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October 21, 2016

Jerod Haase

Reid Travis

San Francisco, California

THE MODERATOR: We'll continue now with Stanford Cardinal head coach Jerod Haase, in his first season at Stanford, and junior forward Reid Travis. Coach, an opening remark about the season ahead?

JEROD HAASE: Well, needless to say with a new group and a new coaching staff, there's a lot of teaching going on these first couple weeks. But my initial thoughts are the guys are extremely responsive and receptive to everything we're doing. I think there is a great deal of excitement, obviously, with everything being new. As a coach, it's hard because we're trying to install everything and move quickly. But our attitude has been trying to build a foundation and move slowly with our base offense, and our base defense. But moving up to the season, there's a great opportunity which also brings great challenges in terms of the schedule, playing a great schedule. We know it will be challenging, but I think the guys have really bought into trying to make something special happen. At this point it's, again, a great deal of focus and a great deal of excitement.

Q. Coach, your team is ranked 10th in the preseason poll here. I don't know how much weight you give these things, but I'm kind of curious how you feel about that. So that's my first question.
JEROD HAASE: Yeah, with the preseason rankings, it's something that's interesting for everybody to talk about. But it just doesn't mean a whole lot. With our team we're focused on the day-to-day practices. I'm sure our guys will see it at some point and understand what the perception is. But with an understanding that it truly will be decided on the court. And as much as that's a cliché, that's our attitude right now.

Q. How much do you expect out of your freshmen Kodye Pugh and Trevor Stanback this year? What have you seen from them so far?
JEROD HAASE: We're really excited about the freshmen. We feel like we have a team that's balanced in terms of classes. We think those guys have a great deal of talent, great deal of length. And moving forward within the program over their career we think they're going to add a dimension that's a unique skill set to what we have with that length and athleticism. But we're looking forward to both of them having successful careers.

Q. Your coach mentioned a couple weeks ago to us that you guys are pretty healthy. Could you speak a little bit about how much of a clean plate this is for you after a rough year, and also what getting Cartwright back in the mix too for this group?
REID TRAVIS: Yeah, definitely for myself, everyone's back healthy. We've dealt with injuries the last two years that I've been at Stanford. So it's definitely a difficult time for me. But going into this summer I was able to take care of my body and really get back to the form that I felt comfortable and healthy. Now going into this preseason, I feel great. I feel 100%.

And going on Robert Cartwright, on his behalf, he's healthy. I see him in practice every day working hard, and he's back to the form he was before he got injured. So it's great to have both of us back on the court and feeling good and feeling confident with our bodies.

Q. Reid, what have you kind of noticed as being a difference with this new coaching staff here in the first couple of weeks you've had of practice? And, Coach, what are some of the things that you've tried to instill to make your mark on the program?
REID TRAVIS: I think one of the differences that we've had from the spring to the summer to even now preseason practice, is just our attention to detail on the defensive end. That's one thing that coaches are preparing is that we've got to be tough and we've got to guard. That's been the emphasis the last few practices is that we really have to guard, and we'll really have to dig in on defense. That's something that's been in the back of our minds. I feel like if we can guard at a high level, we can be competitive and successful in the Pac-12.

JEROD HAASE: Yeah, the first six months on the job here, one of the goals I had was trying to define who we're going to be moving forward. I'd say the first four months there was an evaluation process of what the program is, what it's been in the past. Talked to former players, former coaches and with the current team and current staff as well. We've talked a lot about culture. And culturally what we want to be moving forward. Our core values for the program are going to be invested, tough and selfless. That's something we've tried to visit a lot with our guys about; that everything we do on the court, off the court are going to come down to those core values. If I'm fortunate enough to be at Stanford for a long time, that's going to be the core foundation for everything we do.

Q. Coach, since you're at Stanford, are you using the student's think tank or anything for analytics for your basketball team? And, Reid, I think your team's bringing back the most players this season. How does that benefit your team?
JEROD HAASE: Yeah, with analytics, I think there is value to it. We are doing some different things, especially with the Stanford culture and the resources we have. Having said that, I'd say in some ways I'm old school as well. And I think a lot of times the analytics and the facts oftentimes validate the coach's thinking and what we're looking at, if there are ever data points or some information that maybe raises a red flag, we'll certainly look into that. But we use that information more as a way to validate the things we're doing and try to trust my gut feeling, my experience as a player and a coach to try to guide our thinking.

REID TRAVIS: Like he said, having the most people coming back in the conference, that's definitely a big plus for us. Having a great mix of veterans and younger guys, I feel like we've played so many games had so many practices with so many hours together, that our chemistry is just through the roof. Now it's just trying to put that together and keep on increasing that chemistry so when the season starts that people can really tell this is a group that's been meshing and has been together for a long time.

Q. Coach, you guys went 26-7 last year at UAB, and 62-12 in conference play, and you were relegated to the NIT. If you do that at Stanford, you're a top 1 or 2 seed in the NCAA tournament. For a coach, how important is it to be in a conference where your wins will be legitimized and you'll get recognized if you have a great year like you did last year?
JEROD HAASE: Well, the Pac-12 has a very, very high standard in the past. I think this year will be no different. I think there is great depth to the conference. And being in a conference like this, if you're able to put wins together and have a resume with conference wins, it will get rewarded, as it should. From top to bottom, there is a great deal of talent. There is a great deal of high-level coaching and great recruits from year in and year out. So I think there are a lot of rewards, a lot of difficulties being in a conference like this. But a lot of rewards as well if you can navigate the schedule and get some victories.

Q. You have a couple of really talented juniors in Dorian Pickens and Michael Humphrey who have grown nicely over their freshmen and sophomore years. Can you talk about what you expect from them and what growth you've seen from them in the last few months?
JEROD HAASE: Yeah, I think they've done a nice job physically, first of all, in the off-season. Michael in particular has gained about 20, 25 pounds. Every time that he and Reid hit at practice, there is a large collision, and you can almost feel it across the gym. So we need to make sure that they're trying to play without fouling, but it's also something that's been fun to see Michael's development, that he is a skilled, versatile player, but also has the ability. We want to make sure he goes inside as well and tries to get fouled.

Dorian has been fantastic. We need him to continue to increase his role. We need him to be a proficient shooter, proficient scorer. We want him to slowly emerge as a leader on the team as well. But those two in particular, like you mentioned, are juniors that have the ability to impact our team in a really positive way.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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