Kapono FoxSports.com Chat Wrap

Jan. 3, 2003

FOXSports.com: Last night you broke out of your shooting slump (in win vs.Washington) and hit three out of five threes. How'd that feel?
Jason Kapono: It felt real good. It felt like I had a pretty good rhythm,that my shots were going down. I was getting my legs back into my shots. Ifelt pretty confident, and hopefully I got some of my 'swagger' back so Ican put together some good back-to-back games and help us get back on track.

FOXSports.com: How important was it for you guys to go on the road and get awin, get some confidence back after losing three games in a row?
Kapono: It was a huge step for us, to go on the road after all we've beenthrough and get that first victory in the conference and start off Pac-10play in a positive fashion. It's a good confidence builder and hopefullyit'll lead to some more victories. We've got to erase the bad feeling leftfrom the way we've started this year, but it's a new season with conferenceplay underway, and right now we're 1-0.

FOXSports.com: Before the game, Dijon Thompson was listed as questionable atbest, and it looked as if he might not play. How big was it to have him comein and contribute (14 points)?
Kapono: It was one of those things, were his availability was a game-timedecision by the coaching staff. I think he played pretty well, taking intoaccount that he hadn't practiced in awhile. I think that he's gettingbetter, it's just one of those things -- his knee is always going tohurt a bit, it'll just be a matter of him playing through the pain.

FOXSports.com: Last night was such an up and down game (UCLA blew a 17 pointlead and had 29 turnovers), but still held on for the win. What did thecoaching staff tell you after the game?
Kapono: Basically they told us we need to take better care of thebasketball, and play smart. It was good that we didn't let the 29 turnoversturn into a loss. It was a character builder for us, to show that we canfight through all the turnovers and all the poor plays that we made and gutout the win. It was important for us to start off conference play on a goodnote. Now we're hoping to grab a second win on this trip up in Pullmanagainst Washington State.

FOXSports.com: Speaking of Washington State, Saturday you face the Cougarsup in Pullman for the last time. What do you expect out of this game?
Kapono: They're a fun team, it should be a very fast-paced and high-scoringgame tomorrow. We always have a tough game up there against them, they'resuch a fiery team. We can't come out and play flat against them, they'regoing to be amped for the game. Everyone always brings their 'A' gameagainst us. We know that we're going to have to take their best gametomorrow, and hopefully we can prevail.

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