March 3, 2007
Head Coach Lorenzo Romar
General Comments We knew we were going to need a Herculean effort to come out and be successful against UCLA. They're such a good basketball team. They're very hard to beat. I don't think many teams in the country could beat them. We were fortunate enough today to get it done. I just can't say how proud I am of our guys. It's a joy to watch, as we've had our struggles this year, we've been up and down. To see things (perhaps) start to come together. I wish we had another 3 or 4 weeks left in the regular season as opposed to the post season, but it is what it is. We need to do the best job that we can to take this momentum into next week. Jon Brockman and Spencer Hawes were just beasts today. They were twin beasts.
On competing That's something we've been working on all year. We're trying to make that our identity. If you can compete and defend and rebound, you've gbot a firm enough identity to where you can play with most teams. I think this has been coming on. We just don't have a 10 or 11 game winning streak to confirm that.
On defending Arron Afflalo Ryan Appleby did a fantastic job. He got loose for a couple, but he might be the player of the year in the conference. He's gone off on a lot of teams. But you've got to give Ryan Appleby a lot of credit. They set so many screens for Afflalo and he can just turn and get his feet set and catch and shoot. With great size and a high release, it's hard to get to his shot.
On the team's response to UCLA's late game run We talked to the team at the halftime about getting stops and not turning the ball over. We didn't take care of the latter. We turned the ball over too much and let go of easy baskets. But then we regained our composure and we were able to get to the foul line. Jon Brockman hit four big free throws today. I think they're the best defensive team in this league. And when they really turn up the defense, it's hard to score. But our guys weathered the storm and really came together. I don't know if we would've been able to that a month and a half ago. It's always better, as I've been saying all year, to play at home.
On Justin Dentmon defending Darren Collison Justin was worn out at the end of that game. Besides Afflalo, Collison is probably the next big threat in terms of scoring. They go neck and neck as to who's most important on that team. Collison is their general, they're heart and soul in a lot of ways. Justin did a really good job of staying in front of him and not letting him run wildly.
On going to the tournament You just start all over. What just happened this weekend is great, but it has nothing to do with what's going to happen on Wednesday night.
UCLA Head Coach Ben Howland
General Comments: "You have to hand it to Washington, they really took it to us today. They out-rebounded us by 15, they defended us to where we only shot 31 percent, and they were outstanding inside. Brockman and Hawes are great players. I was proud of our comeback, I like that our guys fought back when we got down, but it's as disappointing a loss as we've had this season."
On offense and slow start: "We were not patient on offense. They were more patient than we were in their half court offense today. We started off bad with two turnovers and when you're playing a team as good as I think the Huskies are, you have to come out and have good starts."
On Alfred Aboya not playing due to injury: "Did we miss Alfred today? Yes, absolutely. He had some swelling, but it didn't get worse. We wanted to err on the side of caution."