Quotes - UW/UCLA

LOS ANGELES - It wasn't easy, but in the end it was one of the most rewarding trips to the City of Angels in the history of UW basketball. Lorenzo Romar, Isaiah Thomas, and Matthew Bryan-Amaning talked Friday after the Huskies' 74-63 win over UCLA - making it a clean sweep of the LA-based schools. It was only the third time that's happened.

Lorenzo Romar:
His thoughts on the game:
"Well, don't have a whole lot to say. When we entered this game, we told our team that when UCLA is focused they're a really really good basketball team and I really believe that. But again, I was proud of our guys the other night and I'm just as proud tonight because our guys stuck together. We had couple of lapses in both halves, about two or three minutes, aside from that we shared the ball, we outrebounded them by one, - that's hard to do – we took care of the ball. I just thought we played good. On the road, this was very exciting for me and my staff, to be able to do this."

On the difference between this game and the game against USC:
"This game is more uptempo, a little bit. That's what we're accustomed to playing. Against USC was the adjustment, and we made that adjustment once we got our bearings because early on we were turning the ball over and out of sorts, but here I thought we did a good job in the first half of not letting them get loose in transition."

On this weekend being a good example of the versatility of this team:
"I would think so. I think really good teams have the ability to play different ways. Last year, by the end of the year, we were able to play two different ways and right now, opening weekend of conference, we were able to do that in two games on the road against two very good teams."

On Isaiah Thomas' game today:
"Isaiah was phenomenal. 17 points, 9 assists with two turnovers. He did a great, great job, hit his free throws down the stretch. He was really good."

On the dividends down the road of two tough wins like these:
"They were [really tough wins]. We can learn from this. So often you learn from losses, but we can learn that, in this conference, this year, if we're able to do this, we should be able to have a chance to be successful from here on out. Doesn't mean we'll win them all, but we should be able to have a chance to be successful in games. Mathew Bryan-Amaning was very good too. He had a double-double, 21 [points] and 10 [rebounds], against that front line. He did a very good job."

On Aziz:
"Let me tell you something about Aziz. He was the unsung, I won't say hero, but unsung presence in this game. What Aziz's presence allowed Matthew to do is not have to bang in there with big Josh Smith the entire time, he was able to bang against somebody that was more his size and strength. He didn't have to guard their biggest, strongest guy the entire time to wear him down, Aziz did that. In his 19 minutes, he scored six points and grabbed six rebounds, but his presence was more felt than anyone would realize against a frontline like this. [We'll take that] any day [from Aziz] and again, we recruited him for these types of situations. He certainly came through. Again, he wasn't a guy that had a double-double, but if he doesn't play, we don't have him on our roster, maybe we don't win this game."

On extra pressure of coming to UCLA and having (former mentor) Jim Harrick in attendance:
"Well, the pressure's always on when Jim Harrick is in the building because when we don't do something right he goes, ‘Now Romar, this is what you have to do,' he's going to tell us, so it's good to have him. But really, I'm as happy as anything for our seniors who hadn't won here: Venoy [Overton], Matthew, and Justin Holiday. For them to go out and do it their last time, good for those guys. "

On what's right about this team that allows them to go 2-0 on the road to start conference:
"First and foremost, I think we're defending very well. And I think we have multiple guys who can make baskets. Even throughout the course of the game, someone may get going and later someone else may get going. In the past, the last couple of years, we've kind of been limited with our options and I think we have more options. So a combination of being able to guard the basketball and more options and depth has really helped us."

On being aware of the nice two-sport weekend that was developing:
"I don't know if they were, but I was. Our fans were unbelievable, tonight and against USC. It was great, we've never had that type of support here in LA that's for sure. That must have made a difference."

On CJ Wilcox:
"He's fine. He just didn't play as much, but he's fine."


Isaiah Thomas:
On getting a sweep in LA:
"It's great man. Especially just even to get a win at UCLA. I mean, I haven't had one since I've been here so it's great. It's a great feeling."

On his emphasis on driving and kicking and controlling the game today:
"The court was open. Every game's not going to be like the USC game where they don't want you to get in the hole. So the court was open and I just made decisions. My guys stepped up, like Matt [Bryan-Amaning], and a couple other guys stepped up."

