Washington 83, Florida International 48
December 21, 2002
Bank of America Arena/Seattle, Wash.
WASHINGTON COACH LORENZO ROMAR
"Our guys did a tremendous job on the defensive end. They forced them into 26 turnovers and they shot 38%. That's something that we, as a staff and I think our team are really excited about. We held them under 50 points. That was a great job by our defense. We needed to have a game like this. We lost to Eastern Washington and didn't play very well offensively, just kind of down, but we won this game. Four out of the last five we've played better basketball and we're 3-2 in that stretch. So we continue to see progress, it's what we've talked about all along, progress, progress, progress. It's day to day, it's game to game, but today we played much better. The two negatives were too many turnovers and allowing too many offensive rebounds."
On playing mid-major opponents
"If you handle it properly, it can give you a little confidence, that if you do things right, you can be very successful. If you come out and you play really good, really hard basketball, you lose by two, maybe you win by one, but if you come out and you play really hard and you're able to win with this much of a cushion, I think subconsciously it gives you a little more fight. I also liked the way we handled ourselves when we did get up. It would have been really easy to quit guarding, quit doing a lot of things at that point. Guys came in off the bench and continued to put the heat on."
On Doug Wrenn
"I'm fired up about Doug Wrenn having seven rebounds and five assists and played very good defense. The guy on their team, Baez, is a load to guard. He only scored six points and had six turnovers; Doug did a pretty good job on him. He did a lot out there, he didn't make his shots, but he did a lot of other things to help us win. Will didn't score either, but Nate Robinson scored 14, C.J. Massingale scored 13. If you get to where your team has several guys who can step up and score when another guy isn't shooting that well, I think then you have to potential to be a really good team."
On Nate Robinson
"I didn't think he would adjust this quickly offensively. He still doesn't know the whole offense. It's very difficult to go out on the floor as a guard and try to lead the team and score when you haven't played college basketball before and you haven't played basketball in two months and you're 5-8, that's difficult. We've tried to play him with another point guard at all times to try to help him as he gets acclimated to what we're doing. He's done a nice job and what I like about it is that he's been shooting over 50%. After tomorrow, he's done with us for a week because he'll be out helping us win that Sun Bowl. He won't have to start from scratch, but he'll have to relearn it again. I would say that by the second half of conference play he'll have a good idea what we're doing."
FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL COACH DONNIE MARSH
"I really felt like Washington came out and was the aggressor. They came out and played hard and physical and we didn't match their physical play. I think that was what the deciding factor of the game was tonight. They were able to do things that they wanted to do and when a team can do that and be relaxed they are tough to beat. Free throws are something we struggled with and that's something we have to step up and make."
On Washington Players
"I thought that Nate Robinson played really well. He came in and gave them a lift and made some nice shots. Washington pushed it and was able to get the shots that they wanted to hit. I thought maybe when we pushed them a little bit and we got down by 10 in the second half, I thought maybe that we had a chance, but they answered, and that's what quality teams do. They were well coached and they were ready to respond when we made a run at them."