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March 8, 2018

Jerod Haase

Reid Travis

KZ Okpala

Las Vegas, Nevada

UCLA - 88, Stanford - 77

JEROD HAASE: I don't have a lot of comments to start right now other than big picture. Certainly a lot of emotions going on right now, but number one by far is pride. Really, really proud of what the guys have done this year.

Q. Can you just talk about UCLA's offense and the challenge that they've presented? There is no real right answer for defending them, but what did you see from them tonight?
JEROD HAASE: Well, we are a more old-school, traditional team with traditional bigs, and they have such a -- they can really spread you out, a lot of times with four guards or five shooters on the court, and then combine that with dribble penetration, they're a hard team for anybody to guard. It certainly put us in bad situations, and foul trouble kind of compounded that as well.

But they're an elite-level shooting team with arguably the best point guard in the country. And he played like that today.

But it puts us in situations that we're not really comfortable with, and when they're able to knock in the shots like they did, this is the result you'll get.

Q. Midway through the first half, latter part of the first half, you went on a 15-4 run. What did you guys see from UCLA that allowed you to penetrate and get back into the game?
JEROD HAASE: I think it's more I think they were consistent with what they did. I think our mentality against the zone got a little better that we were trying to attack, I think, the entire year. We're best when we're attacking. And when we got to the foul line and we get to the paint some, things generally turn out better for us.

So I think it was more our guys' mindset of trying to be more aggressive.

Q. Coach, you briefly mentioned foul trouble. How did you think your team fought today with the foul trouble, especially with the foul trouble on Daejon?
JEROD HAASE: I thought, and sincerely I thought, we fought extremely hard. That's why the only comment I had at the beginning is how proud I am of the guys. Because this entire year it's been full of adversity. In this game, same thing. Foul trouble. It wasn't easy. But every time we got down, we kept fighting and competing.

So, again, that's hopefully going to be a staple of this team. But it will be a staple of the program moving forward as well.

Q. Reid, can you just talk about the start of the game? You guys had a bunch of turnovers early and were pretty clean the rest of the way. What was the trouble with the start?
REID TRAVIS: I'm not quite sure if there's one answer for it. I think guys had their heads in the right place. We were trying to make the right plays. Probably just moving a little too fast. I think we really just calmed down into the game, and that helped us start to take care of the ball more.

Q. KZ, can you talk about your game on offense tonight, and can you also talk about what it's like to deal with Daejon not on the floor, and how that changes you guys on both ends?
KZ OKPALA: I just try to help us win. Some days it's scoring, some days it's defense. Just play my role. So, yeah, today was more of an offensive game for me, mainly because Daejon wasn't on the floor. So just trying to attack.

Yeah, it affects us defensively and offensively when Daejon's not on the court. He pushes the ball up. He does a lot. So it's big.

Q. Reid, through all the adversity you guys went through this season, what can you say about your co-captains in Dorian and Michael and what they did with this team?
REID TRAVIS: Yeah, I'll just say how proud I am of them for us to come together as a group and be co-captains this year, it was a lot of responsibility put on us. Especially with guys being injured in the start of the year and losing some games we should have won.

Going into conference season we had a lot of ups and downs. But I would just say proud. Seeing how they fought all year, I've been through a lot with all those guys. So to see a season like this that's been a little up and down, to see how much they fought and we just stuck through it together, just really proud of the effort they put in this year.

Q. With what you guys have done since you've had KZ and Dorian back, do you think you've done enough to get an NIT or another postseason bid?
JEROD HAASE: Yeah, honestly I haven't studied anything enough. I think there are a couple ways to look at things, and one is by the numbers, and our numbers are probably not going to stack up favorably when you look at our entire body of work.

Now, if you look at the eye test and quality of the team, I think UCLA was really, really excited in their locker room afterwards because it meant something to beat us. And I think we've done a nice job as a program getting to the point right now where it means something to beat Stanford.

So those things are going to work themselves out. But I will say I'm confident in the team that we have right now that we can compete with some of the best teams in college basketball.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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