On what it says about the team that they got a sweep on this roadtrip:
"It says how mature we are. Especially to come on the road for your first two league play games. I'm just proud of my teammates because we came out and fought hard. We knew that they were going to make runs because they were the home team, but we just came out and played hard."

On what this weekend means for the Huskies:
"It was great, especially with the football team winning, we knew we had to win this game. They got blown out the first time and for them to play that good and win a bowl game we knew we had to win it for them."

On his relationship with Josh Smith:
"I know him, but I never played against him."

On the feeling when UCLA made their run to bring it close toward the end of the game:
"We knew. The game is made of runs. They were the home team and we knew they were going to make on last run and they did. And I'm proud of my teammates for just being mature and not yelling at each other, not getting down on each other. We just kept playing."

On being able to search out a mismatch because of their depth:
"it's great. We've got talent, so you can't just guard one guy. They tried to take me away in the USC game and Terrance [Ross] and Matt stepped up. They didn't go a good a job of taking me away this game and I made plays."

On making six straight free throws down the stretch and whether it's easier to make them when they're important:
"Not really. You kind of think about them a little more, but you just have to make the shot. Repetition from practice for me, making free throws before practice is all that comes out of that."

On whom he was waving at after the game:
"UCLA fans. We'll see them in Seattle."

On whether these games are frustrating because the team isn't allowed to get into a groove:
"The most frustrating was probably USC because how they're so disciplined, they don't want you to get in transition, they don't want you to drive. But this game we knew they were going to make runs and my guys really were mature about it. We didn't get on anybody and we just said let's come together and get stops and score, so we did that."

On Aziz N'Diaye taking pressure off of Matt:
"He did. A big body like that, you have to guard him. So, no matter if he has zero points, a couple rebounds, he's a presence in there and you have to respect him."


Matthew Bryan-Amaning:
On finally getting a win at UCLA:
"I told everybody, the first person I'm about to post is Quincy Pondexter. We were talking about it before the game and he was letting me know. We just knew that we were going to have to work hard and obviously LA I think is going to be the hardest road trip for every team in this conference and to be able to get the win was huge for us."

On how much Wednesday night at USC factored into their play tonight against UCLA: "A lot. Just because we hadn't had a team go on a run against us like that and be able to win the game still. So, being able to do that down at USC really helped us."

On how Aziz being out on the court helped take the pressure off of him today:
"Aziz's body is ridiculous and his length is crazy. Aziz's length as well bothers him so much. And it takes pressure off of myself having to guard a guy that's more my size, my weight, instead of banging against a 300 pound dude for the 29 minutes or whatever that I played was really good for myself."

On the chemistry with Isaiah Thomas on the pick and roll:
"We do that a lot in practice. Day in and day out we work on it. We'll run it a couple of times during the game and see if it's working and if it does, we'll keep going to it. With his threats coming off the pick and guys and teams being able to focus on myself he or I will be able to get an open shot or one of our teammates will be open."

On how tough these games were:
"Really tough obviously. We had that overtime win and our first road win, which I think mentally meant a lot to us. And coming down here and just never winning here, I think our guys acted well and reacted well to everything that was going on throughout the game."

On the significance of starting the season with these two wins:
"I think it's probably the hardest road games to play, with USC and UCLA, both being very tough teams and both going to finish in the top five, or could be the top three, so being able to come down here and get two road wins, especially since we hadn't won on the road so far this year, meant a lot to us."

On how Justin Holiday knew he was coming on his dunk:
"I passed him the ball, kicked it a couple of times and he saw me trailing the play. He said he thought about throwing it up to Isaiah and I was like ‘come on man, you're going to pass me up for Isaiah'. But it's just how we play, our heads are always up, we're always willing to make the extra pass. We finished with 17 assists to 9 turnovers and this is the way we like to play. "

On whether he was surprised that outraced four UCLA players on his dunk:
"I didn't think of it that way, but not really I've been running, over the last couple of years that's one of the things coach has harped on. He's been telling me I think you're the best running big man in the conference, if not the country, so what I do is try to get out. You can tell I'm going to run when you see my first couple steps. If I'm out galloping down the lane then I'm going to be one of the first people down the court."


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