NCAA Reaction: Anthony Goods, Fred Washington

Two crestfallen players who took the podium after Stanford's loss at the Pac-10 Tournament wore brighter faces on Sunday, following the Cardinal's NCAA Tournament selection. Anthony Goods took the USC loss the hardest - now glowing with Stanford's ticket punched to the Big Dance. Fred Washington described the drama and concern during the selection show, along with what Stanford still has to prove.

Sophomore guard Anthony Goods

What was that like, going down to the last slot?

"It was nerve-racking, but we got in.  It was the best thrill I've had, but it's time to go back to work now."

What have your last couple of days been like?

"They went by slow.  They went by real slow.  But I'm back on track."

Were you looking at the projected brackets all weekend?

"No, I was trying to stay away from everything, despite everybody wanting to call and talk about the brackets.  We might be in, and all of this other stuff.  I stayed away from all that."

Trent Johnson said it was a pretty tough weekend for you, after what happened in the USC game?

"Yeah, it was.  It's hard to get that game out of your mind, but we have another game ahead of us.  I think I got over it yesterday, so I'm cool now."

Can you paint a picture for us of what it was like in the locker room when you saw Stanford's name come up?

"Everybody was jumping around.  Personally, I had my head down.  I didn't even see it until I heard everybody yelling.  Everybody was jumping around, pushing hugging and carrying.  It was crazy...  Me and Brook [Lopez] were carrying Coach J.  It was kind of like a double hug, and then we ended up picking him up because Brook is seven-foot.  We just ended up carrying Coach J around the locker room while everybody was screaming.  It was exciting."

Have you seen Louisville play at all on TV this year?

"Yeah, they're really athletic.  I've seen some highlights.  But we're just grateful to be in, man.  Get another opportunity."

Senior forward/guard Fred Washington

Were there any specific teams you knew would be dangerous for Stanford if they showed up in the bracket before you?  Did it get you a little worried when you saw an Arkansas?

"Yeah, when we saw a couple teams we were mentioned with, we weren't happy.  But no one is going to be happy when they come down to the last team.  That's insane that happened.  Like Ant said, we're in and we're happy for the next 10 minutes.  Then we have to go to practice."

Can you describe the tension of the last couple minutes before your slot was named?

"Just think about your lowest point, and then immediately getting to your highest point.  I feel for anyone else who has been in that position, being the last team called.  It sucks.  Once you see that tree, and your name called, we went crazy.  That was horrible."

Were you almost resigned to the fact that you might not get in?

"It was positive thinking the whole time.  I saw Purdue and Illinois both get in.  Then you see Oral Roberts; you hope you don't see Drexel.  You kind of have the feeling Syracuse might be coming.  Then maybe Air Force.  You just didn't want to see certain names, and when five of those names came up..."

You've been doing a lot of research on this.

"It was a collaborative team effort.  When somebody saw a name they didn't like, they would be, 'Man!'"

When you see #3 seeds for Oregon and Washington State and a #5 for USC - even Virginia as a #4 - did that boost your confidence during the show?

"No, because it wasn't us.  I just wanted to see our name.  I didn't care where they went."

Would you understand if Air Force is a little bothered by this?

"They're a good team.  I don't really know what their record was or how they played throughout the year, but I didn't make the selection."

As a leader on this team, and Stanford did not make the NCAA Tournament last year, what does it mean to be back in this year?

"I just wanted to get in this year for Carlton [Weatherby].  Carlton worked his butt off the last five years, and sending him out in the NIT - I didn't want to have him do that.  I'm really happy for Carlton."

You said a few weeks ago that the goal for this team was to play for a National Championship.  When you are one of the last teams to get in, how does that affect the mentality?

"It doesn't, man.  We're in.  Now we have to prove that we belong.  We were one of the last teams in probably - if not the last.  We were the last ones picked.  We just have to prove that we belong.  We knew when we were getting in, whoever we were going to play was going to be tough, no matter what.  There wasn't going to be any easy game.  Louisville obviously is not an easy game.  We're going to go in focused.  We're not going to just go in with the attitude where we're happy we made the Tournament.  We have to prove that we belong."

Did you think you were in, starting the day?

"I did.  In the Pac-10, you have to play everybody twice.  I don't know how many leagues do that.  Some of the bigger leagues, you just have to play a couple of teams once.  Maybe that's why some teams didn't get in - because they had an easier schedule.  They weren't playing all of the top tier teams.  We played everybody twice and came out with a winning record.  We were one game out of whoever was in front of us.  I guess that just proves how strong the Pac-10 was this year."

This is a young team that plays a lot of freshmen and sophomores who have not been to the NCAA Tournament.  What do you lend to them with your experience at this time?

"Honestly, experience can only take you so far.  You still have to play the game.  It's just basketball.  Nobody thought Florida was going to win it last year.  They did.  Now that they have all the experience, everybody things they are going to win it again.  Experience is only what you use it for.  You can use it as a tool to boost you up, or as a reason for why we lost.  It's just basketball.  We have to go out and play."


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