Player Quotes - EWU

SEATTLE - Justin Holiday, Venoy Overton, Darnell Gant, Terrence Ross, Matthew Bryan-Amaning and Abdul Gaddy all met with the press after Washington's 98-72 win over the Eastern Washington Eagles Tuesday night at Hec Edmundson Pavilion. The 8897 fans in attendance saw a game with a few mood swings, something the players talked about.

Big thanks to Kyle Grinolds for helping put these quotes together

Justin Holiday

On the slow start and thinking about Maui:
"No, I don't think so. I haven't been thinking about Hawaii yet. I go game by game. I mean, of course we're going to have slow starts, I don't know the reasons for it. You just have slow nights."

On what coach Romar said at halftime:
"Slow start. We're getting rebounded and not playing defense the way we should. We're trying to build an identity of us being a good rebounding team and an aggressive defensive team and getting stops. And the second half we came out and did that a little better than in the first."

On the play of the defense:
"It was OK. First half, we didn't do as well. Personally I don't think we played defense as well as we did the first game. It could be the opponents we had, this and that. We should be able to come out and play defense the same way every game and get more toward how we played against McNeese State."

On if outside shooting will be the identity of the team:
"We have a lot of players that can shoot, but I don't know if we want that to be our main identity. Of course we're going to be a defensive team and a rebounding team. That comes first. The rest of the stuff is just going to happen."

On 19 threes in the first half:
"I don't think we're ever going to have a conversation about shooting threes. It's going to happen. If it's good shots, it's good shots."

On Maui:
"Not saying that the real basketball starts, but you get to see how you are among the rest of the nation. We're ranked, and that's good and all, but it doesn't matter unless you come out and play, so we'll see where we are this tournament."

On different scorers every night:
"I can't say I'm going to be a leading scorer every night, or if Matthew is going to be. Matthew may be because he's our main post scorer, but I can't say I'll be up there. We have a lot of scorers come off the bench, and there's Isaiah (Thomas). It's just opportunity scoring…today the middle was open in the zone, so that's where I was. It just depends on who is playing, the situation and who is hot and who is hitting. But Matthew will probably always be near the top, but I don't know about myself."

On his own offense and shooting:
"I have all the confidence in the world. I've been working. I know I can hit jumpers and I know I can play offense - it's just about doing it."

On his game suited to play zone:
"I think so. Playing the big or the guard, I'm a guy that likes to play the wing, so if it's finding the open guy and hitting open spots…I think my game is for any type of defense there is."

On getting lots of shots in the post:
"I don't know if I've been working on it, but our coaches have been putting a big emphasis on it. In practice they said we need someone in the middle to do it, and Terrence (Ross) stepped up doing it before I did. I saw Terrence doing it because the spots were open, so I followed his example."
Venoy Overton

On how he's feeling:
"I'm feeling good. My tailbone is a little sore right now, tight, but no worries. I'll be good. I just went up for a layup and I guess there was no foul…I'm just feeling it here. I dropped to the floor."

On his role:
"I know what my role is. I don't really have to know what to do; I just gotta go do what I normally do. I guess when I come in the energy goes up a little bit. This year it's way better for the players around me…I've been telling them. They know that when I'm driving to just circle around me or get in an open spot, because I'm gonna find 'em. And that's what I think I'm doing a better job at this year - be more of a playmaker."

On what his role was starting the second half:
"(Romar) told me to get on number 20 (Tremayne Johnson). He said No. 20 was killing us in the first half, so he wanted me to get on him and slow him down…I guess they didn't want him to bring it up no more, so that took away that problem fast. Basically he just wanted me to keep the same energy and get a good start."

On his game playing with Abdul:
"Since he's knocking down shots, he can be more of an off guard. It's like playing with Scott (Suggs) or Isaiah (Thomas). It doesn't change at all. He can bring it up, but he preferred me to bring it up. It doesn't change."

On seeing him break out with shooting:
"He's been working all summer. I knew his shot was going to be better. He's shooting with a lot more confidence. Mainly it's on the coaches…we shot 5-for-19 the first half and coach Romar didn't even bring it up at the half. He just said to keep shooting good looks. We had about two bad looks the whole first half. He's just giving the guys a lot of confidence, so guys like me and Gaddy are being able to step up and hit big shots."

