On motivation for the WSU game: On the one hand it’s still our last game. We’re still trying to fight at our chances to get into the tournament. It’s also Andrew’s senior night so we have motivation. You always want to avoid taking a team lightly. They beat us here last year, so there’s no way we should take them lightly.
VIDEO: Lorenzo Romar Tuesday Briefing - WSU
On how the team has improved:I think we’re more organized as a group. We understand our purpose more defensively. We’re a more mature team than we were.
On the difference between this team now and where it was when it first played WSU: There’s one thing we don’t have that we had earlier, we were winning then. There was a great belief. There is great belief now but there was a certain swagger that we haven’t had because we’ve lost a few games now. We are definitely a better team now though offensively and defensively. We just haven’t gotten over the hump yet. We haven’t been able to make the plays we were making earlier. It would appear that we haven’t improved, but I think the other teams have improved along with us. We just don’t have the wins to show it.
On pivotal losses: I think there are two losses I can point to that we could have controlled. Andrew missed a shot to take the lead against Colorado, but we didn’t play well when we had the lead. Also the Oregon State game. We didn’t help ourselves in those games.
On the drop off of the bench: Just guys lost a little confidence maybe.
On how attitudes have stayed high: The fact that these guys came from winning programs and have been very successful. They have a high self esteem when it comes to winning as well as helping teammates succeed. That helped us early on to pull wins out. I don’t think there has been any jealousy on this team. They all pull for each other. Those intangibles help out.
On the importance of sending off Andrew Andrews on a positive note: We totally get that. He means so much to the team and he has individually had a great year. I know that we all appreciate Andrew and want to see him go out with a bang.
How will Andrew Andrews be remembered? A guy that persevered. He wanted to come to the UW, but at the time we had Isaiah Thomas, Abdul Gaddy, and Tony Wroten. We talked to him about going to prep school and that would clear up the traffic a little bit. He was going to go to prep school, but Isaiah Thomas left for the draft and he came in and redshirted. He was loyal coming in and loyal coming out
On when Andrew’s maturity started showing: I thought last year, in a trying season, there were times where Andrew could have blown up. The game I’m thinking about in particular is at USC where we weren’t in the game at all. There didn’t look like there was hope, but he competed and tried to encourage players. He saw the ups and downs. I thought he showed great maturity then.
On staying positive: I think our guys are positive. Guys were very disappointed after the Oregon State loss. You have that range of emotions to 'we’re going to get this done' to 'what just happened?’ This group is still together. I don’t sense at all guys are going there separate ways now. I don’t know if I would say this is part of it, but I think this group has been such a special group in all aspects. They’ve remained that way. I don’t see why that would change with the season we have left.
On the difference between WSU now and early January: Earlier on the group was playing with more confidence because they hadn’t been unsuccessful yet. I think coach Kent and his staff have kept his guys up and continue to play. They won’t come in here and lay down. They will compete. But that’s been the biggest difference.
On changes WSU has made: I think they are emphasizing some different things offensively. They’ve changed their lineup a number of times. Roles have changed. Que Johnson is playing more aggressively now. Callison was out a few games with a concussion. They’ve had to play with injuries.
What does it mean to get reprimanded by the PAC-12You get reprimanded verbally.
On balancing confidence and smart play: I would say addressed our decision making earlier with this team. There’s a balance of wanting guys to play with confidence without forcing the issue. We could have forced the issue earlier on that. There’s no doubt that youth plays a role in it. The balance is knowing the team is young and enforcing that earlier, but then maybe they’re playing without confidence and tight. I don’t remember us playing tight. We’ve gone into some hostile environments and done well. I think that’s because the guys are confidence. That’s the balance.
On Marquese Chriss’ maturation: He’s made great progress. At times, early on, Marquese would carry it with him the rest of the day. He bounces back now. He’s done a remarkable job of keeping his composure. He’s just such a competitor.
On Marquese Chriss bumping into an official: Malik was coming in for him and the official was moving a little bit. He was trying to get by the official and had to brace himself a little. That’s what happened.
On blocking shots and getting steals: We’ve talked about we’re a good shot blocking team and for that reason we should avoid fouling. Leading the league in blocks and steals speaks to this group.
On rebounding not following suit with blocking shots: It hasn’t at all. When I look at our lack of rebounding, we don’t really look to check. We found out this year that we can’t just out jump people and get it. Sometimes we just get pushed around. We’re out of position and guys just move us around. We’ll continue to get stronger and work on that, but there are a number of rebounds we haven’t rebounded.
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