Quotes - Arizona State

TEMPE - Dawgman.com was on hand as Lorenzo Romar, Herb Sendek, Isaiah Thomas, Matthew Bryan-Amaning, C.J. Wilcox, Justin Holiday, Venoy Overton and Ty Abbott spoke after Washington's 79-62 win over Arizona State Thursday at Wells Fargo Arena.

Lorenzo Romar:
"Well we had a slow start—I felt that once we settled in, we did some good things, offensively and defensively. 9 turnovers, 21 assists. The one time we had a 16 rebound lead, it was a margin of 16, down the stretch we didn't rebound very well, but I thought we did a good job for the most part on the board. We had some good performances by a lot of guys. Obviously Matthew did well, by Venoy Overton continued to play with that edge. And CJ Wilcox did a phenomenal job off the bench—he rebounded, 8 rebounds, he scored, he hit threes, he fed the posts and he defended. He had a good all-around game coming off the bench."

On Scott Suggs' injury
"It seems, before they really really look at it, seems that he has a sprained MCL. Sprained a little like he did in Maui."

On a good sign he stayed on the bench… "We don't know these types of injuries, we don't know, until the next morning or a few days. Right now we know it's a strained MCL from what we understand. We don't know anything else and won't know until probably the next day or two."

On getting a MRI… "Probably, maybe, depends on when they look at it tomorrow morning. How he responds to it. Again, anything likes that, unless it's flat torn, a sprain you kind of have to wait to see how they respond."

On the depth of the team… "Anytime someone can't play, your depth goes down a little bit. But we've been through this before."

On him playing on Saturday… "I would doubt if he's playing Saturday at this point. But again, we can't—if he plays, don't blame me."

On who stepped up to take Ty… "Well we were doing a lot of switching, so a lot of people were on him. But Isaiah certainly stepped up and did a good job, like he did, Ty had a very good first half against us last time, and Isaiah and our guys stepped up. And I thought tonight, kind of the same thing happened. I think he had 13 points with 7 minutes to go in the first half, and then he scored one basket after that. So we have to give our guys and Isaiah a lot of credit."

On the three technical… "Oh it was just one of those--the officials called advertent bumps. And you know, Isaiah ran down the floor and he just says, "don't do that, hey man, don't do that." And they whistled a double technical."

On telling the guys not to get into this chipiness… "One thing we talk about in practice a lot, is to maintain your composure. And Isaiah hadn't lost his composure, if he would have lost his composure, he would have ran after the guy and done something. It was just at that point, emotionally, "don't do that." When I talk to the team about it, those situations can change the complexion of a game, especially on the road number one. Number two, we better be ready. Because they could bring this. We don't want this to be the thing that turns the game around in their favor. "

On their response… "After that, I thought, we responded well. We built our lead back up. And we went out."

On the two turnover baskets and the time out… "Ya, at first I said, while the officials were trying to figure out what happened. We talked about it initially and then during the time out."

On the zone… "Well unfortunately for them, it wasn't planned. And we didn't think they had multiple shooters out there on the floor. We also wanted to protect our guys, because they were in a little bit of foul trouble. And their smaller, and with Aziz, Matthew and Darnell on the floor at the same time, sometimes it can be a little tricky to defend them, so we just thought we would look into doing it, and it paid off for us. Being asked about the zone a lot—I always say it's situational. And that was a situation that we felt called for us to take a look at the zone."

On CJ snapping out of it… "CJ has an interesting temperament. It doesn't get too high or too low regardless of what's going on. He kind of just mentally hung in there. I know Coach Shaw got him out there, he started doing a lot of shooting before practice, and somehow got his rhythm back. We could kind of see in practice that he was starting to be his old self again. Now he's in, he played 25 minutes, he was tired at times, but he's in decent condition after his injuries, he's injury free. And his confidence is there now. So consequently, we're seeing a better CJ. Or a normal CJ."

