Tidbits from Howland press conference

* Team didn’t practice on Monday, just had a team dinner.

* On Reeves Nelson’s comments about his criticism on message boards:
“I don’t know that he needed it to play well. I’ll be sure to tell him not to respond to anything that’s being written about him. I read those quotes. I don’t know if its something he read or people talking. He’s improved in that area. A lot of that responsibility goes on me; we went zone really early on last season. If that’s motivating him, you need to write more stuff.”

* On Joshua Smith playing at Washington:
“I’ve talked to him a little bit already. He’s had some inappropriate things hurled at him on teh road already at a number of places we’ve been to. This is the last two regular season games of the year, and he’s going home. He’s got a lot of friends and family in the Seattle area. He’s a big deal both figuratively and literally.”

* On taunting affecting Smith:
“Early on it was bothersome for him. We saw that at USC. Even at Arizona a little bit. But my whole talk is – and this is really true – I don’t hear what any people say. They’re trying to get you to focus on something they’re saying as opposed to what you’re trying to accomplish.”

* On reflecting about this season:
“I knew it wasn’t going to be easy because we’re so young. Our team has continued to improve, and that’s what you want to do as a team. I think we’re doing that. I read one of the articles that nine of our last 14 have shot less than 40 percent. That’s great.”

* On reflection:
“We are what we are. 21-8, tied for first with two games to go. I’m not looking at this as a reflective point. I’m trying to get ready for a very good Washington team.”

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  • Lifelong Bruin Fan

    Although the season is not over yet, I would like to commend Coach Howland on a superb coaching job thus far this season. Last year was a very difficult year for a team hit hard by graduations (Collison, Aboya, Shipp), early departures (Holiday), and transfers (Gordon). Losing Holiday was a known risk so it came as no surprise, but losing Gordon last year was particularly tough since we seriously lacked an inside presence.

    Whatever one might say, Coach Howland was under some pressure this year to rebound from a subpar season last year, and he has delivered superbly. Armed with a capable new point guard and center, he has crafted a well-balanced team that is refreshingly unselfish. At critical junctions of the season (namely after the Montana, USC, and Arizona losses), Coach Howland was able to string together crucial winning streaks with games that individually were not necessarily particularly impressive (except for the results), but by doing so helped build the team’s confidence and identity. This has laid the foundation for our recent success (8-1 since the loss at Arizona) and put us in a great position to enter the NCAA tournament with momentum.

  • cliq

    “On Reeves Nelson’s comments about his criticism on message boards”

  • AJ

    @ cliq

    Reeves heard some message board chatter that discussed him not be a good defender. He made some comments that he took that as a personal challenge because he’s been working hard at both his team defense and his on ball defense. Then he goes out and hold Williams in check, especially in the second half and so he feels validated.

    Apparently before the game, he told Coach Howland that he wanted to be the one guarding Williams.