Quotes - San Francisco

SEATTLE - Here are quotes from Lorenzo Romar, Rex Walters, Isaiah Thomas, Matthew Bryan-Amaning, Abdul Gaddy, Scott Suggs and Aziz N'Diaye as they talked about Washington's 80-52 win over the San Francisco Dons Saturday night at Hec Edmundson Pavilion.

Washington Head Coach Lorenzo Romar:
Opening Statement:
"I thought our guys did a good job tonight. I thought we did a better job of boxing out on the boards. In the first half especially we held them to one [offensive] rebound and the second half wasn't nearly as good, but I thought we made progress that way. We out-rebounded that team, who had been doing a good job in their own right on the boards, and you might say this wasn't some of the more high profile schools, but I'd just remind you that we got out-rebounded by Eastern [Washington] and St. Martin's. I felt there was progress. We don't always judge the opponent as much as what we were supposed to do, and we turned the ball over four times, had 21 assists on 33 baskets. When we're doing that we're doing a good job offensively."

On playing N'Diaye and Bryan-Amaning together:
"There were a lot of positives tonight. I thought Aziz [N'Diaye] and Matthew [Bryan-Amaning] did a good job of co-existing in the game when they were in there together. It was a good game to look at that because USF spreads the floor for a good portion of their possessions, and it gets your big guys moving around. I thought our big guys did a good job of keeping them in front of us and not getting beat. That was encouraging."

On how rebounding was affected by playing both bigs:
"[Aziz's] presence alone‚ he doesn't get ten rebounds every game, he only had five tonight, but he is long and his length allows him to get his hands on balls. It also allows Matthew to roam a little bit. He's not taking all the pressure on himself. When he's in there without Aziz there's a lot of pressure on him to go get that basketball, and we want him to, but being in there with Aziz kinda helps him. It gives him a bodyguard, so to speak.

"Like I said earlier in the week, we just had to play guys that rebounded better. Aziz is our best rebounder, so he got more minutes tonight, and his presence allowed everyone else to go get boards. When you have a guy in there trying to rebound like that, I think it rubbed off on some other guys. Venoy Overton gets six rebounds, Scott Suggs gets five rebounds, so it helped tonight."

On if the team is anxious for Pac 10 play to start:
"I think we're ready to do it, but we've got one more game and a week or so of practice. If we got out and play like we did against Texas A&M, we're not ready to start the Pac 10. We may want to, but we're not ready to go do that. Tonight, I thought we did a better job...we did some things that were applicable next time we go on the road."
San Francisco Coach Rex Walters:
General Comments on UW:
"They are a very good team. I told my guys that we are really going to have a tough road in front of us tonight. This Washington team definitely has the ability to make it to a Sweet 16 game if not an appearance in the Final Four. They are relentless in their pursuit of the ball, and they have great size and athleticism to go along with it. I have seen a huge jump from last year's team to this year's team. Suddenly guys that we didn't have to pay attention to last year are a huge shooting threat."

On the transition of UW:
"They are obviously very good in that type of game. We weren't great at doing the things we wanted to do to keep them from getting out in transition. There were a lot of little things that we didn't do, and when you don't do those little things against a good team they really start to show their head in the second half. I really want my kids to learn from this game, and not hang their heads over the loss."

On UW's second chance points:
"That was one of the few things we talked about before the game. The way Washington scores is by making you turn the ball over with their defense. Their aggressive defense is really like their first line of offense. Next they use their incredible skill as a perimeter shooting team. They are excellent at shooting behind the three point line, and they did not shoot that well tonight. Their third line of offense is their big, athletic, effort minded players. Washington is just relentless, and you can't simulate that kind of tenacity in practice."
Isaiah Thomas:
On playing very similar during home games:
"I feel like we always play the best at home. Since I've been here we've always played real great at home. I couldn't really tell you, just ready to go, especially with that long break, that week since last game, we're just ready to put in against somebody other thanj ourselves in practice."

On the spacing for him when MBA and Aziz are in there as opposed to when Darnell Gant and Aziz are in the game:
"It's about the same for me. It's weird, since teams wait and watch what I'm trying to do, I just have to take what the defense gives me. Guys were open today and I was just patient and fed him the ball. It was about the same because they probably play Matt the same way they play Darnell in terms of spacing like that."

