NCS-UW Notes and Quotes

It was a packed house at Bank of America Arena as No.12 North Carolina State brought ACC basketball to the Pac-10 to face No.18 Washington in a rematch from last year's thriller in Raleigh. In another nail-biter, the Huskies got their revenge with a 68-64 win in a squeaker that had the entire building at the edge of their seat.

Roy-al Return: The obvious surprise of the game was the early return of Brandon Roy. After suffering a partial meniscus tear against Oklahoma at the Great Alaska Shootout, it was thought that Roy would be out four-to-six weeks. Roy was seen warming up during the pre-game shoot-arounds, but the general feeling from the media present was that he probably would not see any game action on the night.

Roy entered the game with 4:19 left in the first half to a rousing ovation from the packed house and played a key role in the win by scoring 10 points and getting an important block on NC State's Julius Hodge towards the end of the game.

Katz and Dawgs: Sitting four seats down from the crew on press row was none other than ESPN college basketball analyst and enemy of the Husky faithful, Andy Katz.

Mac-10 in the house: Nate McMillan, who played at NC State, sat behind the Wolfpack bench with his son Jamelle, a sophomore guard at O'Dea.

Meet the new guy: It was like showing off your new girlfriend to the family. At halftime, Washington athletic director Todd Turner and President Mark Emmert introduced Ty Willingham to the public, and the public responded with much approval. Willingham received a standing ovation from the capacity crowd as he took the microphone.

"Does it go like this?" asked Willingham. "Woof! Woof! Woof!"

"I am excited and delighted to be the head coach of the Washington Huskies," said Willingham to the crowd. "I can't wait to hear the roar at Husky Stadium. Go Huskies!"

Reunion at the Bank: Also at halftime, the school welcomed back 75 former Husky basketball players. Some of the notable alums in attendance were: Curtis Allen, Dion Brown, Chester Dorsey, Andra Griffin, Jason Hamilton, Steve Hawes, Bob Houbregs, Michael Johnson, Eldridge Recasner, Marlon Shelton, Alvin Vaughn, Chris Walcott, Donald Watts, Chris Welp, and Shag Williams.

Standing Room Only: Bank of America Arena sold out the first of many projected games this season against NC State and with about five minutes left in the game and the score close as it was, nearly all 10,000 fans stood on their feet the rest of the game reaching noise levels of epic proportions.

It is this writer's opinion that it was the loudest it has ever been, including last year's win over top-ranked Stanford, in the history of Hec Edmundson Pavilion at Bank of America Arena.

Husky Player Quotes:

Brandon Roy – 10 points (5-for-5 FG), two rebounds, one block, two steals in 18 minutes
On his early return: "The whole time I was anticipating coming back for this game. I just didn't want to let the secret out early.

"I just practiced two days. I practiced on Friday, and I was acting like Julius Hodge and the next day I did it again. Coach (Romar) told me it was my call and not the doctor's. The doctor's cleared me for competition but it was all about how I felt.

"I was nervous. I told coach that unless we were losing, not to put me in. Some was jitters, and finally coach talked me into going in there and once I was in there, I let him know that I was ready to play."

On reasons he pushed for an early return: "Julius Hodge is a great player. Some people say he is one of the best players in the country. Anytime you hear that, you want to measure yourself up to that. I was excited. They were ranked higher than us and we got a win over a higher-ranked team."

On what the nation should think about Washington basketball: "This Washington Huskies team is good. This is a night where Nate, Trey, and Will knocked down nearly as many threes as they can and we found a way to win. This game reminded us of the Gonzaga game from last year, where they found a way to stop us. Last year we didn't bounce back. This year we did."

Will Conroy – 12 points and seven assists
On NC State's defense: "They were persistent in making us play their game. It was different, but like our coach says, great teams find a way to win when your shots are not falling. We weren't able to get off that today and we found a way to win."

On the return of Brandon Roy: "It was impeccable. We're roommates and I kept telling him that he needed to play and he told me his knee hurt. He played Julius Hodge on scout team for the last few days and he's done a great impersonation if not better."

On playing NC State's type of game: "We know we can win any kind of game. Sometimes we get all caught up in running up and down the floor and scoring many points. They're good at making you play their style and like I said, we found a way to win."

Nate Robinson – seven points (2-for-11 FG, 0-for-5 3-point), seven rebounds
On NC State's strategy on playing him: "I just knew they were going to put someone on me so that I couldn't launch a lot of threes. They were collapsing every time I went to the hole so I used my team. We didn't shoot the ball well as a team but we got the job done.

"A win is a win. An ugly win is still a win. Coach told us we were going to have a game where everybody wasn't shooting well and today was that game. We out-scrapped them."

On the return of Roy: "It feels like we wouldn't have won without him. Tonight, we needed him the most and he stepped up. It was big time. I knew he was going to play, but I didn't know he was going to play that long.

"In practice he told us he was going to play. He's doing great and down the line, he is going to show what our team was missing when he was sitting out. Now that he's back, we're a more dangerous team."

Comparing Roy and Hodge: "(Roy is) Better by far. We're the best team in the country to me. In my eyes, every team is going to say the same thing."

Whether or not Hodge was fouled on the last shot: "Not that I know. When I was down there, he was trying to hook so I just put my hands up because I didn't want to send him to the line. He just took a bad shot. At the end of the game, of course they're going to give the ball to Hodge because he is their best player. All eyes were on him so we knew that if we kept our hands up and made it hard for him to see the basket, he would take a tough shot and that's what he did."

NC State coach Herb Sendek:
On Hodge's last shot: "When I watch the film, I will be able to tell you. When I asked Julius, he said that he got hit with the body, and I believe him. From my angle it looked like it was. If we would have done some other things well, then it may not have come down to that. There is certainly no excuse. You have to give Washington a lot of credit."

On NC State's defensive strategy: "Our mission was to guard Washington, not (Nate) Robinson. He is anything but a one-man team. They are really, really good at running a man offense. I think they are as good on offense as any team in the country. If you look at the numbers they have on their stat sheets, it's almost as if Lorenzo (Romar) was able to fill out the numbers as he wanted them. They are a good offensive team, so we tried to change defenses on them to keep them off balance.

"I think for the most part, to come in here and keep them under 70 points was a pretty good defensive effort for our team. It was just a good college basketball game." Top Stories