Quotes - Cal State Fullerton

SEATTLE - Here are quotes from Lorenzo Romar, Desmond Simmons, C.J. Wilcox, Andrew Andrews, Aziz N'Diaye and Cal State Fullerton Interim Coach Andy Newman after Washington came back from a 14-point halftime deficit to defeat the Titans 74-72.

Big Thanks To Andrew Dore for help with the transcribing.
UW HEAD COACH LORENZO ROMAR:

Lorenzo Romar's Opening Statement: "I don't think Cal State Fullerton made us look bad with our team in terms with what type of team they were. We told our guys they were so gifted with the ball in their hands individually. They had multiple playmakers and we saw that, D.J. Seeley hit some big shots for them. We were for whatever reason, really lethargic, and they capitalized on that. I'm really happy with how our guys came out in the second half. 18 rebound, 14 points, that was a Jon Brockman-esque performance by Desmond Simmons. Jon Brockman is the only guy since we've been here to get 18 and now Desmond Simmons is the next one. He is was all over the place on the boards. Andrew Andrews did a great job down the stretch filling in for Abdul who cramped up, couldn't go back in the game. Andrew broke down the defense, made plays, a gutsy effort by our guys down the stretch. This may have been I don't think any question, the biggest win for us of our preseason because we are starting to get our team back, get our players back. I don't know for sure if they will, but I think some of the guys will attempt to start to practice this week, in terms of Scott and Shawn, attempt to practice and see if they can go. We had to get over this hump of this game here. Somehow we survived it, we are ready to move on. Sorry for such a long introduction."

 

On going to Quinn Sterling late in the first half: "Thin on bodies, a little foul trouble. Quinn turned that ball over tonight, I don't know if he'll turn it over again, ever. He's just a smart player. He got on the floor without any hesitancy that's how he is. He just plays really hard we just don't have a problem putting him in a basketball game. He's a guy who has been hurt, we haven't had him. He won't be a difference maker scoring 30 points a game but he is a guy who you can put in a game who is smart and help your team."

 

On the zone possibly being the problem on defense in the first half: "It could have been. It was something me and Coach Jackson had a conversation about before the season started when we started playing… "Do you ever like starting the zone?" "I don't like starting a zone because it takes your aggressiveness away sometimes early." I don't know if that's the case or I have another reason that I won't say publically. I have another reason, subconscious mind can mess with you sometimes."

 

On using so much zone to start the game: "We didn't start in a zone. We were in a man on a miss, and a zone on a make. I think we did this last year against UCLA because we didn't want to deal with big Josh Smith when he was in the game."

 

On there being anything Desmond Simmons doesn't do for him: "Consummate glue guy, consummate intangible guy is what he is. He just does little things like that. He gets deflections, we had a low number of deflections in the first half and Des had over half of them. When he is active like that he gets stuff done. This is his second double-double. He had 14 and 12 I believe against Seton Hall."

 

On Andrews running the show at the end of the game: "He did a good job because you know he is fearless, he got inside their defense. He scored or dropped it off to someone he was aggressive. The way they were defending us, we were kind of spreading the floor a little bit and beating them off the dribble and he is really good at that. He did a really good job, he had 4 fouls, we were hoping he wouldn't pick up his 5th up because then I might have had to go and get my jersey."

 

On what happened with Gaddy at the end: "Cramps, spasming, he just couldn't come back. He'll be alright tomorrow."

 

On abandoning the high post a bit tonight: "They were small and they were switching and they were really getting up trying to deny and so we spread them. We always know when we play when we pressure teams that run flawless sets. A lot of times when we pressure they will come out in the second half and run and beat them off the dribble and they kind of did the same thing. There are games when there is no way you can get the motion done with effectiveness because they are packing it in and sitting in on that and not pressuring at all when we wouldn't even run a possession of motion."

 

On what the halftime adjustments were: "We just weren't playing hard enough. Just simple as coming back and playing harder, defended, went after the ball harder. We were 9 of 30 from the field in the first half. No one else might think so but when you shoot the ball like that and things aren't going right and you find a way to win a game, that's a huge, huge win for you. I think there are teams across the country that end up having good seasons that can look back at early games and say they just found a way to get it done like the Seahawks did today except that was late in the year."

 

On Desmond setting the tone for the team in the second half: "I don't think there is any question. I think everyone was looking for someone to step up and he was the one that stepped up in terms of aggressiveness. All of a sudden when he started playing hard the shot was going in, the ball went in the basket a little more."

