Notes & Quotes - Oregon

LOS ANGELES - Here are notes from Washington's 69-51 win over Oregon in the semifinals of the Pac-10 Men's Basketball Tournament Friday night at the Staples Center, as well as quotes from Lorenzo Romar, Dana Altman, Isaiah Thomas, Terrence Ross, Darnell Gant, and Joevan Catron.

Notes:
-With 12 assists tonight, Isaiah Thomas moved into fourth place on Washington's career assists list, passing teammate Venoy Overton. Thomas had 393 in his career.

-Thomas recorded his fifth double-double of the season, with 10 points and 12 assists.

-Thomas tied the single-game Pac-10 Tournament record with his 12 assists.

-Thomas has notched 10 or more assists in back-to-back games for the second time this seaon, and is only the third Husky to do so.

-Washington advances to the Championship game for the second year in a row as a No. 3 seed.

-Washington is 2-2 all-time in the Championship game of the Pac-10 Tournament.


Quotes:
Lorenzo Romar:
His opening remarks:
"Very pleased with our guys' effort.  Second game in a row that we had a team contribution and that's something that can make you really excited as coaches – when everyone chips in and does a great job for you.  Oregon is a scrappy team, they beat us at their place.  They're a team that, if you make many mistakes, they're going to make you pay for them.  But our guys did a pretty good job of taking care of the ball.  I thought we took good shots, I thought we played really hard.  I thought Isaiah came out again and played 78, 79 minutes in two games.  He was going as if he hadn't played any minutes, as if he was fresh.  [He had] 12 assists, I think it was another double-double.  He's doing a great job of leading this team.  Our freshmen came out and didn't play like freshmen.  They played like they were upper classmen and hit big shots, they did a lot of good things for us.  I can go on and on.  Darnell Gant: 10 rebounds, hit big shots for us early and played a very, very good game.  Great team effort by our guys."

On the defensive effort tonight:
"I thought the zone helped us.  Aziz N'Diaye, when we're playing in the zone, is really good for us and kind of helps the zone go because he's so big in there that if you get through our first line he does a good job of just being big and not allowing you to get easy looks.  I thought, maybe, that didn't allow them to get going.  I thought we did a pretty good job defensively all in all."

On looking forward to deciding the UA/Washington rivalry for this year:
"We have a lot of respect for Arizona – their program, what they did this year.  They had a phenomenal year.  They won a lot of games and played together and we know we have a tough opponent that we're going to be facing tomorrow."

On how the smaller lineup has helped the last two games:
"It's a quicker group.  It's more because of matchups, that's why we've gone with it.  If we'd have played UCLA, the lineup might have been different, we might have gone bigger.  We talked to our team about, at this point in the postseason, we might not have the same lineup every game depending on what matchups present.  But the smaller lineup gives us a lot of versatility.  If we're out of position we can switch and we don't lose anything because all of those guys are pretty much like-size."

On depth being a factor tomorrow against Arizona:
"I think that we have quality depth, I think that they have quality depth so it may offset each other.  I think we've been fortunate, nobody played over 30 minutes in our first game, except Isaiah, and we didn't have anyone play over 30 minutes again, except Isaiah.  We've been able to keep our guys' legs relatively fresh given the fact we're going to go into this third game so I think that both teams have depth.


Dana Altman
General Comments:
"It's disappointing. We didn't make the same plays we made in the last two games, and our movement on offense wasn't as smooth. We had chances, but we didn't make the key shots needed. We didn't take threes like we usually did, and we've been dependent on that for the last couple games. We just didn't hit them.

"We played hard, but lacked focus, and made a few defensive mistakes. We didn't do what we needed to do to be successful, like we had been doing. Washington is an extremely athletic team, and their length really is a big plus. It's going to be quite a game against Arizona tomorrow.

"We have showed great resolve all season. We've been able to bounce back from some unfortunate losing streaks. It would have been easy to come in here and lose in the first game, but we didn't. Our seniors did not allow that to happen. The team could have given up many times, but we didn't."


