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Kapono Chat Wrap
By: UCLA Athletics

Jan. 3, 2003 Last night you broke out of your shooting slump (in win vs. Washington) and hit three out of five threes. How'd that feel?
Jason Kapono: It felt real good. It felt like I had a pretty good rhythm, that my shots were going down. I was getting my legs back into my shots. I felt pretty confident, and hopefully I got some of my "swagger" back so I can put together some good back-to-back games and help us get back on track. How important was it for you guys to go on the road and get a win, get some confidence back after losing three games in a row?
Kapono: It was a huge step for us, to go on the road after all we've been through and get that first victory in the conference and start off Pac-10 play in a positive fashion. It's a good confidence builder and hopefully it'll lead to some more victories. We've got to erase the bad feeling left from the way we've started this year, but it's a new season with conference play underway, and right now we're 1-0. Before the game, Dijon Thompson was listed as questionable at best, and it looked as if he might not play. How big was it to have him come in and contribute (14 points)?
Kapono: It was one of those things, were his availability was a game-time decision by the coaching staff. I think he played pretty well, taking into account that he hadn't practiced in awhile. I think that he's getting better, it's just one of those things -- his knee is always going to hurt a bit, it'll just be a matter of him playing through the pain. Last night was such an up and down game (UCLA blew a 17 point lead and had 29 turnovers), but still held on for the win. What did the coaching staff tell you after the game?
Kapono: Basically they told us we need to take better care of the basketball, and play smart. It was good that we didn't let the 29 turnovers turn into a loss. It was a character builder for us, to show that we can fight through all the turnovers and all the poor plays that we made and gut out the win. It was important for us to start off conference play on a good note. Now we're hoping to grab a second win on this trip up in Pullman against Washington State. Speaking of Washington State, Saturday you face the Cougars up in Pullman for the last time. What do you expect out of this game?
Kapono: They're a fun team, it should be a very fast-paced and high-scoring game tomorrow. We always have a tough game up there against them, they're such a fiery team. We can't come out and play flat against them, they're going to be amped for the game. Everyone always brings their "A" game against us. We know that we're going to have to take their best game tomorrow, and hopefully we can prevail.

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