Quotes - Arizona State

SEATTLE - Lorenzo Romar, Herb Sendek Isaiah Thomas, Matthew Bryan-Amaning, Justin Holiday, Scott Suggs and Terrence Ross spoke after Washington's 88-75 win over the Arizona State Sun Devils Saturday afternoon at the Alaska Airlines Arena. Here's what they had to say.

Washington Head Coach Lorenzo Romar
Opening Statement
Never fun to play against Arizona State. Those of you who were here the other day when we were talking about it, they always make it difficult. I am just excited that we were able to come out with a victory and move on. My good buddy Steve Lavin says, "You just have to move the chains." That's what we did today. Coach Sendek just finds a way to do a good job all the time. Just glad we were able to come out with a victory. Matthew Bryan was very, very good. Obviously today, our guys did a good job of going inside and getting him the basketball.

I think he has always been aggressive. I think he has slowed down a little bit. I don't think he tries to rush it as much. He takes his time and when he finally goes up to the rim, he is trying to focus a little more to go to the basket, as opposed to falling away. Coach Fortier does a good job at continuing to harp on that with him. He has grown up and it has really helped him.

On MBA compared to Quincy
(They are) totally different players. Quincy was a slasher from the outside. He would post (and was) complimented with a jump shot. Matt is so long underneath that he is able to go up and jump over people and stand over people. The other thing with Matthew is that he hasn't had as many tonight, but he runs the floor so well. Quincy also runs the floor well, but a lot of times it was a guy like size guarding Quincy. There aren't a whole lot of posts that are as fast as Matt, and so that is an advantage.

On MBA and NBA
He is talented and when NBA people look at him, they have to look at his length and ability to run the floor, his athleticism. Right away, you have to say, "Let's take a second look at him." He is definitely talented enough to have a good opportunity.

On Thomas' Defense
It's something you bring that up. Go back to last year, several games he guarded like crazy. In the Marquette game, when Odem for Marquette was having his way with us. He said, "Let me take him please!" He didn't want to look me in the eye because he didn't want me to think he was telling me what to do. He just kind of said it and I heard him, the words curved over, and I remember, the guy barely touched the ball the second half of the game. This year, guys that he defends, he is so good at just taking them out of the game. I don't think we would have won the game tonight if he didn't guard Abbott in the second half. Abbott was playing so well and the game was close. I am not lobbying anything, I am just telling you how I feel. He should be on the all defensive team. He has played that good of defense for us.
Arizona State Head Coach Herb Sendek
Opening Statement
"I thought our guys really competed. I thought we executed better on offense. I think, arguably, it was the best job we've done of creating action for each other and it was reflected in some of the numbers like our field goal percentage for the game."

"Defensively, we still had a hard time getting the kind of stops you need to win, and very much, like in previous games, when you break it down, points in the paint as they branch off into baskets for Bryan-Amaning, who had 30 and some second chance points. Those two really continue to give us a real challenge. But night-in, night-out the other front court is putting up very sobering numbers on us."

On IT switching to guard Abbott in the second half
"We continue to run our offense and play. I was really pleased with the way we ran offense. We had too many turnovers that led to some breakaways again, but by-and-large I think our offense, guys were cutting and moving and creating good shots for each other. By-and-large I was pleased with that area. Defensively, our turnovers and a few, especially early, bad shots led to some breakaways. We gave up 18 points in transition. Low-post area was a problem, second shots were a problem. "

On how they responded
"I like our guys. We're not going to go anywhere. We're going to be resilent; we're going to keep working, that I assure you. We're very challenged; we have high character guys that'll continue to show up and battle. Some guys are learning how to compete. It's hard to compete when, at some stages, a portion of your team is still deer-in-the-headlights. That's different than not competing because you're lazy. As we work through that and our guys learn what it takes, I think we'll continue to be better in that area. I thought today was a step in the right direction. By no stretch of anyone's imagination does it iply that we've arrived. "

On Carrick Felix not being at 100 percent
"That's the other thing that we're having to battle. Guys that miss chunks of practice time. Carrick missed practice all this week. We were able to get him up for tonight's game. Ty [Abbott], I'm sure Dunson hasn't practiced since Monday, when he went part of the day. But ever since getting banged up against Tulsa, he's now gone a week and a half already. It goes so fast. Not to implay that makes any quantifiable difference…but the fact remains that our guys, to their credit, are battling through not feeling their best and playing. A number of guys have had to do that."

His impressions of UW
"They're a very good team. They have an outstanding guard, Isaiah Thomas, they have an outstanding postman, and they have a collection of athletic wing players who can beat you, not only off the dribble, but they can make shots. And obviously defensively they can really get after it. They're deep, they play nine guys so they're a very good team."
Washington Players

Isaiah Thomas
On the game
It wasn't easy.  Coach said at the beginning of the game that this was one of the teams he's kind of scared of because they play so hard, especially when they're hitting shots they're hard to beat.  We sustained and took the lead late, but it was a tough game.  I'm proud of my teammates that we finished it off.

  On UW's defensive struggles
We probably took a step back defensively.  Especially in the first half—they were getting a lot of open shots that if we played Husky basketball and played the way we usually play they wouldn't have got.  They shot 50% for the game so they were hitting shots.

  On if the team was recovering from Thursday's bout against Arizona
As a veteran team you've just got to be ready no matter what type of game it is.  We knew it was going to be a little let-down coming into this game because it wasn't as hyped as last game, but at the same time we showed that we can win games like this.  Day in and day out we've got to get better to win games like this.

  On Matthew Bryan-Amaning's big day
We knew that they're not as good down low and they don't double with their zone, so [coaches] told Matt to be highly aggressive.  And he was making shots and doing everything he needed to.

