Notes and Quotes

Here are the notes and quotes from the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California from this afternoon's game.

Stark-raving: Washington held Oregon State sophomore guard Ahmad Starks to three points in the second half after scoring a team-high 11 points in the first half. Starks went 1-for-6 from the field in the second half.

One and done?:UW freshman guard Tony Wroten set a new career high of 29 points to exceed his previous best of 27, which came Dec. 16 against UC Santa Barbara. He also set a Washington record for a freshman scoring performance, breaking his own record of 27 points.

Brick….house: The two teams missed a combined seven free throws down the stretch until Cunningham drained two with 6.2 seconds left. The teams went a combined 29-of-58 (.500) from the foul line for the game.

COACH ROMAR, Abdul Gaddy, Darnell Gant

COACH ROMAR: Got to give Oregon State a lot of credit. They came out, kind of both teams were feeling each other out early on, and Oregon State kind of took charge a little bit and did what they needed to do to go up at halftime with a double digit lead. You've got to give them a lot of credit. Our guys fought back hard in the second half. Did a great job of playing good basketball in the second half, but it wasn't enough. We dug ourselves in a hole, and we weren't able to finish. Give them a lot of credit.

Q. Coach, how concerned are you with the seeding into the NCAA Tournament with today's loss?

COACH ROMAR: Well, I'm not in there in the committee. I know we haven't won as many games as we should have in non conference as a league. I would think the Pac 12 champion would be able to find a place in the NCAA Tournament. We certainly didn't help ourselves today, but I would think we'd be able to find ourselves in there. But I am not on the committee. The committee, they're meeting, and we're kind of at the mercy of their decision.

Q. You got down by 15, went up by 8 with 8:00 to go. Can you talk to us about the mindset and the strategy in the final 8:00 minutes when they did make a come back?

COACH ROMAR: I was trying to think of something positive (smiling). We were going back and forth from man to zone. Our inability to box them out after we would get misses really hurt us. We were getting good shots at the basket. We were making our share. Either team was able to convert free throws down the stretch, I think. We started before they did, not knocking them down, and that broke up our momentum a little bit, and gave them a little bit of hope, I thought.

Q. How do you guys practice that (missing free throws) and what is the general plan there?

COACH ROMAR: We were trying to make the first, obviously, and missed the second one. Our guys knew what to do. They were stunning in there. And in Terrence's zeal to get it to come off, he shot a little too hard there.

Q. What did you guys talk about at halftime? Obviously the first half you looked sluggish defensively, and what did you want to do coming out in the second half?

ABDUL GADDY: We just wanted to pick up our energy. We started off slow, sluggish. Nobody was talking on defense. Just little things like that. So we had to pick up our energy and be more physical. Once they started to feel us, especially on the rebounding and defensive end, we started to gain ground and eventually get the lead.

Q. Tony looked pretty upset leaving the court. What did you have to say to Tony?

COACH ROMAR: We haven't said anything right now. You mean after the game?

Q. Uh huh.

COACH ROMAR: No, we haven't had a chance to talk. We address the team as a team, then we came straight here.
,br> Q. The bright side of being bounced out early is you get at least a week to rest. With that moment of rest and focus will it help you in the tournament in the long run?

COACH ROMAR: If I knew for sure we were in the tournament, I could tell you that, but I think I might rather not have the rest and be playing tomorrow.
,br> Q. I'm wondering how much did Aziz, picking up that fourth foul early in the second, how much did that mess up your plan or did it affect your plan at all?

COACH ROMAR: Aziz was on the all-defensive team. He's huge for us defensively. He had to sit out, but he also, I thought, made a bucket down there down the stretch. He just seemed to have really come to life. He really helps us in the zone down there around the middle. Our guys scrap, but they got some baskets around the rim really close, lot of times Aziz takes care of all that. Couple of offensive boards they have. Usually when Aziz is in there, he handles all that. It took something away from our team when he wasn't able to be in there.

Q. How much of that slow start you guys had you think contributed to the fact that they played yesterday while you guys kind of had the day off?

COACH ROMAR: I would say maybe that's it, but they had a slow start too. In the beginning of that game, either team was playing stellar basketball. From our vantage point, we took it as it was 8 7, I believe after the first or second TV timeout, I can't remember. But we had opportunities in the beginning to jump on them, I thought. We didn't do it, so they took advantage of our lack luster play early on. So if that was the case and they came out hitting everything, I'd say maybe that was because they had a game yesterday, but I didn't see that happening with them. And I didn't see us playing tight. We didn't have the jitters, you know. If anything, we were playing too lax.

Q. Darnell, you're from Crenshaw High School, local guy. Did you feel any added sort of in your backyard?

DARNELL GANT: No, I felt like I've been in this situation before, and it was nothing new to me. I just wanted to come in with the same mindset as we came in with the past two years and just try to help get our guys ready for this type of atmosphere and this type of feeling. But we came out on the short end of the stick.

Q. Lorenzo, what is your message to the team now as you look forward to next week?

COACH ROMAR: We talked about just how important the little things are. That was the difference in the game. I didn't think we executed the little things. If we have an opportunity to play again, it's something we've got to make sure that we focus on. Right now we're just kind of playing the waiting game to see what's going to happen. I do believe we will be playing in the postseason somewhere, just not sure where and what tournament it's going to be.

Q. In terms of Tony down the stretch, I know you guys continued to go to him. How good has he been in those moments throughout the season?

COACH ROMAR: He's been really good. There are times he's been exceptional. I thought tonight he was really aggressive getting to the basket. He got fouled a lot. When he's playing in that type of rhythm, finding those holes in the defense, he can be pretty effective, and he was today.

Q. Darnell or Abdul, what, if anything, did you say to Tony after his performance today?

DARNELL GANT: We tried to let him know that we still had a chance to win the game after he missed those free throws. After the first two misses he was really down on himself, and I tried to encourage him instead. Because right after that, Jared Cunningham missed two free throws. Then he got another opportunity, but even though he didn't seize that moment, I tried to stay encouraging towards him and let him know we still have a chance to win this game.

Dawgman.com Top Stories