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What Tommy Lloyd, Kerr Kriisa and Azuolas Tubelis said after Arizona’s home loss to Washington State

arizona-wildcats-basketball-tommy-lloyd-wsu-cougars-kerr-kriisa-azuolas-tubelis-pac12-postgame-2023 Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

After losing for the first time at McKale Center as Arizona’s head coach Tommy Lloyd took a little longer than normal before holding his postgame press conference. But when he arrived, he hopped up on stage and treated the presser like he had after his previous 26 home victories.

“Hey, we didn’t play good,” Lloyd said. “Bottom line. As a program, hopefully we’ll respond and get better from it. These seasons are long.”

Our full recap from Arizona’s 74-61 home loss to Washington State can be found here. Below is what Lloyd, Kerr Kriisa and Azuolas Tubelis had to say afterward

Lloyd on learning from the loss: “No one’s guaranteed victory or success. We got to go out and fight for who we want to be every single game. You got to fight for that identity, and there is obviously growing pains over the course of a season, and seasons are far from perfect when you really start dissecting. I’m looking forward to getting home tonight and getting to work at fixing some things and getting better.”

On reacting to the loss: “You want to make sure you don’t let a day like this take your mojo. And it’s hard not to. We got to do a good job. We’re a high character program. I love these players. And we got to solve how to bounce back from this. We got to come back Monday, gotta show up and be excited to be there and get better, and make sure Thursday in Oregon State we play out asses off.”

On losing for the first time at home: “I’ve lost before in my life. It’s something that happens. This is basketball. I think I can keep a pretty good perspective on things and you know you’re not going to go undefeated forever. Today had an opportunity to be a special day at McKale, and it was for Washington State. Saturday afternoon game in beautiful Tucson, perfect weather, and everybody could go out to dinner after and have a good time. Unfortunately, it just didn’t happen.”

On WSU: “Washington State gets a ton of credit. I thought they were able to put together a game plan that worked early for them and then they got some conviction. We deserved the result that we got.”

On struggling offensively: “I just noticed that I think they’re length and activity bothered us around the basket. We missed a lot of shots that we’ve been accustomed to make. I thought they did a pretty good job just kind of taking away a little bit of our push, our force that we usually get in our offense. They did a nice job, but we faced that before and we just obviously didn’t play well.”

On WSU center Mouhamed Gueye: “He was great today, he was the best big on the floor. He had control of the game and took a number of shots, he took timely shots and was great on the glass. He’s a really good player.”

On Arizona’s guards: “We want them to be aggressive. We’ll have to watch and go back and see why we were losing our thrust a little bit in there. You can have guards driving in there shooting or you can be feeding your bigs in there shooting. So, 31 shots from our bigs has been a pretty good formula all year. Tonight, we weren’t efficient.”

On cutting the deficit to 5: “When we cut it to five, (TJ) Bamba had a big time drive down there right through Oumar’s chest, which is usually pretty good for us, and it he somehow banged that thing in off the glass, it was a big time finish from him. He misses that, and we’re able to get a rebound, which wasn’t a given today by any stretch, we’re coming down in transition and we’re right there. But he finished it, and then we probably panicked a little bit, maybe made a few decisions offensively that were probably not the best.”

On rebounding: “I think it was just the rebounding and loose balls in general. I thought they were the quicker team to the ball all night, and that’s that’s usually a recipe for a long night. We were kind of sluggish in all facets of the game, and they weren’t, so they deserved the victory today.”

On Oumar Ballo: “He had a tough week. I told you guys he was sick all week, and he’s probably still battling. He’s our guy. He’s had an incredible season. And I thought there were moments he was gonna kind of get us back in that game today. It was one of those days.”

On Courtney Ramey: “Courtney obviously didn’t have a great weekend, but I love that guy. And I got to do a good job of making sure he keeps his confidence high, because we need him to be good for us to be good.”

On what practice will be like on Monday: “We’ll critique the game, areas we want to get better at we’ll address, and things we want to reinforce. You got to get better and you got to prepare to play the next game. So that’s what we’re going to do. Nothing crazy. I don’t have a manual, here’s how I coach after a loss.”

On the Pac-12 race with 2 losses already: “Long season.”

Kriisa on the loss: “I think we dug ourselves a big hole again and couldn’t get out of it. Gotta give a lot of credit to Washington State. They played hard, made shot, and at the end of the day whoever plays hard and makes more shots wins the basketball game.”

On if Arizona is struggling: “I wouldn’t panic. I think everybody (is) in clouds right now from last year, that that’s how it should be. Of course, our standards are high. We’re trying to win every game. Today was like that. We’re going to take full responsibility for to the shooting percentages. We missed 11 free throws, that’s a lot of free throws. That’s 100 percent on the players.”

On what Lloyd said to the team after the game: “I think that stays in the locker room, but no matter what, he would say the same things that I would, I’m saying right now. I hate to say it but, it was one of those days.”

On Ballo dealing with illness: “It wasn’t because Oumar was sick. It was 100 percent on us. There’s no point to start talking who was sick two days ago, who was a week ago, who was two weeks ago.”

On cutting the deficit to 5: “We got some momentum back. I think if we got one more stop I think it would have been our game, but we didn’t get the stop.”

Tubelis on if Arizona is struggling offensively: “It’s not confidence. We had a bad day and couldn’t make shots.”

On WSU’s interior defense: “They pressured me when I tried to find Oumar, but I found him a few times. They weren’t doing anything special.”

On Ballo: “I’m pretty sure he played on medicine still.”