 

On how a game where the role players step up prepare the team for later in the season: "Oh it's big because those guys were in there in crunch time and had to make plays and were counted on to make plays and they did. I don't think there are any questions that will pay off down the stretch later in the year. Hikeem made a big play no the deflection down there when they were going in to score. I'm just proud of our guys finding a way to win, playing without Shawn and Scott and then down the stretch, playing without Abdul, they found a way to get it done, I'm proud of them."

 

On the plan if Wilcox had not been fouled with 3 seconds left: "Other than to score? He was going to go to the basket. Not a whole lot of options but to go to the basket with 3 seconds left."

 

On his relationship with Coach Majerus: "I was with coach for about four weeks, about 12, 13 years ago. We were coaching together with USA basketball. When I was with athletes in action, before that we would play Utah every year. And then before that when I was with the Milwaukee Bucks, he was coaching for Marquette then he was an assistant with the Bucks. I've known him for a long long time and got to know him really well living with him for those four or five weeks. I just could not believe the knowledge this man had about the game of basketball. He was incredible coach, the funniest non standup comedian that wasn't getting paid for it that I've seen. I knew he was sick and sick back then. Earlier in the year when Jim Crews took over for him, someone told me that not only coach would not coach here again, he was struggling for his life right now. I knew that had been an ongoing fight for Coach. It's a tough loss for the basketball community."


DESMOND SIMMONS:

On trying to get the team motivated in the second half: "Definitely, just like you said I wanted to come in and bring the energy and knock them back in the mouth like they did us in the beginning of the game."

 

On the feeling when he can tell the other team has the energy and his team doesn't at the start of the game: "My mindset is when I recognize that, my mindset is to come in and rally my team up the best way I can. The best way I can is leading by example, when they see me getting offensive rebounds and traffic rebounds and kicking it out, I feel like they feed off of that."

 

On any knowledge during the game of his rebound totals: "I knew at halftime I had nine and at the end of the game I found out I had 18."

 

On his role on the team to provide energy: "Yeah definitely, me and coach talked a lot about it, my job is to provide a spark. My role on the team is to come in and pick the energy up, you are right about that."

 

On the last time he had 18 rebounds in a game: "In high school. I had a couple of 18 rebound games, I might have had some 20 rebound games in high school."

 

On being compared to Jon Brockman: "That's a huge compliment. Playing against Brock, he is a load to rebound. Even a compliment like that means a lot to me."

 

On where this performance ranks for him all time: "Number one, because I did it on the college level. To do it on the college level is pretty good for me."

 

On the injuries allowing other players to prove themselves: "Yeah definitely, when guys are out your opportunity comes and you have to step up and make the most of your opportunity and I feel like for the most part guys are starting to do that."

 

On how he feels that the game ended up the way it did after the poor start: "I wouldn't say lucky, I felt like to be down 14 at halftime, for us to come back it wasn't a miracle or by chance. It was because we fought back, we were more physical on defense, we rebounded, we limited some of their second chance points, we geared down and grinded it out. That's why we got back in the game, I wouldn't say it was lucky. Towards the end of the game we kind of kept putting the ball back in their hands but I feel like we pulled through because of us."

 

On any thought at half that they were too far behind: "No not at all we were in the locker room talking about this is our game and we are not far away at all. We did not feel like this game was out of reach at any point of the game."

 

On being surprised how all the mid major teams seem to be coming in and playing tough nowadays: "No, we are the University of Washington I feel like we have the X on our backs and the mid majors come in and look at us as a chance to make their name off of us. I'm not surprised that they come in and play us they way they do."

 

On the locker room mood at halftime: "It was a real determined mood. It was like a lets wake up before the next 20 minutes and back in here with our heads down. It was pretty much wake up now before it's too late."

 

On things being any different down the stretch without Gaddy in the game: "I wouldn't say it was too different. I'm definitely used to seeing Abdul running things then but I felt like Drew handled it very well and I won't say we didn't miss Gaddy but Drew stepped up to the plate and he handled it well."


C.J. Wilcox:
"It was a scrappy win. They definitely gave us opportunities to get it done, fouling us late in the game. And we took advantage of our opportunities. But we came out in the first half really slow and we knew they could score. That's what they did."

Surprised to get fouled? - "Actually I was, yeah. I was surprised on the first foul, and then they did it again. I was really surprised."

