March 20, 2006
On leaving early to get accustomed to the time zone:
"Well we experienced the time zone difference a couple of years ago when we traveled to NC State, and that was in the thick of the Pac-10 Conference play. I remember we had a bye that week, and we had to get over there and play, and then get back and then travel to Tucson, Arizona. So the guys that were here for that, know that when we go in a couple of days in advance that that is not an issue. I know that it will be a 10 o'clock game there, and a 7 o'clock game here--that is our time zone. Hopefully that will be ok. We wanted to totally get focused. We are I college, and it took me a while before I was able to get out to D.C in my lifetime, and be able to see some of the history that evolved around this country. I thought it would be a good idea to make sure our guys get a chance to see that. We always talked about that when we go play basketball games that it is a business trip--it is not a time for recreation. But at the same time, when you get these opportunities you want to take advantage of those as well. So if we left on Wednesday, you only would have one-day maybe to do that. We did not want to jam it in. School is out, and it is a great time to get all of this in, and not be distracted at all, and still be able to concentrate against a very tough U. Conn. team."
On the two freshman being productive:
"Well it is hard to say, because in the second game he (Jon Brockman) got into foul trouble. I got a pretty good gage on Jon. In the Illinois game he was out there banging and ready to go--he had a couple of boards early, but like I said he got into foul trouble, and we would certainly want him to be more productive that way. But I don't think that there is anything you can point to and say there is anything wrong with Jon Brockman. But sure we would like to see him be more productive, and I am sure we will. And Justin played two great NCAA tournament games. He was there down the stretch for us. I don't think he turned the ball over in those two games. And the again the question: the first time he hit the road--would he be able to handle it? Pac-10 tournament--would he be able to handle it? NCAA tournament--would he be able to handle it? I think he has done pretty well."
On being the only state to have two Sweet Sixteen teams:
"I think it has been well documented about the high school talent that has come out of this area--that have come out more recently, it has been more of a public knowledge. I think also now, Gonzaga has been around for quite some time. Oregon a few years, and Gonzaga was good. Oregon was in the Elite 8--they are not in the state of Washington but they are in the Northwest. Here were are just hoping we could hold up our end, and continue to do well, and continue to get people to know that this state produces pretty good basketball overall."
On sensing team not being satisfied, even though they have gone on a good run:
"Well I think human nature unfortunately plays a huge part in sports. You have to guard against that, but we haven't been to the tournament at all, so our first year we went to the tournament, we barely lost, and subconsciously maybe we were content in the back of our minds in getting to the tournament. We did not want that to happen last year. Also last year we made sure that we won the Pac-10 tournament--where we missed it by one game the year before. Last year we were in the Sweet 16, and our guys know what that felt like. Also the guys that are returning remember how great it was going into that week, and all the hype surrounding that game, and all of a sudden it is mid night, and it's over. You never anticipate that it is going to be over. You never play that it is going to be over. And it is done all of a sudden. Our guys remember that feeling and I think when they look at it that way, they will look at this game, and we do not want to sense that. We want to go as far as we can go."
On where Romar was at when UW played U Conn. in 1998:
"I was at Pepperdine (and I was) ticked! Again this was the Washington Huskies, and I was pulling for them. It was a great shot by Rip Hamilton, but I kept thinking that we had chance to move on at that point, and I thought that we had a chance to make it to the Final Four."
On U Conn. shooting 300 FT attempts in the season:
"I don't think that would be as much a point of emphasis. When you got that type of talent, and offensive firepower that they have, you are able to do that. I think that when you rebound as well as they rebound, then I think that really good rebounding teams get to the line. An offensive rebound creates a lot of problems for you--you react quickly, you got a shot at point blank range, you have a foul--I think that causes a lot of problems as well. The way they defend allows them to get to the line. So they are an aggressive, very talented team, and I think that helps them that way."
On preparing the team against U Conn., after their play against Albany:
"You try to look at their strengths and weaknesses. You try to look for any advantages that can be gained based on their pass play. So when you try to prepare your team, and you prepare to play against a team, you don't prepare for their worst. You prepare against their best."
