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March 8, 2017

Jerod Haase

Reid Travis

Michael Humphrey

Las Vegas, Nevada

Arizona State - 98, Stanford - 88

THE MODERATOR: Coach, an opening statement and then questions.

COACH HAASE: In terms of the game, it was -- a big part of our deficiencies was our inability to guard the basketball, and certainly the three-point shooting was good, but our inability to guard dribble penetration, that caused a lot of breakdowns, their efficiency on the offensive end, and I thought we were much more competitive and maybe a step quicker in the second half. I thought the guys' look before the game was great, but for whatever reason, we were just a step slow in the first half.

But when they're playing a very potent offensive team like that, it gets difficult at times, and, again, the inability to guard the basketball is a key, key problem.

Q. Just wondered, Jerod, what is the most challenging part about covering a team that starts four guards and a small forward?
COACH HAASE: Well, the shooting ability. I mean, you say four guards, but the fifth guy out there was two of four from the three-point line as well. So they had five shooters out there, four playmakers. There's great spacing, and it becomes very difficult. Our strength is our size and gritty and tough and that kind of thing, but when you're out there chasing and trying to guard dribble penetration, it becomes difficult.

Q. Just statistically, the biggest margin seemed to be on free throws. Is that basically what you were saying in terms of stopping the dribble penetration? Because all the other categories of the game was pretty much even.
COACH HAASE: Yeah, I think that did lead to a lot of the free-throw situations, but at the same time, early in the game we put Justice on the line two different times for six points by fouling an outside shot, so there was a lack of intelligence on a couple plays, but most of them were because of dribble penetration and defensive breakdowns that led to fouls.

Q. Reid and Mike, you guys combined for 18 boards, I think. Went over 40 points together. Is this the best you feel you guys have played together as a group this year?
MICHAEL HUMPHREY: I thought we played well. But at the end of the day it really doesn't matter if we have 100 and 100 if we're not winning games. So I think we are every day playing better with each other. It's just -- it's got to be a collective team effort. We've got to do a better job of getting everybody involved to get a victory.

REID TRAVIS: Yeah, just like what Mike said. I think as the year went on, we started to mesh more. And as you could see tonight, we started to play off each other a lot better. But like you said, when it comes at a loss, it definitely hurts. That kind of takes a back seat to that.

But it's definitely encouraging going forward to next year knowing that we both can put up numbers like that and feed off of each other. So it's something we need to keep doing, keep working on.

Q. For the players, I wonder, is it frustrating going against a smaller, quicker group, especially when you're on the defensive end? Or what is that?
MICHAEL HUMPHREY: The game's kind of changing that way. So it's something we'll probably see more and more of. Obviously sometimes it's tougher to go against a smaller guard like that, but that's just another area where we could improve. And if we can guard that and the big inside, it just helps us individually and as a team.

REID TRAVIS: Yeah, I wouldn't say frustrating, because if they're playing guards like that, we should have the advantage inside. So I think it just comes down to us realizing match-ups and realizing teams like that. So if we can play better defense and take advantage of what we have on offense, we should be winning games.

Q. Michael, you guys were kind of chasing points the whole game. You make a come back, come all the way back, you hit the shot, was it kind of tough to gather everything emotionally and get ready for the overtime?
MICHAEL HUMPHREY: Yeah, I felt like we had the emotion going our way going into that overtime period. I just think like give them credit. They played well in overtime. I don't think we played poorly in overtime, they just were able to execute in overtime.

Q. Jerod, if you could talk about Holder in particular for ASU and the role that he played today?
COACH HAASE: He did a great job using ball screens against the man and the zone and creating for others and creating his own shots as well. He certainly made some tough shots. It's not like every shot they shot was unchallenged and wide open. I think there has to be a lot of credit that goes to them for their abilities and ability to make tough shots. But I think he was the catalyst to make a lot of those things go.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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