Coach and Player Quotes - WSU

PULLMAN - Lorenzo Romar, C.J. Wilcox, Abdul Gaddy, Tony Wroten, Darnell Gant, Terrence Ross, Ken Bone, Marcus Capers, and Abe Lodwick spoke Saturday night after Washington's come-from-behind 59-55 win at Beasley Coliseum to move one-half game ahead of California in the chase for the Pac-12 regular-season crown.

Washington Head Coach Lorenzo Romar:
Opening Comment - "Well, that was a heck of a college basketball game. We knew that coming in here we were going to play against a team that's difficult to guard and difficult to match up with them. We knew it was just going to be a rough game, as rough as any game in the regular season.

"But our guys really, really stepped up under some adverse circumstances; on the road, for starters. Losing the momentum; Washington State had all the momentum going for them. And thirdly, two starters - Terrence Ross and Aziz N'diaye in foul trouble for a good portion of the game - our guys somehow stuck with it and found a way to win despite shooting 35 percent from the field.

"We did a good job making our free throws and they weren't as fortunate; probably was the difference in the game, but it wouldn't have mattered when they were up 13 if we would have rolled over. Earlier in the year that game turns into 20 instead of us coming back and winning."

On Abdul Gaddy during that comeback stretch - "In the second half, Abdul did a tremendous job of running the team, being aggressive, taking it when it was there, passing the ball off - he did a very good job."

On the difference between this one and other road losses - "I just think we are a lot more mature now. Saint Louis, Colorado - those road games, even Nevada when we were up five with 20 seconds to go - we're just more mature."

On how that maturity manifested itself in the second half - "We didn't try and force things. We didn't try and get it all back at once. We guarded. We got stops. We maintained our aggressiveness."

On Darnell Gant getting closer to making history - "Great leadership. Darnell has been in almost every situation imaginable in his career, and he's able to impart a lot of wisdom to his teammates throughout the game. You can just hear the things he's saying are winning, impactful comments."

On if he's going to make history - "I don't know. We have to see. We have a big weekend next weekend."

On Gant starting the game on WSU's Brock Motum - "In the past, we've put Darnell on Roeland Schaftenaar from Oregon State and we put him on James Harden, and he's come through for us. We felt like Brock Motum was playing as well as any individual in this league right now. He was in a zone, and we felt like Darnell could do a pretty good job on him. Brock's been averaging 24 a game for the last seven games and he had 17 tonight and four turnovers. I thought Darnell fought him tooth and nail the entire time."

On C.J. Wilcox's first half - "I really lost sight of that. In the first half we just couldn't score and C.J. got us going. C.J. kept us in that game in the first half. If it weren't for C.J. we would not have gone into the locker room with the score tied."

On winning a road game with a couple major scoring droughts - "I think it's a testament to our guys' resiliency…just keep defending, just keep working to get stops.

"They killed us on the boards in the first half; I thought we rebounded better in the second half. We knuckled down. It's something we've always talked about it from day one; you've heard me mention it before…what are we going to do when we are on the road and we can't put the ball in the hole? What are we going to do? This is why we are working on our defense, so that when that occurs, we can give ourselves a chance to somehow win a game."

On a turning point - "I don't know. I thought we were able to get a couple easy baskets and that cleared our minds a little bit. But if you want to talk about turning points, I'd have to say that stretch where a technical foul was called and a it felt like a whole host of free throws were being shot and they didn't make a lot of them…their inability to make a lot of free throws during that period allowed us to get back in the game."

On Patrick Simon coming in the game to shoot the last shot and UW's scout - "He's a shooter. I was just thinking that they if they have a three they are going to take one. They ran a set that we had scouted; we had seen it. Once Reggie (Moore) took the ball and spun back, it was like oh-oh…I know what that is. And it came off.

On defense for WSU's last set - "We were saying, 'Don't give up the three. Whatever you do, don't give up a three."

On giving Simon an open look to lock down Motum - "We didn't want them to win the game. Go overtime, but don't let them win the game with a three."

On Simon taking that shot being a surprise - "No one knows their team more than that head coach. No one knows their personnel more than their head coach. We faced the same thing against Cal and we were questioned because Darnell was 0-8 at the time and missed. We went to him. No one knows their personnel more than their head coach. He was trying to win, and he felt that was their be opportunity to do it. He didn't think we would probably guard him, and he got a pretty good look. You can't question what he decides to do."

On the game feeling like a playoff atmosphere - "Three of the last games have been like playoff games. When we were in Arizona, that was like a playoff game. We've been talking about this. It's like a pre-tournament situation."

