March 15, 2006
Head Coach Lorenzo Romar
"We're excited to be here in beautiful San Diego as a participant in the NCAA Tournament. We're facing a very good team in Utah State, one of the most well-coached teams in America. We can't afford to make a lot of mistakes because Utah State doesn't. They're a very efficient team, they're the type of club that will not hand the game to you. We're going to have to take it from them."
On feeling like an underdog going into the tournament:
"People would say that Utah State are the underdogs if you look at the seedings, but we are not looking at it that way. It seems like the closer we are to game time, everyone thinks we're the most likely 5th seed to be upset, so it's like we're the underdog, but we'll see as the game comes."
On the type of results the team has been having:
"Our last game could be why people are doubting us. We were the heavy favorite against Oregon, especially since we had won eight straight, some of them tough games on the road. But yet our last game we came up short, so maybe the feeling is that since we lost that game, we might be open to lose another one."
On the confidence in their game:
"It's not so much a lack of confidence in our team, but what's fresh on everyone's mind is that we lost in the first round of the Pac-10 Tournament. Maybe they've forgotten about the eight previous wins in a row, but what people understand is that Utah State upset Ohio State in the took Kansas to the wire a few years ago. They haven't backed down from being the underdog and I think that reputation is still with them. So I think people look at what Utah State has done as opposed to what Washington has done."
On what they need to do to take the game from Utah State:
"We have to take care of the basketball and take care of the fundamental things like boxing out and making the three-point shots. In each progression, it's going to be tough for us if we put them on the line, where they shoot an exceptional amount of free throws. We'd be puting ourselves at a disadvantage if we take bad shots, become impatient or lunging on defense and getting out of position. Those are all things, to us, that we attribute to not playing very good basketball and something they'd take advantage of."
On making adjustments after the Oregon loss:
"If we had lost eight straight and lost the eighth one by a lot, then we'd have to adjust some things. The fact is we won eight prior to that and we beat Arizona on their floor. When you lose a game, it doesn't mean you have to go back to the drawing board, you just have to play the best basketball that you're capable of."
On the tempo of the game:
"We try to attack as hard as we can both defensively and offensively. We're not going to adjust how we play. In our league, we've played teams who play more deliberate basketball and Utah State is like that. They shorten the game and get out and run early if they can. We've been involved in these types of situations before, which doesnt guarentee a win, but we know we won't get caught off guard."
On certain media members saying they will get upset:
"What goes through my mind is: `Ok, I can see that if I was at the barbershop, I can see that happening and it doesn't have to be Washington, it could be a big time program.' If you follow basketball, you could compare Utah State to Gonzaga of old, where it's no longer an upset. I look at it as interesting."
On the state of the program after going to the tournament three straight
"The first time, those who followed us were really excited that we had made the tournament and that we had a great season. At this point, people expect us to advance far. We were in the Sweet 16 last year and I know people want to see us there again. Some would say that the pressure is on, but I've said from day one that you welcome expectations because it means you're headed in the right direction. In the past, there were no expectations."