Colorado Head Coach Tad Boyle
"I guess part of league play is you have to find a way to win even when you don't play your best basketball. I think if there is a positive, it's that we didn't play our best tonight, especially in the second half, first half I was very pleased. The second half wasn't very good. Thank God for Sabatino Chen and for Josh Scott, I thought those guys played exceptionally well. We had some other good moments but those two kids picked us up when we needed to be picked up. We will learn from this like we learn from every game that we play, these young guys have got to grow up quick before Saturday at noon because we have UCLA coming in here and everybody knows what they are about."
On How To Avoid Complacency
"I have no idea. I am not comfortable on the bench I can promise you that. Until our guys figure out that we have to play for forty minutes we are not going to beat great teams whether we are at home or on the road. Why they would feel comfortable, I don't know. We talk about playing the possession not the scoreboard."
On How To Improve Free Throw Shooting
"In the gym, concentration, relaxation, stepping up and knocking them down. We have great practice free-throw shooters who make them in practice but the translation over to the game is not happening. It has cost us one game and it will cost us more unless we figure it out."
On G Sabatino Chen
"You look at our team, defensively he is flying around getting his hand on the ball getting deflections, he was getting a couple of steals. He led our break and either finished or he fed it off to guys for layups, he just brings energy to the team and he is playing like a senior. I just told our team you don't have to wait till you are a senior to play like a senior; you can play like one when you are a freshman, sophomore, or a junior, but Sabatino is playing like it is his last year. He was a difference maker for us tonight. He gets his hands on the ball and makes plays, he was really good in transition, he attacked the rim and he finished at the rim when we needed some buckets."
On F Andre Roberson Not Starting
"He over slept for a team function, that is just what we do. If you are a starter, you don't start, if you are a sub you miss a rotation. It is not a big deal, Andre is a great kid and he doesn't have a habit of that. It was just something that we did and will move on, so no big deal."
On If There Are Any Positives Of USC Coming Back
"Hopefully our guys understand that we have to play a full forty minutes. We talked about it after the Arizona trip, we talked about it before the game tonight, we talked about it after the game and we are going to have to talk about it again Saturday, or else UCLA will come in here and beat us. It is as simple as that. It is not rocket science that we are trying to figure out here, it is college basketball. If our team was a team that had never played offense like we are capable, or we never had great possessions, or great runs, and if we are a team that can't guard the post or the ball then I would be worried, but we are not. We are a team that has shown we can do those things in stretches, but to beat great teams you have to do it for forty minutes, that doesn't mean you have to play perfect basketball, but in terms of playing smart and not putting the ball in jeopardy late in the game, throwing the ball to a USC defender when we have one timeout left, taking a three after a missed shot when we have the full shot clock and we need to be working the clock, you name it and we made a lot of mistakes mentally. We better figure that out as a young team. Experience is the best teacher, we didn't handle very well down the stretch and they were out of timeouts thank goodness. We have to make free throws, it has cost us one game and it will cost us more if we don't figure it out."
On Fixing Mental Errors
"You got to watch film to understand the mistakes you are making. In terms of what is going on in their heads, that is a tricky thing. I always say if I knew in college that I was going to be a college basketball coach I would have majored in psychology and not business because maybe I would be better able to answer that question than I am right now. Again, it's not like our team is lost or they don't understand, basketball comes down to execution, making or not making plays. We made enough plays to win the game tonight. Josh Scott made some big buckets, Sabatino [Chen] played well, Andre [Roberson] got some big rebounds. I thought our bench was great. Eli Stalzer had great minutes, Xavier Talton had great minutes, Jeremy Adams didn't play in the second half but he had good first half minutes, Shane Harris-Tunks for the most part gave us minutes until he got a little physical and lost his cool. But overall our bench was good tonight and to me a positive sign. So not everything was negative, I am not down, I just know we have to get better, everyone in the building knows we have to get better. Everybody has room for improvement and that is what we need to focus on."
On G Sabatino Chen's Offensive Game
"I just think being aggressive. When we talked before the game, the first thing on the board tonight was attacking the rim. We wanted to attack the rim whether that is posting it up with one of our guys inside or driving the ball in transition. Sabatino is pretty slippery, he has some good spin moves and has a great pivot move when he gets into the lane and it has always been that way. He keeps people off balance some people think 'oh he is penetrating, he is done penetrating' and then he will go with what a football coach would call a second effort. Sabatino is really good at second effort plays when he has the ball."
