Players determined to show defensive side

Dominic Green and Matisse Thybulle combined for 42 points, 13 rebounds and four assists, but they didn't want to talk about that Thursday night. They wanted to talk about creating a defensive mindset after defeating Western Washington 109-103 in UW's lone exhibition game.

Matisse Thybulle

What did you show people today? “I think we showed people that we can score the ball pretty well and are pretty high paced. But I think that we also showed that we gave up a lot of points and that we’ve got to do of work on the defensive end to just tighten things up and not let guys score 100-plus points on us. It’s okay if we do it, but we can’t let another team do that to us.”

Is there a reason as to why Western Washington scored 100? “A lot of it is just will. Coach ROmar talked about in the locker room, you can make defense happen. Offense comes in flows and you go on runs, but on the defensive end if you want to work hard and keep someone in front of you, you can do it. I think we just have to take more pride in that. And also just on rotations, if someone drives we have to get out to the open shooter so that the don’t get as many threes as they did.”

On Sam Timmins “Sam (Timmins) I feel like has been our best kept secret for a while just because no ones ever really had a chance to see him play. I was glad that he got to come out and play as well as he did. He’s a problem. He’s a big guy and he has touch around the hoop. You’ll see he’s a great passer and he really is a presence in the paint offensively and defensively.”

What was the talk at half time? “Defense. A lot of it is just on the defensive end. Husky basketball is known to be fast, offensive teams. We play in the transition. We can score. We can put up a lot of points really fast. We have to get back to that tough, gritty Husky defense where we’re denying passes and teams are having trouble getting the ball where they want it. I think we showed today that we aren’t there yet. I think that makes us hungry for when we get back to practice that we have something to prove. We didn’t show people our best side on defense today. We’re going to show them what we’ve got next game.”

Are the rotations coming together? “It was different today because starters were based off a different thing we had going on during practice. I think that now we can establish who is going to be playing and that kind of thing so we can in practice play with those teams together so we can get used to flowing and playing together offensively.”

On Noah Dickerson “We scrimmaged once a week this offseason every week. At the end of it coach Romar came to us with a stat and he told us Noah (Dickerson)’s team never lost. It didn’t matter what combination of guys he put together; the team that Noah was on didn’t lose. I think that’s going be seen once he’s able to play with us again.”

Dominic Green

Did any of the officiating catch you off guard? “I mean I would say they called a lot of fouls that normally you wouldn’t think are fouls. I think that played a big part into it. At the same time we know the rules. We just have to learn to play without touching this and that, just play clean.”

What worked offensively? “We definitely need to polish up our turnovers. That’s for sure. We had some really meaningless, like oh snap, bad turnovers. The good thing about it is we were doing a good job of sharing the ball with each other. Markelle (Fultz) was able to find us on the break. When we got in the half court once we started moving the ball around that’s when we started to score.”

Is there a notable difference when Markelle Fultz is in the game? “Definitely because as soon as he gets it we all know to run because he’s going to push it at full speed. We run. He’s going to find us and if not he’s going to have a shot for himself.”

What’s the difference between this year’s front court and last year’s? “I front court is definitely bigger. Matt (Atawe) is a really big dude. Sam is pushing seven foot. There presence around the rim is really there. That’s why I think Sam was able to do what he did inside the paint. If he gets a smaller dude on him he can just lay it up and over. Matt, he’s super strong so it’s very hard to guard him when his back is to the basket.”

Are you more encouraged after a game like this? “We’re definitely more encouraged. What’s wrong, we want to get it right. We don’t want any of these mistakes to happen again. We want to get it right right now.”

How does this game compare to games on the road trip earlier in the summer? “Our road trip we were meshing together. I still think we have some winning to do after this. We’re definitely confident we’re going to be able to get to it.”

On the impact of not having Noah Dickerson “Definitely. Noah (Dickerson) makes a big impact. IT shows when they go over the stats in practice. His teams, when he gets in, his teams are the ones that prosper the most. We’re definitely prosper when he comes back because he’s a hard worker and he definitely is going to come in and help us a lot.”

On Markelle Fultz “I think it took him a little while to get in stride, but once he got into stride he was doing good things. He was doing great things and he helped us come back and get the ‘W.’”


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