"I thought it might be close to midnight…when you play against Seattle U, the game is never over because they are three turnovers from cutting the lead down. You're sweating the entire time you're playing them because they are so scrappy. I thought our guys did a really good job tonight. I thought our guys did a really good job against their press; four turnovers against their press in the first half and 12 for the entire game…that's one of the ways you have to be successful in order to get this done against that team because they force a lot of turnovers and I can see why."
Breaking the press - "I thought our guys did a good job of not holding onto the basketball. I don't think we were trying to dribble the ball through the press; I thought we moved the ball on the pass and we stayed spaced. I don't think we were bunched up. We don't get bunched up like that it it makes it a little easier. I thought our guys made relatively good decisions against it. I thought that all helped."
On Hikeem Stewart - "He's going to be fine…just hyperextended it a little bit. He's going to be fine."
It looked worse than it was? - "It did, but he's going to be fine."
On Suggs coming back time and time again - "He was cramping up and I don't know what would have happened if he couldn't have played again, but he was able to play and he helped us out quite a bit. He had maybe his best game as a Husky tonight, and maybe what you couldn't see is that he showed unbelievable leadership out there on the floor the entire night."
On why he had his best game - "He was efficient, scored 24 points, his leadership, he was dialed in. He made good defensive plays…he was just all-around good tonight - and efficient."
On getting off to a quick start and taking the crowd out - "That wasn't…that goes along with it perhaps, but our biggest focus was making sure we were dialed in from the tip. And I thought our guys did a tremendous job of being ready to play and coming out in a business-like manner against a really tough, physical, scrappy team. The crowd not getting into it was a by-product of that. As we saw in the second half when they made their run and came back the crowd got back into it. It gets pretty wild in here, but we kept our composure."
On most complete game of the season? - "Yes. I would say yes. The next game that would rival this one would be Seton Hall, but the second half we didn't do much. This one I thought - with the exception of five or six minutes in the entire game I thought we played pretty good basketball on both ends of the floor."
On what he saw the first couple minutes of the second half - "They were going on their run. It's something that…I follow them because of coach Dollar. I follow them all the time, I watch them and I'll listen to some of their games on the radio. I've gotten to where if I'm getting out of practice late or I'm out recruiting somewhere and I turn the game on and their are down 19 and it's the first half…they are just spotting them tonight. They'll be back. And sure enough, they almost always come back in a lot of those games. I've listened to games where they were down 16 and ended up winning by 12. We told that to our team. We knew they were capable of a run like that in the second half, and two-and-a-half minutes into it we saw it. We've seen this before, we can't let that happen."
Where did things break down? - "Didn't take care of the ball. Couple of maybe rushed shots and then they got in a rhythm…sometimes teams get in a zone shooting and they are in an offensive rhythm…they get in a rhythm with that press and then all of a sudden they start foaming at the mouth and they start moving up closer and they get a lot more animated and they get quicker all of a sudden. When you see that you have to try and put a stop to it."
On playing tougher tonight - "That's something we've been talking about. I've had a couple conversations with people and said just give us a chance - we'll get it."
On if the press helped jump-start the team - "I don't know about that. Maybe because we got some easy baskets off of it but if we're not dialed in and we come out with a lackluster effort and mindset - we don't break the press. All of a sudden our passes aren't as crisp, we're not spaced like we should be, we're not finishing…they are getting deflections off our passes. That would have happened. The same thing would have happened."
On how Desmond affected the first half of the game - "Desmond…this is a dream game for Desmond, the physicality of it, the scrappiness of it…that's the way he plays. He just loves to do that. Here he goes again and gets another double-double. You can get used to that, you can get spoiled. But this is the kind of game he thrives in."
On how Andrew Andrews is doing - "He's better but probably doubtful again on Saturday. But we would anticipate next week he'd be a lot closer. We don't know for sure but I would imagine he'll be a lot closer."
On coaching against former UW Assistant Cameron Dollar - "I've been watching him coach for three years, four years since he left so I'm used to him that way now. No flashbacks, I just know how he…he's always going to get after it."
On the game being physical - "Yeah it was a battle. They came out being aggressive with their press and pressuring us early in the game. But our guards, Abdul and those guys, they did a good job taking care of the ball."
On if Desmond is taking rebounds from him - (laughs) "We have a little argument about that, but he's doing a good job crashing the boards all the time, just having that mindset going for rebounding all the time. So obviously me and him going to the boards is going to help out the team a lot."
On how hard is it to play against a team that's always pressuring like that - "It's hard because there's a lot of pressure on our guards. From our part we did a pretty good job of spacing and making plays and making the right read and finishing around the rim."
On when Hikeem went down - "I was scared. I didn't know what really happened. Hopefully it's nothing too serious. I think he's fine."
