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February 28, 2009

Quotes from Washington vs. Arizona

Head Coach Lorenzo Romar:

General thoughts on the game - "[This was] another team effort by our guys. The crowd - you talk about a sixth man, our crowd was unbelievable today, and helped will us to a victory. I thought we came out a little sluggish in the first half. In the second half, we got down, but yet, as this team has done many times, we continued to preserver and continued to work together. Jon Brockman was big, but nothing was bigger than his free throws down the stretch. [There were] a lot of heroes in this game."

Regarding the difference in this game vs. the game against Arizona earlier in the season - "It wouldn't take much to have an improvement from the last time, when they scored 69 in the second half. But I thought we were able to contain Nic Wise. Chase Budinger is an NBA basketball player and Jordan Hill is an NBA basketball player, but there's no doubt that we think Nic Wise is the key to their team, and I thought we did a good job on him, because he's had his way with us in the past."

Regarding what they did differently this go-around to contain Wise - "I think off the ball, everyone was aware where he was. With a combination of Isaiah Thomas and Venoy Overton - those guys made a commitment to contain him and keep him in front. Our players off the ball made a commitment to know where he was at all times."

Regarding why he played nine players more than 10 minutes each - "[I wasn't] looking for combinations as much as trying to use a lot of bodies to try to take advantage of our depth. When you look at the minutes that were distributed, Jon Brockman got 33 minutes, but no one else played over 30. There was a method to that, because we wanted to shuffle guys in and out and keep guys fresh. I think it helped us down the stretch."

Regarding if he had any doubt that Jordan Hill would return after hurting his ankle late in the game - "I had no doubt. Goodness, he's unbelievable. He's another guy we've got to get out to the NBA."

Regarding Overton's defense in the first half - "I thought at that point, we just couldn't allow that to go on the rest of the game, where there's contact on us and maybe nothing was called. I thought the officials did a great job of managing that game. They were constantly in our ear telling us to calm down and get relaxed, and they were consulting one another. I thought as a group. they did a really good job. But early on, I wanted to make sure we made our case."

Regarding Brockman's clutch free-throw shooting down the stretch - "He's such a warrior. I don't care if he's a one-percent free throw shooter, he's not going to miss. That's what was going through my mind. Jon wants this so badly, he's going to make these free throws."

Regarding being at minimum, co-Pac-10 champions - "Being co-champs is a step in the right direction. We acknowledged that we did it, and everybody's pretty excited. I think we understood the importance of this game. the magnitude. I think our response was a little like the USC game. There were times where it looked like it was going to be grim for the Huskies, yet we found a way. When you win a game and you know you did it the right way, I think that's more exhilarating, and I think that's what our guys were excited about. We won another game here to put ourselves in position to play one more, and if we can do well, win it outright. [We're] so close, but yet still so far."

Regarding what it takes to win - "Focus and effort is where it begins. If you've got focus and effort, which I think we've had for most of the minutes that we've played this year, you find a way to win. This team is versatile enough and team enough to find a way to win. Everybody stays in for the benefit of the team."




Senior forward Jon Brockman:

Regarding having at least a share of the Pac-10 title with the win over Arizona - "We're not done yet, we're going to be greedy. We can celebrate, but it's only two-thirds of what we need to get done."

Regarding if he had any doubt that Jordan Hill would return after hurting his ankle late in the game - "I knew he was going to be back. He's a warrior and a competitor, and I figured not much would keep him out. When I found out it was his ankle, I knew he would be right back on the court as soon as he could. That dude is a beast and a big-time player. You have to give him respect, he had a great game tonight."

Regarding the Huskies' slow start - "We obviously didn't start the first half and play the first half like we wanted to. Then they came out and hit a couple of threes in the second half, and we weren't doing our job. It took Venoy coming in and giving us that energy he gives us. He gave us a lift, and all of a sudden we were out on the break. Isaiah got a couple of steals and a couple of and-ones, and we were off."

Regarding what Romar said to the team when he pulled them aside in the second half - "The biggest thing I took from it, was when he pulled our jerseys and said I believe in you guys and I know you guys can do this. Shoot, we got into a little huddle after he said that and said that we have come way too far to let it slip out of our hands like this. That kind of changed things around."

Regarding how meaningful it is as a senior, to win at least a share of the Pac-10 regular season championship - "It's just the best feeling. I knew this team was capable of this, but we all questioned whether we would be able to come together as a group. I'm just unbelievably proud of these guys and how we've come together, how we don't worry about stats. We've come together and just made winning plays for the team. It's way more special that way. I couldn't ask for anything else."

Regarding if the game against Seattle University will feel differently, since it's a non-conference game - "It has the potential to be. It could be a tough game where we don't come out focused, but we're getting toward the end of the season and we should be beyond that. We'll come out and use that as an opportunity to get better and make us even more together as a group heading into post-season."

Regarding playing along side Matthew Bryan-Amaning for an extended amount of time - "He had some great passes today. They would come over and double or the zone would shift, and he had some great passes to me down low. I thought Matthew snapped out of the little funk he was in. He's a big factor in what we are doing. He creates a lot, he can score on the block, he gets his hands on a lot of balls because his arms are so long. When we have him playing right, he does a lot for this team, and he's going to be someone that is very important for us later on."

Regarding Arizona's zone defense - "It really pushes you out, because they extend so far up the court. By the time we get down, we're almost starting our offense at half court, when we need to be down near the hoop. We get so much going to the basket, we have so much activity and score so many points in the paint, that it pushes us out. I think Quincy did a great job of flashing into the middle and getting a lot of action in there in the second half. Also, Isaiah, Justin [Dentmon] and Venoy penetrated and got the high-post area, making them collapse and getting the passes out."




Junior forward Quincy Pondexter:

On having at least a share of the Pac-10 title with the win over Arizona - "It feels amazing."

Regarding coming from behind - "We just stuck through it and stuck through everything as a team. This is basketball, and there are a lot of shifts and changes in the pace of the game, and we just stuck through it."

Regarding what Romar said to the team when he pulled them aside in the second half - "He just explained the importance of this game, and to make sure we don't end up regretting this 30 years down the line. He showed a lot of passion, and for a second, it seemed like he wanted it a little more than us based on the way we were playing."

Regarding the atmosphere in locker room - "Just having fun."

Regarding Arizona's zone defense - "It's tough to operate against, because of how active they are in it. It really clogs the lanes for guys to drive. It's collapsing and a very good team defense."

Regarding going 19-of-35 from the free throw line - "We weren't really focusing as much as we should have been on our free throws. It seemed like we were taking it for granted, how well we've been shooting our free throws. But sometimes that's just basketball, they don't go in. But we'll make sure we get back to that on Monday, and shoot a lot of free throws."


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