The Bruins’ star point guard talked about staying focused on the final weekend of Pac-12 play despite the tournament coming up.
UCLA men’s basketball point guard Tyger Campbell spoke with reporters ahead of Wednesday morning’s practice session at the Mo Ostin Basketball Center. Campbell talked about where he stands on a potential return next season, how the Bruins need to improve before March Madness, David Singleton’s importance to the team and the challenges that Arizona State could pose on Thursday.
Have you thought about if these are your last two home games? Have you made that decision at all?
Um, nah. I’m just worried about winning against Arizona State on Thursday. Haven’t really thought about it past that, to be honest.
Coach Cronin said coach Howland was here earlier in the year talking about getting the No. 1 seed in the West – did that stick with you at all as a goal?
Well, of course. But since the start of the season, that was our goal because the last four years, we haven’t gotten anything like that, since I’ve been here. So we just know we gotta try to win out, win some games in the tournament and hopefully we can get a one seed.
What do you think you guys need to do between now and the NCAA tournament on offense?
Just being more sharp. And when I say that, I mean cutting hard, making the right pass, you know, waiting for the whole play to develop. So I’d say just taking our time more on offense and getting a great shot.
What does this senior class mean to you?
Um, it means a lot. Just kinda like what Ben was talking about, you know? It’s kinda like our last two games, but you know, I’ve had a really good time here with these guys and just trying to take it one game at a time and not get too ahead of ourselves. But I am pretty looking forward to Saturday, but just one game at a time.
You have family coming in for Saturday?
Yeah, my whole family’s coming.
Who does that include?
My parents, my siblings and some extended family. So yeah, it’ll be cool to have them.
You worked out with Frankie Collins and his uncle?
What was that like?
Well, he’s a great player and growing up, I grew up in Las Vegas, so his uncle was there and kinda trained me in my early elementary, a little bit into middle school. So, you know, growing up, me and Frankie were pretty close, he’s like a little brother to me so it’s crazy just to, at this stage, be able to play against him, seeing what he’s developed and turned into as a player cause I remember when he was just a little guy who was just messing around in the gym. It’s just crazy to see how good he is now.
How do you prevent looking past Thursday?
Um, kinda just keep in in your head, like you gotta just take it one game at a time. Yeah, I’m excited for Saturday, but of course I’m excited for Thursday too. And Thursday’s coming first, so just gotta be ready for that one and not really, you know, think past it.
How much of a challenge is ASU?
They’re a great team. You know, they’re playing the right way and, you know, they’re really good defensively, they get into gaps, try to speed you up and do a lot of things. But, you know, they’ve got a good coach and just gotta come Thursday ready to play, can’t mess around.
What’s it like having Dave in the middle of the huddle getting you guys going before games?
You know, it’s great. Been doing it for a long time now and, you know, he kinda always seems to know what to say, so we just rely on him and he turns us up, he gets us ready. So it’s great.
Are you in the running for the deflection bone? What’s the game-by-game competition been like for you guys?
Um, I don’t think I’m in the running for the bone. I think J-Clark’s probably got that. What was your second question?
Curious how it affects you guys, making your your deflections get charted?
Oh yeah, definitely. Like, in the game, if I get a deflection, I’m gonna look over to make sure they get it. But yeah, it definitely changes a little bit cause you know that every play on defense is being tracked, so you’re trying to make something happen and when we come in the locker room at the end of the game, maybe you’ll be the winner on that board. But I don’t think I’ve won too many times.