March 15, 2006
Brandon Roy, Senior, Guard
On critics giving Washington no respect as a No. 5 seed:
"I think we're handling it well. It's almost good news for us, we get to be the underdogs again. Utah State is a good team. People think we're the team that's going to lose, the five to the 12th seed, but we're not here to make any predictions. We played really good basketball down the stretch; we've won eight out of our last nine games. Utah State's a good team, but I think we're just going to approach it as if we're the underdogs and we're just going to try to get a win."
On preparing for Utah State:
"I think that's their strategy no matter who they play. I think they're a pack-it-in team; they don't want to stretch their defense out very far. Even if they're playing a man, they're going to stay packed in and try to make you force jump shots. That's something we've been working on all week, going against a zone and working against a sagging man-to-man defense and making sure we still penetrate and don't just settle for outside shots. We're going to still take our cracks at it because we have players who can shoot; but at the same time, we have to make sure we penetrate and stay focused at trying to get inside their defense."
On stepping his game up:
"I just tried to be more aggressive offensively for 40 minutes. Every moment I'm on the court, coach says, be aggressive, to not only score but to make plays for other players. This year, I'm leading the team in assists too. It's not about going out there scoring, but it's about being a threat to create shots for other players on the team. Coach (Romar) says, "every moment you're on the floor, we need you to make plays." If that means take more three's this year in games, I'll do that. If it means to penetrate, then I'll penetrate. Basically, I'm trying to be more aggressive to do whatever it takes for this team to win."
On the the pressure to win after past year's success:
"Actually, I feel like it's less pressure. Last year, we were the No. 1 seed and we had some big names. Nate Robinson was our star name and people put a lot of attention on him. Last year I was able to slip through the cracks and Jamaal got some offense going. But now we're the bigger names on the team, but people aren't picking us to do very well in the tournament. I'm approaching it as we're the underdogs. I'm telling the guys, it's almost like we have nothing to lose, so let's go out there and leave it all out there on the floor and let's try to make it special. It's a total team effort. I don't think you have as many individual stars as we did last year, but we have, I think, a much better team and we play more as a team. I think that will be our huge advantage going through this tournament."
On taking it one game at a time:
"I think we're handling it well. Just riding over on the bus, I'm almost approaching it as if it's another game. Sometimes you can get caught up in building it up as too much of a game. I'm just saying, it's another game. We feel like, if we play Husky basketball for 40 minutes, we could do something special. But I don't think we want to make it any bigger than it is, not after we've been here three years in a row. I think we just have to come in and approach it as if it's just another basketball game that we have to win or our season's over. We don't want to build it up too much, we just want to have fun and enjoy the experience, but at the same time, just know it's another basketball game and we have to get it done or our season's over with."
Jamaal Williams, Senior, Forward
On coming off the bench:
"My role hasn't changed at all, except now I'm coming off the bench. I'm fine with it. It helps the team out. Our bench scoring has gone up a lot, so that helps. I do whatever it takes to help this team win."
On defending against Nate Harris:
"We're going to play him the same way we play everybody else. We stick to our basic defensive principles and keep playing. We never change what we do for pretty much any player, but we'll make it difficult for him to catch and try to limit his touches as much as possible."
On facing teams with zone and man-to-man:
"By playing zone all the time. It's very rare that we get a team that will play us man-to-man for a full 40 minutes. For the most part, if they do start out in it, they'll decide to change it back into that zone quickly because we have a lot of good players that can create plays. Guarding Brandon (Roy) is tough one-on-one and if you try to help guard him in that man-to-man situation, he's going to find the open guy. The effect of this depends on how we're shooting. If we're shooting well, it doesn't really bother us. But if we're not shooting that well, then we've got to find another way to get it done. We'll see what happens tomorrow."