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Will Wade fed up with tightrope team
Baton Rouge - LSU head basketball coach Will Wade has seen his team narrowly win a handful of recent games, but he'd like to see it stop. Cautioning his team about the dangers of playing every game so close Wade said he was done playing nice and was ready to get that message through to his team even if it mean running them at practice to do so.
“Yeah, I’m getting tired of losing all these leads and I’m going to talk to our guys about this today. I’ve tried to be nice about this and I’ve tried to talk through it and work through it but I’m done with that," Wade said.
"We have terrible possessions, we do terrible things. We’ve got to get it corrected. What we’re doing is not going to work if we’re going to compete at the top of the league and be a good team. Quite frankly I’m sick of it. I’ve been kind of nice about it with our team but we’ve got to quit putting ourselves in these stupid situations. We’re not consistent enough; we don’t do what we’re supposed to do. I’m tired of it. We’re going to get that corrected hopefully. Where when we are in these situations we’ll be able to play a lot better and continue to focus in on what we need to do and be a good basketball team. We’re holding ourselves back from being the basketball team that we can be right now. We’ve got to cut that out.”
WILL WADE MEDIA SESSION COMMENTS
“First off, congrats to Trendon (Watford) for being freshman of the week. Well deserved. Two great games against Florida and then obviously the tremendous game at Texas he helped us win. Well-deserved for him, we’re happy for him. Hopefully it’s something we can continue to build on.
“A big game ahead with Alabama, very good team. Elite offensive team, elite speed at the guard position with (Kira) Lewis and (John) Petty. He’s the best shooter in the league. Shooting 48-percent from three on 132 attempts. Very good player. They’ve got a good team; they’re a matchup problem for us. They’ve got (Alex) Reese at the five who can pick and pop and make shots. I think they have four of the top 30 shooters in the league, including Petty who is the best one now … It will be a big challenge for us defensively being able to stop them, contest threes, keep them out of transition. We’re going to have to do a good job offensively, run a good offense to complement our defense so we’re not playing defense the entire game and on our heels.”
On if there are trends he sees in blowing leads…
“There are a few trends, and I’ve tried to be nice about correcting them and we’re going to get them corrected. We’re going to start running for them. We’re going to start paying for them. I’m tired of it. I’m absolutely fed up with it.”
On being able to guard the three-point line against a team like Alabama…
“With a team like this, they are good shooters. They’ve got four of the top 30 shooters in the league. So you’ve got to cut down on their attempts. They take almost 30 a game so if you can turn 10 of those three attempts a game into some twos, then you’re going to win the mathematical equation there. Teams are going to shoot what they shoot so you’ve got to limit attempts and go about it that way.”
On how you keep getting in these situations
“I think we have to grow up. Our guards have to grow up. We have to grow up. We’ve got to make the right play. We’ve got to make the simple play. We have to quit turning the ball over all the time. That’s what is holding us back. We’ve got to get that corrected and we’ve got to have some vigor to get it corrected. I assure you, I will. Hopefully that will pass down to the rest of our team. I’m tired of it. I’m fed up with it. I’m tired of it.”
On Trendon Watford’s recent play …
“He’s a talented player and I think he’s just getting started. He’s a really good player and I think you could see that from the beginning. Now he’s just getting more acclimated to use your word, he’s getting used to the pace, the speed, and things function. As he gets more comfortable and acclimated the positive results will follow. He and Tremont Waters are different types of players but we are comfortable with Trendon (Watford) and Skylar (Mays) with having the ball in their hands late in the game. I think those guys have shown that they can make big plays. When we need a big play, those guys come through for us and get it done for us. I think those guys have certainly shown that they’re closers and can make plays. We need a couple of those guys. We only had one of those guys last year with Tremont (Waters). It makes you a little more versatile and tougher when you’ve got two. There are some different things and actions that we can run when we have both of them involved which makes it a little more difficult to key in on one guy coming down the stretch.”
On being ranked in the top 25 …
“Great. It lasted about a week last time, right? It lasted one week, we got our loss and haven’t been back since. If we don’t get this other stuff corrected, we won’t be there for very long. We will be out like “that” so if we don’t get this other stuff correct, we will be done.”
On what the team needs to correct …
“I won’t tell you everything but for one, we turn the ball over, the ball doesn’t move on offense. Two, we give up backbreaking offensive rebounds because we don’t’ rebound down, do our jobs how we need to do them defensively, and we lose all focus and attention to detail with our scouting report. We let players get to their right hands or left hands, whatever their dominant hands are. We can’t get into our ball screen coverage, we throw the ball all over the court, and we forget where we are and what color jersey we’re wearing. It’s the same stuff every time.”
On what the message is to the team after the win over Texas …
“We have to be more consistent. We get tired, fatigued, and we make bad decisions. When you make bad decisions, bad things happen. That’s why we didn’t score for eight minutes or whatever it was. I think we scored one field goal in however long it was but part of it was Texas and part of it was us. We were taking off of the bounce threes, taking shots you’re going to make 18 to 20 percent of the time. We are upset when they don’t go in. What did you expect? We could be good – that’s what is so frustrating. We are fooling ourselves; I know everybody wants to sit over here and pat ourselves on the back for being ranked and 15-4, but it’s not going to work. It’s not going to work on Wednesday against Alabama. They will come in here and slap us around if we don’t get this stuff corrected. We better have people that have our sense of urgency to get all of this corrected.
“You can be blinded by all of that, but we could easily be sitting here 2-4 in conference because we have blown these simple things and lost our focus. I choose to take a realistic balance to approach things and I’ve been pretty balanced with them. I’ve tried to be really nice about getting these things corrected but it isn’t corrected. I darn well know how to get it corrected, that’s to be a raving lunatic and it will work. I can get it corrected, I’ve tried the nice way of getting it corrected, but I know the fool proof way of getting it corrected and that’s fixing to come here at three o’clock. Look at the Texas game, it was an exact replica of the Utah State game, we just got lucky. We made a few shots and Texas couldn’t handle our 1-3-1. It’s an exact replica of the Utah State game and that’s my point. We shouldn’t have been in the position against Utah State and we shouldn’t have been in that position against Texas. If we keep doing that, you’re going to be flipping a coin, you are going to win one and lose one. You are going to beat Texas and lose to Utah State. Let’s stop flipping the damn coin and get it right so we win by double-digits and everybody cannot have to take their heart medication every night.”
On the current rotation …
“We have other guys that can play. (James) Bishop was hurt going into the last game. He hurt himself in practice but Bishop and Marshall (Graves) are guys we can play. I think (Charles) Manning will come back relatively quickly so hopefully we will have those guys. We have to play with who we have to play. All of these kids want more playing time anyway, so we got seven guys that have to go out and perform. Do your job in the minutes that you are given. Kira Lewis Jr. from Alabama plays 38 to 39 minutes a game. He leads the SEC in minutes. He’s taken it over from Skylar who had it the previous two seasons. His motor doesn’t turn off. That thing is cranked the entire game. He’s jetting to the rim, 19 minutes to go in the first half and he’s jetting to the rim with 19 seconds to go in the second half. That thing isn’t turning off and he plays a ton of minutes. (John) Petty Jr. plays a lot and he’s shooting 50 percent on 132 threes, 48 percent. It doesn’t affect them, that’s all excuses. Play harder, do your job when you are in there and do something with your minutes.”
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