Quotes/Video - OSU

SEATTLE - Lorenzo Romar, Craig Robinson, Matthew Bryan-Amaning, Isaiah Thomas and Venoy Overton spoke about Washington's 103-72 win over Oregon State Saturday afternoon at Hec Edmundson Pavilion. There's also a video highlight package of the game, courtesy of Kyle McCormick and the UW Athletic Department.

Washington Head Coach Lorenzo Romar:
On his team's performance tonight:
"We took a huge shot from Oregon State in the first half. They came out very aggressive, they came out very physical, they were scrappy. They came ready to play and when you play that hard, other things start to happen for you that go in your favor. They hit two threes that banked off the backboard. They earned that. When you get after it like that and when you're focused like that good things happen for you. Our guys didn't play bad, but we were 4-16 from the three-point line in the first half, we had two second-chance points in the first half and we ended up with 25, so we really pounded the boards. The boards were really close at the half and we ended up being plus-13 on the boards. We settled down in our defense, our guys really got up, started playing in the lanes, started to get their hands on some of their passes. We blocked 10 shots, we protected the rim really well in the second half. I just thought that second half, that's close – with the exception of maybe Virginia – that's as close to the best half we've played this year. 15 assists and three turnovers by Venoy Overton and Isaiah Thomas and in that zone they penetrated time after time looking for guys out on the flankers, to pass them the basketball. Venoy did a really good job that way and Matthew Bryan-Amaning was a man today, really played good basketball."

On whether breaking down the zone being the key to the second half:
"That had a lot to do with it but we went on a run [at the beginning of the second half] that had everything to do with our defense. I think we forced a couple of turnovers in the first few possessions and our team understands that it doesn't always work out this way. If we go on a run, if we begin to create distance from our opponent, it's because of the defense, it's not because we start hitting shots or anything like that, it's because we start getting stops. And once we start getting stops, everything else takes care of itself."

On MBA getting more shots in the second half:
"Well, we did talk about it at halftime that we felt he was open in the post and we neglected throwing him the ball down there, but he got loose in transition, he offensive rebounded, but we started going to him more. Our guys did a good job of going inside period. Aziz N'Diaye was the beneficiary of some drop-offs by our guards. 52 points in the paint today was pretty good."

On the interchangeability and solid play of Scott Suggs, CJ Wilcox, and Terrence Ross:
"It's the luxury that you have if you do have depth. One side of that is it's difficult at times to keep everyone happy because everyone wants to play and if a guy is capable of going in there and getting 20 [points] on any given night and then he only plays 10-12 minutes, that can be a little problematic for the coaches. On the other side, Abdul Gaddy goes down and we're still able to play pretty well over this weekend. A guy doesn't have a really good night and other guys step up. That is what really good depth does for you."

On Isaiah's high assist numbers in recent games:
"Isaiah's playing now like he played at the end of the year last year. He was a basketball player – guard. He goes out tonight and scores 19 points, it's not like he scored 7 points and was just passing the basketball, but he's much more aware of finding guys when he penetrates. He had a great, great mix of going to the basket strong when he needed to but kicking the ball out with he needed to as well and finding guys up the floor."

On what this 4-0 start feels like:
"It beats the alternative, that's for sure. It's something. We'll enjoy this for today, but we'll hit the road again. Now we have two opponents on the road. One at this point is undefeated and another has played very good despite not coming up with more wins. Cal against Arizona, they were very impressive on the road for a young team. We have our work cut out for us. We have to practice right. We can't rest on our laurels at this point. Continue to get better. "
Oregon State Head Coach Craig Robinson:
On the start of the second half:
"That was turnovers, offensive rebounds by them, and they are a momentum team so once they get going, it was like we were a completely different team. I really think, without looking at the tapes, we had 3 turnovers in the first half and out rebounded them in the first half. In the first five minutes of the second half it seemed like it flip flopped to the third power. I felt like we had a couple opportunities to cut the lead from 15 to 10, but we either missed a foul shot or didn't complete the and-one. It is little things that can get you back into a game that we couldn't do. That's the danger against everybody, if you can't make those kinds of plays. I thought up until that point we were scoring right along with them. The score was close to being tied. But then when you turn the ball over and give them more opportunities to score, and you don't get those opportunities it widens the margins."

On what went right the first half:
"We were running our offense, we weren't making turnovers, and we were playing defense, the complete opposite of the second half."

On the comparison of UW now to last year:
"It's hard to tell, we played them better last year, but I thought that them having Pondexter would make them a better team, but Amaning is good. He might be pro too, I'm not sure. He is pretty darn good; he kills us every time we play them. Zero those two guys out; this is probably a better team.

