Coach Rose and players talk about WCC Tournament

Mar 06, 2014 - Posted by Sugene Lee on March 6, 2014 at 2:58 pm | Updated: March 6, 2014 11:00 pm

Coach Dave Rose

On getting into the NCAA tournament:

“I think we probably have to win the tournament to get in and that’s what our mindset is, so let’s take this first game. The most important thing is to control what you can control and the sure bet is that if we win it, we’re in a nice spot.”

“There are no guarantees, you have to play well. You need a lot of guys to play well for a long period of time – for three-straight games. You can’t do it with one or two guys. Hopefully the roster here is up to the task for what we need to do.”

On line-up changes:

“I don’t think they’ve all paid off. We’ve had an interesting season, but I think so much credit goes to these players. I think Matt Carlino, especially early in the season when we made the decision to bring him off the bench, how he responded to that and how well he’s played in that role, I think has made a lot of the other decisions much easier. You have your captain, your leader, who’s really out front who’s continued to play really well and I think that set the example for everyone.”

On Eric Mika coming off the bench:

“Eric and I had quite a few conversations about that. Right now, it feels really good for both of us. Hopefully we can see really good, positive results from that. I think he’s playing really well and these tournaments are really different than regular season games. There’s a lot of emotion, a lot of urgency and a lot of energy; it’s great what guys look forward to.”

On LMU or Portland matchups:

“They’ve both caused different problems. Portland has a really strong and deep front line. It’s caused us problems with their shooters. Loyola Marymount is very athletic and they turn you over. There are issues on both sides, so we have to find out who we’re going to play and prepare for it.”

On Luke Worthington:

“I think he’s done a really good job in his commitment to the game plan and what he can do specifically to help us. Offensively, he’s blossomed into his own player as far as his ability to pick-and-roll and get stick backs and get to the free-throw line and make free throws.”

On this season overall:

“I’m proud of our guys. This season has been a real challenge with the early season schedule. We played really good teams and had a chance to win them, except for a few, but when you don’t win, you have to dig deep on where you’re going to go and what you’re going to do and this group has come together pretty well.”

Tyler Haws

On Saturday's opener:

“I think we’re in a great frame of mind. I think we’ve had a few tough challenges this year that have made us get in the right mindset. I feel like this team is tournament tested and we know what to expect. We know the challenge, and now it’s about going out and executing and doing what we know.”

On season’s rollercoaster ride:

“At times in the year it has felt like a rollercoaster ride, but we’ve learned a lot. I feel like our team has learned how to respond to losses and wins. There have been times when we won a few big games and lost four straight, but our guys have stayed together and we feel like we have a lot of basketball left to play in us. We’re hungry and we know what to expect going into Saturday.”

“There have been a few lineup changes the last few games and I think that’s always kind of scary late in the season, but our guys have responded really well. All we care about is winning games and I think everyone’s happy if we can figure that out. I don’t think it’s had too big of an effect on our players.”

On health and time off:

“At this time of the year I think bodies start breaking down and it definitely helps to have some time off and just get healthy. I think it’s good for our minds, too, but practices are still really intense and guys aren’t ready to be done.”

Matt Carlino

On team’s readiness level:

“I feel like we’re playing well right now. Once you get to the tournament, it hits you on what it’s all about. Especially with young guys, I don’t know if you can really be ready until you get there, but we’re as ready as we can be.”

On winning conference tournament and urgency:

“We’d like to win the championship because that guarantees us to be in the [NCAA] tournament. We don’t want to leave it up to somebody choosing if we’re going to be in it or not, so if we can just go win those games, that’d be great.”

“It’s not a shock to me with where we’re at and the position we’re in. We’re in a great position now to get three more wins and being in the NCAA tournament.”

Kyle Collinsworth

On his knee and health:

“It’s getting a lot better, but we’re still doing rehab to take care of it and doing a lot of extra stuff.”

On potential matchups:

“At this point, every team can win. It’s that time of year where teams get that magic in March. You can be beaten by any team and we know that and we have to stay focused no matter who we play. We’ll play the winner of LMU and Portland. We’ll be ready for both teams and I’m looking forward to it.”

On possibility of playing Gonzaga in the championship game:

“I don’t really care. I just want us to be in the championship and whoever is there is there. If it’s Gonzaga, it’s Gonzaga, and it’ll be fun.”

On playing best basketball right now:

“We’ve closed some games down the stretch, which is huge for us because we struggled with that early. It’s been a good sign that we can finish games and win close games like that.”