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March 10, 2011

Jared Cunningham

Craig Robinson

Ahmad Starks



THE MODERATOR: An opening statement from Coach and then questions.
COACH ROBINSON: Well, we'd certainly much rather be playing tomorrow. For a while there I was excited about what was going on in there. But a stretch there where they banged three threes and it seemed like we couldn't get past the ten-point stretch.
I'm looking at the stat sheet and see we go 6 for 16 from the foul line and you lose by, and there you have it right there. Given the youth of the team and the effort, I couldn't be happier the way this all ended up for us.
Certainly, I would have loved to have won more games in the conference, especially on the road for these younger guys. When you see these guys to my right, the future's bright. I'm sorry that we're not continuing on, but I'm happy as heck that we've got next year.

Q. Did you see the play with Joe as a turning point? They scored the next eight points. You're right there, and that put them up pretty big at that point?
COACH ROBINSON: Without seeing it on tape and without seeing the whole thing, I would be irresponsible to say that was a turning point. I really thought a turning point was right after the second half. We come out, score, and they hit three threes. That was a tough one there. If we had weathered that maybe Joe's ejection wouldn't have been as painful as it was. But I really have to look at the tape to be sure.

Q. What did you see on that play? What did Joe tell you? It seemed like he was saying it was retaliation. What did he say about that?
COACH ROBINSON: Yeah, that is what he said. I couldn't see the screen, I just heard the crowd, so I didn't see anything. I haven't seen it, so I can't even comment on it.
But it was a physical game, and I'm sure that there was something leading up to that. But I don't want to take anything away from the University of Arizona. I don't want to take anything away from Joe's play. He was playing a good game up until then, and we certainly missed having him in there.

Q. You mentioned it in your opening statement, but getting ahead to the future now, it will be all your guys now, all of your recruits are going another year. Not to put down the seniors, but is this something you're looking forward to, to have this all your group?
COACH ROBINSON: Yeah, and just know that the seniors are my guys too. They've been with us for three years now. So I don't want to just miss that. It it's just that when I came here, the recruiting was going in one direction, and now we've got it going in a different direction.
So it's exciting to go see these guys mature and get to a point where you look at the stat sheet and look at that game where these two guys are going to be very good.

Q. Wondered if you got a sense playing Arizona today and when you've seen them in the past, what kind of NCAA Tournament team they might be?
COACH ROBINSON: Well, hard for me to say, but I suspect they're going to be a tough team to play against. They've got adequate size, but they've got speed, physicality, and the ability to make shots. That's a hard combination.
They can go bigger. They can go medium. They can go small. It's just a dangerous combination. So I'll be looking forward to seeing who they he get matched up with.

Q. Ahmad and Jared, the fact you guys both played very good games today. Going forward do you feel very sad that the season is over and you've just now hit your stride? You guys won yesterday, and you got some momentum and then boom, the season's over now?
JARED CUNNINGHAM: We're not really focused on that. We've got the spring to get better, and a young group of guys we have, we can go hard from here on to the next season. You know, just a lot of work we've got to put in from here to next season. If we do that, we know we'll come into the Pac 10 doing real good.
AHMAD STARKS: I'm sure me and Jared both are excited about the way we played these past two games. But we still came out with the loss tonight, so that's upsetting.
But as far as the future, we'll just continue to work hard, like he said. We've got the spring workouts and we'll start getting better from that point.

Q. What was the difference with the defense you were seeing in the second half after you had 19 in the first?
JARED CUNNINGHAM: Their defense was really good. They closed in on me, and I tried to find my teammates. Some of the shots were ill- advised and I kind of forced them. But we tried to get back into the game, and they knocked down some threes on their end, and that's how that helped them.

Q. Jared after one shot, you cramped in the first half or second half as well?
JARED CUNNINGHAM: Yeah, I came down wrong and my leg cramped you up. The trainer did a good job of getting it out of my leg, so I got back in the game and tried to play through it.

Q. It was all right though?
JARED CUNNINGHAM: Yes, it was fine.

Q. After that cramp, it happened in the second half of the same possession as Joe's incident. Did it have any affect on your game afterwards because I don't think you scored after?
JARED CUNNINGHAM: I really didn't see what happened with Joe's incident.

Q. But your cramp, do you feel like it had an affect on the way you played through you the second half?
JARED CUNNINGHAM: No, I tried to fight through it. I really didn't feel it after that. I just tried to help my team get the win, and unfortunately, we couldn't?
COACH ROBINSON: I'll add that for Jared after that play he might not have scored much, but we made those runs defensively without him out there. Seeing that toughness, it's good to see and it's good for the younger players to see how hard you go all the time.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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