(#16) Washington 90, Eastern Washington 83
Friday, Nov. 24, 2006
Bank of America Arena/Seattle, Wash.
Coach Lorenzo Romar:
On Eastern Washington:
I watched the Eastern Washington team play a couple of weeks ago against Gonzaga. I'll tell you that it's good to see that win from us, but it's good to see that they have improved from a couple of weeks ago until now. They've definitely made progress. I said before the game that Rodney Stuckey is an NBA player. I didn't say that he has the potential to be, I said that he is. He is an NBA player. I think he could play in the NBA right now. He's a heck of a player. I don't know what he can't do. I think he put that on display tonight with passing and rebounds and shooting from the perimeter. He's just a very good basketball player. I think they're going to do quite well. I think they did a great job, they played hard-nosed basketball. Hats off to them.
On the Huskies:
I thought for us, Adrian Oliver was the catalyst of our team, in terms of providing energy. We tried to play hard, but we needed to stop the game, and go watch ourselves on films. We could see that we really weren't competing. We were playing hard but we weren't competing. There's a difference there. We got going and we finished the half strongly with a fury. In the second half, Justin Dentmon got going offensively and helped us. We told our guys before the game, that no matter if it was a one point game or a twenty point victory, as long as we competed, we had done what we wanted to do. We didn't do it for forty minutes, but I thought tonight we still made some progress.
On tonight being a close game:
At this point, any game could be a close game for us. When I looked at the schedule early on, you just look at the games, then you start your season, and then you don't look at them any more. You wait and play one game at a time. Where before, just looking at the whole picture, I thought that Eastern would be a team that would come in here and be very competitive.
About Oliver's half-court shot:
That was worthy of SportsCenter. We were already coming, but we closed out the half pretty well. That's one of the great plays as a coach. You don't want your players to come in all hot and bothered. That gets them awake. That sent us in the locker room with a risen spirit.
About Oliver starting the second half:
You have to reward someone who's playing with that much energy. We're trying to win. He was helping us win that game. When we got down to being behind by 12 and 13, it might have been more if he weren't in there working as hard as he did.
EASTERN WASHINGTON HEAD COACH MIKE BURNS
"I thought our team played extremely hard. I thought our efforts gave us a good chance. I thought for the most part we did a good job of taking care of the basketball, and giving ourselves the opportunities for some open shots. In the first half we knocked a lot of those down, but in the second half--we were just an eye-lash off on 6 or 7 of those things. If those would have went down, it would have been a different game."
On the Huskies late run in the first half:
"That's what they do. They play extremely hard. We push the basketball, and they attack in a lot of areas. Even during that stretch, we had some good looks at the basket, we missed, and they go down to the other end and score. We had a couple of turnovers during that stretch that were unfortunate. There is a reason they are the 16th ranked team in the country, because they capitalize on those mistakes. That did hurt us because I thought that if we could have taken a 6-8 point lead at the half that would have given us more momentum."
On the Huskies young squad:
"First of all, when you have players who played in the McDonald's game at the 4 and 5, you are dealing with an elite level of basketball player. Brockman and Hawes--that is as good of a front-court as you are going to see. You say that, and Pondexter is the leading scorer. They are very talented. I thought Justin Dentmon was fabulous in the second half tonight. We just didn't have an answer for him. Adrian Oliver comes off the bench and gets 14 points, and 9 rebounds playing the guard spot. They are a very good team, and their coaching staff does a phenomenal job, as they are taking a young group of guys and turning them into a really good basketball team."
On playing with this much intensity all the time:
"Oh no question. They are still a very young basketball team. You saw some young guys make some good plays out there tonight. Some of the few errors that we have made at points of this season is not bringing maximum effort. If we bring maximum effort, and play as hard as we played tonight, then we would be a handful. We can rebound, and when we get going in transition, we are hard to deal with."
EWU GUARD RODNEY STUCKEY
Thoughts on the game:
"I thought we played really hard. We just came up short basically. Offensive rebounds really hurt us this game. Missing crucial free throws at crucial times, and stuff like that, but we are just going to get better."
On playing at home:
It feels good. All of my family was out there, and all my fans, so it is always fun to come back and put on a show for your family and stuff like that."
On feeling pressure:
"Not really. I am used to pressure. I have been dealing with pressure all of my life. All the things I have been through, and stuff like that. Pressure doesn't really bother me at all."
On playing against local talents like Brockman and Hawes:
"I don't really know them that well, but they are good players. Spencer is going to be really good, and Brockman is just a beast down low. It is just really fun coming back, and playing against all those top 25 teams."