Jan. 14, 2013
Head Coach Larry Krystkowiak Press Conference Quotes (1/14/13)
After the USC game you mentioned wanting to have 10-minute meetings with every player. How are those meetings going?
"We're piling through them right now. We will be finished with everyone by the end of tomorrow. The 10-minute meetings have stretched a longer, so between classes and media things we are doing today we will get them done. It's important that we communicate and everyone comes in individually. We're open for suggestions and we will give them our input. Then there isn't a whole lot of time for talk. We have a couple months and to get busy and start thinking about more action and less talk. We want to make sure guys don't feel like they aren't being heard and don't have any input. Then talk is cheap after that individual meeting."
At the halfway point of the season, can you give a `State of the Program'?
"I didn't realize we were halfway, I'm thinking of it more as two months, 14 league games and the Pac-12 Tournament. Things can certainly be better. One of the elements that I think is interesting, and was reflecting on over the weekend, is that we were in three close games to start conference play and I think the tendency is to focus on some of the little things we've been talking about. Talk about one play that might make a difference but then we get our butt whipped by USC. I found myself going home Saturday night thinking more about big picture things. I think it's important maybe we get back to bigger picture things. The mentality and thoughts we have going in. So we are going to simplify things for our guys right now, ease up their mind about what we're going to run, and ask them to go make some plays. Hopefully they will gain some confidence through doing that."
"I don't think we have started games really strong in terms of coming out of the locker room dialed in the way we need to be. Arizona State was ok but Arizona, UCLA and USC were so-so. Sometimes I think we come out and get punched in the mouth first and it still takes us a little while to wake up. So I'm going to address some of that at practice, we will get right into it quick and do some things more efficiently in practice. Again it's the thought of less talk and more play. We talk about playing defense and that has been a staple for us. But I'm going to really try to simplify some of the offensive things we do. I don't want to give any of the master plan away, but we're going to try to be more efficient in terms of the things we do. Really I just want to free up their minds to go enjoy the last couple months of this experience and try to make the most of it."
Can you talk about Washington State and Brock Motum?
"He is a load. He's averaging 20 points per game in conference play and he is a guy they look to get a lot of shots to. He is extremely versatile. He can score inside and outside from the 3-point line. He does a terrific job of putting the ball on the floor and getting to the basket, and he is also a great passer. So he is quite a challenge for us at that position and he was a year ago. He is the prototypical play-away 4-man that stretches the floor. If you put someone on him that is as quick as him he finds a way to score around the basket. If you put someone on him that's big and strong, he makes you chase him around on the perimeter and you can't keep up with him. I think that's what we're all in search of and that's the nature of where the 4-spot is going, trying to find a versatile player that can do both things."
Can you talk more about the player meetings and simplifying the offense? Is there an overall theme to these meetings?
"I think the overall theme is communication and making sure the lines of communication are open. I've had a couple days to think about things I want to change with our approach. Having been a player I think it's important. I played for some coaches who never thought about it from a player's perspective. I don't want our players to go out and think that if they make a mistake, they will get yanked out of a game. But they also have to understand that if they want to stay in, they have to make plays. So I'm sympathetic to that side of it. So it becomes "What do I need to do for you Justin Seymour, what do I need to do for you Jason Washburn, to make things easier for you so we're on the same page?' And I want to let them know what I expect at the same time. We just don't have that much time in the season to be guessing anymore.
"We are going to simplify the offense in terms of how plays finish. I would like to say `You guys go make some plays'. We talk about it all the time, coaches put plays in, but players are the ones who make plays. I don't want us to think we have to be on a set of railroad tracks where it has to go a certain way and then if we get a shot, maybe we've been thinking so much that we can't make it. I think that's been the nature of missing so many shots lately, to me we're thinking too much. So I want to free up our guys' minds to go make some plays, and hopefully don't turn it over. We're doing a great job lately of not turning it over, so now if we're going to open it up to make some plays, we have to keep that same pace going."
You are making in-roads as far as getting that first road win in conference play. Can you talk about the progress you have made?
"I think after the Arizona weekend and the BYU game, in some of those places we responded well in hostile environments. I think we were pretty focused coming out of the locker room and we put ourselves in position for a breakthrough win. So I'm cautiously optimistic about it, but you have to bring that on a nightly basis. You can't rely on what took place in those three games. You have to be ready to go. Washington State is in a similar situation to us, they are trying to get a breakthrough win. It's going to be a fight, we have to act. For us it's time to quit talking about it and go try to do it."