On the lane not being noticeably more clogged when the two bigs are in the game: "Not really because Matt's really good at spacing when I am driving. Aziz needs to work on that a little bit more, but Matt's great at it. Darnell's good at it too, so as long as one of them gets out of my way, I'm good."

On being ready and anxious to start the PAC 10 schedule:
"A little bit. No disrespect to any team, but we want to get it rolling. That's like a brand new season, like a start of a new season once PAC 10 comes and we're ready for it. I'm really ready for it so we're just practicing to get mentally right for USC."

On his 10-point run at the start of the second half:
"I felt like I needed to be a little more aggressive and just got it in transition and went. I took what the defense gave me and I knocked down a couple of shots. I feel like I can do that a lot, especially if we're not scoring well and things like that."

On playing the full 40 minutes tonight instead of letting up like they have in some other big wins in the past:
"Yeah, we did a lot better than we've done in the past. Coach said we kind of took our foot off the pedal for like three of four minutes in the second half, but other than that we played well, we played hard and came out with the right mindset."

On things they did today that they can carry into PAC 10 play:
"Rebounding. You could see form the first couple of minutes, everybody was crashing the offensive boards and getting their hand on the ball. Even if they're not coming up with it they're getting hands on it. That's the main focus. We're going to work at it and keep getting better at it. Like I said, it's still early , once PAC 10 starts it's a new season so we're getting better every day and every game."

On how the team changes with Aziz and MBA in the starting lineup:
"It changes a lot. We need to rebound and that's the main point. [MBA is] 6'9" and Aziz is 7', so it changes a lot and we took a step forward today in rebound."

On his slowing down his free throw motion:
"Talked to Isiah Thomas, just told me free throws are a rhythm shot, you have to shoot them in rhythm. You can't pause too much, take your time and breathe and shoot them in rhythm. That's what I've been doing."

On trying to slow down his shot:
"Slow down and get a rhythm. That's the main focus. I've been working on them and they're going in now. I was mad I missed that last one, but it's alright."

On finding his stroke:
"Yeah, it's repetition. I'm in the gym before and after practice just shooting, shooting free throws, thrying to get better as a player. It's working a little bit, but I still feel like I could knock down more shots and be more aggressive."

On being 8-8 last game being the first time he's changed his motion:
"Yeah, slowing it down. That was the first game. Like I said, repetition and slowing it down and getting a rhythm. I'm doing that and it's going in."

On being 10 for his last 11:
"I'll keep it going, try not to miss any more."
Matthew Bryan-Amaning:
On having the two bigs starting together: "It's good. We worked all week playing together and we had a lot of success in practice. Aziz even showed me a couple touch passes today which surprised me so, just playing with him and being able to crash together takes a lot of pressure off the other big because he's such a big force and he generates so much attention that it's easier for the off big to get a lot of rebounds."

On how satisfying it was to dominate on the boards in the first 10 minutes of the game:
"I just didn't want to hear coach anymore, pretty much. We worked on it all week obviously and we've done a countless amount of rebounding drills and we all know it's just going to keep going, even if we have success it's going to keep going, but at the same time you want to do it so coach is off your back but at the same time if do it he's going to be like ‘we've been successful doing it so we're going to keep going with these drills.' It's just fun being able to come in and outrebound a team, especially when it's been a point of notice for the last few weeks."

On having a rebound mindset too:
"Yeah. That's pretty much all I'm concentrating on. Points will come just with the personnel we have and the system we're in, so I'm not really worried about that, but right now I'm just trying rebound, get my average up and create more opportunities for my teammates and myself to score."

On what he and Aziz bring to the starting lineup:
"Just defensively being able to have two presences, regardless of whether it's trying tto block shots or just being in the lanes. Obviously we're both long limbed athletes that cover a lot of ground. It's the same on the boards, being able to crash and block out and grab some defensive rebounds at the same time."
Abdul Gaddy:
On his first college dunk:
"Yeah. It's been a long time, so it was fun for me and it was exciting for the crowd too."

On the renewed emphasis on offense execution leading to his seven assists tonight:
"Yeah, the offensive execution really helped. We moved the ball around more and we were being aggressive at the same time. And then rebounding, it's more about a group thing. Not just the bigs but the guards too getting rebounds and being able to push it."

