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February 14, 2011After Saturday's game, Malcolm Lee, Tyler Honeycutt and Joshua Smith met with the media to answer questions about the game. Some of the questions were about shot blocking and how they feel about rankings.
Malcolm, any in particular spurring this scoring outburst the last couple of games?
Lee: "I'm just being aggressive. That is about it."
Tyler, all those blocks you had almost became contagious. Did you just want to keep adding to that total at a certain point?
Honeycutt: "No, I wasn't really thinking about it, but I know they were getting pretty high. I was just there trying to protect the rim. They came off of screens and kept going up and I kept catching them at the rim. I had to come help because that was my job and I was able to protect it."
Was that fun out there getting all those blocks?
Honeycutt: "It was a little bit because every time down I was getting a high five after the ball went out of bounds after I blocked it."
What was it like for the other guys to watch him (Honeycutt)?
Lee: "I was getting excited, every time."
Joshua, do you feel any peer pressure now that a shorter guy is getting all these swats?
Smith: "No, not at all. He's a good player and he was just going up there and it was kind of weird because I though they would pump fake more. A lot of times we were just going up trying to block shots, but they just kept going up and we kept on getting them."
This game seemed disjointed offensively for both teams, when your defense is so good and the other team is playing so poorly offensively does that ever seep into your offense and make you careless at all?
Smith: "I don't think so. A lot of times we just have to stay aggressive for as long as we can and it is easy when you are beating a team 24 to 8 in the first half to kind say we know the game is going to go and just kind of slack off, but we just have to keep working on being aggressive just to prepare us for the next game."
They were kind of frustrating you guys in the backcourt. Talk about having so many turnovers, but also putting a win like this together. Is it kind of weird to maybe not play your best, but still come up with a pretty big win?
Honeycutt: "Yeah, like coach (Ben Howland) was saying, it's not often that you get out rebounded on the offensive end where they got 24 and we also had 26 turnovers. It is very rare that you are going to win a game like that and add that they took 30 more shots and only make like four more than you. That came from a lot of offensive rebounds, but we did a good job getting to the free throw line and making our shots."
Joshua, the last couple of games you have had some dunks where the crowd really got into it. Are blocked shots kind of the same thing in terms of getting the crowd going? There was a play in the first half where there was a lot of ball movement before it got to you. Can talk about the ball movement on that play and what it was like?
Smith: "It is fun to have plays like that. Especially for our student section. They are out there getting wild and saying things. They just really enjoy when either we get a three point play or a blocked shot or a good defensive possession. So when we are out there, we are just trying to play because they are dedicated fans and come to as many games as they can and they are always loud and they say stuff so it is really cool."
Tyler, what were you thinking when Coach Howland emptied the bench, but then brought you guys back?
Honeycutt: "I was glad that we were able to get those guys in the game. It was the first time all year so I was excited for them, but then the next thing you know a 14 point lead was down to nine and then coach saw what was happening. It was almost kind of funny. The crowd was laughing because it just happened so fast.
"They (subs) weren't really ready to play, but I am sure they will be next time when they get their chance, they will be ready."
Did you feel bad for them?
Honeycutt: "A little bit, but they knew they messed up. People weren't in the right positions taking it out, especially the press that they had. We (starters) were struggling so they weren't really prepared because it is not like they were in a half court set. Oregon State has a really good full court press."
Malcolm, it seemed like you guys have gotten a lot better on the perimeter defense over the past few weeks. How does that help you lighten some of the burden on you?
Lee: "It is helping, not only me, but our whole defense period because we are guarding a lot of good guys who can get to the rack and it just really good that we have guys out of nowhere to defend and get block shots like Honeycutt is doing. It just helps us a lot."
Joshua, when you first got into the game they weren't getting you the ball then you started yelling for it. Are you trying to tell these guys that against the zone you should get the ball?
Smith: "No, it was just one of those things where we all know when we get the ball we're not all trying to just get ours. Coach, his big thing is getting the ball inside, but you can ask these guys (Lee and Honeycutt), when we go inside Reeves, (Reeves Nelson), BLane (Brendan Lane), Stove (Anthony Stover) and I all like passing as much as we like scoring. So it wasn't really anything like that. It was just one time it looked like he was looking right at me. I was looking at him and he was kind of looking and then he passed it away, but we were up at the time so it doesn't really bother you."
You guys are 17-0 when you guys get a 10 point lead at sometime during the game, but obviously there have been times where team have gotten back into the game and made it real close making it kind of scary for you. Is it the thing that all that matters is you have won all those games or are you worried a little bit that these lulls might cost you as you get deeper in the season and you playing better and more athletic teams?
Lee: " It would be nice if we could keep adding onto the lead because nobody wants to be scared at the end, but teams keep coming back at the end. We just have to be mentally tough and just keep trying to hold them off.
"When we start playing more athletic teams it is going to be harder so we just have to keep it going."
You are getting some recognition with the polls now. Do you guys feel you are a top 25 team ?
Lee: "We really don't try to pay attention to the rankings. We try and go out there and play hard because it is not about who is supposed to win, it is about who wins at the end of the day. We feel that if we come out there and play hard every time, we will be good."
Tyler, Brendan (Lane) went through some tough personal stuff this week did you say anything to him before the game to maybe pick him up?
Honeycutt: " I saw him (Lane) at the hotel. We are roommates. I just asked him how it went and he said it well. He saw a lot of family. He wasn't able to practice but he did a good job coming in prepared and did a good job for us."
Did Brendan play with more energy against Oregon State?
Honeycutt: "Probably, a couple of days off always helps your legs. I'm sure his air ball free throw is attributed to..."
Smith: "Jet lag..."
Honeycutt: "not being able to practice and jet lag..."
Lee: "Brendan had six rebounds. He was boarding coming off the bench. We needed that."
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