WATCH: Tyger Campbell Talks UCLA Moving Past Back-to-Back Losses
Coming off road losses to Arizona and USC, the Bruins’ veteran point guard will try to lead his team to victory at home on Thursday.
UCLA men’s basketball point guard Tyger Campbell spoke with reporters ahead of Wednesday morning’s practice at the Mo Ostin Basketball Center. Campbell talked about focusing on improvement, mental fatigue more than halfway through the season, the keys to attacking Washington’s zone defense, Amari Bailey’s return from injury and going against Jaylen Clark in practice.
Helpful to have coach talk to you about how you’re playing compared to wins and losses? Help you focus on what you need to focus on?
Um, yeah, I’d say so. We have a great coach and we believe in, you know, everything that he says and after – like you said – we drop a game, we don’t really talk about losing, we talk about how we can get better from that game. And um, I’d say coach has really put a lot of focus on our game this Thursday. And so it’s a short turn, we’ve got a game on Thursday versus Washington and, you know, that’s all we’re worried about right now.
What do you feel like the team needs to work on right now?
Uh, I feel like I’ve just been harping on the same thing – we just gotta play 40 minutes of good basketball. Uh, you know, in the USC game, we had a good first half, and then we dropped, fell off in the second half. So, you know, it’s really just putting together 40 minutes of good defense, moving the ball on offense and just playing the right way.
What’s the key to attacking Washington’s zone?
Uh, just not over-dribbling, and a lot of ball movement and yeah, that’s what I’d say. Just a lot of ball movement.
Who’s the best at that role of going to the center of the zone?
You mean like the high post?
Um, we’ve got a lot of guys that can go in there and hit shots, but um, probably, you know, Jaime or J-Clark, Amari, Dave – any of those guys would be great in the middle.
How’d you think Amari looked in his first game back and what does he bring?
Well I think he looked solid. You know, granted, it’s his first game back in about a month or over a month, I don’t know the exact timeline. But every day in practice, he’s looking a lot better and better and I think he’ll be ready for Thursday and Saturday. And to me in that game, it’s his first game back, so you can’t really weigh a lot on it, so I just know he’s gonna get into his flow. You know, he’s a great player, so he’s gonna figure it out.
How much mental fatigue is there at this point in the season?
Well there’s some, um, but this is what we do. We came here to, you know, hopefully, be a great team and great basketball players, so all that, those things come with it – mental fatigue, physical fatigue. But it’s hard playing teams – especially in conference – when they know exactly what you’re gonna do every game. So that’s all I have to say, is just come in as prepared as we can and, you know, when things aren’t going exactly how we want them to go, just being ready to, you know, do the next thing that will help us win.
What makes Jaylen so good at coming out with steals?
Well, he goes for a lot of them and he gets them, so. I’d just say he has a good, you know, knack for defense and knowing where the ball is gonna be at in the plays. He has exceptionally long arms, I feel like, and his head is always in the play, and so I’d just say it’s instincts, a lot, so.
Does he ever guard you in practice?
Yeah, when we’re on different teams.
What’s it like going against him?
Well he’s a great defender, so it’s pretty hard. But, you know, going against anybody on this team’s pretty hard.
Follow Connon on Twitter at @SamConnon
Follow All Bruins on Twitter at @FN_AllBruins
Like All Bruins on Facebook at @FN.AllBruins
Subscribe to All Bruins on YouTube
Read more UCLA stories: UCLA Bruins on Sports Illustrated
Read more UCLA men’s basketball stories: UCLA Men’s Basketball on Sports Illustrated