Coach Quotes - EWU

SEATTLE - Lorenzo Romar and EWU Head Coach Kirk Earlywine spoke to the press after Washington's 98-72 win over Eastern Washington Tuesday night at Hec Edmundson Pavilion, and while Romar was happy with the win and lessons learned, he knows these Huskies have a ways to go before they are deemed a finished product. Earlywine thinks UW will have a bright future.

General Comments:
"Well, (EWU) coach (Kirk) Earlywine and his staff, they really do a good job. It was a great game for us to use as a springboard to go to Maui. They were more deliberate. They were very organized offensively. They knew exactly what they wanted to do, who was going to take shots, and it was the kind of team that, if we didn't guard them, they would have scored a lot more points. We did a good job defending them; they shot almost 46 percent. Those were scrap points. They out-scrapped us. That would be one negative from the game - they out-scrapped us. Offensive rebounds and loose balls is what led to some easy field goals for them. On the other end, they zoned us almost the entire game, which is great, great practice for us to get some reps against the zone.

On Venoy in the second half - "At first we thought about going with Aziz in the second half, just because we were getting out-rebounded, and going back that way. But coach (Jim) Shaw suggested maybe Venoy, and I agreed. We started to turn up the heat, and it seemed like whoever Venoy was guarding they were making someone else bring the ball up. Even though we were smaller, I thought we were quicker when that group was in there, and it made a difference."

Gaddy dove for ball in corner - "That kind of seem to get everyone going. That was more Husky basketball. The first half we didn't do that as much."

On the first half - "We were just getting out-scrapped. And that's something we take pride in. We need to be the catalyst in that regard."

On assist/TO ratio and Venoy and Gaddy - "Fourteen-to-two between the two of them. Definitely better than last year, and again the zone, there wasn't any pressure. Even with the 22 points in transition, they still got back in that zone to try and not let us run, and we were still able to manufacture 98 points. And our guards had a lot to do with that, moving the basketball."

On 19 first-half threes - "I wasn't concerned about our offense; I thought our offense was fine. We missed some wide-open shots. If we make those, we have a lot more of an outburst in the first half. I was more disappointed by a lack of an edge. We didn't play with that edge all around the floor. We did more in the second half, and within minutes the lead opened up. That's how we're supposed to play.

"And it's a lesson. As a team in the non-conference, you're growing. This is not the finished product. We just have to get to where that's how we're playing all the time."

On their offense - "When I look down at the stat sheet and see that we had 28 assists and only had 10 turnovers and shot nearly 49 percent, I think we did a pretty good job against that zone. Our guys were patient. Our guys found the open areas and really did a good job against them."

On expecting to see more zone - "I don't know. I don't know. It went OK tonight. If we do, hopefully we'll be prepared for it."

On a breakout year for Justin Holiday - "He's already playing pretty good. When people asked me about the summer and who improved, I thought Justin Holiday would be a guy that really improved. He spent a lot of time working on his shot. Justin shot the ball well at the end of last year, and again I continue to remind everyone - he didn't do anything the entire summer. He was shooting the ball pretty good two springs ago, but he got hurt. He came back and didn't have his legs, but once he got his legs last year, he started to shoot the ball well. So I think he's just picking up where he left off."

On Gaddy - "I thought he played a good game - not just his assists, but he knocked a shot down. He shot the ball really well."

On Gaddy shooting well right now - "It's doing wonders for his confidence. But again, it's just amazing how certain things happen when guys get just a little bit older."
Eastern Washington Head Coach Kirk Earlywine:
On his team's performance - "We talked about doing three things as a team the last three days. They were; conversion defense, block out rebound, and take care of the ball. Two out of three were very good in the first half. It is hard to design a defense when you turn the ball away, so conversion defense was a big focus for us. Our block out defense was really good. I mean, we out-rebounded them by nine in the first half.

"At times in the first half they didn't want to guard us for than 10 to 12 seconds. I feel like in the second half they changed that a lot and were playing a lot tougher defense. In the first half we had offensive rebounds that we should have pulled those possessions out, but instead we went for the extra shot and created turnovers.

"I think that we aren't going to play against anybody with the speed and quickness that Washington has. They play at an unbelievable speed, and we can't replicate that in practice. It was good for us to play against that. There are times in our league when teams are going to pressure us, and now we have a feeling for what that will be like. It was also big that we were able to out-rebound them. They out-rebounded McNeese State by 36, and for us to stay with them on the boards was big for us. When we did what we wanted to do offensively, we actually had a fair amount of good plays. We got in trouble in the second half when we tried to make plays outside of the offense.

"They should have legitimate hopes of playing in to the Final Four. Their guard play is that good. Overton is such a good on-ball defender. Bryan-Amaning is playing really well in the middle as well, and if their big boy (Aziz) can keep coming along then they will be a very good team. Washington is a team that will continue to get better, and they should have legitimate hopes of making the Final Four."

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