just not having the reps under their belt.

THE MODERATOR: All right thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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