Will Fultz play the rest of the year?

If it were up to Markelle Fultz, he'd be on the court for every game. That's the message Lorenzo Romar relayed to the press Tuesday as Washington prepares for their final two games of the season. But it's not up to Fultz or the coaches anymore as to whether or not the freshman phenom plays another game for the Huskies from here on out.


On Markelle Fultz’ knee “A little bit better, but not to the point where the doctors have cleared him. We have to wait and see. The doctors have to just be in a position where they would have to clear him. That hasn’t happened.”

More on Markelle Fultz’ knee “It’s just something where he would need rest if it were the summer and not as big an issue. We’ve played a lot of games now.”

Is this a result of how much Fultz played over the summer and into this season? “Who knows if that’s the case? He’s a gym rat. He loves to play. Played a lot of basketball working out, playing for teams, practicing, all that last year. But who knows it that’s the cause?”

On Markelle Fultz “As I’ve mentioned before rest assured that if it were left up to Markelle (Fultz) he’s not going to miss one moment of anything to do with basketball.”

On Markelle Fultz’ status “It’s not my decision. If we could have him for any game that’s great, but it’s not our decision. It’s going to be entirely up to our medical people, who we trust a great deal.”

Did he come back too soon from his previous injury? “No, I don’t think so. No.”

On Noah Dickerson’s injury “Noah (Dickerson) is doing better. He did tweak his ankle in the game. He should be okay to play.”

On missing Markelle Fultz “Well, it’s 35 points a game right off the bat if you talk about his 23 points and six assists. Right away you’re without that. Someone has to be able to step up and provide some of that, which some guys have. Carlos Johnson in particular. Just his basketball intellect. He’s a smart basketball player. He also does things. He’s top 10 in the league in steals. Top 10 in blocked shots I believe. He’s just a playmaker all around. An all around playmaker that you don’t have when he’s not playing.”

On the loss to WSU “Yeah, we settled. We started to settle. We went up seven because we were getting stops, but also we were aggressively attacking the basket. We were getting in the paint. We started to settle for quick outside shots and still maintained the lead until the last couple minutes of the game. I just felt like we missed out on a couple opportunities to maybe create some distance between us.”

On their last game with UCLA “Not a whole lot of positives to draw from from that game. UCLA was really efficient and we weren’t very good. It was a bad combination.”

On the UCLA game “It’s difficult. This is one of those games where we’re not going to go stall and run the clock out every time. We can’t allow what we allowed - what happened at WSU when we lost the lead, quick long shots, multiple possessions, you have to stay away from that. That will help us on the defensive end. If not, UCLA, they’ll get the ball, they’ll get in a rhythm and they’ll just continue to score. They are literally the most potent offensive team in America at the college level, the D-I level.”

Do you scrap the game plan from the last time against UCLA and USC? “No, it was - there are some things that we will probably do different this time.”

On competing with UCLA “I think we’re a little different team, a little different mindset than the last time we played them. I think we’ll fight.”

On the team becoming grittier “I think we’ve been grittier, but it’s not because we haven’t had Markelle. I just think - I said this last week with the Arizona game - I just feel like our team has grown up a little bit. We played Washington State with Markelle last time. I think in the second half they went up seven, nine; we came back later, went up four. But this game, after the first few minutes I thought we did a great job of doing well. We led almost the entire second half without Markelle. I just think our team has grown up more at this point. If Markelle would have played who knows what would have happened? I don’t think - I’ll put it like this: Markelle would have been gritty right in there with us. It wouldn’t be like we left him behind in the grit area; he’s gritty himself. I just think we’ve become grittier so to speak.”

On motivation “I believe in sports in the situations that you have to find different ways to push people’s buttons, the team’s buttons, to motivate them. Just to say ‘alright, we have to stop this losing streak.’ Okay, good. What do you do to stop it? I’m more interested in what we have to do as opposed to let’s just go do this. We have to find the solution. We’ve been working towards that, and like I said, I think we’ve been getting better.”

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