University of Colorado Student-Athletes
Askia Booker, So., PG
He Was Nervous When USC Came Back
"No, not at all. We've been in that situation before, where we are up in the first half and they come back and make their runs in the second half. It was just a matter of keeping our composure and finding out a way to get the win."
Coach Boyle Was Nervous When USC Came Back
"Nervous, maybe, frustrated, very much so. He doesn't like when we turn the ball over and give them easy baskets, or when the opponent shoots wide open jump shots, especially if they are under the basket. He gets frustrated when that happens, but I'm not sure about nervous."
Low Free Throw Shooting Percentage
"I think most of it is mental. But, a big part of it is still practice. You have to get into the gym on your own. The two hours that we practice, we probably each get in about 25 free-throws. When we are done with practice you have to stay after and shoot maybe 500 if you want to be great. Coach has tried to require us to shoot more free-throws. After we got back from Arizona he made each of us shoot 100 free-throws right after we got off the bus. I think it's something that we are working on, but mentally it's still something we need to prepare ourselves for."
Sabatino Chen, Sr., G
"I'm just trying to play with a lot of energy. My shot has been feeling good, so I've been pretty confident these last few games."
Letting Opponent Come Back In Second Half
"It's hard to say why that happens. I think it's a lack of focus. When we get up, we get a little too comfortable and relaxed and that allows teams to come back. When teams are in desperation mode, they'll throw up any shot and sometimes those shots go in. We have to learn to finish teams when we are up."
What It Will Take To Put Teams Away
"You have to do it collectively. We can't have individuals worrying about their shots or messing up. If someone messes up, they put their head down and we can't have that. As a team, we have to stay mentally focused for a full 40 minutes."
USC Head Coach Kevin O'Neill
"Way too many turnovers, you know, bad basketball in the first half led to a lot of easy baskets for them. If we would have played anywhere near what we played in the second half we would have had a chance to win the game. But you can't just cough up the ball and turn it over. We've been good, we haven't turned the ball over much at all in the first two Pac 12 games. Twelve times and seven times, but thirteen in the first half, in particular, it's hard to win when you do that."
On What Caused So Many Turnovers
"Sloppy play. You know everybody's thinking is, 'I get two mistakes, and you get two mistakes', next thing you know you get twelve mistakes. And it really hurt us, Jio [Fontan] couldn't do anything in the second half and was totally ineffective in the first half. He certainly wasn't 100 percent to start the game. It showed, and then he wasn't able to play in the second half."
On Not Playing J.T. Terrell In The First Half
"I'm going to play J.T. when he plays hard on defense, and he did in the second half. So, I'm going to start him on Saturday. And if he doesn't play hard in the first half I'm going to bench his (butt) in the second half, plain and simple."
On The Impact Of Not Having Jio Fontan
"It obviously hurt us; I mean you have a senior point guard who's been playing pretty well. Chass [Bryan] just makes too many mistakes as a freshman, and it's too hard to overcome little things like that. But I liked our guys heart, I liked how hard they fought, I liked how hard they played. We gave ourselves a chance at the end, we executed down the stretch, but it wasn't quite enough."
On Road Losing Streak
"I don't even think about it. [The players] wouldn't even know, I don't think. We never talk about it."
On Being Close At The End
"It's because we played hard and we executed in the second half, and we didn't do any of those things in the first half, at all. If we can move toward putting forty minutes together we'll have an opportunity. Any loss is tough, by one or twenty-one, they're tough, that's just the way it is."
On Being Close To Playing A Complete Game
"I have no idea. Last week we played a great forty minutes against Dayton, we played great against Stanford, and against Cal we shot eight for nineteen. It's always something for us. Like we played a great forty minutes against Cal, but we shot eight for nineteen from the line. Tonight, it's turnovers. So it's always something that gets in the way of winning, and hopefully we can breakthrough on that. We have all of these transfers and stuff because of two blank classes two years ago, and we just haven't quite put it together. Jio [Fontan] was finally starting to play well, he had a good week, and then he got hurt again."
On Beating Opposing Teams On The Boards
"If you look at most of our stat sheets, we do pretty well. We rebound, we usually don't turn the ball over at all, and we do all of the right things. But we don't win. We have to win more."
On Colorado G Spencer Dinwiddie
"I think he's going to be an NBA player. I think he's a really good player. I think he's a great kid. He needs to develop strength and get tougher and stronger. But he's a very good player; he's got a chance to be an All-League player, and a chance to be a player at the next level. He's a 6'6" point guard and he can shoot. You look around the league there's not many of those. He's not going to be able to play at the two spot at that level at 6'6", but he can certainly play at the one spot, or be a combo guard."