Quotes - SLU

SEATTLE - Washington Head Coach Lorenzo Romar, Abdul Gaddy, C.J. Wilcox and Saint Louis Interim Head Coach Jim Crews talked Wednesday night after the Huskies defeated the Billikens 66-61 in front of an announced attendance of 6928. Here's what they had to say.

(Thank you to Andrew Dore for the transcriptions)

Head Coach Lorenzo Romar:
Opening comments: "It was good to see our guys out there competing tonight at a higher level than we had in our last game. I thought our guys did a lot of good things. St. Louis, the way they play is really tough to guard with those big guys that can shoot it so well and those guards that are quick coming off those ball screens, but all in all our guys did a good job."

On changing up offense in 2nd half: "In the offense, you compliment it with something. When you play certain teams they guard it a certain way, but they can't guard the other motion part. Our guys knew that and we went to that in the second half and it loosened everything up."

On confidence in high-post offense: "We're getting better at it. It just takes time, but we're getting better at it. Before we majored in the motion minored in the high post and we weren't as good in the high post. We didn't have to be really good in the motion [tonight] because it was a different look. It's like how some teams you play against you have to play more zone, but some teams you can't play zone. We're able to go back and forth based on how a team is defending us."

On St. Louis' defense: "They were really bodying us up, grabbing a lot and holding, just really chugging everything. It just kind of slowed us up. When we spread them out we didn't think that they could beat us off the dribble, and that proved to be true. Our guys got into the lane and made plays.

On C.J. Wilcox's offensive performance: "He's being really aggressive right now. When all our guys come back we don't want him to change the way he's playing. The only guy who's ever done that who has played here was Trey Simmons—he scored 21 points in 13 minutes I think. But aside from that, it was about as efficient as you can get."

On this being the winning formula with a shortened lineup: "I think those guys right now are showing they are the most capable until we get our other guys back, which is going to start happening here. It's something when you say that...let's take any team that has three guys: Lebron doesn't have his night what happens, Dwayne is off, then what happens, Carmelo Anthony is off, then what happens...it makes it a little more difficult unless you have a star-studded team. When you have such a short bench, you count on those guys to bring it every game. Watch games...some guy might say, "if they didn't have Shaq, they wouldn't score all those points". Well, they do have Shaq, and that's why they score and that's why they win. When one of those guys doesn't play well, it's tough because we don't have a lot of options with the injuries."

On how the role players played: "I thought Jernard Jarreau played good. He made some defensive mistakes, he was aggressive, took shots when he needed to. Hikeem Stewart came into the game and gave us quality minutes, he played good defense, he chased down an offensive rebound, made an extra pass to C.J...he just played smart basketball, that's what we need those guys to do."

On the sense of relief getting the win: "It was good to see, really good to see. We needed that one."

On Aziz showing he can be an offensive threat: "Well like I said, I've always said Aziz is not the guy you say, "Ok, we're going to Aziz, Aziz is going to take it home for us." But Aziz has improved his skills to a point where he is a functional scorer. He's not Tim Duncan yet but he's gotten to the point where he has improved to where, again I still think he's averaging a double-double. Tonight he was very aggressive going to the basket, he was very confident...again, sometimes it takes a little longer for big guys. Aziz is a senior and people improve, people get better. I remember Matthew Bryan-Amaning, I remember all of a sudden his senior year, he's scoring up a storm and it took him awhile though."

On the game time having any effect on the team: "I don't think so, for us. I don't think so."

On how important effort was in the win tonight: "The majority of it, guys stepping up. Aziz stepped up, C.J. stepped up, Abdul stepped up, that always helps."

On the technical foul: "The ball went backcourt, they called a backcourt call on us...I thought they deflected the ball backcourt. Then the next time, they had it and it went in the backcourt, I said, "Why don't you call that one?" I think I was waving my arms too much. I think I said it three times. So I'll be real careful this year, really careful this year."
Abdul Gaddy:
On C.J. having two games in a row of hot shooting: "It just opens up everything for everybody else. He's a knock down shooter, good face scorer. We're looking for him everytime down the floor. When teams key on him, it opens up things for me, Aziz, Andrews, Scott, especially when he gets going."

On the biggest difference from tonight and Saturday's game: "Just toughness and grit, we boxed out more, we just played more physical, that's always been a trademark of our team. We got after it the last couple practices and it showed today. We played a tough team, Saint Louis, who likes to grind out wins, and we played tough today."

