Coach's Quotes - USC
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Coach's Quotes - USC

LOS ANGELES - The media spoke with Washington Head Coach Lorenzo Romar Sunday Night at the Galen Center after the Huskies had lost to USC 70-61. He had plenty to say about the team's poor start, inconsistent play and what needs to happen next for UW to have any momentum heading into the Pac-12 Tournament.

Opening Statement: "USC came out, they were hitting shots, we weren't very good on defense. I think they were shooting 77 percent early in the game. We went zone a little bit and slowed them down and got it down - if you take away the first 7 minutes, I don't know exactly when it was - we guarded them from then on out. But the damage had been done. They had already distanced themselves and we fought back to cut it to 5, I believe, at 63-58…we couldn't get over the hump. We missed free throws, we missed layups…when you turn the ball over in crucial times when we had cut that lead down…4-14 from the line…they scored 20 points off of our turnovers although we only had 14 in comparison to what we've had the last 3-4 games…there's a difference."

Is there ever a good time for turnovers: "You can't afford to do that, especially late on the road, especially when they are unforced."

On Shawn Kemp's fifth foul: "Sometimes that happens when…if you don't wait on the screen and you're still moving, you take off and we get caught on a moving screen."

On what's next after losing six of seven: "Regroup. Regroup and come back for the next one. That's how we always approach things."

On the start of the game and knowing why they came out so flat: "No. We shouldn't have been."

On regrouping after he called a timeout down 19 before halftime: "We started to get stops. We went zone on some possessions - I think we went zone on seven possessions and they scored two out of seven possessions. That helped us. Once we started to get stops we were able to get back in the game, but we weren't getting the stops early."

On what USC was doing to guard Wilcox early on: "Faceguarding him…face guarding him…not really trying to play help defense at all, just face guarding."

How do you get around that?: "You end up breaking loose. He ended up breaking loose toward the end of the half. C.J. put up seven shots and I thought in the second half he was wide open on a couple and they just didn't go down. But Scott (Suggs) stepped up in the second half and hit some big baskets."

On thinking they had enough to come back even down 19: "Absolutely. Oh yeah. Early in games like that - I've said it before - when teams are decent teams can come back from that big of a lead early."

On if the slow starts are becoming a pattern again: "I'm not going to say that the slow starts are back again indefinitely, but it was back tonight. We didn't do a good of of coming out and defending early. But I thought we had been doing a really good job of that coming out of the blocks and doing well, but tonight we took a step back. But again, I don't see that as it being our fate for the rest of the year."

On USC not necessarily having a go-to guy and that maybe causing issues for UW: "As the game went on - and again, we played with more energy on defense and were able to get them to miss quite a bit, but early on…they're talented. They have some players in there that can make baskets. I said before the game they play loose and free and that's how they were playing in the beginning of the game and their shots were going down."

On what needs to get solved during their next practices: "Well the one thing about practice is - we don't practice tomorrow and we play Oregon on Wednesday, so we're only going to have a day of practice. So there's not a whole lot we can fix in one day. But the turnover thing was down a little bit today - they still scored 20 - that'll be the main thing. We're still trying to get a grip on taking care of the basketball."

On having the extra day between the LA games to get the taste of the UCLA loss out of their mouths: "I don't think it was a factor, not me personally."

On if there's enough time for the team to have one of the program's patented finishing kicks heading into the post-season: "To start to play better? Yeah. We've got to hurry, though. We've got to hurry. It needs to start come Wednesday and we should have started it tonight. But we didn't get it done."

On if he saw any small things Sunday that lets him know it's possible: "With the exception of the beginning of the game and the last few games we've been doing a better job defensively - that's really good. We have more of an inside presence than we had earlier in the year - that's good. Scott kind of came out of his shooting slump tonight - that's a positive. So there are things we can build on from here. We just have to find that one game where we're defending, everybody's playing decently - not everyone has to have a career night, just no-one has a bad night. We just have to have that one night where everyone is on the same page and we can get this thing turned around to where we have some momentum going into the Pac-12 Tournament. But it just seems like one thing…ok, good - we have the defense thing resolved. Now here comes the turnovers thing. Well, we'll get those two resolved, and something else happens. We just all have to be on the same page."

On if they have that one guy right now that can put the team on his back: "I don't think it's one guy; it's a team thing right now. It's not one guy. This team has to go. One guy isn't going to do anything right now…it has to be a team effort."