UCLA PRESS CONFERENCE
March 16, 2013Eastern Indiana Sports
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA
UCLA – 66
Arizona – 64
THE MODERATOR: Coach, some opening statements, please?
COACH HOWLAND: Another fantastic win in the comeback fashion that we've had back?to?back nights now of. Just really proud of our team, how they never quit, they never give up, they never stopped believing in themselves and each other.
There was so much mental toughness to be able to come back against a great team and a team that's going to be highly seeded and has a chance. I mean, Arizona played really well today. Hat's off to them. They're a great team. I was just really proud of the way our guys hung in there and found a way.
You know, when we get into close games, we've got a great shot at winning close games. Our guys are just so mentally tough and they find a way.
A lot of big plays. I thought Jordan Adams was fantastic during that run when he came back and was in the zone and his teammates were fighting him; and Kyle hit him one time on a flop along the baseline. I mean, you'd have to know our scheme to know how special some of the plays were. I thought that our guys were fighting through fatigue there at a point, and we're asking Larry to do a lot, 37 minutes. It's like he's a marathon runner. But that's what this is. This season is not a sprint; it's a marathon. My whole thing is that I hope that Jordan's foot is okay and excited about the win.
I look at Jordan Adams again. That kid was not on the all?freshman team, so I want to reiterate that again. And I voted for one of the Arizona freshmen, because Tarczewski and Ashley were fantastic tonight, 13 rebounds for Tarczewski, 15 points for Ashley. I mean, those guys will both be pros someday as will our freshmen. So just excited about the win, and to live and play for another day.
THE MODERATOR: Would you have anticipated Larry Drew going scoreless and being successful?
COACH HOWLAND: You know what? I thought that Larry had a very good game. I thought he got a little tired defensively. He doesn't have to score, neither does Kyle, either one of these kids. They're point guards. Point guards make their teammates better. Kyle's rebound there down the end where he got the offensive rebound and put us back up, which I think was the winning basket, correct?
That was the final margin of victory was a huge play. We had given up a three the play before we didn't want to give up with a three?point lead. But we redeemed ourselves with a huge rebound and putback.
So it's a great win over a very good team and lives for another day. We'll see who we're playing here in about two and a half hours.
Q. What happened with Jordan?
COACH HOWLAND: The very last play of the game when they were shooting, somehow he came down and tweaked his foot. So he's getting X?rayed on it right now. Here in the building somewhere there is an X?ray machine. We'll see how it is.
Q. Have you seen him in a zone like that at all as much as that though?
COACH HOWLAND: Absolutely. Haven't we seen him in a zone like that, guys?
LARRY DREW II: Yeah.
COACH HOWLAND: It happens all the time. I mean, he really had it going. Plus he gets the steal, a one?point game. He leads the conference in steals in conference games. He's 8th in the league in scoring. He is a really good player.
I thought Norman Powell's minutes off the bench were huge, along with David Wear, especially Norman's energy. He came in when we were down 10, 11. He energized us, got some plays, made some rebounds, started doing better on the glass.
Again, you look at our key stat, and this has been a key stat all year for this team, five turnovers. I mean, only had five turnovers against that kind of pressure and those kind of athletes really speaks a lot to these two up here.
Q. When Shabazz struggles like he was in the first half and Solomon's playing really good D on him, do you take comfort knowing you have a guy like Jordan who can pick up the slack and make that run?
COACH HOWLAND: I'm sorry.
Q. When Shabazz was struggling there in the first half, do you take comfort?
COACH HOWLAND: I tell you what? Everybody's dialed in on Shabazz. God bless him. He's seeing the best team's defender night?in and night?out, and they're really coming after him. And I love Hill. When I did my all?league voting, I voted Crabbe, because I can't vote for my own players, number one, and then I voted Hill number two in the conference.
They've a point system. I just think Hill's fantastic, and he did a great job. I thought we did a great job with Hill. He made that big play down the stretch there where he caught the ball in the corner, but he's just a heck of a player. We never want to see him again.
Q. Did you see or hear or figure out what happened with Sean Miller's technical?
COACH HOWLAND: I don't. I have no idea. I don't even watch the other bench or anything like that. I never do that. He's coaching his team. Sean is a great coach. We have a connection through the University of Pittsburgh. My former trainer there. Tony Salesi was his trainer for four years at Pitt, and Tony is one of my closest friends. Sean's dad was a local high school coach there, a legend in Western Pennsylvania and one of the great point guards in the history of that program. So I have great respect for Sean, and I have no idea what that was about.
All I know is that before the game they came and warned both of us that the big emphasis for the two coaches was the coaching box and making sure that we were in it. I very rarely say anything to the officials. I was coaching my team, and I think that's what Sean does. But I can't answer it for you.
Q. It's been a number of years since UCLA got to the championship game. Your level of excitement to be able to play for a title that's eluded the school for five or six seasons?
KYLE ANDERSON: Yeah, I'm really excited. And I know a lot of the guys on this team are because we fought so hard, so long this season. It just so happens that we're playing really well in March, which is actually postseason basketball. We're playing well right now. We want to carry it over to the next game and just take it day by day from here on out.
Q. Also, your comments on how you were able to come back again tonight? You had to come back from a double digit deficit the other night and you did it today against a really good team?
KYLE ANDERSON: I think we did a good job of keeping our composure. The leaders on our team stressed to the five guys that are out there that we have to stay calm, being down 11 or 9 or whatever it was. I think that's what we did a really good job of and we were able to fight back for a second time and end up with the win.
Q. There's some word on Twitter from CBS Sports that Jordan broke his foot and he would be out for the season. Obviously, that's a huge blow. I know you haven't heard much about it, but that's what he says. Your first comment on hearing that?
COACH HOWLAND: He's getting an X?ray right now, so there is no substantial evidence to support that.
Q. He says that he talked to Jordan.
COACH HOWLAND: Sorry, I can't help you.
Q. Coach Miller mentioned the free throw disadvantage between his team and your team as a big factor in the game. You want to comment on that?
COACH HOWLAND: I just thought we really attacked the rim. We did a great job attacking the basket. You go back and watch the film, you can evaluate it. But we did a great job, I thought, really taking the ball to the basket, especially the last 15 minutes of the game.
Shabazz did a great job of that, and it's a very physical game. There are two teams, and there is a lot of physicality involved in it. But, yeah, I'm excited about how our guys did that tonight. Jordan was the main one.
Go back and watch the tape. He's getting hit, and he does a good job of getting to the line. I think he took 13 foul shots, is that right? So Jordan himself was 11 for 13, and all of them were fouls.