On making a lot of FT's down the stretch - "Very gratifying. You have to get stops, take care of the ball and make free throws, especially on the road down the stretch, and that's pretty much what we did."

On having Isaiah Thomas at the game - "It's great We played at Syracuse in the Sweet 16 a couple years ago and Nate Robinson, Spencer Hawes, Jon Brockman find a way to get there. All-Star break and Isaiah could be anywhere - but he comes to see his former team. It means a lot. It's special to see that."

On hearing Thomas during the game - "One time I thought he was on the bench."
C.J. Wilcox:
On the threes in the first half - "I just got a couple of open looks and I was able to knock them down and give our team a little push for the half."

On WSU's zone, going from 2-3 to 3-2 - "We worked on it in practice. I don't know what happened. We knew what to do. There were a couple shots were weren't knocking down - they were wide open. For the most part we knew what we were doing."

On still getting open despite WSU calling a time out - "I'm always surprised when I end up wide open for shots like that, but my teammates were looking for me, so that always helps."

On how the team kept their composure - "For me personally, it felt like we were down 40. When I looked at the scoreboard we were down 11 with 15 minutes to go. We remained calm; we knew we could come back if we got stops, and that's what we were able to do."

On why it felt like they were down 40 - "Just the crowd and they were getting dunks and and-one fouls, and out there it just seems like the score is a lot different than it really is."

On winning a game on the road with Ross and Aziz not doing much - "We've got a lot of weapons, so it can happen. It just did. We have a lot of people that know what they are doing, a lot of experience…so we were able to get that done."

On his vantage point on WSU's last set - "Just to switch everything…when you don't play the whole game, that's a tough thing to do (take the last shot). I've had to do that before (in Maui). They felt like he could hit the shot."

On how big a win this is - "Really important. Every game is like a championship game. If we lose, we feel like we'll be out of the race, so we have to win the rest of our games."

On Darnell being determined to make history - "He wants to get back to the (NCAA) tournament for the fourth time, so he's always harping on us and getting in our ear about making sure we're playing right. Just motivation…we're not going to lose this game. He kept saying 'Championship Game', because he knows we can get there if we're playing right. So he's always motivating us."

On WSU missing free throws as motivation - "It definitely helps when the other team isn't making free throws, especially down the stretch - and luckily we were able to knock ours down."

On ever seeing that before (so many missed free throws by the other team) - "No, not in person."
Abdul Gaddy:
On the comeback and getting more aggressive - "I just wanted to be aggressive and make plays. When we were down 13 we knew we had a chance to come back. They were missing free throws, and we had an opportunity. We had to take advantage. I wanted to be aggressive and make plays - whether that was scoring or making plays for my teammates."

On the high screen and getting to the basket - "We knew that they were going to try and switch, but it wasn't an aggressive switch - so we knew that if I could come off I could make a play, whether it was scoring or making a play for my teammates - so I tried to be aggressive."

On the last play for WSU - "We didn't know what was going to happen; we just knew we were going to switch everything. Once they put him in the game we knew he was a shooter. Once he shot it we just made sure we rebounded it if he missed."

On being surprised that Simon was the shooter - "We didn't know what was going to happen, but we've played against him before and he's knocked down big shots. We just wanted to make sure we switched everything, challenged the ball and get the rebound."

On the key between this game and the big road losses - "We kept our composure. They made a run and the crowd went crazy. We came in as a huddle and we said we were fine. We're okay. They stretched the lead a little bit, but we came together a team and found a way to somehow win it. It's championship time, and we have to somehow win this game."

On it being easier when they are missing so many free throws - "Yeah. We knew it. We had all these opportunities, so we had to capitalize on 'em. We buckled down and got stops at the end and made plays."

On trying to call time out - "I called time out and then Reggie (Moore) hit it out. It happened. We had to bounce back from it. When we came to the huddle, we were fine. That was the only thing we could do."

On if that's happened before? - "No. I called time out."

On going from zone to man-to-man defensively - "We just wanted to switch defenses to keep them on their toes. It takes time off the clock. When players see that they have to call different sets, and that takes at least five more seconds off the clock."
Tony Wroten:
On the atmosphere - "It was crazy. It was a loud, loud, loud packed house. That was one of the craziest students section that I've seen; they go all the way to the top. Three-fourths of the whole environment was student's section, and it just felt great to get a win."

On the second-half charge - "We stayed together as a team. Our captain Darnell, he was down for our team. He never gave up on us. He kept battling and rallying the troops and we all stayed together."