  On ASU starting the smaller lineup to match up with UW
They knocked down shots so you gotta give them credit.  They're a good team and that 3-2 zone gives us a little bit of trouble.  It took the whole game to get through it.

  On the goals of the coming road trip
Try to get them three wins.  We got all week to prepare for Washington State, which is a great team.  We're gonna be ready.
Matthew Bryan-Amaning
On how he was so successful this game
I just tried to find space. It's kind of hard with their matchup. I know their interior defense isn't as good. That's why they pressure up a lot. So, I just had to carve out space. Coach told us there was going to be a lot of one-on-one coverage and I should be able to get open tonight so that's what we tried to do. I love [one-on-one coverage]. As long as I keep doing what I'm supposed to do and make some space for myself, I'll be open to get the ball.

On whether he realized he was nearing his career high points
No, I was just trying to focus on winning. Maybe if you're up 10, 15, 20 points but, when it's tight like this, you have to focus on everything you can to win the game. Arizona State, on defense, they do a great job of setting people up because you're not used to it. Like Oregon State, using the 1-3-1, it's not something you see all the time. So, they kind of had us hesitating but, once we settled down, I think we were just able to do a great job.

On whether they were surprised it stayed so close
It's the same sort of thing. Like I said with Oregon State, in the first half how it was a close game. Everybody's thinking ‘Why is it still such a close game?' We just need to do what we need to do against zones and against defense we're not used to seeing and we have to remember that we only had one day to prepare for it, we didn't have all week. They threw something at us that we're not used to and just, the way they play, we kind of wanted to keep it a close game.
Justin Holiday
On who is more frustrating; OSU or ASU
I wasn't really frustrated today. I guess I could say Oregon State was, because that's when I really first wasn't hitting and I got a lot of shots. But today, I was fine today. I was glad Matthew (Bryan-Amaning) was working on the inside and so it was like, maybe we should go there a little more.

On scoring 88 points in that zone
Their zone is real good. In the first half, the way they were coming at me, I kept pump-faking hard. But they close out real hard and they stay there. They weren't going for the pump fakes. That zone is a real, real good zone. We weren't getting stops, that's what the problem was. We were letting them getting easy buckets off of rebounds. Rotations weren't working out well, and then we let Abbott get going, and when that happens it's hard to stop somebody like that.

On their plan for Abbott in the second half
Isaiah put the clamps on him, played really good defense and didn't allow him to get his shots up, which was a good thing. Isaiah just did a good job on him.

On Isaiah getting under guys' skin
The second half, we should have put Isaiah on him. Either him or me, but I had two fouls, so putting Isaiah on him was a good move by coach (Romar). Isaiah wants to win, so he's going to play defense as best he can.

They couldn't handle him on the inside. It was our best way of scoring. One of our keys before the game was to control the paint, dominate the paint - and Matthew did that today.

On looking for the lob from IT
If it's there, it's the easiest way to get a bucket. You don't have to worry about catching it down low. It's just a quick pass and bucket.

On playing with IT the way he's playing right now
Isaiah could have played the same way then, but he had a different role. He didn't have the ball as much. This team has a lot more shooters, and he understands that we can shoot as well as we can. He wants to get assists as well. Having him like this right now, of course it's fun.

On getting a bit of a break before Apple Cup in Pullman
My legs are a little tight, a little stiff, so I think it's good for us to have this week to rest a little bit and get our legs back, and just feel fresh on Sunday. We'll see what happens.

On the crowd the last couple games
It's great. Having a crowd like that is like waking up to California sunshine hitting you. They've got our back and they are with us, even when we might be down. And I love it.

On looking forward to WSU
Of course. It's the main rival, Washington State is the main rival. We want to go over there…especially at their house and take care of business there, because it's the hardest of the two games for us.
  Scott Suggs
On MBA's success today
It was basically just one-on-one in the post. Obviously, they'll focus on guys out on the perimeter trying not to let them hit their shots. Anytime you have Matthew Bryan-Amaning one-on-one in the back, it's great.

On Isaiah Thomas' great job on assists
He's doing a great job of getting guys to come to him and kicking it to the open man. A couple of times he found me and I just shot it.

On the difference between first and second halves
I think our main problem was just, we did a little bit of switching with some of the guys and we weren't communicating. We had two guys one-to-one, which was leaving a guy open. In the first half, there was just a little bit of miscommunication. Then Isaiah [Thomas] did a really good job in the second half and I think that helped us out. 
Terrence Ross
On if Pac-10 play is what he thought it would be
Yeah, I think so. I thought that coming in, a lot of teams would know what we were going to do. They know exactly what we do, so you have to learn some other tricks and some other plays to counter what they are trying to do.

On ever playing a zone like ASU's
Yeah, it was a weird zone, because half the time it felt like they were in man. It's definitely the weirdest zone I've ever played.

On figuring it out
Yeah, we went over it and I kind of figured it out when we started. It was a little different in the game, so it wasn't too bad.

On being happy with decision to come to UW and if it's what he expected it to be
Yeah, it's better than what I thought it would be. The thing is, this is like the West Coast Cameron Indoor Stadium. The fans are on top of you. There are a lot more people than what I thought it would be.

On having fun even when he's on the bench
When I'm on the bench it's just as much fun because either Antoine or Desmond will start talking to me and it's just crazy. Seeing the team, you get a chance to see just how good we are."

Matt is crazy. Even when he comes on the bench and I talk to him, it'll be 'Let's see something else, let me see something else,' and then he goes back in the game. Then there's dunks and whatever…it's just weird to me how he does it.

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