On his mindset coming into the game:
"Like last year, we had a lot of games that were slow starts, so it was like - here we go again. I knew once I got in there I would pressure up, and hopefully the guys would feed off me. It's like rewinding the games…it always happens when I come in, it changes, it magically changes. I expected it, and it changed."

On EWU in the first half:
"They didn't show us nothing. They came out confident. They came out and showed us that they were going to be better than the last guys we played. They weren't going to just back down. That's just how those guys are…a couple of local guys, guys that come right at us. They showed no fear, and that's why they stayed close in the first half."
Darnell Gant

If not starting in the second half bothered him:
"No I just wasn't playing my part in the first half so I had to sit"

On players just wanting to get past this game:
"No, we need to take every game as serious as the next, we need to play Eastern Washington like they're Duke, there is no overlooking anybody"

On the game being a wake up call:
"Yeah we got out rebounded, but at the same time we did some good things, we shared the ball, we started getting hustle plays in the second half, we just played better in the second half. We just have to get back to what we have been doing and not have any rebound setbacks"

On rebounding:
"This was a more physical team, we kind of took a step back, we weren't boxing out as much. We out-rebounded McNeese State but this team crashed harder, which resulted in more rebounds for them, like I said this was kind of a gut check for rebounding with us but everything else was good, we played with high energy and we are ready for Maui."
Isaiah Thomas

Thoughts on the game:
"We played alright first half we were a little shaky, but we got better played defense and played good."

On playing physical and getting under the skin of other players:
"There might be that's how people play, but we're ready for it, if they hit us we are going to hit right back. Not trying to hurt anybody but we're ready for whatever."

On Maui:
"Cant wait, there's good teams out there, and every game is important and we're ready for it, it's a different venue we haven't been there but it's going to be fun"
Terrence Ross

On getting more comfortable out there:
"Yeah I get more comfortable I mean it flows after you've been in the system for awhile and its kind of like second nature to me

On rebounding:
"I mean we just got out scrapped we, they went to the board a little harder than us, and when we did get a rebound it hopped out of our hand so I mean it was kind of our fault we should've got more but it happens like that sometimes."

On if the team is talking about Maui:
"No we don't really talk about it because we are always just focused on the next game."

On if he's talked to Terrence Jones at all about Maui:
"No we haven't really talked about it, it's not something I'm thinking about but it's defiantly in the back of my mind.
Matthew Bryan-Amaning

On finishing without any fouls:
" Just playing smart, I was fronting the post a lot today, so my man didn't touch the ball a lot."

On if the real season now begins:
"The season started Saturday, I'm not bypassing any game just cause I know that these two games are down. I still have 30 games left in my UW career."

On the challenge of playing against better bigs in Maui:
"I don't see it as anybody I'm playing against myself. I feel like I've put in the work and worked hard enough so that I can play or better than anyone in the country."

On the physical play:
"Yeah we can do that a lot, just putting a lot of pressure and teams don't like it. Then it get more aggressive and more things happen, obviously tonight Venoy and Aziz falling. We are just playing in your face defense."
Abdul Gaddy

On the loose ball scuffle:
"That's a territory thing, if he would've took it from me I would've let him know that he is more physical and feel like he's tougher than me. I get that from Venoy and Isaiah, you have to hold on to the ball until you get it fully and I just learn that from them."

On if he would have fought for the ball like that last year:
"At the beginning of the season no that wouldn't have been me, but I think I've taken on the whole toughness thing I've talked to Romar and he just tells me I have to take on a more tougher deal and I think that play showed it."

On being more grimy:
"Yeah I mean that's how we play, that's how coach Romar is, and I'm just learning from guys like Isaiah and Venoy those guys are like that."

On learning in practice and being more physical:
"I mean I'm going up against those guys in practice and you just learn from them in practice and it takes over to the game. Its just inside of you, I've got to get every loose ball, if the balls on the floor its mine, if the rebounds there its mine I've got to go grab it and be more physical. This year just feels a lot different."


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