On Bobby Jones' play style:
"When we first signed Bobby, people never heard of him. They kept on asking, `who is he like?' And I kept saying, well right now eventually he can be like a Michael Cooper. And if you remember Michael Cooper from the Lakers, he guarded three positions, sometimes four positions He had the foot speed, the quickness, and the tenacity to be able to do that. I thought he was like a Michael Cooper, like a Stacy Augmen. Stacy Augmen was another guy like that who can guard multiple positions. I played with a guy with the Milwaukee Bucks named Paul Pressy. He is an assistant with the Boston Celtics. He is about Bobby's height with long arms. He can guard multiple positions. It is a great luxury to have. "
On U Conn. players:
"Marcus Williams obviously is a big key to what they are doing. He is brilliant with the basketball. Not only can he distribute extremely well, he could score. He reminds me of Mark Jackson, when Mark Jackson was at St. Johns. Not the quickest guy on the floor, but gets to the same places that the quickest guy on the floor gets too. He has a strong upper body, and he is real important. Anderson has to be one of the best shooters in the country. He has good size for he can get his shot off. He has good lift. We know how talented Rudy Gay is. They have six potential pros on their team. We can go on and on. "
On Brandon Roy:
"Jim Harrick used to say that great players take their teams to great heights. Obviously it is a team game, and when you have someone who is as talented as Brandon, and who can go out there, and I have said this about him a bunch of times in the last month, he can go out there and assess the game, and see where there is a weakness, or what his team needs, and then go out there and give it to you--that is a winner. "
On going out and playing tough teams:
"We do not stress who is number one, and who is beatable and who is not because if we didn't come to play, Utah State would have beat us. And Illinois certainly would have beaten us if we didn't come and play a very high-level basketball game for the majority of that game. We had our lapses, but for the majority of the game we would not have won. But wherever we play, as far as we are concerned is a team that if we don't play can beat us. But one thing that we have always emphasized was if we come and play we can be competitive with anyone."
On Justin Dentmon's contributions:
"Remember Justin has been a scorer all of his life. So he is learning the point guard position, and he is doing a remarkable job to be looked upon to score. He averaged 25 points a game last year in high school. He just carried his team that way. I always said that I liked point guards that can score because of the very thing that happened several times this year. You just can't get anything going for whatever reason. When the ball is in his hands, his instincts kick in. Down the stretch, we didn't tell him to start going to the basket, we always give him that option, but then what we do, and our guards know that they always have that option to penetrate when they see it, and be aggressive. But his instincts kicked in, and he began to do what he is naturally able to do. Some other point guards, who are just totally distributors, that are very cerebral, and an extension from the coach, and all that is great, but I like to have a luxury of a point guard who can just score if they want to. "
On having successful defense:
"Anytime we have had any kind of success is because of our defense. That is what gets us going. We get into trouble when we don't make shots, and we start to put our heads down because our shots are not going in. When we shot 38% against Illinois, we still won the basketball game. That is what we need to be about. These last eleven game with an exception of about two of them, for the most part we have been a defensive minded team."
On the upcoming match ups:
"Brandon Roy guarded Jordan Farmar too when he played the point. Ayende played the point for Cal, and Brandon guarded him too. So you also have Rudy Gay, and Denham Brown, and that is a tough mismatch. If Brandon or Bobby has to guard Marcus Williams, then Justin has to guard Rudy Gay or Brown. So we are discussing that right now."
On the upsets this tournament:
"Not really, but I thought a few years ago with the advent of kids from high school and college after a year, that this day would come that this parody will just become more evident and more apparent, and will be more and more upsets. Some of these upsets are only upsets in number, in terms of on paper. Some of these teams are very good basketball teams, but the country hasn't seen these teams, so it appears they are upsets. If those teams play ten times, the results may not be too much different."
On the timeouts:
"Oh yeah they help. Two and half minutes. In fact, something that really helped us down the stretch was that Coach Shaw, made a suggestion, and I think there was 4:13 left in the game, to call timeout now, and get two and a half minute rest, and 13 seconds from now, we get to rest two and a half more minutes because of the TV timeouts. And down the stretch I felt that we were pretty strong."
On the emotion after a big win:
"Awesome. It's awesome. There are times if they had a rock--they would throw it at you in practice because they are upset with you. There are times when they are tired, and they can't go anymore, but they find a way to go. They battle as a group. You go through your ups and downs, and when you experience something like that, it is a great feeling. One of the most awesome feelings as a player is to go out there, and two hours have just elapsed, and you sit down and you have nothing left except joy. You just gave everything, and you might have some cuts and bruises, but you grab some ice and sit back and enjoy that. That is one of the greatest feelings you can have as an athlete."