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March 7, 2018

Wyking Jones

Darius McNeill

Justice Sueing

Las Vegas, Nevada

Stanford - 76, California - 58

WYKING JONES: We started off flat. Didn't feel like we -- didn't really have a rhythm to start the game. So found ourselves in a hole. It seemed like every time we kind of made a run, they capitalized. They made a play to maintain their lead. Hit a shot, hit a three, something, every time. It felt like we were starting to gain some momentum.

You know, I said it before the game to my team, I said, you know, we're going to have to make them earn everything that they get.

So we didn't do a great job in transition. They got a bunch of transition baskets. 14 points in the first half in transition, and they also got offensive rebounds. Seven offensive rebounds.

So, like I said, we just started off flat and they capitalized on it.

Q. I guess you guys ended up shooting below 30%. What did Stanford do to make it so tough for you guys on offense today?
WYKING JONES: I felt like we had looks. We just didn't knock them down. I don't know if it was so much what they did as we had open looks and didn't capitalize. That's on us.

Q. Darius, terrific first half. Can you talk about maybe what went right in the first half and what kind of happened to you in the second half?
DARIUS MCNEILL: First half, I would say I was just being aggressive and just looking to shoot when I first touch it when I'm wide open instead of always like just thinking a lot. I was just playing free and being aggressive.

Second half I would say I stopped being aggressive, and I stopped looking for my offensive game.

Q. So congratulations on breaking Allen Crabbe's freshman three-point record. Can you tell us what that might mean to you?
DARIUS MCNEILL: I would say that's an honor, something big. But I really wasn't thinking about it.

Q. You guys in the first two games have done a pretty good job of limiting Reid Travis. He was better today. What made the difference in that?
WYKING JONES: You know, he was just more relentless today. There were times when Kingsley came over one-on-one coverage, Kingsley blocked the shot. It's just he never quit. He never did. He just continued to fight. Times when Marcus would be guarding him and King came over a couple times and blocked the shot from the weak side, and it didn't stop him from attacking the rim. It was just a testament to how good he is, his talent. He's been around for a long time. He knows the conference. He's a veteran, and he looked like one tonight.

Q. I was just wondering, it can be tough in the moment as a season ends, but where would you like to see your guys go from here, from now until the start of the next season?
WYKING JONES: We're just going to focus a hundred percent on individual improvement. That's the first thing that's on my list. Really spend the spring and summer focusing on getting these guys better.

You know, getting in the gym. Last summer we were putting together a system, teaching the guys what defenses we were going to play, what offenses, what plays we were going to run. So that majority of the game, we've got that now. Nucleus of our team coming back, we have that now.

So now it's really about focusing on getting guys better, so when you are open, you can knock down that shot. You know, I think that that was part of the difference in the game. When they were open, they knocked down shots and we didn't.

Q. You've been through just about everything this year. Can you maybe talk about kind of some takeaways or what you've learned about yourself as a coach at the end of this?
WYKING JONES: Yeah, I'm very -- I just told these guys -- I got a little emotional. I'm very proud of this team because throughout all the ups and maturity downs, losses, they continued to stay together and they continued to be close. They continued to fight, continued to believe in each other. My staff and I, we continued to be close, to bond even more because of what we had to go through together throughout the season.

So that's the biggest takeaway that I have for this season. I got emotional, because I'm really going to miss Kingsley Okoroh and Cole Welle and Nick Hamilton and Marcus Lee and Derek King. Those guys are great young men. They're great young men.

Although it was a tough season, I really enjoy coaching these young men, and they're great young men. I think we built culture, and we'll continue to do so moving forward.

Q. Can you talk a little bit about Marcus's game. First seven minutes he didn't take a shot, obviously in foul trouble most of the night. How much did that affect what you guys weren't doing on the floor?
WYKING JONES: When I say we were out of sync, that was part of it. We rely on Marcus so much to create offense for us, to be a presence on defense, and he didn't have a great start to the game. So that was part of us being out of sync, played a big part.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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