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October 8, 2019

Jerod Haase

San Francisco, California

JEROD HAASE: We're pleased certainly to be here. This is a time of the year where there's certainly a great deal of optimism, and as a head coach, a lot of anxiety, as well, as you put the whole piece coming.

Coming into the season, we're really excited coming off a foreign tour. We went to Italy and Germany and had a great trip, both from an experience standpoint and also from a development standpoint on the court. I think the guys grew over the summer, and as a team we grew in a variety of ways.

As we go into the season, I'm really excited about the pieces we have. We're a little bit lean on numbers. We've had obviously KZ go to the NBA, Kodye Pugh messed up his knee and he'll be out for the season, Trevor Stanback is a medical hardship. So in terms of sheer numbers, we're down a little bit, but again, with the guys we have, we're certainly very excited.

Q. Coach, I'm doing a story on ASU going to China, and I know that you took a team to China your first year, so I wanted to get your input on what that trip meant to you.
JEROD HAASE: Yeah, with the China trip, it was certainly a great experience for our guys. I felt like we had a group that really enjoyed the experience and kind of took in all that was there. It was my first game as a head coach, so it was kind of obviously a new experience and that kind of thing, but I thought it was a first class event. It was great for us to play Harvard, and overall it was a real positive. Coming back it was challenging because you get back and you're playing games almost immediately and figuring out the time change and that kind of thing. But culturally it was an unbelievable experience, high level of competition, and overall first class event.

Q. I believe I saw was it Bryce who got a chance to get in some nice runs with some pro players over the summer. I was just wondering, he really showed some nice flashes as a freshman. How do you see him developing as a sophomore?
JEROD HAASE: Yeah, with Bryce Wills we're looking at a guy who needs to have a great year for us, and he is a high, high-level athlete, extremely intelligent, understands the game, fantastic at getting to the paint and being a slasher. Without question could be one of the best defensive guards in the conference. But also needs to continue to learn the game, to learn to trust his jump shot, to continue to get reps shooting the basketball. So he's less one-dimensional and truly multidimensional on the offensive end.

Q. Where would you like to say Daejon grow this season?
JEROD HAASE: Well, number one, we've seen this growth in the summer and in the beginning of practice right now is just maturity, and handling adversity. We've talked a lot about mental toughness, leadership, those kind of catch phrases, but really talk about what that means, and I think he's really embraced it this summer. The first five or six practices we've had, I think he's been a great leader to the younger guys. He's handled himself with a great deal of maturity.

On the court, he and Bryce can be truly elite defenders. When he's at his best offensively and is a complete player, he's as good as there is. He can be an all-conference type player. But what's hindered him in the past is when times are tough or when adversity hit, it affected him, and I think in the off-season right now, I think he's in a position where he understands that, and not only that, has really pushed through and handled adversity well, so that'll be a challenge when the games start.

Q. How much are you trying to learn about the fair pay to play act, and any thoughts on what impact --
JEROD HAASE: It's a great question with SB 206 and just the national narrative right now with name, image and likeness and the whole issue at hand I think is an interesting topic.

I do try and educate myself on it. I think it's an important time. I think there's kind of two ways to look at it: One is philosophically where do you stand and then practically how are things applied. Certainly I think a lot of smart people need to get in a room and try to get everybody on the same page. I think it would be important that at the end of this there's a unified plan and a unified voice that kind of thinks through everything because I think my biggest concern is just the idea of what we don't know, and I know there's a lot of different points of view on it, and I think I respect all of those and appreciate all of those, but I also believe that we really need to think not only about the obvious things, about the specifics, what happens initially, but really try and think through what all the consequences will be. But I think that's something there needs to be a lot of dialogue and a lot of smart people thinking through it, and a lot of different organizations communicating.

Q. Bob Myers was here earlier talking about the Al Attles Classic which is going to start being played in Chase Center. What do you think about having a venue like that and what it offers as far as putting the spotlight on college basketball a little bit more?
JEROD HAASE: We're certainly anxious to get to the Chase Center and play in that tournament. It'll be fantastic. It's another experience for our guys to experience a new venue and experience new things. Excited for the challenge. Really proud to be a part of that first college, I guess, games in the Chase Center, and hopefully it'll be a nice catalyst to I guess at that point getting close to the end of our non-conference schedule.

Q. I wanted to ask you about Oscar da Silva. A couple years ago, plus 50 from the three-point line. Obviously he has a shooting stroke. Where would you like to see him grow?
JEROD HAASE: Yeah, with Oscar, he needs to be -- he is a complete player and needs to continue to be a focus with our entire offense and defense. But with him, I think the confidence, the realization that he is an elite-level player, he needs to really come to grips with that. We'll certainly do a lot of different things to get him the basketball in different ways, and part of it, and only part of it is his shooting, and he does need to shoot the open shots and does need to shoot a better percentage. He doesn't need to shoot 56 or 55 percent like he did his freshman year, but also needs to shoot a little better than he did last year.

