March 14, 2006
Husky Senior Brandon Roy
On Tournament Experience: "I think we have a lot of experience. My sophomore year, the first time we had ever been, we were just happy to be there. We went in there, we didn't play a whole lot of defense, we were scoring the ball a lot. We were just excited to be in the tournament. Last year, we were the number one seed, and we were just trying to live up to expectations. I think this season is really fun, because nobody is saying a lot about us, nobody is saying we are not good, it is just nobody is talking about us at all. We have a chance to go in there and surprise some people, we have the chance to play the underdog role, and that is pretty cool. I think we are really relaxed, the freshmen are really keying off of us, we are relaxed at practice. We know that this is a tournament that we feel like, if we play our best basketball, we can do well in. So, it is just a matter of staying calm, and being ready to play Thursday, 40 minutes and not 35 or 30 minutes."
On What He Tells the Freshmen: "I just told them that it is a great experience, and it is hard to feel it right now. But when you get there, you go to the arena and have the hour walk through and the fans are watching you, it is a great time. The biggest thing is to try and enjoy every moment of it, but don't get excited to early. The game is a long game; it seems like it is even longer because of the commercial breaks; go out there and have fun and enjoy every moment of it. Play this tournament like it is your last one, don't say `oh, I'm going to be here next year, or the year after'."
On This Being His Last Tournament: "Every tournament you play in, you want to win. Probably more than ever, that when that clock is ticking, and we are losing, then I am done. There are no more spring workouts for me. I have seen the way Will and those guys, after the season, kind of go on about their lives. I come back and lift weights with the team, and kind of go through all of that again. But this year, I know that when the buzzer ticks, I'm done. I will have to move on too. I definitely approach it like I don't want to lose. I've got to leave it all on the floor, 110%. It is something that I am sad about. But, I am just enjoying that we have had a great time here, and I think that is what makes me the most happy."
On Many People Picking Utah State: "It is funny, but if I was somebody picking, I would pick this game too. We have proven, like I said, that we can beat a Gonzaga and a UCLA, but we have also proven that we can lose to Washington State twice in a season. So, if you were going through the bracket and trying to find a team that would slip up, I would pick Washington too. It is something that we have brought upon ourselves. We haven't been nails in games that we should have won. That is fine, but I am picking Washington. Hopefully, the team that beat UCLA and Gonzaga and went on the road to beat Arizona will show up. I think it will, and if that team shows up, I don't think anyone wants to play us in the tournament. I'm not saying `oh, they are terrible for picking Utah State', I understand why they do, we just have to make up for that."
Head Coach Lorenzo Romar
On Utah State: "We know a bit more, we know probably a little bit more about their personnel, and kind of what they are trying to get done when they play. Nothing more specific than what we already knew, we just know now in better detail. The research confirmed what we knew. They are a very good basketball team, they are very efficient and they won't beat themselves."
On Utah State's Older Players: "I think that is a great advantage for them. It is always interesting to watch a group of young men 20-21 year old guys, go play in a night league, and play against the thirty year old guys. The young kids have more energy, they are more talented, but they can't beat the older guys. Because of the experience, the old guys don't get rattled as much. When you have that experience, in terms of age and playing time, not to mention that they are returning four of their starters from last year, a very good basketball team; I think it is a plus for them."
On Justin Maybe Having to Guard Someone Much Older Than Him: "The way we play, everyone is on everyone. Guys are all over the place. I don't even know if you can say it is this point guard against that point guard. We play against UCLA, and you think it would be Justin Dentmon against Jordan Farmar, but I don't know how much he guarded Jordan in that game. With us, you might as well throw Jon Brockman in there too, as a younger guy, because different guys will be playing against different players on their team."
On Harris: "He is a little bit like David Lucas from Oregon State, in that it is not going to be a clinic, in terms of a pivot up and under move. He is going to find a way to put it in the basket. He has an assortment of ways to do it, and they have an assortment of ways to get him the ball. We know how much David Lucas presented problems for us, when he was here with Oregon State"
On Challenge of the Tournament: "Probably the biggest challenge is going up against someone you are not familiar with, in terms of being on the same floor as them. The first time you play a team, next year when we play UCLA, we are going to have an idea of what they are going to do, and they are going to have an idea of what we are going to do. But never having played a Utah State, you are going to have to go out there and spar a little bit before you have some idea of what is going on. You have to be out there to really experience it. I remember as a Rookie as an NBA, we prepared for, I don't know how long against the Lakers. Get back in transition, but when the ball went up and they took off like jets, you had no way to simulate that. It took a while to get used to that."
On NCAA's Being a Stage for Brandon Roy: "I think they are starting to catch on nationally, based on the fact that he has made a couple of All-America teams, and they are starting to mention his name during the different telecasts. But, for a guy like Bobby Jones, there was a lot more talk about Bobby Jones when we played Pacific and had a really good game in the tournament. So, that could be a factor. I think it is a stage for the Washington program. With Brandon, obviously he is a focal point for our team, and for other teams to prepare for."
On Freshmen Mistakes: "I've seen it with Rookie's, Freshmen, I have seen it with Junior's who hadn't played much and now, all of a sudden they are in a big game. Whenever there is a first, the potential of that happening is there."
On Whether Losing in the Pac-10 Tourney is a Good Thing: "I think you can twist it anyway you want. Last year, we won the championship, and we were convinced that we could beat anyone. If you use that form of logic, you can flip it to the other side and say, maybe now they are hungrier because they lost, now they are a little more motivated. I would have rather have won the Championship, and be here ready for the next game."
On How He Prepares Players for the Tourney: "We are big on, the first day of practice we try to create an environment that prepares you to play in the NCAA tournament, that prepares you to go on the road and play in a hostile environment. That is done, hopefully, throughout the course of the year in practice. You have got to guard against, let's get up for this big game now, let's get for this tournament. What does it mean when we play a school now that doesn't have as much hype and doesn't appear to be as big of a stage. I think you have got to prepare the same way, so that you have a standard way to approach things."