Isaiah Thomas
On whether Oregon looked tired today:
"A little bit in the first half, but in the second half they had a lot of energy.  They pressed us, they made us commit a couple of turnovers, they played and they fought hard until the end.  It didn't seem like it was their third game in four nights because they kept playing hard throughout the whole 40 minutes."

On looking forward to deciding the UA/Washington rivalry for this year:
"Definitely.  They got us the last time and we want some revenge.  They're a great team and we'll be ready for them so it's going to be a fun game tomorrow."

On priding himself on having a lot of assists:
"Especially when you're not shooting it well, your offense isn't going well, you have to look to do other things.  My teammates stepped up.  I found them and they were knocking shots when we really needed it.  It just goes all out to my teammates, without them I can't get any assists."

On it feeling like everyone's open when he's dishing out assists like he has been the last two games:
"To me if feels the same exact way [as when you're hot shooting].  When you're hitting some shots it feels like every shot's going to go in, when you're getting assists it feels like every pass is open.  My guys do a good job of just getting open and just knocking down shots and finishing at the rim."


Terrence Ross
On playing at Staples Center:
"It's unbelievable.  A lot of great people have played here.  Lebron, Kobe.  You have people putting on a show every night like Blake [Griffin], so I'm happy I could come out here and do a little bit with it."

On all the talk after not getting off the bench in the USC game:
"I was disappointed.  I wasn't really too worried about it the day after.  I mean, gotta put it behind us and keep moving, but I wasn't really too disappointed about it."

On being motivated by that:
"Yeah, I definitely worked harder to get the coaches to believe in me more."

On the mentality that allows him to shoot like he does:
"You have to be confident.  You have to work on your shot.  Even when you're in a slump, you have to keep shooting, don't change your shot and just hope it goes in."

On what he thinks when he's coming at the hoop with no one in between him and the rim:
"I honestly don't know, it happens so fast.  I know how to do it [dunk] and all that stuff but it happens so fast, even for me it's like a blink.  When I do it I try and think back at what happened.  It's like a blur."

On the difference between his perceptions and the reality of playing in the Pac-10 Tournament:
"I actually thought it wouldn't be this big – as big as the gym was and everything.  It's a lot bigger, bright lights, everybody's playing harder than they were in the regular season.  You just have to be ready to come and show up."

On how big Darnell Gant was tonight:
"Ten rebounds…he was a beast.  He was probably the most physical guy on our team tonight.  People weren't taking the ball from him.  Half of the time when he jumped, kind of everybody was like, ‘he's going to get the rebound' and we'd just either set it up or get back on defense, but either way he played big tonight."

On bringing the ball up because they were pressuring Isaiah Thomas:
"Early in the game, me and Darnell and CJ noticed that they were denying Isaiah so we had to drive the ball ourselves and penetrate."


Darnell Gant
On Arizona:
"Try to limit Derrick Williams as best we can and make sure other players don't have career nights against us."

On watching UA the last couple of nights:
"They've been playing real good, real confident.  They're a tough team.  They're great, a high caliber team and we've got to be ready."

On what it's going to take to beat them:
"Defense.  Defense and limiting Derrick Williams."

On it being contagious when Terrance Ross and CJ Wilcox are making shots:
"It's real contagious.  When you're making shots, it's contagious for everybody."


Joevan Catron:
General Comments:
"We just didn't make plays down the stretch. The zone got us stagnant, but we came out fresh in the second half. Really, they all hurt us. Isaiah Thomas is tough to defend, and is a great shooter.

"I would love to keep going. We just didn't take the shots we needed to take, and we couldn't control the tempo. Washington was able to speed it up, and made key shots in transition. They are deadly when they get hot.

"People didn't expect us to do well at all, but we finished a lot better, especially this weekend. I just told our guys to keep our heads up, and we did that."


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