Players talk Pac-12 title, Senior Day

SEATTLE - Darnell Gant, Tony Wroten, C.J. Wilcox and Desmond Simmons all spoke to the media Tuesday as the Washington Huskies prepare to take on Arizona State and Arizona during their final home-stand of the season. Saturday will be Senior Day for Gant and Brendan Sherrer, so we got down to the most important question of the day...

Darnell Gant:
On if he plans to cry: That's not something I plan to do.

On if he will cry: I feel like I'll get emotional, I don't know exactly what'll happen. I can't say.

On if he has gotten on the seniors in the past for crying: Quincy was the worst. I knew he was going to do that because he basically cried before every game. He started to fake cry every now and then, so I knew he was going to cry. I knew Justin wasn't going to cry, I knew Matt wasn't going to cry.

On his last two games at home: It's hard because I've been through a lot here and it's real emotional to me. My family is going to be out here and I got my support system. It's a crazy time, something to try and adjust to for the week. I feel like it's all in good spirits.

On running as a freshman: In high school I used to beat out the guards in running. I was the fastest big guy. When I got here and he (Romar) was talking about all this running I was like ‘I can run for days, ' but I was wrong. We did some drills in the East gym and by the end I was begging for my asthma pump.

On how he has changed over his five years: Back then I was more conservative where people didn't know about me. They thought they knew me and had an idea of who I was, but I felt like through this time they finally got a feeling of who I am and who I represent and I'm just a different guy – a different character from when I came here. Back then I was irresponsible, a knucklehead, but now I'm more mature and I see life in a different perspective now. That's a lot of thanks to Romar and the coaching staff and thanks to my teammates and the guys who have been through it with me.

On Wolfinger, Wallace and Brockman beating him up during his first practice: That's when I knew I was going to redshirt. I wasn't physically ready for what we were about to go against. That's when the Pac-10 was the best conference in the nation. There was a lot asked of myself and with these guys beating me up in practice I knew it wasn't going to happen in the games. That just helped me who I am today – helped me be stronger and mentally stronger.

On being potentially the first player at UW to go to a NCAA tournament every year of eligibility: That's a big thing for me. I feel like I've always wanted to leave college being in the history books some kind of way. If this is my opportunity then I'm going to try and take full advantage of it.

On his overall journey: I feel like the struggle was the best part for me. The time where I wasn't playing much, the time where I had to look back and watch everybody pass me up. I feel like that was the most memorable time because it humbled me and it made me want to work harder and be a better player and try and get my mind right and be prepared for these next two years and I feel like these last two years I'm for the most part proud of myself and proud of the state of mind I'm in. I came in thinking one way and now thinking in a whole different light, I'm just thankful to God I'm in the situation I'm in.

On if his career went as he wanted it to: Yes and no. I feel like individually I wish I did more, but at the same time with the winning, when you win, you're remembered. You can go to other schools and everybody remembers that one score, but their team never did anything. The years I've been here, my team has won and I'll forever be remembered because we won. I feel like I've accomplished a lot.

On what his thoughts were on the NBA: I came in here thinking NBA in two years if that. I still have confidence that I can make it to the NBA, but it's just a whole different mindset now than back then. I'm going to use college as a little keystone to get me there. It (college) has done a lot more for me than what I thought it would.

On if he will pursue the NBA: I plan on pursuing the NBA and if that doesn't work than any other way I can be paid for basketball I'll take on those by any means. I hope this is not my last year of playing basketball period. I want to continue to play.

On his degree: I have a degree in performing arts last June. I walked already and I did everything I wasn't supposed to do, coming out of Crenshaw.

On the college aspect having a huge impact on him: It has. I met a lot of people who will be there for the rest of my life. I've come into a program where I've learned a lot of things in terms of becoming a man and being a wiser person. I just learned a lot.

On the games over his career with the Arizona schools: I remember the last two years, those were the most memorable – Arizona/Arizona State. And then back in my freshman year when I had to guard James (Harden). I feel like that was a memorable moment. I wish it was UCLA to end my senior night, but Arizona's fine, they're a good team, and they're really going to test us that night. I hope I'm ready to go, I hope everybody is ready to go because there's a lot on the line.
Tony Wroten:
On how critical the last few games are: Real critical because we're tied for first with Cal and we can't afford no more losses if you want to win the regular season Pac-12 championship. It won't be easy because we got a good Arizona State team and a great Arizona team so Got to get after it in practice.

On if they take anything away from the Oregon trip: Just got to take advantage of everything. We played Oregon lightly like we were going to win. Whenever we go on the road we got to play like it's our last game.

On not being themselves against the Ducks: We were on a five game winning streak, we were playing team-ball, playing defense, following the scout and that game we just kind of lost it. You can tell by the result we definitely weren't ourselves.

On rebounding his own shot for putbacks: I just have a feel for the ball, feel for where the ball is going to be, where it's coming off at. I've been fortunate enough where if I miss it I can get my rebound back and put it back. Just getting lucky pretty much.

On if he has given thought that these games might be his last at home: No not really. Me and Terrence talk about how the NBA is a great place and stuff like that, but I never really think about my next decision. Right now I'm thinking about college basketball and helping my team win and hopefully get a national championship.

On if he remembers any Arizona vs UW games as a recruit: I do. I was real young, like in middle school and Marcus Williams was here from Roosevelt and he went to Arizona. Just seeing these guys play and win – Salim Stoudemire just excitement, it was one of my first games. That was a big factor in why I came here.

On potentially winning Pac-12 Freshman of the Year: It would be great. A great accomplishment if I'm blessed enough to get that goal. It's not better than regular season champions or Pac-12 champions, but don't get me wrong if I do get that it'll be a great accomplishment.
C.J. Wilcox:
On winning games at home: We definitely can't lose at home especially how close this conference is. We have to take care of these ones and hopefully get it done on the road.

On getting open late in games when the opposing team is trying to foul: It's tough even though coach draws up plays they still face guard me and make it hard for me to get the ball. We have Terrence and Abdul that can shoot them so that helps.

On playing with Gant for three years: To me he's always been the grandfather of the team. He knows everything, knows the ropes, knows what we're doing in practice before we even practice. He's good to give advice and makes the team better as a whole.

On cheering for Sherrer when he's in: He asked Coach if it would have been okay for him to take a three and Coach said yes so I think he's going to do something big.

On if he can imagine Sherrer's situation: Not at all, but Brendan is special and he knows it's a crazy opportunity that he got and he's taken full advantage of it.
Desmond Simmons:
On starting vs coming off bench: I feel either way it doesn't matter to me. Coming off the bench or starting I feel like I come out with the same energy.

On his clinching free throws vs OSU: I just stepped up there very calm. In my head I was thinking everybody thinks I'm probably rattled right now, but I was very calm. I was more nervous when I shot my free throws in the Arizona game than in the Oregon State game.

On what Gaddy said to him before the free throws: He said whatever you're thinking right now, just let it go. I told him ‘I'm good, I'm good.' I was fine.

On if Gant will cry on senior day: He's definitely going to cry. When he sees other people crying it's going to make him cry.

On moving past the Oregon game: I don't think it was hard because we took a lot from that loss and we immediately got focused on Sunday and knew what we had to do.

On the Oregon loss: It was a road loss and we never stepped up on the defensive end and that really hurt us. From the tip we started off slow and we were playing catch-up the whole game.

On what Gaddy does for the team: He just became a lot more poised on the court. He's very poised and he's very patient. He's not trying to get the home run every time and he's very patient with the offense. He lets things come to him. That neutralizes us on the court. Him being a junior, he's seen it, and he knows what needs to be done. Top Stories