The Huskies held high-scoring Arizona State to a season low points, which was 20 fewer than its average.

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Mike Hopkins praised the Huskies’ ability to remain poise in the final minutes of a 68-64 win over No. 25 Arizona State on Thursday.

Meanwhile, ASU coach Bobby Hurley lamented the Sun Devils’ defensive breakdowns in the second half.

Here is video from Hopkins’ postgame interview and quotes from both coaches.


(Opening the final minutes) “It’s hard. When you play the caliber of teams that we’ve been playing, championship-caliber programs, teams – it’s such a fine line. Not a large margin for error. You’re watching a team that can really shoot it, they’ve got shot-makers. You hope that all the training you’ve given your guys and the mindset is going to go out there and do it. We did it. We made our foul shots down the stretch. We took away the three-point shot. Guys stepped up and made big plays. David Crisp got to the basket when we were struggling scoring with huge plays. Sam Timmins at the end made a great defensive play. Noah Dickerson…we couldn’t of done it by taking anybody off this roster. To answer your question, I don’t really think about it. Just how are we going to win? I don’t go any way, I’m just trying to figure out that next play, thinking ahead and what we might have to do. If I’ve got to get a big guy in there, if I’ve got to do this…the whole mind is just trying to figure out how can we close out this game.”

(On David Crisp’s clutch shots late in the game) “The greatest thing about David is he’s – like any great guard – you run your team. And when things can go sour, the great thing about David is he can score. It’s just the timing of when to do it. We kept running the double-screen, he saw the corner they weren’t leaving the shooter and he was able to get all the way to the rim. He’s got the ability to make big plays, and he made ’em tonight. Timely too, because they were defending us pretty well and we had a tough time getting good shots. He made those plays and they were just life-savers for us tonight.”

(On  the double-technical) “I didn’t see it. I just saw Naz take an incredible charge and then I look away and the next thing you know…I was seeing guys…I played, so you start feeling the heat. I was like, ‘What’s going on?’ and I just went over there. We talk to our guys a lot about poise and being in control. It was just one of those plays, you’re playing against a team who was, at one time rated number-two in the country and they are 25th coming into your house, and they are a tough team. We’re fighting in a league and unfortunately that happened. It was all basically about competition, I don’t think there was anything malicious in terms of what I saw. They’ve talked to the coaches in the league about some of those plays that they are going to call technicals and double-technicals, so we talked to our team about the poise. We love the fight, but it’s got to be the poise.”

(On what UW did right defensively) “It’s what I like about the whole Pac-12 so far. We’ve done a really good job of executing our defense and being active. We use the term Multiple Effort Mentality all the time. Making multiple efforts. And I think our guys are really playing hard and they are playing smart. We’re finding the shooters, we’re making the shooters, certain guys, out of rhythm and making them take tough shots. That’s what you’re trying to do. This is a team, what are they averaging? 84 points a game coming in here? If you can shut off their water, per se, in certain areas, it takes them out of what they do. And our guys were able to execute that tonight. It’s one of the big reasons we won, obviously.”

(On what he expected to get out of the zone this season) “Guys, the more reps they get in it they get better at it. They’re learning a whole new system. If you saw our first game against Saint Martins they made 15 threes. It looked like we couldn’t play defense a lick. They just kept getting better. Not only are you getting better at it, then they start reading it and then they start adapting. That’s the great thing about our zone is, it’s a little amoeba-ish. It can transform based on personnel and what they are playing. The longer that Matisse and those guys play, they have great instincts and they start reading it. A lot of the plays they make now are on their own, from Matisse – he likes to come out, now he’s blocking people from behind. He understands how they are attacking. A lot of teams only have three or four zone offenses and they keep running them and running them and you get a feel for how they are trying to attack and we’ve been able to take that out. The execution in the beginning was, you can’t let them get hot from the three-point line. In that last game against Colorado, they were 0-10 from the three-point line in the first half. They made ten threes in the second half. They’ve got great shooters, they’ve got great players and they’ve got shooters/shotmakers. You can’t let them get in good rhythm. If you do you’re going to be in trouble.”

(On turning point this season) “The defining moment for us was the Kansas game. At Kansas we executed a game plan, took away one of the top three-point shooting teams in the country at the time. It was one of those things like, oh – what coach is telling us really works! What the coaching staff is telling us, that really works! It’s one of those things, you believe in it and then you go out there and you see the way they look at it. If you’re six feet or under and you see Matisse Thybulle, you see Spiderman. It’s pretty difficult. And David did a great job of keeping them in front, using his strength, which is his speed and quickness and strength. He can take penetrators out.”

(On if UW has momentum going into Saturday’s game against No. 9 Arizona) “The tough thing about this league, any great league is, you can celebrate for a little four or five hours, kiss my kids, drink a bottle of water or whatever and get ready for tomorrow. Momentum is good. I think confidence is really important, but then confidence and having energy and ready to game plan. We’re going against on Saturday a team that could be the best team in the country. The beginning of the year they had some issues, but they’ve got size, they’ve got shooting, they’ve got guard play. They’ve got a complete package. It will be a great test for us. That’s why you love coming to schools like this, to play this kind of competition. You can see where we’re at.”

