Hopkins on UW's third Pac-12 win: 'It wasn’t pretty, but we found a way again.'
After the Washington men’s basketball team’s 66-56 win over California, Mike Hopkins grumbled about the Huskies’ 20 turnovers and an offensive that was out of sync at stages.
Still, UW led for more than 29 minutes, rediscovered its perimeter shooting and won its Pac-12 home opener when it wasn’t at its best.
And for that, Hopkins is satisfied with what he called an “ugly” win even if he’s not happy about the performance.
Here’s a look at his postgame interview and a few quotes.
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(On not having a frantic finish for a change) “I felt it was frantic. I didn’t think we played well tonight. Cal missed foul shots. Our offense during stretches wasn’t good. It reminded me of an early season game where it didn’t feel like there was a flow. It was ugly. We had a lot of pressure, we had a lot of bad turnovers. But we found a way to win, which I’m happy for. But I think there’s a lot of growth film to watch after tonight’s game. I’m not the happiest guy in the world right now.”
(On young players learning how to play in college) “Yeah. My expectations are higher for these guys. They’ve played a lot of games. The only freshman that hasn’t is Michael, and he did a really good job tonight. There was a lot of positives. I don’t like seeing 20 turnovers. I felt like they rushed us up a little bit, we made some bad plays. Really good teams, when they do that, it’s pass-pass-score. I’d like to see that because we’ve got good guards. We’ve got really good players. I felt for the most part our defense was really, really good. One of our biggest focuses was going to be defensive rebounding. They had 10 (offensive rebounds), they got a couple really late, but for the most part we did a really good job on the glass and defending. The first eight points they scored were off turnovers. You can’t do that.”
(On Michael Carter III’s contributions) “I felt Michael was great. What we just needed to do at the end was not turn it over, get it up the court, get in a set. When you’re up 12 or 13 and there’s five minutes to go in the game you can take 30 seconds off the clock, take the ball and throw it on the ground. Seriously. You don’t have to take a quick shot. They are trying to rush you to take quicker shots with their shot-blocker in the back. It wasn’t pretty, but we found a way again, and I give the guys a lot of credit. I just want more.”
(On Cal’s late comeback and being able to put teams away) “I was like whoooooooaaaa (back and forth)! It goes in and out. Just stay whoooooaaaaa! Just stay there! Let’s stay right there. If we can stay there then we’ll be good. But as a coach you want it to be perfect and you know it’s not going to be perfect. But that’s what you’re striving to have. Just want to play great, just want to have one of those great games.”
(On young players learning how to win) “I think so. You’ve got to teach these guys what it takes. Sometimes you’ve got to take something away from somebody, per se. You might be off the ball, but this is what’s best for the team, this is how we’re going to win. It’s not, I don’t think you can make that play, it’s just that guy might be better to make the play than you are right now. But this is the team, this is how we’ve got to do it, this is how we’ve got to execute. This is how we’ve got to play our defense against shooters at the end of shot clocks. You’ll hear us screaming RED, RED! It’s different than how we would play it normally. So you’ve got to teach them how to win. That’s what we’re doing. The coaching staff does a great job on a day-to-day basis, this is what we have to do. When you don’t see it to the level you know you can is when you get a little frustrated.”