Washington Head Coach Lorenzo Romar
I knew when Santa Barbara contacted us and wanted to play that they would be a good team. They've been to the NCAA tournament two years in a row prior to this year. They have some great seniors on their team, and you could see the experience and maturity of the future NBA player Orlando Johnson and that team will probably be in the NCAA tournament. That first round game will be interesting. That's a very good basketball team and we want to give them a lot of credit. Give our guys a lot of credit too. I thought they grew up a lot in this game too. We faced some adversity—first half, you go down at half time. We had a 10-point lead and they came back and tied it up. We stuck with it. Tony Wroten had a monster game obviously. He scored, he rebounded … he was all over the place. His presence was felt. Abdul Gaddy broke out of his so-called slump tonight and played well defensively. But with guys like Desmond Simmons and Darnell Gant, those guys were unsung heroes tonight. Especially Desmond Simmons. Shawn Kemp Jr. didn't score a point except for his two free throws, but his presence was felt. Tony helped neutralize (Greg) Somogyi. He stepped up and played well and was much needed.
Does Abdul Gaddy have to continue to be assertive and does he defer to Tony Wrote?
I don't think he defers to anyone. We've seen him play times when he's aggressive and times when he isn't. He played with Isaiah last year and he definitely was aggressive. And last year before he got hurt he was aggressive. When you're playing basketball and your shots don't go down, that can definitely affect your aggressiveness. Players have to understand you can be aggressive without shooting the ball though.
On Tony Wroten's progression:
He's a great talent. There's not much he can't do out there on the floor. He scored 70 points in the summer league game.
On earning his 200th win:
It's a blessing that there's been longevity here. You don't get any amount of wins and have any success if you don't have a lot of people around you. From Ken Bone to Cameron Dollar to Paul Fortier, Jim Shaw, Raphael Chillious. The guys that we work with all the time. And Lance LaVettier. We've had eight pros play for us. And then Tre Simmons and Hakeem Rollins, guys that were really good that didn't play in the NBA. We had a lot of good people around us, and when you talk about 200 wins, that's the reason why. The confidence from our administration has been great. The Dawg Pack as well.
On Wroten "getting it": "I'll tell you. The first time I saw it was half time of the St. Louis game. That was the first time. I talked to Tony about this, it was the first time he just couldn't easily impose his will on the opposition. I think he took a step back and looked at that and began to make adjustments. Tony's been playing the way he has been playing his whole life, but slowly he has made adjustments in his games and that all came into play I thought full circle two days ago. The last two days in practice, I'm not talking about productivity, it looked like he was a junior in college the way he was handling himself in practice – leading, making the right decision, making good plays, really trying to get the other guys pumped up. You can see him going through this learning process. I think he's getting good grades in his class."
On Wroten not being thrilled about having to exit the game near the end: "He's just like Will Conroy. They never want to come out of the game. Will would come out of the game and sit right next to me. And then if I waited to long he would stand next to me and point out something that we need to be doing. After he pointed it out he would stay standing. I got you Will, I got you. He never wanted to come out and Tony's like that. He never wants to come out. That's not a problem, he did play 34 minutes."
On if Wroten and Gaddy will start from here on out: "I can't predict what's going to happen, I know they're both in there and both playing right now so we'll go from here."
On N'Dyiae: "Aziz is doing really well. I would think probably Wednesday he should be ready to go. We're hopeful of that at least, we'll see."
On the rating he would give himself: "I'm going to give it a 7 because I can't make free throws right now. Once I start making free throws it will come a lot easier because like you have seen at the end of the games I'm not able to be in at the end of the game. I feel like I played good, helped my teammates get the win, but I got to start making free throws."
On when he found out he was starting: "I kind of figured it first practice back. Purple is usually first 5 and I'm usually on gold, but he switched me off gold first practice so I kind of figured it. But couple days ago he told me I was starting."
On his thoughts about getting his name called in the intro: "Yeah I was actually expecting it to be louder, but it is what it is."
On if he was frustrated by not finishing the game: "I was frustrated at myself, not Coach Romar. He can't have me in if I can't make free throws. The other team would have won so I got to stay in the gym and work on my free throws."
On what the problem is with his free throws: "It's a mental thing. If I miss one it's stuck in my head. If I miss one I got to get it out of my head. My mechanics are there, I've been working on them. Got to keep getting reps and have a better mentality towards it."