(On if Arizona will challenge in different ways) “We’ve watched them a lot and I’m sure we’ll talk about it tonight and tomorrow, but teams that have great balance, they have a great coach, they’re just going to try to attack differently. One thing that we’ve been able to do well is adapt based on ‘okay, Arizona State is going to attack like this, Arizona is going to attack like this, Stanford is going to attack like this.’ We’ll be ready for it. Again, you execute it and they have some pretty good guys. It should be a good test for us.”

(On Noah Dickerson getting a double-double in the first half) “We think Noah is one of the best big guys not only in our league but in the country. We got to him to get teams in foul trouble. He can really score. He’s a problem in there. When he’s on, he’s on and it’s hard to guard. He got all their big guys in foul trouble, and that got us in the bonus, and that’s one of the things that we’ve been doing all year. He’s a hell of a player, we’re going to keep going to him, and I think everyone knows it.”

(On Matisse Thybulle breaking the school record in steals for a season and his defensive instincts) “He’s number one. We’ve coached when I was at Syracuse defensive players of the year, but they were all big guys, shot blockers. (Thybulle) impacts the game at the guard spot as well as I’ve ever seen it. He’s got great instincts, he’s got great anticipation, he can cover space really quick. He has the whole package. He was sick tonight. He had the stomach stuff. He just kept battling. We kept saying ‘you’ve got to be out there. Please. Please be out there.’ He did. His defensive prowess, think about it. He’s sick. He plays 34 minutes. He hits three threes, he has six steals and two blocks. The guy is a machine.”

(On embracing the Arizona game) “I don’t think about it like that. It’s all about how can you win, how can you win that next game and give the kids defensive responsibilities and give them offensive responsibilities. How we’re going to execute. I hate to say it, but it’s just another game. Sometimes I down play it because some games you try to pick them up for it. They don’t need any picking up for Saturday, they didn’t need any picking up for today. Keeping that degrees to 72. It’s just basketball and you want to have fun and you want to be able to go out and compete at the highest level. The one thing that we’ve been stressing is if we can go out and play tougher than any team that we play and we can play more together, we’re going to have a chance. I know that’s kind of our motto, tougher together, but it’s really true. If you ask any coach it’s all about how can I get them to play together with one heart beat. Our guys are showing that and are getting better. I’ve said it 100 times. It will be great to play a caliber team of the caliber of Arizona and see where we’re at. It will be a great test for us.”

(On tonight’s crowd) “Let me ask my son. It was pretty damn good. You feel it. When you’re sitting down there and you start getting goose bumps and I’m supposed to be coaching, that’s when you know it’s really, really good. That Dawg Pack, when everybody starts standing up at the end, when we needed to get those stops. That’s what it’s all about. That’s a great college basketball environment, that’s what gets you wins in close games. That was awesome. I was blown away. Bottom line. Simple. Crisp and clean with no caffeine. Boom. Bunt the runner to third. Boom. Sacrifice fly. Come on in. It was awesome.”

(On if he thought tonight’s atmosphere would be a reality) “You know what? I’ll share a story with you. While I was recruiting, going back to recruit Noah Dickerson. We went to meet with his mother at her house. He’s going to take visits and he’s going to do that. We’re talking and she’s like ‘you know what coach, I really like your presentation’ and it was me and coach Dollar and she goes ‘you know what, coach, I really like your presentation but I really want my son to experience the NCAA Tournament.’ I look at her and go, ‘well I do too.’ I said I can’t tell you, I don’t know, no coach knows. You just know what you know. This is the system, this is what you’re going to implement. You’re going to fight each day to be the best team you can be. You never know the learnability, how they’re going to gel, every time is different. You have new guys, what’s the belief? Could I have told you that? No. Could I tell you eventually? I envision yes. Yes. That’s why I came here. I did envision it. I’m just proud of the guys for all their hard work in the preseason and just focus. If you can focus everyday on how do I get better today? How do I always move forward? Even after we lose, win, whatever it is, we’re going to get better. It’s a great day to live your life and I think that’s the way that we’ve done it. It’s the way that we’ve coached it. Who knows what’s going to happen? I don’t know. I just know we have to prepare them, coach them as best as we can, get them playing together, get them playing tougher, and that’s what those guys have been doing.”


(On the second-to-last possession)“We got out of bounds and nothing materialized from that so we wanted to be in motion. The ball was thrown to him and he drove baseline, left his feet and didn’t have anywhere to go. It wasn’t a great possession.”

(On second-half defensive lapses) “The bottom line is we didn’t make layups late in the game, floaters in the paint, free throws. At the other end of the floor we allowed the high ball screen to be our undoing. We didn’t do a good job with it. He turned the corner, went right down the lane, there was no resistance. He even split it a couple of times. Our help defense didn’t rotate, we didn’t make them make another pass. To be honest they were taking around 10 seconds to give our defense a chance to rest before they even went with that ball screen. It was something we worked on and we did through scouting and I thought defensively, the first fifteen minutes we were pretty good in the second half but it all fell apart late in the game.

(On slow starts) “That’s kind of my message. You can’t play this come from behind style, especially on the road. You put so much energy into getting this lead, but games are won and lost at all different parts of the game. It’s when you turn the ball over like we did in the first half and shoot 1/10 from three. Some of those were open and we just didn’t make them. We were poor on free throws both in the first half and late in the game when we needed to convert because they did, they converted their free throws when they went to the line. There were times when we could have got away from them and we left it on the table.