On what could have been done to slow UW's run in the second half:
I called timeouts, when I thought I should of but I don't think that is going to stop these guys. You have to defend these guys and play tough the entire game or a tie game will turn into a blowout in 5 minutes.
Matthew Bryan-Amaning:
On what changed late in the first half:
"I just think that we got comfortable. Obviously the zones that they do is different than a lot of people that we've played against, and a lot of people in the country so I think it was sort of like the Oregon game early. We were kind of stifled, just trying to get used to what they were running and I think that once we got comfortable with it we were able to capitalize."

On what made him effective today:
"I was just crashing. I was just trying to play with energy and I think I was open a few times early in the game and I wasn't getting the ball but I knew, with them running zone, the lanes would be open to crash the glass so I got a few offensive rebounds in the first half and that got kind of got us going and got myself going."

On his chemistry with Isaiah Thomas:
"The knock on him is always about his scoring and he just wants to score and that, but ever since I met him, he wasn't like that. I think what he did at high school him scoring so much was because he had to. When he got to prep school with myself and he had a bunch of talented Division-1 players with him, he was averaging close to 7,8,9 assists per game. So, when he came here I wasn't surprised about how he passed the ball and about how good of a passer he is because I was used to it. It's just one of the perceptions people have of him but I think he's showing everybody that he can play point and that his vision is just as good as his scoring."

On how good the defense is overshadowed by their offense:
"Everybody looks at the scoreboard and the way we have been scoring and that's just because we run, but the only reason we're going to run is if we get stops or get contested shots, rebounds, and push it. So as long as we keep doing that it's going to give fire to our offense."

On what it feels like to be living up to expectations:
"I think it's good and I think these guys, and myself, are doing well with humility. We're just being humble about it and not letting it get to our heads and going out and trying to play as hard as we did the last game. I think we're still fighting for respect across the country and I think that's what keeping the fire under us, keeping us playing as hard as we are."
Isaiah Thomas:
On what happened at halftime:
"I think, just we gave up too many easy baskets, second chance points. We didn't get stops. If we had had stops then we probably could have been up 10-15 points at half, but they got a lot of easy buckets, some contested that miss or make you can't do anything about it, but a lot of just second chance points."

On how OSU is different this year than they have been in the past:
"My first year it was really hard to play against them. I told coach from the jump after the first time we played them, ‘Man, I don't want to play them again,' but more and more as I watch film I know where to attack at and having someone like Venoy to attack too, they can't just eye on me. We knew that if we attacked to be aggressive but pass, that guys would be open and guys knocked down shots."

On MBA putting up big numbers today:
"He was just aggressive. He was going after every board and when he does that we was just a force in there. He was making his layups and doing good moves. When he gets second chance points rebounds, one time he got the rebound and dribbled all the way down and got a layup, when he's like that, when he's energized, he's kind of hard to guard."

On whether the team was worried being down nine points early:
"Not really because at the beginning they were hitting almost everything. They hit three bank shots or whatever. So me and Venoy know when we get down early we always say, ‘Don't worry about it, we're going to come back.' No matter what it is, we feel like we can come back from any deficit."

On whether they're surprised by how well they've done so far in the PAC 10 season:
"Not really. We feel like we still haven't played our best, so it's something that we go in every practice, every day trying to get better and we feel like we have more to show."

On his chemistry with Venoy:
"It's good, getting better every day. In practice we really haven't had the chance to be together because it was always me and Abdul [Gaddy], but we're getting better. I mean, it's our third year together so we know what our strengths are."
Venoy Overton:
On whether the second half today was their best half of the season:
"Maybe. I think so. Yesterday we played pretty good in the second half, but today was the kind of game where we knew exactly what they were going to do, but in the first half we just weren't getting it done and they got [a bunch] of second chance points and after we shut that down in the second half, we got it done."

On his runner that put the team up at halftime:
"Just for the fact we were down most of the first half and we were just going back and forth and I guess that bucket gave us a little bit more momentum and when we get our crowd going it's hard to beat us."

On getting more comfortable with Isaiah in the starting lineup:
"Yeah definitely. We haven't had too many hard out practices [together] but just he know when I drive, he knows to circle around. A lot of times I jump in the air to pass so I just expect him to be there, and when he drives he knows if he drives at me I'm back door. We're learning so it's going to get better as the games go."

On his health:
"I'm 100 percent, body-wise. It's just little stuff like being sick a little bit and a little shoulder injury, but that isn't really slowing me down."

On developing an identity as a second-half team:
"Pretty big, just for the fact that earlier in the season and last year we were pretty bad in the second half. We always jumped on teams early and then let them come back, so winning games like this – in the second half, playing good – that's going to take us further come tournament time."
(Video courtesy of Kyle McCormick and the UW Athletic Department)

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