Opening statement “I thought our guys came out with tremendous focus today, just really dialed in offensively and defensively, and I thought it showed in our play. Our guys played very unselfish basketball on the offensive and defensive end. It was just really good to see, with this early game for over half of our team playing their first time in the PAC-12 tournament, guys played in here today like we had done before. I thought Andrew (Andrews) did a great job of leading and we were able to come out on top. It’s tough for Stanford. They weren’t playing with their full compliment of players, but I thought our guys went out and did what we were supposed to do.”
On Oregon “Oregon is a team we really respect. They go out and play really solid basketball. They are experienced. They have a real belief that they can go out and be successful. We’re going to have to really come out and repeat what we did today in terms of a high level of focus.”
Was this the best you’ve played all year “I don’t know if it was the best. We haven’t played like that in a long time, maybe you forgot. IN terms of lately, I thought we were as dialed in and as efficient as we’ve been. I thought it was a very good performance. I thought today we could have beaten a lot of teams playing that way.”
Is it a coincidence that happened first day of the PAC-12 tournament “I don’t know if it’s a coincidence. I’ve continued to say our team has improved and become a better team, but we don’t have the wins to show it. We’ve just been very close, and today was a day where we kind of put it all together.”
Can you guys get hot in this tournament “Do you think I’m going to say no?” We’re grateful for the opportunity to go give it a try. We’re grateful to get past this first one.”
On what worked defensively today “We were all on the same page for most possessions, especially in the first half. When we switched the two guys knew exactly what the other was doing. We were timing. We were communicating. When we’re playing defensive the way we are capable of, you’ll see when that ball is passed five guys moving at once. The ball goes inside, you’ll see five guys moving at once. And we saw that a lot. Our guys were extremely alert on the defensive end. When we’re able to do that it makes for a pretty good defensive performance. At least that’s been the pattern I’ve seen with our team this year.”
On the difference between the two times UW has faced Stanford “I thought we struggled in the first half (of the first meeting), I thought in the second half we played a lot better against it. Once we played against it in the second half and began to find openings – if I remember correctly, in the first half Dejounte (Murray) did a great job of penetrating against the zone, making buckets, and keeping it going. In the second half to begin with Andrew (Andrews) started to find the seams and threw over the top of the zone. Then everybody got into the act. And I thought we carried that over from that second half to today.”
On Andrew Andrews and Dejounte Murray “I thought it was pretty special that – I think Dejounte Murray scored 25 against Stanford last time. A lot of confidence today. But there were times where he had the ball, sucked everybody in, and passed it out looking for the open guy. Andrew (Andrews) scored 47 points in our last game and I didn’t think at all he came out and said “now I know how to get 47, I’m going to get 50 this time.” He just went out and played basketball. He ran the team. I think that’s a real sign of maturity and a credit to Andrew to come out and just do what he did. He set the table for us.”
Talk about, obviously, Oregon up next. You guys only played them once this year. Just thoughts on that match-up? "Coming in league champions, great overall team. They have multiple guys that can make plays for them. So I think for us it's going to be another test defensively, just making sure we're staying with our principles and relying on the last game knowing what we did right and knowing what we did wrong to come back and prepare for them tomorrow."
You had nine assists today, and you had 17 as a team. But it seemed like the passing was really in sync today, the extra pass and wide-open lay-ups. What can you guys say about the ball movement and your ability to find the open man underneath? "I think a lot of it was our experience against them, like you said, three weeks ago. Playing their zone and finding out what was working for us. A lot of it was coming out of transition. I think one of the fastest teams in our conference, so any time you can get the ball up the court, it's kind of hard for teams to stop us that way. So just relying on our transition and then memories from playing them before."
Marquese kind of showed off a lot of his skills in a variety of ways today and stuff. Can you just talk about his game? "For me, I was going to say there is not much he can't do on the basketball court. I think when you think of his position, that four position, you might think of someone that plays down low, but then you see a guy like him who is stepping out, hitting threes, who can take it off the glass, push the ball, who is also a good passer, plays above the rim.
"So I think he's a special player, and for us he helps us in so many ways. I mean, he protects the rim for us on the defensive end, but then he's also getting steals. He switches one through five, so I think for us he contributes in so many ways that are outside of what he's doing on the box score.
"He just helps us out so many ways. Puts out so many fires. Even if you don't see him making an impact on a play, he's probably there doing something to help us out."
Two games against Stanford, you obviously had a lot of success scoring the ball. What have you done or what about Stanford's zone look has allowed you to have the kind of performances you've had? "I stayed aggressive both games. And coming into this game, every game, we try to come out and play together. And my team trusts in me. Like I said before, I just stayed aggressive, and I'm just glad I could help my team pull out the win."
Could you talk about your impressions from the Oregon game when you guys played and what you need to improve from the first time? "I mean, we're going to go by what the coaching staff and whatever plan they put down for us when we play them tomorrow. When we played them the first time, I just felt like they were more aggressive than us. I mean, we played a good game. Some calls changed at the end and they got the momentum and went on a run, so they got the win. But we're just going to go with Coach's plan and the rest of the staff and go out and play as hard as we can and try to pull out the win."
Marquese kind of showed off a lot of his skills in a variety of ways today and stuff. Can you just talk about his game? "Man, he's a really hard worker. He wants to work every single day. He wants to compete on and off the court. I know he's going to keep working, and we believe in him just like he believes in us."