On what has been the key to his stellar play of late: "I've just been more focused. I hate losing just like everybody else on my team. I hate losing and I've been going ten times harder and focused. There ain't no laughing or joking in practice. I'm saving that for after practice. I'm getting on my teammates, I'm becoming a leader. Coach told me I was the leader on the second group and now I got to transfer that over and be a leader on the starting 5 because even though I'm a freshman I'm very vocal so I got to become a leader. Just be more focused."
On Abdul Gaddy: "Abdul is a great player, great point guard, one of the best. He's very smart and doesn't turn the ball over. We were down a player in Aziz so he was being more aggressive. He knows that C.J., Terrence are the main scorers and I can score at times. In order for us to win he is going to have to score sometimes too like he was today. He was very aggressive."
On how tough UCSB was: "They were a good team. You think UC Santa Barbra and you wouldn't think they're that good, you don't hear their name everywhere. You kind of under estimate teams like that. They're a good team and we got a good win tonight."
On the ten-point lead vanishing late: "We just got to take care of the ball in crunch time and make sure we get things handled. But all in all we got the win, a win is a win."
On Greg Somogyi: "We just got to put a body on him. I felt like the certain lineup we had in we lost sight of where he was and it just happened that way where he was getting offensive rebounds. But other than that we did a good job of neutralizing him in the second half."
On where he's going for Christams: "I'm going to be home so I'm definitely going to be getting that meal – yams greens, stuffing."
On the game:
I just tried to come out and be really aggressive. I was trying to get to the foul line as much as possible – that's what we've been working on all week, just trying to get more people up to the foul line, like me, Terrence, and CJ. Tony gets to the free throw line a lot. I was trying to get to the foul line and just be really aggressive.
On the line-up:
[I like] any line-up that Coach puts out there. I mean, it's great playing with Tony because he's so aggressive that teams try to pack it in, so it leaves open for 3-pointers. I think it's a great line-up – we're fast and we could pick up full court. We could press and we could do a lot of things out on the court.
On Tony's aggressiveness:
In a lot of ways [Tony's aggressiveness makes me more aggressive] because his personality is always aggressive and that's how he has to play. If he doesn't be aggressive, then he's not good. So if he's aggressive, then he's a great player and he has to stay aggressive. I tell him all the time on the court ‘If you see something, then just go. Just keep being aggressive all the time.'
On Aziz's absence:
It was hard because he's our enforcer. On the first half, they [UCSB] killed us on the rebounds and we really missed him. Especially physically in the first half when they really tried to beat us up. At half-time, we really took it on our chests, like ‘We're going to be the more physical team. We weren't going to get Aziz back this game, and we knew that, so we were going to half to step up and everyone was going to have to get more physical and control the paint.
On Coach Romar's 200th win:
It's a great accomplishment. I'm just glad to be a part of it. Coach Romar's a great coach.
On his second half job he did with Orlando:
[Coach told us] we needed to step up, step up and take charge and told me to guard Orlando, so I just took that and accepted the challenge. I guarded him and slowed him down. I'm just happy that I slowed him down.
UC Santa Barbara Head Coach Bob Williams
Overall thoughts? Was coming back from a 10 point deficit a highlight? - "Physically I thought we played pretty well, it was the mental part that I wasn't too pleased with. We weren't very sharp mentally, and we just didn't do the things we needed to do to win the game. I thought we did a horrible job blocking out. I think it was a tie game and they took a four shot possession and we don't get a block out. They [Washington] get a long rebound and then another rebound followed by a three point play. It's those types of things that you can't do and win the game."
Do you think Orlando Johnson's turnovers caused by him trying to do too much? - "He is just too loose with the ball. He had the ball up above his waist at times. He's just being too loose with the ball and that is something that he needs to work on. We need him to simmer down and protect the ball more when he has it."
Ability of Washington to get points in the paint in the second half - "They just kept getting to the rim. We couldn't stop the drive in the second half. They probably had three or four post entries this game, but their paint game is off of the dribble. We didn't do a good job of stopping them there, and we didn't do a good job keeping them out of the paint on offensive rebounds."
What was said in the timeout right before UCSB made their 10-point comeback? - "Well the thing we actually talked about in the timeout right before we made the comeback was that there really isn't any pain with being down 10 points. We came back from being down 10 against UNLV in less than two minutes, and we have the ability if we get some stops to put some points on the board rather quickly. We have got enough guys who can shoot the ball well enough that we can put points in a hurry."
What did you tell the guys after the game? - "To keep their head up. Again, I think that physically we are playing pretty well, but the mental part is what I am not really pleased with. We don't seem to be on the same page. The little things like boxing out and taking care of the ball are things that are in our control, and we need to get better at them."