UCLA 77, Washington 67
January 2, 2003
Bank of America Arena/Seattle, Wash.
WASHINGTON COACH LORENZO ROMAR
"This was a disappointing loss. We came in with momentum and confidence that we wanted to continue. Unfortunately, we could not pull it out. I give our players credit to how hard they played. We forced UCLA into 29 turnovers without fouling too much. I give our team credit for being aggressive."
On the experience of the UCLA players
"Their experience and our inexperience was a factor. This is a team that grows with each game. We face a situation and get over the hurdle and learn how to adjust. UCLA did a good job of getting good shots. They barely beat us on the boards. We tend to move the ball more against teams like UCLA."
On never finding a flow in the game
"I thought our pressing and the turnovers played in our favor. I thought a pivotal point was Jason Kapono's shots in the first half. Our bench got small without Jeffrey Day and we didn't have as much depth."
On Washington's young team
"We will be ready for USC. Our guys are resilient. They will come to practice tomorrow wide-eyed and ready to play the next game. We bounce back well."
On rebounding in tonight's game
"We have got to do a better job. We didn't shoot good and were 23 from 34 from the line. I thought we were aggressive tonight, but just didn't get the job done. Our guys are competing and fighting. As long as the effort is there as it was tonight, we will do okay."
UCLA COACH STEVE LAVIN
"They're very quick and because of their press they gave us very many scoring opportunities, but they also hurried us up. We got a little bit tired, fatigued. They rotated their players more frequently than we did. At the end we were tired and had problems playing pass and catch. A part of that was Washington's aggressive, tenacious defense forcing us to go fast and make some poor decisions."
On his team's 29 turnovers
"Part of the turnovers was Washington's scramble defense and we didn't execute against the full court pressure as we should have. We have stretches where we get kind of casual with the ball and when we pass the ball we'll try to slap it on the deck before we make a move before we stop and face up court. Other times we'll throw the ball over each other's head. Both teams made mistakes, you could tell it's early in the season."
On slow start
"Before the game we talked to the kids about the Jets, who were 2-5 early in their season with less games on the schedule and they finished 9-7 and are now in the NFL playoffs. Likewise, New England and Miami had good stretches early in the year and are now sitting at home watching the playoffs. There's still a lot of basketball ahead of us. It's our second season, that's what's great about conference play. If you get to the tournament it gives you a third season. We've struggled, we haven't played good basketball and we're just trying to get better."