Here is all that Huskies men’s basketball coach Lorenzo Romar said after Washington’s 87-85 loss to Nevada on Sunday at Hec Edmundson Pavilion.
(Opening) “On one hand, you’d like to see (Marcus) Marshall in HORSE or any other game shoot a running right-hander going to his left and see how many times it would go in. But I think that was his 30th point (actually 32nd), and we put ourselves in that position. Our inability to get a stop by not rebounding the ball in the first half hurt us. We tell our team, if you don’t take care of business early, then you put yourself in a position for the official to make a call, or someone to throw up a shot at the buzzer that you didn’t think they could make. We put ourselves in that position. In the first half with 15 second-chance points that they had, that just really hurt us, in that regard. Our guys did a great job of coming back when we were down. David Crisp hit some big shots for us. I think we looked in the first half, if we would have got the rebound when we got a stop, we would have held them to about 27 percent shooting. But we didn’t get the rebound. So they ended up shooting 41 percent in the first half.”
(On why these rebounding issues keep popping up) “It didn’t against Gonzaga because we outrebounded them 54-42 and we had 29 offensive rebounds … if you go back, I think we’re plus-6 overall on the backboards, but tonight we didn’t do a very good job.”
(On Marcus Marshall’s last shot) “Any time you get somebody to take a running one-hander drifting on the move with a hand right there with arguably your best defender, you’ll take that position every day of the week. He just hit a tough shot.”
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(On foul trouble) “It certainly hurt us in the first half. Our guys were on the bench. That kind of coincided with their run, if I remember correctly. But Matisse (Thybulle) picked up his third foul, Noah (Dickerson) and Malik (Dime), we had to sit them down with foul trouble. They obviously went to the line, I think they made 22 foul shots to our 11. That’s a big difference right there. I’ve got to go back again and look and see what was the common denominator on those fouls.”
(On whether playing more zone defense helped) “I think it did. You would think we wouldn’t have fouled as much. But we didn’t play the zone the entire half, either. We played man to man also. But I think the zone helped us.”
(Why did you go with more zone?) “We had gone eight straight games and what we were doing wasn’t going too well. So we had played zone, but we adjusted our zone a little bit, and that’s what we went with.”
(Thoughts on the zone?) “I thought it was good. I thought it was effective.”
(On Carlos Johnson earning more minutes) “He got 21 tonight. The game before, he got 16. I think it was 11 (the game before). He’s been getting more minutes each game. He would have been getting more minutes earlier but he was still learning on the defensive end and learning our plays, where he was supposed to be. He’s getting a better feel for that now. Obviously, he brings energy. What he did in a loss on the road I thought was impressive, for a freshman to go in front of that type of crowd on the road and do what he did against Gonzaga, it was impressive. That’s why he earned more minutes here tonight. I consider him a guy that has worked his way into our rotation.”
(On whether he knew Johnson would be this athletic) “Oh, yeah. Definitely. He was a few pounds heavier before, doing that same stuff. But we knew – this is not a surprise, what he’s doing.”
(How do you make sure the team doesn’t get down amid this four-game losing streak?) “We’ll continue to point out why we think we can turn it around, that all is not lost. We really talk to our guys about not listening to outside talk. Like I said the last game, social media, if you start reading all the comments, what people are saying, it can get to you. You can’t let that get to you. You can’t let whomever it is that’s talking down about your team or you or your teammates, you just can’t let that happen. Because it’s going to happen. That’s part of it. Continue to work on the things that we’ve got to get better at. I thought we got better at some things tonight. Point those things out that we’re doing well.”
(Is effort a concern?) “At times, yes. Tonight our effort was better, though. But at times, yes, effort is a question.”
(Where does that show up?) “Everywhere. Getting back sometimes in transition. Sometimes on the defensive end. Sometimes cutting on offense, where you just don’t cut hard. Sometimes you just … with young teams, sometimes you just make mistakes. But if you’re going all-out making mistakes, you’ll be OK.”
(On turning things around without a veteran leader) “We just have to find our way. Malik plays, he’s a senior. The rest of us are freshmen and sophomores. And those sophomores that are here weren’t the primary guys last year, so guys are in different roles now. We’re finding our way. I believe we can find our way. We can’t get down on ourselves and lose belief. We can’t do that.”
(On the mood of the team afterward) “Oh, guys were really disappointed and down. Really disappointed and down. But I’ve got a feeling we’re a resilient group and we’ll come back. We have finals this week. Unfortunately we have a week to think about this. But we’ll come back. This is not game 28. This is game nine. At some point, if it doesn’t happen, you can’t continue to say, ‘it’s a long season, a lot of season ahead.’ But there still is. We’ve just got to keep getting better, keep getting better.”