Here’s most of what Huskies coach Lorenzo Romar said after UW’s 77-72 loss to No. 23 Arizona on Saturday.
(Opening) “Tough game to lose. … The way the crowd was behind us and backed us, our guys have been waiting for this for a long, long time. Andrew Andrews, this is the first time he’s played in a situation like this at home, and I feel like we let ‘em down a little bit. It’s tough. I don’t think we have to look very far, though, than the offensive rebound column. Namely, Ryan Anderson. He had eight offensive rebounds. Tarczewski I believe had three and those might have been in the first half. (Anderson) just took the game over on the backboard, and I think that was the difference in the game. I thought our guys competed. I thought our guys guarded. I thought our guys played together on defense and worked hard. But here we are without the victory. Give Arizona a lot of credit to go on the road in a hostile environment and finding a way to get it done.”
(What’s the coaching point when a team is rebounding so well offensively? That’s been a problem all season) “Tonight was a little different. It was one guy. One guy. And he had his way with us. When we were in Tucson, he was very forceful then, too. But you look at the stat – he had eight, Tarczewski three. They had eight offensive rebounds with 11 minutes to go in the game. They had eight offensive rebounds at halftime, if I remember correctly, because we told our team during that timeout that we were doing a great job boxing out and keeping them off the boards up until that point. So you do the math and you see what damage Ryan Anderson did down the stretch, in the last 11 minutes of that game, and there’s the difference.”
(On what’s so difficult about stopping Ryan Anderson) “He’s a fifth-year senior. He is very strong, and he’s a good basketball player. And he has a nose for the ball and just went in there and got physical and got it done.”
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(On defensive style making it harder to box out) “That happens too, at times. In the big picture, yes, that happens. Sometimes we jump when we shouldn’t. Sometimes we’ll leave a guy there. Sometimes with switches, we’ll switch and we’re so accustomed to guarding one guy, now we’re guarding another, and the shot goes up, you forget to check him. stuff that we constantly are talking about. But tonight it was more just a player being determined that he was going to go get the basketball.”
(On what he told team in locker room) “We never fault our guys when we compete like we did tonight. When you compete, it’s going to work out our way more than not. So this wasn’t a situation where we went in and blasted our team. Proud of the way our team competed. But we just have to find a way to box out. When there is a guy like that, that’s that active on the boards, we have to find a way to go get the basketball. And secondly, we have the toughest road trip, in my opinion, that we’ve had this year coming up, in Utah and Colorado. We’re going to have to turn around and get right back and play good basketball on the road.”
(On Noah Dickerson not being able to stay on the court due to foul trouble) “That left a big hole. A huge hole. Noah not only is physical, but he scored 17 points in the first game. So we were without his physicality. Malik Dime played more minutes than he has all year, 33 minutes, and he’s just not used to playing that way. Down the stretch, he was really tired. No fault to him. He just hadn’t been playing that many minutes. If we’d have had Noah’s services, we could have rotated a little more and kept fresh guys in. I think that may have had something to do with Ryan Anderson doing what he did, also, just us being tired at the end.”
(If someone told you that you would force 20 turnovers and get 13 steals and lose...) “I would have said, ‘how many rebounds?’ No. I’d have thought we’d be in good shape. And we should have been. It’s all part of the game. Good teams, if you shut something off, the really good ones find another way to beat you. And that’s what they did. They found another way to beat us, and that was on the backboard.”
(On Marquese Chriss’ game) “I thought Marquese played a really good game. I thought he worked hard. He was a workhorse on the board. He made some shots, hit some big shots for us. I’d also have to say the same for Matisse Thybulle. I thought Matisse Thybulle had a monster game. Six steals, and was just a pest on the defensive end.”
(On not being able to get over the hump yet) “When you’re climbing back up the mountain, as we are, there comes that defining moment where you’re over the hump and now you’ve got to sustain it. And I don’t feel like we’ve got there yet. I think we’re climbing hard, though. I think we’re really climbing hard and gaining momentum and I feel like the top is within sight. But we didn’t quite get over the hump, again, tonight. But this is a great group, and we’re going to come back and fight.”
(On these next few weeks being a good time to put the program on the map) “You know, starting with today, this game was nationally televised, I think our next three out of four or four out of five are going to be nationally televised. I think it’s a great time as people are looking to see who’s going to be in the tournament, the selection committee is looking to see who’s going to be in the tournament. All of that stuff. It’s great timing for us to go out and play good basketball. But if it wasn’t about all of that and people watching that, potentially, it’s great timing because this is the stretch run. Right now, this is it. These last seven games we have … we talk all about a game in December and say, ‘this is going to be a big game,’ and that’s true. How big of a game was Santa Barbara, since we lost it? It’s a huge game. How big of a game was Texas? It was the first one. That was a big win for us. But now, every game is so monumental that you’re playing. Every game has a lot at stake.”
(On Marquese Chriss saying that sometimes he talks too much) “He needs to not get distracted. Marquese would just tell you, he reacts quickly sometimes and he gets distracted instead of staying on the task at end. But dog gone, that’s what makes him so competitive, too. He just has to find a balance, that’s all. But the fact that he said that to you shows that he’s aware of it, and you can’t get better at anything until you recognize that there’s something going on. So he’s aware of it. I’m telling you, he’s making progress that way. He really is making a lot of progress.”