The Bruins used a balanced scoring attack to claw their way back into Sunday’s game and ultimately beat the Ducks.
UCLA men’s basketball guard Jaylen Clark, guard/forward Jaime Jaquez Jr. and guard Amari Bailey spoke with reporters following the Bruins’ 65-56 win over Oregon at Pauley Pavilion on Sunday.
Clark talked about how he’s feeling after missing a game due to illness, as well as how UCLA picked up the intensity down the stretch and what Bailey brings to the team. Bailey talked about the changes he’s faced coming into the college game and what was going through his mind during his big plays in the final minutes, while Jaquez talked about finally beating the Ducks and what the Bruins did to turn things around after a slow first half.
Jaylen Clark: I’m feeling better I literally went to practice one day and I was just at my house and then I started to get chills and then I was in the shower and I had chills and then fever all that out of nowhere so they’re just calling it the flu. I didn’t play Bellarmine but I played off against Stanford so I knew I had to come out here and get a good one … I’m better, I’m good I’m good.
Found the intensity towards the end?
JC: Really, I think it just came from, I don’t know how many years Oregon has beat us in a row it’s been a long time, so it just came down to the fact like are we going let another year go by and not beat these guys. And last time they beat us here we didn’t have fans, there were no more excuses so it was just that, we don’t want to lose to the team again, we don’t have to deal with what’s going to come after if we lose to these guys like let’s just go ahead, come out here, we don’t play again til I think next Saturday, so do whatever you gotta do to just get this done and worry about how you feel after.
What comes after, a lot of stuff from coach?
JC: Yeah, yeah, I’m gonna leave it there.
When Jaime went out so early what was the mindset?
JC: I mean we don’t ever worry we have such talent all around people can have off nights, this isn’t the first time someone hasn’t had as high scoring night but I don’t know, he only had 10 points but he just had 27 back to back before this if you know what I mean. And we could still get the win, there are so many people out there that are able to score the ball at an effective rate.
How much of a difference is Amari Bailey?
JC: A big one, a very big one. it’s funny to hear him talk I’ve been playing against Amari since my sophomore junior year of high school and for me I’ve seen him grow from year after year after year bc we could never beat Sierra Canyon they we’re like everything ran through there, so to see it and to finally play with it, it’s a nice thing to have you know you’re gonna have explosive plays like that block at the end. Some guys would just let him dunk it but he was like, I wanna challenge it. That’s just him and that’s why he’s gonna be outta here pretty soon.
Can you talk about those two plays at the end – Amari’s dunk and block?
JC: Oh yeah like is aid he’s just a high level player, he’s a high level athlete if you watched him I’m pretty sure some of y’all have seen him play in high school he don’t look much different he’s just new to new people it’s just a bigger stage but I mean he’s been doing the same thing .. at Etiwanda.. inaudible my boy tyrie and Amari just got above and spiked it straight down and then bounced up and took it other way so I’ve been seeing him a long time so there’s really nothing new.
There’s gotta be an adjustment from that level to this level?
JC: Nah that’s why he’s a top five ranked recruit and he’s probably one of the top five recruits to come here. I mean for most kids, yeah but for him, I said in my mind, it’s about what he was doing there too.
How did you find fight in second half?
Jaime Jaquez Jr.: I think we had that fight last year when we played them. We haven’t beat them – or at least I haven’t beat them since I’ve been here. I think we had a close game in the first half but I knew I gotta go back in, make some plays, and try to make something out of it.
Highlight plays at the end – dunk and block?
Amari Bailey: Tyger hit ahead to Jaime. I just kept running in my lane to see if I could catch it, just falling back. He made a great play and I was able to get rewarded. And then, I got beat, 4 like beat me down and, I don’t know, I was just able to make a play.
Favorite of those two plays?
AB: Probably the block.
What was it like hearing the crowd erupt those two plays?
AB: It meant a lot. I haven’t felt Pauley like that. So it was pretty cool.
How much of an adjustment has this been?
AB: Uh, there have been plenty of adjustments, whether you (inaudible).
Haven’t beat Oregon since you got here?
JJJ: I think it means a lot. It’s great to be able to (inaudible). And we had a great turnout tonight. It’s great for the young guys as well just to learn from our mistakes. And just to be able to to fix our mistakes in our last games. We had a lot of close games where we let it slip away. This one was a close one, and we came out on top, and so I think it’s just emphasizing on learning from our mistakes.
Only 21 points at halftime?
JJJ: I thought we got a lot of great looks. We had offensive rebounds. We kicked the ball out and sometimes the ball just doesn’t go in and we just got to live with that. But I think our defense was what really kept us in the game, holding them to 27. I knew that our offense was gonna come, I wasn’t worried about it. So I just knew that if we kept them down and stopped them from scoring.
Tyger’s two big 3s to stick with it?
JJJ: Yeah, I didn’t really notice his early shooting struggles. I think he was playing great. He’s a big time player – big-time players make big-time shots. That’s Tyger.