Kapono FOXSports.com Chat Wrap

Dec. 19, 2002

FOXSports.com: Tell me a bit about the last game, the disappointing loss toNorthern Arizona. What happened in the second half?

Jason Kapono: Yeah, it was a tough loss. Anytime you lose, it's tough toswallow, but especially against a team that you are 'slated' or are kind ofcounting on to beat. We should have taken care of business. We let thelittle lead we did have at halftime slide. We just didn't come out withintensity and the level of play that we needed to build a larger lead, andthey countered us. Northern Arizona played extremely well and we just didn'texecute. We couldn't get stops. Their freshman point guard had fourthree-pointers during that critical stretch. One of the things we learned isthat we have to be able to get stops. Not everyone is going to play at theup-tempo speed that we would like. We're going to have to settle down to dobetter in those nail-biter, half-court type of games. We're going to have tolearn to execute better both offensively and defensively.

FOXSports.com: Now you have Kansas on Saturday, and they've struggled a bitso far this season as well. What do you expect from the Jayhawks?

Kapono: Well, first of all it's a very big game. It's a chance for us to getback on the winning track. Even though Kansas is a bit down, they are such astoried program, and they are always in the Top 10 or Top 5. They're awell-respected team. We know since we had the chance to play them last year(an 87-77 Bruin upset of then number-one ranked Kansas), we kind of knowtheir strengths and what they like to do. Hopefully we can use that pastknowledge and come out and avenge the loss we had at home last Tuesday (vs.NAU).

FOXSports.com: Tell me a bit about the freshman big guys, Michael Fey andRyan Hollins, and how you think they're coming along so far.

Kapono: Fey and Hollins are definitely making progress. They're getting usedto playing college basketball, the daily grind of it and what not. It'stough ... you can't expect them to come in and play extremely well rightaway. It's always going to be tough for freshmen -- they're going to hit thewall. They're staying positive though and they're hanging with it. I don'tthink we should expect them to score 20 points and grab 10 boards everynight just yet. As long as they get better and they can help us along theway, then they'll prove to be beneficial aspects to the team.

FOXSports.com: The team has gotten a few players back in the lineup recently(Sophomore power forward Andre Patterson and sophomore point guard RyanWalcott.) Has it been easy getting those guys back 'in the flow' and what dothey bring that you guys might have been missing earlier in the year?

Kapono: Andre is a very active player, he plays very hard and gets a lot ofblocked shots and boards. That's one thing that we've lacked -- a defensivepresence that can crash the boards. He gets a lot of tips, and hustlepoints, and that's what we need. He's very active. Ryan is more like yourjitterbug point guard, that can push and create offense for guys like me,who can shoot. They've gotten back into it pretty well, 'Dre has only missedthree games, and Ryan only missed two. Hopefully everyone will stay on boardfor the rest of this journey.

FOXSports.com: What are some goals you set for yourself and for the team inthis, your senior year for UCLA?

Kapono: I mainly just want to start WINNING. I really haven't felt like thisin awhile. Seeing the way the team has started off, I've got to step my gameup and be more of a leader. I've got to bring more to the table. Even thoughteams are going to key on me and try to take me out of the game, I'm goingto have to persevere through that and find a way to help this team win.We've had enough growing pains in the early part of this year, so the soonerwe get back on this winning track, hopefully that will cure all the illswe've felt so far.

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