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March 10, 2011

Tyler Honeycutt

Ben Howland


UCLA - 59

THE MODERATOR: An opening statement from Coach and then questions.
COACH HOWLAND: Okay, yeah, it's a real disappointing showing after coming off a very solid regular season campaign to show up like this and play as poorly as we did.
You have to give Oregon credit. Oregon came out and really did a nice job isolating us, and taking us off the dribble. They did a good job of executing their offense and also defending us. We had six baskets in the end of the first half, which is obviously not going to win many ballgames.
We did a better job starting out the second half. I thought we did a better job fighting back. I think we had 11, and had a shot where Reeves ran one of their players over and got a charge, would have cut it to 9 with quite a bit of minutes left, and then they hit some threes.
But you have to give them a lot of credit. This was disappointing to us, obviously, to lose this way. It is really, really frustrating. We've got to bounce back now. We'll actually watch this entire game tomorrow as a team. We'll practice on Saturday, and we'll have a hell of a practice on Saturday, then we'll see what happens on Sunday.
But bottom line is now is that it starts with me. Our team was not ready to play today. That was really obvious despite our performance. And really frustrating and disappointing considering we won 13 of our last 16 games with one of those losses being in overtime, and another one being whatever it was last Thursday night in Washington where we had a chance to win.
So this will be, hopefully, something that we can take and get better from somehow.

Q. Tyler, Coach obviously taking the blame for this loss not having you prepared. But it's the players on the courts. So I'm asking you, Tyler, why do you feel you guys were so flat, so unprepared and not playing at the same level as Oregon was in this game?
TYLER HONEYCUTT: Just started from warm-ups. Guys weren't taking like game shots, weren't really being focused. Really they just outplayed us. They were more prepared than we were. They had the mentality that they didn't have anything to lose. We came in here with a "too cool" of an attitude.

Q. How do you explain that you beat them a couple of times this year and then get dominated in this game? Was there any chance at all you look them lightly because of that?
COACH HOWLAND: I certainly hope not. The way they played us at our place a month ago today -- it was a month ago today that we played them, February 10th -- they played great. We really had to fight our way back to win that basketball game. We watched edits of the film, and it was a four-point game with 5:00 to go. It was a very hard fought win.
Up there we played and got a big win up there on the road against them early in the season when we were digging ourselves out of the 1 and 2 start we had in this conference. That was a huge win. But, yeah, it's really frustrating.
Bottom line, it starts right here. Obviously, we did not do a good job getting our team focused, I did not, focused and understanding. I'm really disappointed in that because we had a lot of opportunity here to help ourselves.

Q. What happened when you had six men on the court and got the technical?
COACH HOWLAND: Yeah, Reeves and I forget who the other person was went in for Lamb and I forget who else. We didn't have a sit-down timeout. So the players are supposed to tell who they go in for. That was embarrassing. That right there was like indicative of the night. That that could actually happen is unbelievable.

Q. Can you assess Malcolm Lee's performance playing on the bad knee?
COACH HOWLAND: Malcolm practiced pretty well yesterday, I thought. Limited minutes, but going full speed. And I thought he did a good job. I thought he showed a lot of -- I thought he was fine in terms of his lateral movement and his ability to run. He made a big three early in the game right there when we were hanging in there the first ten minutes of the half.
So I took him out there for a while, but he ended up thinking -- how many minutes did he play? He had 28 minutes, which is about what we wanted to do.
We'll see how it responds now, but I think it's going to be okay.

Q. Tyler, would you call this an effort loss or a talent, skill loss?
TYLER HONEYCUTT: Effort. Our players are all good individually-wise, but we just didn't put it together tonight. They came out with more energy. They were just ready to play.

Q. What do you realistically expect from the selection committee?
COACH HOWLAND: You know what, I think that we'll be invited. I think we'll be traveling somewhere. I just have to wait and see now. I don't even want to venture a guess. They do it on the total body of work -- if it was just this game, obviously, we wouldn't even be invited. But hopefully we can do a good job now of bouncing back.
But it only comes through hard work. We need to have a lot of learning going on tomorrow when we watch this film, and we need to have really good practices, Saturday's practice to get ready. When we do get an opportunity to go wherever it is when we find out on Sunday.

Q. Can you talk about responding when Tyler was saying Oregon comes in with this do-or-die attitude, and they came in with "too cool" of an attitude. What is your reaction to that?
COACH HOWLAND: Well, I talked about that after the game and before the game. They were going to come in here. This was going to be their last game if they don't win. So that's how they played. And they've done a good job this year. They've battled and they were very hot when they came here to L.A. when they were here just a month ago. So they're a good team.
Whichever team has to play them tomorrow has got a very difficult team on their hands. We were going to have to play really well to have success tonight to beat these guys.