He's worked extremely hard in the off-season. I think his confidence is growing in the shot, and as his shot goes in, he's a natural play maker, he is score inside and out, and he's one of the guys that -- and I think we have a variety of guys that can make others better around him.

Q. How big of a benefit was it for you to have the international trip this off-season to get the extra practices in, going ahead into this season?
JEROD HAASE: Yeah, the timing was fantastic for the international trip. It was an opportunity for the guy to get to know each other better and to really work on the cohesiveness of the team and get the guys really buying into just the whole plan that we're kind of executing right now. The guys were fantastic. From an experience standpoint, they just absolutely loved and ate up every part of the tour, and then from a basketball standpoint, I think we laid a foundation, and I think we're clear going into the season right now that we know what our roadmap needs to be, and now we need to coach it and players need to execute that plan to have some success.

Q. Health-wise, where are you at? Compared to last year, you --
JEROD HAASE: Yeah, the health piece, the most important part for our team this year it's probably going to be health. Trevor Stanback is in a medical hardship and he'll be done, and he's helped out with the team but he won't be playing.

Kodye Pugh injured his knee and he'll be out for the season. Obviously KZ went pro, so just from a numbers standpoint we're down, and we don't have a full complement of players necessarily. But having said that, the guys that we have, we're really excited about, but that goes back to the number one factor being injury prevention. If we can keep guys on the floor, I like what we have but we've got to make sure we keep them out there.

Q. You want to push them, you want to work hard. Given what's happened the last couple years, you almost get scared or reluctant to really -- hey, we've got to ramp it up, we've got to be ready, but it's been the biggest drawback.
JEROD HAASE: Yeah, for sure, it's been a challenge within the program. But I have a philosophically about how we practice and how we go about things, and I don't think we're going to completely change things and stop going live in practice. But it's always in my mind that we need to make sure the guys stay healthy, and we're doing that in a variety of different ways. We're addressing it in different ways that I'm excited about, and see if we can execute the plan of staying healthy.

Q. Will the three-point line be -- it's obviously a factor, big difference, not really? Do you see teams adjusting? A lot of people will really adjust to it or --
JEROD HAASE: Yeah, I don't foresee the three-point line change being a major impact. I don't think there will be a ton less shots. I don't think the percentages will go down a ton. Well, they'll probably both go down a little bit. I think the biggest impact is going to be the corner shots when guys are going to shoot in the corner that they step out of bounds as they get used to the spacing and things.

I do think turnovers are going to go up, when guys are shooting three-points shots from the side, I think that'll be as much of an impact early as much as anything. But overall I think the game itself is good with the more space and freedom of movement. I don't foresee it again having major, major impacts on the game.

Q. How do you handle social media with your team? Do you instill any kind of policies or are you ever concerned about -- it's not a new phenomenon but about them getting feedback through their social media accounts?
JEROD HAASE: Yeah, social media, I probably fall on the side of encouraging our guys to use it. I mean, Stanford, Stanford basketball team is a way to brand them and to build their brand. We obviously talk about using common sense and everything they do, which we have guys that are absolutely fantastic, and so one of the things we talk about is obviously don't do silly things and put on social media because it does last, but it's also a way to build your brand and tell your story, and we have guys that have such great stories that we think it's a real positive. If anything we would encourage the guys to get out there.

And the reality, too, is we have a lot of guys that by choice don't use it a lot or kind of minimalize that part of it.

Q. Do you ever -- have you ever seen any ill effects from it as far as they've gotten feedback or people criticized them on social media?
JEROD HAASE: Yeah, with social media I think there's so many influences there, we talk to our guys all the time about trying to keep the circle of influence tight and really focus on the things they need to be focusing on. But both negative and positive feedback comes through social media, and we talk about and try to preach the idea that with all of that, take it with a grain of salt. Generally you're not as great when people are patting you on the back and you're not as bad when things aren't going well.

But we do have a group of guys that have unbelievably high character. They're grounded. They have a pretty good perspective on things. So I don't have any specific examples of good or bad things that have really come from specific social media circumstances.

Q. What's Daejon's next -- I know you've talked to him, but what's his next step, or what does he need to do?
JEROD HAASE: So the next step, I think his game is going to flourish as he has the stability on the court mentally, not getting too high or too low. He's as dynamic of a person as I've ever been around, and when things are good, he can take an entire team with him to really good spots, and when he gets frustrated or struggles, he really takes the team with him some. And I think so far, he's really off to a great start with that stability part, and I think his game as he gets more and more consistent with handling adversity, I think his game is going to absolutely flourish.

The next piece for him, also, is the leadership piece of the team. Last year I did not name a captain because I didn't think anybody deserved it, and this year as we go through, I'm hoping that we're able to name a captain or captains to have that leadership, but he is certainly with his personality in a position to be a fantastic leader, and we'll kind of see where it goes from there.

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