On if you got dinged up - "Just a little bit. I rolled my ankle, but I think it shouldn't be too bad. I'll ice it tomorrow and get some treatment for it and it should be fine."
On SU's pressure and how they were able to get easy buckets - "Beating their initial pressure. They brought four guys up, and once we beat that we knew we would get easy layups. And Aziz and Shawn and Desmond, those guys were finishing at the rim…and we knew we had to get stops and guard. We played really good defense in the first half and it didn't allow them to set up in their press breaks, which helped us because we could push the ball. They were flying everywhere, trapping - so once we made the right play we could get easy layups."
On how much confidence did they gain by crushing their traps and pressures - "It's good, especially against a team like them that run so many traps. They cause 18 turnovers a game we had 12 the whole game. That's a tribute to us taking care of the ball and we have players that can finish at the rim."
On if their pressure jump-started UW's game - "No. We just knew that we had to beat their initial pressure, really. That's how they play. They play physical, they cheap shot and they press the whole game. That's how Dollar has always coached. We knew that if we beat the initial pressure we could get easy layups. That's the main thing."
On defense - "We wanted to get back to the way we play defense, the way the old Huskies…pressuring defense and getting in lanes and deny the wings and it made it tough for them. Now the thing we have to work on is keeping team off the rebounds; they had 21 offensive rebounds off us. We know next game we have to get better at that."
On watching film of the old Huskies and having them at practice - "They are the toughest, but they move onto the next play no matter what. Even if a team scores or if they make a bad play they move on and keep playing. It's a 40 minute game and that's one thing (Conroy) taught us is that that's part of toughness - forgetting the last play and moving onto the next play. That's something he's taught us at practice."
On just needing a win, as opposed to having to deal with a rivalry game - "Yeah, we did. And I'm glad we got one tonight and now we've got Jackson State and we have to take 'em one game at a time."
On how his body is doing - "I'm fine. I'm great. I'm a little tired, but that comes with the territory."
On how the half-court offense is doing nearly 10 games in - "We're getting guys like Shawn back, who is a really good scorer in the block. Once we get Drew back we'll have our full team, and so it's going to help."
On the game - "I was definitely anxious for it; I was definitely looking forward to it…a scrappy team, it was going to test us. A lot of people are saying we're not as scrappy or as physical, so it was definitely a challenge for us."
On third game in a row with double-digit rebounds - "That's what I've been striving for. I've been real focused on it and pursuing the ball a lot better than I was at the beginning of the season, so I planned on it."
On this being a game he would thrive in - "From the tip I knew regardless of how they play me I was going to be physical and I was going to be active on the boards. It didn't really matter what they brought at me, I was determined to be physical tonight. We knew they were definitely going to bring it. We know what kind of guy Dollar is…a lot of people are saying this is not the toughest team U-Dub has had in past years, so we knew they were looking at us as an opportunity and we wanted to set the tone early and let them know that wasn't going to happen tonight."
On having physical problems tonight and still having a career high - "I was able to get some good shots and I was able to knock them down, so I'm glad they went in for me."
On the quick start - "It gave us a little energy. We've been focusing on that in practice and defense and getting back to how we used to play in the past and just getting up, pressuring, denying, and making it hard for the offense to run their stuff. And we were able to do that. I thought we did a good job of that for most of the game."
On if there was a time when he thought he wasn't going to be able to come back into the game - "Yeah, the last time when pretty much my whole entire lower body was cramping…Pat just stretched me out a little bit…our trainer gave me something, some nasty stuff - but it helped me out. It worked."
On it being a toughness test against SU - "I think we handled it pretty well. They do a good job pressing teams and forcing turnovers…they are forcing 18 turnovers a game. We did a good job breaking their press. If we could get past that initial backcourt press that we could get a good shot on the other end and I feel like we did that."
On if the press helped to jump-start them - "I think our defense did. It's been a big focus for us, and at practice we've been focused on just getting up and if you're going to make a mistake make an aggressive mistake. They went on a run there, but we knew that as long as we stayed pressuring us…we knew they were going to make a run, but we had to contain it. I think we did a pretty good job."
On duplicating it Saturday - "Exactly. We have to come out with the same intensity and do the same thing. That's got to be our standard; that type of defensive play has to be our day-in and day-out defense."
On trying to keep on their throat when you're up by 27 - "Yeah, it can be difficult when you're up 27, it's natural to relax but he told us they were going to make a run and he's seen them come back and win these games by 12 points or go into overtime…so we knew that when they went on their run that we were just talking to each other…keep your heads up, keep your defensive intensity up, we'll be fine. And we did that."
On his health coming out of the game - "I'll be fine. I just have to make sure I have plenty of fluids in me and we'll do a good job of making sure everyone is hydrated."
Quotes - Seattle U
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