On the team having their mind on business and next game being big… "Oh, no doubt [on business]. I would say this is a big game. Because the next one is always your bigger one. And always say like, AZ State, if we lose this… that became a big game. For whatever reason, it's huge. And AZ is leading our league right now, and they're playing very good basketball, they're playing at home, this is our last game on the road in the Pac-10, there is a lot at stake on our end, we're trying to get to the NCAA tournament—this is a very big game. "

On enjoying this win, or focusing on the next one… "This one is over. Going after, got to get prepared for this Arizona game."

On the coaches being aware of how hot CJ can get… "He is an unbelievable weapon, on the basketball floor. And when that weapon is going good, you have to feed it, you have to load it, keep it loaded, because he can rattle off 6 or 7 of those things, if he gets it going .We've seen him do it. When that happened, you have to be aware on the floor to find him, and he has to be aware—he usually is aware when he's hot, so we don't have to tell him to shoot."
ASU Head Coach Herb Sendek:
On G Keala King's knee…
"He banged it. He came back so I am expecting that he will be ok, but perhaps tomorrow it will be sore and you will never know until the next day. Ty (Abbott) did the same thing against UAB and then he was unable to do anything for quite a few days and then tried to play our next game, so we will just have to wait, but it was good to see him come back, but he had a pretty good knee knock."

On overall defense…
"I do not think we executed our zone offense particularly well, but in the big scheme of things I do not know it that was our undoing because it did not encompass that many possessions in the game and more than that come to mine when you look at us being better tonight."

On G-F Rick Kuksiks not playing…
"Pretty much knew following Sunday's game against Arizona that it was unlikely he was going to play or it as improbable at best for him to play."

On team becoming stagnant…
"I do know that it was entirely in the second half. I thought there was a stretch there in the first half where we were not clicking on all cylinders as well.

On play of G Corey Hawkins
"I thought he really made some terrific hustle plays, got on the floor a couple times and he has been doing that in practice and he gave us really good energy. He played well for the last couple minutes of the first half and he deserved to start in the second. He made his shot and he gave us a spark and I liked what I saw."
Isaiah Thomas:
On taking Ty Abbott on defense after he started off the game hot…
"They got ahead early and we settled down and just played the game the right way and we finished the game well. I had to play a little harder on defense, make it a little tougher for him because he was getting some open shots."

On approaching his teammates to emphasize paying attention to Abbott…
"I just put it on myself. I'm like ‘he's hitting'. He had 13 points within like 10 minutes probably so I felt like if we stopped him our lead would increase."

On his technical foul…
"It was [Kyle] Cain that hit me. They called a foul on [him] and I went to run after him just to let him know: ‘don't do that again'. When I was taking it out he acted like I wasn't even there, just ran through me. It was no biggy I just wanted to let him know not to do it again. It was when he was setting his screens he was kind of setting them illegal. It is what it is, it was no biggy."

On feeling the momentum shift after the call…
"Coach was kind of mad because he was like those things can change the momentum, not for us, for them. And they scored a couple times, we had a couple turnovers but we're a mature team and we settled down and we started playing well again."

On the implications of going a little while without Scott Suggs…
"It's going to be hard because he's a big key to our team, he's a big shooter and he opens up for the guards like me and Venoy [Overton] and everybody else, so hopefully he's not out too long because we need him."

On CJ Wilcox stepping up in Suggs' absence…
"He did [step up] and anybody can do that on our team. He hit shots and got rebounds and just played hard and that's what we need from guys on the road."
Matthew Bryan-Amaning:
On Lute Olson Court being a tough gym to play in…
"It's a bit spread out. The way the arena is, it sort of reminds me of UCLA, how [the fans] are away from the court, so it shouldn't really bother us that much. Guys have done a good job of trying to focus on the game once we're on the road."

On the finding room in the ASU zone…
"It's a lot of one-on-one coverage in the post. The zone is more of matchup zone, so it's more of like a man-to-man than other zones so it gives the opportunity for me to attack more because I know they're not sagging in and clogging the lanes."

On how the technical foul came up…
"It was after they scored a bucket, Isaiah went to take it out and he didn't see Kane behind him and I think Kane kind of pushed him as he went through as if he wasn't there and he just tried to act like nothing happened, played on. I think Isaiah did a good job of keeping his cool, didn't say anything rude. Obviously he's not going to let a guy just run all over him."