On what the emphasis on offensive execution means for him:
"Just to get our team setup, but to be able to be aggressive at the same time. VO, Holiday and Isaiah are very aggressive player so you have to put them in positions where they can be aggressive, but we also have to be able to execute down the stretch. Especially against good teams that pack it in. They kind of packed it in a little bit so it was kind of a help for us."

On hitting the floor after loose balls a lot tonight:
"That's supposed to be part of our identity. We're supposed to be a scrappy, aggressive team. That's part of what coach teaches us so we have to maintain that for every game the rest of the season."

On the importance of getting Brendan Sherrer the ball when he gets in the game:
"It's very important. It's just fun seeing him out there. We enjoy it, the crowd enjoys it. I think get a kick out of it seeing him out there playing hard. He's a great practice player, he's a great screener, so we just like seeing him out there playing."

On the impact Aziz and MBA have when they're in the lineup together:
"It helps us tremendously on the rebounding thing. Those guys, tapping it out or on offensive rebounds or grabbing [defensive] rebounds we can start our offense quicker. Defensively, you can gamble a little bit more because you know they're back they blocking shots, but I think it just helps a lot on the rebounding thing."
Scott Suggs:
On the team not hitting early:
"It was weird to see. Normally, especially at home, we're a really good shooting team. Every time we shot, I thought it was going in and I'm sure they did too. They just didn't happen to fall."

On him being the hot hand:
"Not really. We were doing our same, usual offense. Guys were getting open looks, they just weren't going down for them. He told everybody, 'Keep shooting', because they were open looks and we're going to make 'em."

On reeling off strings of points:
"I hit the first three, I think. I just had open looks and I was able to knock it down. I think guys were frustrated at not hitting shots they normally do, but they weren't uptight about it. We knew we would eventually hit shots. We've got too many guys that can score."

On his career night:
"I didn't know until right now. I was able to hit shots. That's how it happened tonight."
Aziz N'Diaye:
On MBA starting with him:
"We were bigger. We were rebounding on the offensive end. We were ready to get the rebounds. It made my job a lot easier."

On complimenting MBA:
"I think Matthew is talented and in the lineup, we've both been doing a good job in practice. Coach has been trying to put us on the same team to play together. As we keep working and playing together, by the end of the season we'll both be ready."

On his knee flareup:
"It's been bothering me just a little bit, the last couple of weeks. In practice I've been getting some pain in it because I've been using it so much, using it to get up‚ it's been bothering me these last couple of weeks. I did an MRI and it's fine - I didn't tear anything, but they told me to rest it and rehab and take some medicine. After the game I'm going to get a shot to help the‚ it's just some kind of pain. But I just gotta get a little rest. Nothing's going on and I've been doing a good job of rehabbing it and getting my bounce back in my legs. Everything is fine."

On if 22 minutes is as much as he can do right now:
"I can play more than that. They've been telling me in practice they need to manage me more, how I'm supposed to run and not doing so much extra stuff. I have to rest it a little bit. I've been doing rehab and doing extra stuff with the strength coach, so today I had a lot of my bounce coming back."

On playing at this level:
"I've been figuring it out. It's my first year here and I'm still learning and coach has done a pretty good job of explaining the system and how he wants me to be, how he wants me to set screens. We've been watching a lot of film. So far I'm doing good. As the season goes on I'm going to keep learning and keep getting better."

On which knee got the MRI:
"The left one."

On how many minutes he thinks he can play:
"I think I can play 25, 30 minutes a game. Coach been doing a pretty good job, because some teams are smaller, and like tonight they play around the wing, so my job is pretty much helping and blocking shots and stuff like that. I'll be fine. I'm not too worried about my knee right now."

On the challenges of playing him and MBA together:
"I think Matthew is a good player. He understands where he needs to be around the court, so I think we'll keep playing together and we'll get better. We go up against each other every day in practice, so when the games come up we'll try and be the best we can be."

On playing at home and being a crowd favorite:
"It's a great environment. You just gotta protect our home court. Not losing here is one of our goals this year. We just have to keep working and get better on the road, because when conference start you have to win on the road. You have to keep getting better as a team."


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