On this being Championship Time - "It's about that time. Two games left. Every game is championship time. All this credit goes to the coaching staff and my teammates. They are the greatest."
Darnell Gant:
On pushing his guys through all game long - "I'm trying. I never give up on my teammates. I knew there was still a chance to come back and win the game. The other team was walking around and smiling, and there was 11 minutes left. I knew. They were smiling and laughing like the game was won already, but they haven't got our punch. When we threw our punch, we kept going. We started getting stops on defense and they didn't know how to handle it. Then it turned into a win."

On physically pushing back tonight, especially in the second half - "We had to definitely push back. Coach made an emphasis of telling us at halftime that they were being more physical than us. They got us on the boards - I feel like they must have been working on that all week because we did the same thing to them on the boards when they were at our house. I know they did tons of rebounding drills and their coach was speaking about being physical the whole week. That's no excuse for us; we needed to be more physical than them. We needed to box out. We weren't boxing out and they were killing us on the boards, but in the second half we turned it around a little bit."

On grinding down Brock Motum all game long - "I tried to make him work for all his shots. He got that open three early; he got 10 points early, but most of the time it was due to a lack of us boxing out. Like I said, we got killed on the boards. But he didn't get any of his usual; face-up, get to the basket, and-ones, getting threes off and not being contested. I tried to make him work for all of it."

On having two major droughts and not getting much from Ross and Aziz Saturday night - "We went 16 minutes without a field goal? Dang. Around the 11-minute mark, it just came down to getting stops. Who wanted it more? They were playing for pride; we were playing for a championship. I felt like just getting the guys together and making sure they knew what's really on the line. I tried to get in Tony's ear, and I tried to get into Gaddy's ear.

"(Abdul) made that turnover - I don't remember how much time was left - and they got that layup, and he came to the bench with head down and he thought I was going to get on him about the turnover. I told him I didn't care about the turnover. Me and you need to get these guys together and we need to make sure we do everything right, get stops on defense and don't turn the ball over anymore.

"We started taking care of the ball, we started getting stops on defense, and we came up with the win."

On making FT's down the stretch - "We work on free throws all the time. They are easy, because they are free. We missed some early, but when they counted, we made 'em."

On the mantra going into this next week - "Focus. Focus."
Terrence Ross:
On how the team kept their composure - "I felt like we were down 40, but when I looked at the scoreboard we were only down by 11. We just kept calm and knew we could come back if we got some stops."

On winning the game despite only scoring two points - "We have a lot of weapons and we have a lot of people who know what they are doing and have experience. We were just able to get that done."
Washington State Head Coach Ken Bone:
On free throws - "We got to the line, which was critical especially with a team that shoots a very good percentage. I think we are one of the top two teams in the league percentage wise but we just didn't put them down. We made free throws in the first half. They made free throws in the second half and we didn't."

  On the overall game - "It was a game in where we thought we could compete and work hard…and we did. We played extremely hard but there is certainly disappointment in our locker room right now, no doubt about it.

  "I think we have shown we can compete with anyone. When the guys step on the floor they play hard and they play together. I feel like almost every single game they have left it on the court. That's what I'm most proud of and I know the staff is. Sometimes you just don't shoot the ball well and tonight was one of those nights."

On the design of the last play - "Going to (Patrick) Simon was one of the options, if he was wide open we told him to shoot it. He had a good look, the other day at practice he made 8-of-10. He is a great shooter, unfortunately for him, you know kind of like Brock (Motum) last year, he just hasn't had a chance to play that many minutes. But we know what he is capable of, we see him every day and he is a prolific shooter."
Senior Guard Marcus Capers:
On Washington's run at the end - "I was expecting it. I mean us being here, we were a lot more confident than at UW. In a situation like that on our home court, that's pretty much what you want because you're still confident for the most part. It just didn't happen the way we wanted to."

  On if poor free throw shooting was contagious - "I don't think it was that. I think people were just thinking a little too much. The three I missed, they felt good coming off my hand. Even with that we were just talking to each about getting stops. I felt like when we were missing free throws, our defense stepped up a lot more."
Senior Forward Abe Lodwick:
On the how the loss affects the team's confidence - "This game, it's not a death sentence for us. We understand where we are in the Pac-12 we also understand that we have two games left in conference and we want to finish off strong and we want to do whatever we can do to make a lot of noise at this conference tournament. We still are a confident team, we're a team that is playing teams tough, well enough to win. So it's one of those things, if things go right here or there, free throws, stuff like that.... We're a tough ball club and I know we're a team that scares a lot of people, so I wouldn't want to play us in the Pac-12 Tournament."


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