Jan. 24, 2009
Washington Head Coach Lorenzo Romar
"We just completed a weekend of heavyweight fights here. The USC Trojans and UCLA Bruins are two heavyweights and we had to have a heavyweight response. I thought that we were just an average team in the first half. We allowed them to get out ahead of us. We lost their shooters. We settled down in the second half and played pretty good basketball.
"I couldn't be more proud today of the player I've been able to coach than I am right now, Justin Dentmon. He did a great thing today. He got in early foul trouble. You pick up two fouls in the first three minutes of the game. I've seen guys go south. Their head's not in it. They're pouting. He stayed over there and I watched him. I glanced at him every now and then and he was so focused. He picks up his fourth foul, it would have been so easy for him to check out mentally but he didn't. He came back and he immediately made his presence felt, immediately had an impact on us winning that game. It's kind of a culmination on how his career has been. There were a couple of seasons where he could have easily gone south, but he didn't. This summer he battled and battled and worked and worked. He's playing just like an all-conference guard right now. I thought we won this game as a team."
Washington Freshman Isaiah Thomas "I think we just never got down on ourselves. That Florida game down at Kansas City, we really came together I think. We know we should have won that game but we really came together as a team. We're just so close with relationships off the court that nothing really gets down on us. Coach on the road games, home games, says there's going to be adversity. He says we are just going to have to play through it and play to the best of our ability. We play hard and we do that."
UCLA Coach Ben Howland
"We did a good job competing. We had a chance to go up four going into halftime and they hit the three. Our guy got caught on the screen. The game went back and forth until about the six minute point. We had a chance to cut it to two when James [Keefe] missed the front end of the one-and-one. They really built on their lead.
"We had difficulty being able to handle their pressure. It was hard for our four man to pop out and even get catches. You've got to give them credit. This is a very good team that beat us today. Washington is very well coached and has outstanding athletes. They've got the two seniors that are playing great for them in Brockman and Dentmon. Obviously the little guy had a great game today, he was a problem for us. He was the one guy that was really knocking down threes for them. Obviously when you look at the foul shooting disparity. We had to foul at the end, but it was 31-11 I think with four minutes to go, so they got to the line a lot more than we did. We were in foul trouble.
"I have to look and see about that technical foul on [Alfred Aboya]. I just know Alfred well enough to know that I'm sure that was just misread by the official. It's not like him to taunt anybody. Brockman turned right into him and ripped his head open and it was a foul on us.
"A lot of (what gave UCLA trouble) was on dribble-penetration. They beat us off the dribble and just got to the rim. Their guards got to the line 27 times and they shot very well from the line today, 83 percent. Brockman got to the line 10 times, Dentmon 10 times and Thomas 12. They were very quick, very athletic. Dentmon is having a great year. Thomas is a very special player. Even though he is a year older (than a typical freshman) he has been consistent, he's playing well against everybody.
"We had a couple of key turnovers when they broke the game open. One was when they came from behind. I guess he had stolen it and thought everybody was ahead of him and that was the play when Dentmon came and stole it. They have some good players. This is a tough environment.
"I think where we really had problems was that they really kept the ball out of our guy's hands. They pressed us way out. We had that one back-door play out of a timeout to Nick and he tried to shoot it on the run instead of bringing it down and getting fouled. We had a few opportunities. To win against a good team on the road you have to capitalize on little things. "