Coach Sendek Quotes On This Weekend's Games

Feb. 20, 2008

Coach Sendek talks about this weekend's games at #17 Washington State (6 p.m. PT/7 p.m. MT) on Thursday and the game against Washington on Saturday.

On the difficulties of the travel and trip to Washington:

'In terms of the travel it is clearly the most difficult, it is not an easy journey and it is difficult to get to. Unlike some of the other twins in our league Washington State and Washington are not close together so you have travel in between the games. USC and UCLA are right there together; ourselves and Arizona are an easy bus ride away. After the game Thursday night you can easily bus to the next destination here in Arizona. There it is not just getting there and returning after the two games, they are a good distance apart.'

On getting 23 points in the last two minutes of the Cal game and if that is taken as a positive or a negative:

'We went on a flurry but it was much to little much to late. I don't take a lot away. That to me was relatively unimportant. There were many other things that stuck with us beyond the flurry of threes at the end that we hit. In those situations sometimes the ball goes in a little bit easier, but having said that we made it interesting.'

On positives that were taken away from the Cal game:

'The only positives will be if we can learn from the experience. We did not feel good about the way we represented ourselves and the way we played. I made that clear after the game. I don't feel any differently today; I don't feel that it was for lack of intention or desire. For whatever reason we had a difficult time refilling our tank after Thursday and did not play with the energy that we must demand from ourselves.'

On the consistency of the officiating in the Pac-10 this season:

'Game by game the officials establish what level of contact is going to be permissible and it is up to coaches and players to adjust.'

On the lack of consistency from the officials this past week during the Cal vs. Arizona game (reporter's opinion):

'The one thing that players and coaches would like to have is consistency and then you can adjust, because you can adjust to consistency one way or another. I think that it is important that we continue to do the best job that we can with the rough play and the points of emphasis that are emphasized every year regarding movement of the ball in particular. I think it is important that our game have fluidity and doesn't just favor who has ever spent the most time in the weight room.'

On Washington States movement in the Pac-10:

'If anything puts an exclamation point on the excellence of the Pac-10 conference, it is the stretch that Washington State went through when they lost four out of five, and easily could have lost the game here that we played to make it five in a row. At the time we played them I think they were ranked fifth or sixth in the country. If a top ten team can go through a stretch like that, it speaks to the tremendous strength of this conference. Let alone a team like ourselves who is trying to ascend that is fighting, scratching and clawing to get one rung up higher on the ladder.'

On Seeing the ASU team in Washington State:

'I don't evaluate it that way. They have their own identity, and they have their own program and they have done a great job. Coach Bennet and his dad preceding him have done a phenomenal job. We are just still in the beginning so it would be very audacious for us to compare ourselves to them at this point.'

On energy during the game and giving up significant runs:

'It has been a real trade mark of our basketball teams to give up some significant runs and then in the most unlikely of circumstances we seem to have some of our own. We have in some instances had more than nine lives and been able to overcome ourselves at times.'

On the team being in tough positions during the game:

'We talk about it all the time that basketball by its nature has runs. It is rare that you watch any college basketball game when each coach doesn't have to take a timeout some were along the line. We all seem to use our time outs, so by nature it is a game of runs. We just have maybe amplified that.'

On James Harden, Ty Abbott and Jeff Pendergraph thriving under pressure (as question said, do they like coming from behind?):

'I would hope that they are not that ill (smiling). Who wants to give up an 18-2 run just to see if we can come back?'

On the toughness of the league i.e. PAC-10 vs. ACC:

'It is difficult to compare. What is most recent in mind is what you hold on to. You can see more clearly, but the ACC historically has been an unbelievable league, there were years in the ACC were it seemed like out of nine teams we had maybe eight in the top twenty-five. It was incredible at times, I think that Pac-10 is as well right now. Who is better in a given year or who is better one year from the next, it is impossible to tell. They are both so good and on any given night any number of these teams can win games. We see it every weekend not only in our conference but also in college basketball, that is why I can't even fathom how the NCAA tournament committee at this point can even begin to sort it all out. The way college basketball has evolved I can't even imagine once you get passed the obvious teams and automatic bids how you discern of the next fifty teams who the best teams are. I think it is almost an impossibility.'

On talk about a 9-9 Pac-10 team making to the NCAA Tournament:

'Given the strength of the league I would be surprised if a 9-9 didn't make it. Once again it is all relative, who wins conference tournaments, everybody continues to play and once again how do you compare a 9-9 from one league to a 10-6 from another league. In our league everybody plays everybody twice, in some other leagues you may play somebody just once at home. As conference has expanded and some play a complete round robin, others don't, some play sixteen games, and some play eighteen games. It is easier to compare if the denominators are equal, but it is much harder to compare when you are comparing unlike fractions and that is kind of what the committee has to do these days.'

On the RPI being an equalizer between leagues:

'I have not spent a great deal of time investigating RPI and once again I think it can just be used as one small piece of the equation, I don't think it is completely for telling. I think that it is one aspect. It is one tool that they have among many.'

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