On the importance of being business-like considering the game with Arizona on the horizon…
"We weren't looking forward past this game. Just with everything that's going on with the season, sort of like the end of last season when every game means something we concentrated on this game tonight and that's all."

On the difference between this game and other times they've fallen behind on the road…
"We just settled down. Like I've said all season, teams grow throughout the season and we've obviously grown since the past few weeks and learning now to keep our composure when things aren't going right we still have to stick to the game-plan and know that obviously the coaches are trying to get us wins and what they are doing is going to work. I think we just stuck with the game-plan and played through it."
C.J. Wilcox:
On feeling like someone was going to need to step up after Suggs went down…
"Not really. Coach has been harping on me and Venoy to bring more energy and be more aggressive so as far as that, we just need to be more aggressive and it kind of showed tonight."

On whether there was a sign that he was going to play well tonight…
"You come into every game thinking you're going to have a good game, you never really doubt yourself, saying you're not going to shoot the ball well or play defense well or anything. You just have to come in focused and hope you play your best."

On the coaches standing up during a heat check moment…
"Once you hit one shot coach is always saying: ‘feed the hot hand' so you try to get more of a rhythm than you already have so just a heat-check shot, that's always nice to see."

On what changed before their 10-0 run after ASU closed to within 7…
"I think we just calmed down. We just need to focus and we buckled down on defense and stopped making rotation mistakes, that's kind of our biggest problem right now, but as soon as we settled down we started playing well."

On his confidence taking a hit when he was struggling a bit…
"Yeah. Everyone's telling you they're expecting you to make a lot of shots, so you kind of doubt yourself saying you should make more shots, but as soon as I got my rhythm back, confidence came with it."

On how he got his rhythm back…
"Just more and more shots, shooting with coaches a lot more."

On how big Saturday is against Arizona…
"We didn't want to overlook that game, but I mean, everyone's excited for this Arizona game, it's going to be pretty big. Heard there was a white out so it's going to be pretty intense. Coach told us to be focus and get ready to have fun."
Justin Holiday:
On being really aggressive and getting the fouls called on you…
"It's a fine line doing that if you are not smart. I wasn't smart—especially in the first two fouls. I was probably at the wrong angles, I was being aggressive, but when you aren't at the correct angles, you get fouls, and that is what happens. SO it's just about being smart, I can still be as aggressive as I was."

On executing in a zone…
"I mean of course its key. We had problems at the end of other games against a zone because we weren't executing the right way, doing the things we are supposed to. So when we are executing the correct way, you see what happened tonight—we get ball reversals, assists, going inside and outside, and then everything seems to flow better that way."
Venoy Overton:
On the last few games and being more comfortable out there…
"If you look over the years, you would probably notice that I always play better at the end of the year. I would say from the previous years, because I was out of shape in the beginning of the year, I'm just now getting fully healthy, it feels like."

On some early falls in the beginning of the year and adjusting…
"Yeah, definitely have been adjusted. I think it's just been bad calls, just calls that have been going against me because I just wasn't—my lateral quickness wasn't always there. And now I'm like—showing more speed, to get to the spot before the rest of them. My legs are back, and that is why I'm feeling better."

On taking care of business this game…
"It was very important. We talked about it before the game. We couldn't think ahead, we had to get through these guys first, and then we would take care of the next thing. We came out ready to play tonight."

On the atmosphere…
"Definitely. It's going to be—they've been waiting for this game. ESPN will be there. They're nationally ranked, we aren't, they have stuff to prove and we got something to prove."
Arizona State G Ty Abbott:
On the overall offense against Washington… "We really didn't prepare for a zone, playing them their a man to man team every night so that was not something we worked on much at all this week, but regardless we have seen the zone so we will take the fault for that one."

On personal play in tonight…
"We got kind of stagnant and I was kind of standing, trying to wait and watch the action, trying to figure out where to cut and thing like that because we were not very fluid with our game tonight. We just stood around and watched each other."


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