On what allowed them to play more physical today: "Just being more focused...I mean not that we weren't focused in the other games, that was just our mentality coming into this game, is if you are tough, everything will take care of the rest and we knew we would make shots. We knew if C.J. was making shots, we would be fine on the offensive end...it was getting stops and being tough and getting rebounds."

On how toughness manifests itself on the court: "Loose balls, rebounds, you know - making sure you are in the right spot...taking charges. Anything being physical is all toughness and that's a trademark of Husky basketball."

On any effects from the late start: "No, we were into the game so I mean now you can feel the time when you are into the game, you feel the crowd, you are out there just playing. You don't think about time until the game is over."

On the new offense giving them better opportunities towards the end of the game: "Actually we ran a different offense in the second half so it really wasn't that offense we had been working on. Once C.J. got hot, we were just playing off him, and teams are going to make him curl and stuff like that because they don't want him to shoot 3's and that's the toughest shot to make him shoot. Once he got hot, we started playing off him. When we found Aziz on the block and had C.J., things started opening up when those guys are scoring."

On going with the hot hand: "That's how the game is played, you just have to find whoever is hot. Aziz was hot at times so we went to him and C.J. was hot at times so we went to him. So we just play off them and then other guys get hot and it's a tough matchup when everyone is scoring. So I mean we just played off two guys who got hot at the right time."

On taking advantage of size pounding Aziz inside: "Aziz is shooting a great percentage inside so we knew we had to get the ball to him. I missed him one time so I told him I owed him, and so in the second half I made sure I got him the ball a couple times. I told him to make sure he got a good shot or get fouled and that's what he did, and Aziz is a good finisher down there."

On the technical foul doing anything for them or was it a weird moment: "Weird moment, I didn't even know it was a technical until everybody started backing off. It was a weird moment."

On ending the home losing streak: "We just wanted to take one game at a time and that's the main thing. We have Cal State Fullerton next, a real good team so we are going to practice next day and compete and scout those guys and make sure we are ready because we want to take an advantage of home court."

On the importance of this game: "We knew we needed this win. In the locker room we were very upset...at practice we were playing chippy because we were so upset so now we are trying to take it one game at a time."
C.J. Wilcox:
On a change in defensive intensity towards the end of the game: "Yeah I mean, we just made sure we executed on the defensive end. Coach made sure we were focused and ended the game right. If we would have had free throws, it would have been a lot easier to win but other than that, our defensive intensity was good."

On having any pain during the game: "Towards the end of the game my back started cramping, it's been cramping late in practice from the fall last game."

On getting on a roll: "Yeah I just kind of take it upon myself to be aggressive especially with Scott out. Me and Abdul...we both have to be aggressive. Tonight was one of those nights where my shot was falling."

On how he is adjusting to the offense: "It's just a read. It helps with playing with Gaddy for a while and Drew, and knowing where I'll be, and that definitely helps."

On having an efficient night only shooting 13 shots: "I don't know, it was just the flow of the game. I was taking what I had, not forcing anything. I didn't have to because Gaddy played well. Aziz played well so they had to help on them and it opened shots for me so I thought I was playing within the flow of the game."
Saint Louis Coach Jim Crews: Opening Statement: "Yeah I thought that the first half, felt we did a lot of good things and then we ended up tied at half when I thought we should have had a lead. We did what we wanted to do, we got good looks, good looks, inside and outside, guys were pretty ball strong, only had 5 turnovers at half. And then we made some mistakes, which I guess continued with Wilcox because he is such a good player, but first half, they had 4 threes and three of them were in our face, we didn't have a hand up and forced them out of their shooting range. And then Wilcox kind of took over the second half."

On the biggest difference between the game this year and the game last year: "Oh shoot I don't know, we won last year and we lost this year so I guess UW's team is doing better and we are doing worse. I thought the big kid's (N'Diaye) gotten better, at least, I didn't see him play 30 games. saw him play one game last year and one game this year so I really don't know. Their injury really hurts them, Suggs, a really good kid and player, really stretches out the floor and gives guys more options to drive the ball and more things to throw inside so they are a big banged up like we are right now."

On how little his team got to the free throw line: "No I thought we would only got their once or twice, so we got there a little bit more."

On the plan going into the game to stop C.J. Wilcox: "It wasn't a very good plan, let's put it that way. He's a really good player and he gets off his shot really well. They really did a good job of spacing things out and setting watered down screens for him. We wanted to ride him out, he gets tight to the lane and he's taller than us so if he gets up close, he can shoot it over us and so they got big bodies setting screens for him so they do a great job of that and we just didn't have an answer for it."

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