On giving UW trouble because they are a small, quick, guard-oriented team and was going to dribble-drive? - "Yeah, we knew that's what they were going to do, just try and play one-on-one and break you down and have somebody else come out and they just kick and hit threes…and that's what they were doing. In the second half we kind of calmed down and kept guys in front and were able to slow 'em down."

On Desmond's night - "Man, we know he's capable of doing that every night. And we knew coming in, especially in the first half when he rebounded well and he took it upon himself to come in and get every offensive rebound he could…that's what we're used to seeing."

On going back to the motion in the second half - "Yeah it was tough because they were in a zone and we haven't really practiced going 32 (high post) against a zone this year. But I think we did a pretty good job of attacking and trying to get to the rim."

On winning ugly this year - "We're just going to have to find a way. We have the potential to beat teams by 10-15, but just for us we have to find ways to grind it out and find ways to win the game."


ANDREW ANDREWS:
D J Seeley's first half (he scored 15) - "It was all happening in transition; we lost him in transition. He's a great shooter, so any time you lose someone like that they are going to go off. The second half we made a focus point to just try and cut him off so he wouldn't have as easy looks to the basket. And it worked."

On enjoying going to the foul line late - "Yeah, definitely. Anything to try and seal the victory, it doesn't really faze me too much. After playing a certain amount of minutes you kind of get used to it and it's a rhythm shot."

On what was causing their defense issues at the start of the game - "We were just stagnant, kind of getting still used to running the high post a little bit. But that came from their pressures, they were switching a lot and we haven't been used to switching when we run it. So we made a couple of adjustments to get used to it."

On the mood in the locker room and the attitude coming out for the second half - "We just knew that we had to come out playing better as far as the defensive end. We knew that we weren't shooting well from the field, but as long as we get stops then the offense would start coming, and it did. So we were just going with the mindset that if we defend the offense will come. And that's what happened."

On losing Abdul for the game with five minutes left - "I didn't even know that he was out; I was waiting for him to come back in! I was like…I went up to him after the game and I was like, 'What happened to you?' I thought he fouled out at the end of the game, I didn't even know. I just got to the moment where I just started playing. Everything came to me."


Aziz N'diaye:
On the difficulty playing smaller guys - "They spread out the floor and I end up guarding their biggest, but fastest guy. So I just try to follow the scout and contain the basketball and try and get stops."

On the cut over his right eye - "I don't remember. The play was…I ran into Desmond's I think, his elbow or whatever. He hit me in the eye. But it wasn't something from the other team."

On if it felt like Desmond was taking no prisoners - "He did a pretty good job. That's what we expect. It's me and him - we've got to go in there and get those rebounds and get second shots. He did a really good job on the boards."


CSF INTERIM COACH Andy Newman:

On the two fouls at the end of the game: "Yeah we played aggressive, we talked about that in the locker room about playing smart and knowing the scoreboard. Two mental errors today that ended up costing us but I was really proud of our guys effort. That's a really good Washington team they will be really good in the Pac 12. I'm really proud of how our guys played."

 

On their offense in the second half: "I thought we got good looks but were just missing them. We watched the scoreboard a little bit and it was like holy crap, we shouldn't be playing this good against these guys. But you trust the process, you penetrate, you kick, you shoot. We were making those shots in the first half, would have liked to have made one more in the second half. I was really happy with our guys and their effort, I'm really proud of them."

 

On his reaction to the foul on the inbounds at the end: "I hope you guys didn't see me or the camera wasn't on me. It was tough. Those guys battled so hard, so dang hard and to watch those two plays happen, it's heart breaking for them. I hurt for them too. You work on those in game situations but until you get in a game like that, you really don't know and I think this game is going to help us down the road tremendously. I think this is the first time we really had an environment like this and a one possession game and it's back and forth and you have to get after it. That experience is going to really help our team, I'm really happy for that. It's twofold, yeah you are upset that your guys made mistakes down the line but I'm really happy they happened because I don't think they will happen down the road."

 

On the Huskies size giving them any problems: "Yeah I think in the first half we did a good job, we were physical. In then in the second half, Simmons took advantage of his height and the big fella Aziz N'Diaye. The first half we battled and the second half they wore us down a little bit."

 

On the Huskies shutting down D.J. Seeley in the second half: "Yeah they made an adjustment, they started keying on him they really did. They did a good job of doing that at half time, great coach, great staff, they made an adjustment they weren't going to leave him and let him get going. The shots he did get were rushed and because he didn't get a whole lot of them."


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