Q. Just talk about (Indiscernible) his attitude.
COACH HOWLAND: Well, you learn. We have a young team, and hopefully we learn. All of our players, Tyler's going to have a long career ahead of him. Bottom line, and I say this all the time, anybody can beat anybody on any given night. You've got to be ready to play every time you put your shoes on whether it's practice or the game you're playing in. It just really was frustrating tonight the way we played.

Q. Last week there was a funny moment when you kissed a reporter when he mentioned that you won 22 games. I guess what I inferred from that was you were surprised or at least pleasantly surprised you got that far. At some point you thought of yourselves as a tournament team. I'm wondering when that transformation happened and what a night like tonight does to that?
COACH HOWLAND: Well, that's not a true characterization of exactly what happened. That's you inferring, and if you want me to go through it again, I'll be happy to.
When we were three-four going into Finals last quarter, John Gould came to my office to do an interview. We talked about the fact that, yeah, we're really struggling right now. But I felt good about us bouncing back. I did not see us as not being a tournament team at that time. That's you reading into whatever you're reading into.
But he said at that time, I thought you were going to win 20, 22 games this year. I said, John, if we win 22 games I'll be really pleased and happy, and I'll give you a big kiss. I didn't even remember that. So that's what happened.
Bottom line is that we are where we are. We're 13-5 in the regular season in this conference. This was a frustrating loss. I was really excited about the momentum we had built late in the year coming into this tournament. And we really, really laid an egg tonight. Now it will be a true test of our character how this team bounces back from this performance tonight.

Q. Has a team you coached ever had six men on the floor before? Has that ever happened to you?
COACH HOWLAND: I don't think so, no.

Q. It seems like Reeves got that technical foul, and it seems like you build on his energy a lot, and some of that seemed to be missing with frustration. How much of that was the funk that Reeves got into tonight?
COACH HOWLAND: No one on our team played well tonight. There wasn't anybody that had a great performance. I thought that Lazeric, for example, was really pressing, because he had his mom and dad here for the first time watching him play in person. They flew out from Chicago to be here. I really feel bad for him. I think he's done a great job for us all year long. To have mom and dad here, you could tell that he was pressing the way he was playing trying to get something going instead of just focused on letting it come to him.
But it was everybody. It was the entire team. Reeves, I don't think he scored in the first half. Yeah, he didn't. You know, it's frustrating all the way through, everybody on the team.

Q. From a team standpoint when you guys, should you guys get invited to the tournament, I'm assuming that the team is going to take that as an opportunity to redeem themselves from tonight's performance?
TYLER HONEYCUTT: Yeah, of course. We're going to take this game as a learning experience. I think we took it for granted being the No. 2 seed. We thought we were going to get a couple easy games right off the bat. I thought about it before this game, realistically we can only play two more games for the rest of the season, so now that's a little more magnified.
When we go to practice, hopefully everybody's ready, and stays focused. Remember this game, but in a way forget about it and move on to the next one.

Q. With the way you guys played in Pullman, you struggled without Thompson and Moore. Were you surprised that you had this flat game tonight? Also, did Altman give everybody a game plan against you guys now with the way he spread it out?
COACH HOWLAND: I don't think that. We got caught coming out too far. A number of times when they drive around us. And you have to give Oregon credit. They've got some nice players. They're hard to match-up with the way they pick on certain match-ups. Catron's a very difficult match-up.
I thought that our offense in the first half was 6-24, and we had 7 turnovers, and three or four of them were just totally unforced, whether it's a bad pass or over-dribbling, just things that really hurt us. Each possession matters so much in a game.
Hopefully, by watching this film it will be something that will help our team as we get prepared for the next game we're going to play.

Q. Tyler talked about redemption. Can you talk about your thought process? Is that the silver lining for you? They got this out of the way and now they can come into the tournament with a chip on their shoulder?
COACH HOWLAND: We know we've got to come back and have great work ethic here. Whoever we're going to play, it's going to be an unbelievably difficult game. It's going to be us against the world because it's going to be potentially in another region.
This team's had a very good year, and I did not want to go out with a sour taste in my mouth with the end of this year. It's going to be a whole new season whichever opponent we end up with, and we want to enter it the right way.

Q. Can you talk about there was a closed-door meeting. What did you tell the team, how did you address them? What was the tone of your message?
COACH HOWLAND: Basically, a lot of the things that we've talked about here tonight. Just the frustration of how we've got to learn. Number one thing I tried to talk about with our team is that everybody's got to come right back and put it right here as to our performance tonight.
You've got to go back and look at yourself first, not point at anybody else but one's self. To me that is important when you come off a really disappointing effort and loss the way we had tonight.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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