Quotes - Stanford

SEATTLE - Lorenzo Romar, Johnny Dawkins, Isaiah Thomas, Aziz N'Diaye, and Venoy Overton spoke afterward about Huskies' 87-76 win over the Stanford Cardinal Saturday night at Alaska Airlines Arena. The win put the Huskies 9-4 in conference, as well as 17-7 overall.

Coach Romar:
His post-game thoughts:
I'm excited that we played, going back to Thursday, three really, really good halves of basketball. The fourth half wasn't as good. I thought we played good tonight. Isaiah [Thomas] got hot at the end of the half, knocked some shots down and we were able to distance ourselves. The second half we just couldn't get that energy up to the level that we had in the first half. Didn't finish that game how I would've liked. However, Thursday/Saturday we made huge progress in from how we were playing the last couple of weeks so I'm excited about that. Now it's time to move on and try this road again.

On the second half:
It was frustrating, we didn't take care of the basketball and over the last four minutes of the game it was frustrating because it didn't seem like they missed a shot down the stretch. We need to continue to condition ourselves to be a machine and play one way the entire time. If we played a poor first half and a stellar second half you'd feel a lot better right now, you just don't like to finish it that way. But again I feel like we made a lot of progress this weekend.

On what made the difference these last two games:
I think the other things are a by-product of the defensive energy and energy in general. Because you have that energy I think you just shoot the ball better, a little more crisp offensively, I think it all works together. It's interesting, we didn't have that energy in the second half and we turned the ball over 10 times also. It's funny how that works. It starts with that mindset that we want to get down and compete and defend and play with energy and let the chips fall where they may after that, but that is the foundation. If the foundation is there the other things tend to work themselves out.

On the difference between this meeting and the first one with Stanford:
I think we defended them better, for one. Secondly I think we did a better job of getting the ball inside and playing inside out here at our place.

On getting the role players really involved and playing well:
Hopefully, early on when we substituted so freely and gave so many guys opportunities, hopefully we'll see the fruit from those decisions earlier, because now down the stretch, I don't think there's a player that we can put in the game that's not going to feel that they can contribute and not go in and play with some level of confidence.

On the recent turnaround in Venoy Overton's play:
I think if you remember, just like we got better in the Oregon game despite a loss, I mentioned that Venoy seemed to get his edge back in the Oregon game. That's what it is with him: just that pit-bull mentality that he has when he's playing his best.

On extending the lead with Isaiah Thomas on the bench:
It was good. It was really good to see the guys pick it up. Our bench was maybe the MVP of this game. Guys that came off the bench held the fort down in the first half.

On the Stanford guys talk motivating Thomas:
I know we talk to our guys about not necessarily doing that – don't awake a sleeping giant. He's a competitor, you know that, and if you get him going he can get in a zone like that.

On Thomas' 14 points in 2:38 at the end of the second half:
He's one of those players that you can see how he's scored 50 points on many occasions [in high school]. When he gets in a zone he is just tough to deal with. Especially now that he, you know that he can always drive, he's a fearless driver, but he'll drop the ball off to his teammates and when he's hitting the jumper he's a really, really tough cover.
Stanford Coach Johnny Dawkins:
On the difference between last time and this time they played the UW:
I thought they played well. I thought they got going. I thought we turned it over a few too many times which led to transition and easy opportunities for them. And let's face it, they're a very good basketball team and tonight they played well. They made it hard for us to really get into the offense and turned defense into offense a number of times.

On the full court ball-pressure applied by the UW:
First we got off to a late start a few times in the first half and that was difficult. We had to go to our counters and go to our pressure-releases more and we didn't really do that. We have to continue to get better at that.

On his technical foul:
It was just a technical foul. It was something that happened. It was probably the heat of the moment, the battle, we're all competing. They [the officials] have their job to do, we have ours and those things are going to happen from time to time.

On Thomas' spurt at the end of the first half:
He's a terrific player, he's one of the best players in our conference and also in the country. You're not going to really stop Isaiah, you have to try and contain him as best you can. I thought our guys did that tonight, I thought they played hard, they tried to contain him and he's good, we just have to try and do a better job next time.
Isaiah Thomas:
On the 14-point explosion in the first half:
They made me mad.  They were just talking a little bit and I just felt like I had to turn it up to end the half.  The shots were going in, my teammates were finding me.  Luckily, the shots went in.  I just felt like I had to be a little more aggressive than when I was first in there.  My teammates found me and I got the shots.

  On what he told the team after his 3-pointer to end the first half:
I said, "This is our house."  No one is coming in here and getting easy wins or thinking they can come in here and win easily.  We just have to defend on the court and just work our guys up that we have to play a little harder.

  On the effort of the rest of his team:
When I came back to the bench, I was real happy that we had a bigger lead than when I was in the game.  My teammates just played hard and made shots and got stops.

  On the upcoming games versus the Arizona schools:
Yeah, this will probably be the hardest road trip.  There are two good teams down there and they'll be ready for us and we'll be ready for them.  It starts with Arizona State.  We have to really be focused and dial in on the defensive end and I think if we do that, we'll be ok.
Aziz N'Diaye:
On how he feels when his teammates do well:
It's exciting.  It makes your job easy because when the guards hit the shots, you're just trying to get them open on the screens.  They're going to make the right play and make the shots.

On aggressive play:
That's part of the game.  On the offensive end, when we were crashing on the offensive rebounds, they were trying to push us some but that's part of the game.  The ref is going to see those quick fouls under the rim.
Venoy Overton:
On the win:
It was a really good win, the game was stopped a lot, but we wanted to minimize mistakes and step in there and play as a team. Whatever was going on in the game we wanted to play right.

On the progression in the last 2 weeks:
It's definitely been nice. I think it started in practice, I've been playing really well in practice and really going hard. My legs are back so that's nice. In the Oregon game I was getting up there high and it felt good. I knew I was feeling better last week so I felt like this week was going to be the week that I could bump it up and coaches let me play.

On the fast pace defensive game:
It's definitely more of my style, especially now that I got my legs back. It's a big part of the season, and a good time to turn things around.

On the emergence of Venoy in the half-court game:
Coach always talks to us about how he knows what we can do, and it feels good to go out and show that. I wasn't getting all the minutes, I was kind of complaining about them, but I've been trying to do everything right and get my minutes up.

On the improvement from last game vs. Stanford:
Down there they just came to play and we weren't ready to play. No we're on the same page and got a few wins in a row and next week we got a big trip against Arizona and Arizona State and we got to come ready to play.

On the games ahead:
Coaches want to make sure we don't look too far ahead, that's how our slump started the first time. So we just have to focus and go down there ready to play.


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