Here is all that Huskies coach Lorenzo Romar said after Washington’s 98-71 loss at Gonzaga on Wednesday night.
(Opening) “To state the obvious – that’s a very good basketball team. That team is very sound, they have a lot of weapons, they can beat you from the outside, they can beat you from the inside, and they have tremendous experience. They have guys that have played and been successful in a lot of basketball games. Was very, very impressed with their team. I thought our team, in the second half, continued to compete, even though we were down. We continued to compete and we just have to take it from here. Go back home and start playing home games.”
(On Gonzaga’s big, early run) “We allowed Jordan Mathews to get away from us, and he hit a few 3s that really sparked them and opened things up in the first half, and that kind of got it going. It was kind of a feel each other out, first few minutes there, no one was getting away really. We had a ton of layups – I was really impressed, our guys against that front line had 29 offensive rebounds. I was really impressed with that. Of course there were a lot of shots to go after to rebound, but we were scrapping in there. But they began to hit those shots and got away form us. I thought we did a good job on (Przemek) Karnowski in the first half, but then he started to have his way a little bit in the second half. But all in all, was just impressed the way or guys competed and didn’t quit in the second half.”
(Were you surprised you guys were so uncompetitive in the first half?) “That wasn’t the expectation. I didn’t think it would be like that, the way it got away from us. We talked to our team about, Gonzaga is well known to make runs early in the game and bury teams right away. It was just a little bit delayed tonight. The first few minutes, we were there, because I’ve seen it go right from the beginning. But yeah, they got away from us. They’re just a good team.”
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(On defensive issues in the first half) “Losing our man, to me, was more in transition. Yeah, they got some backdoor cuts. Throughout the course of a game, yeah, they did that here and there. But in transition, we talk about the keys for the game, one of the main keys was find them in transition, and they got away from us in transition. That was the difference, opening up. Early, also, even though we only ended up with 12 turnovers, we turned it over four, five times early. I think they scored … in the first half, they had 16 points off of turnovers. But we did better in the turnover area. They were untimely in the first half.”
(How do you think you ran your offense in the first half?) “In the first half, just OK. Still missed a lot of layups, but just OK.”
(Did you get the shots you wanted?) “We missed about 11 layups.”
(On not making shots) “We’ve been shooting the ball 42 percent from 3, as a team. Tonight, the ball wouldn’t go in the basket. We had looks. Between open 3s with a good 3-point shooting team and a bunch of layups missing, I’ll take those. I’ll take those.”
(On not looking like a team that’s close to being competitive) “I’d say let’s talk in two weeks after we’ve played a few more games. ‘Well, you’ve already played a few more games. You’ve already played a bunch of games.’ Let’s talk. Been in a position … let’s just see in a couple weeks. This game tonight, we played a very good team. This is not a reflection of what our season is about to be. I’ll tell you that right now.”
(On where he thinks those improvements will show up) “Before tonight we had been seeing improvements. Tonight, like I said, in the first half, we took some steps back in finding guys. But I know what we’ve been seeing here lately. Gonzaga is just too good a team to make mistakes on. Just too good of a team. They make you pay for it.”
(On Markelle Fultz still giving effort and being positive in second half) “He is. He loves to play. Again, I commended our guys. Carlos Johnson came in there in the second half and just competed like crazy. Noah Dickerson competed. We were down like we were in the first half. That’s what we’re going to take away from this game – the way we stuck together and competed in the second half. No consolation. Doesn’t give us a victory. You’re asking if we’re any good based on how we played. Yeah. All of that looked like that. But the way we competed, and then we saw in the last game, it was the first part of the game, we’re putting this stuff together. It’s coming together.”
(Who are the guys who will provide that energy and leadership?) “Well, tonight, Noah Dickerson. Malik Dime in the second half woke up and started to really compete as well. Carlos Johnson, Markelle. Those guys, they were competing out there tonight when the chips were down.”