Player Quotes - ASU

The mood in the Washington locker room Thursday night was one of relief. There was no jubliation, no celebration. It was the collective emotion of a club knowing they still have two very difficult games to go to win the Pac-10 tournament. Here's what they had to say about their 95-90 overtime win over Arizona State Thursday in Los Angeles.

Will Conroy:
On the key time-out calls late: Coach is always emphasizing to us that the first one that hits the ground is the first one that gets the ball. The first time...see, we are playing with these new Nike balls, and they are funny to catch at first. I kind of bobbled the first one, and it rolled out. I knew I had to get this ball, so I dove and as soon as I got on it I called time out. I was surprised they gave it to me. On the second one, it was one of those balls in the air, and I wasn't going to throw it back. Those are ones where Ike (Diogu) the Superman grabs it and slams it back down. I knew I needed to get a time out and I remembered coach telling me that we had three left, so I called time out.

Nate Robinson:
On success against ASU: I think it's because of the way they play. They play like us. Coach makes sure that we play pressure defense up and down the court all game and that's how I can play. My guys put so much confidence in me when I play that the sky is the limit.

On the ASU guards getting open: We seemed like we were in a scrambling situation a lot, so it was always tough finding your guy. Coach is always telling us to find the nearest guy to you and he teaches us to never give up no matter what. Just play hard. That's the only way and that's what we do.

Tre Simmons:
On his injury: It was (Stevie) Moore. He said, 'My bad'. I thought it was bleedin' for a minute. I was scared. I just tried to suck it up, try to sacrifice for the team.

Joel Smith:
On the first half: I just had open looks. I was just trying to get into the offense, keep moving and I got some open looks.

On any freshman jitters: No time for jitters. I've been proving it with the team for a while now. They've got confidence in me and I just try to flow with it.

On playing at home: It's nice to be back home. I could see my family but I haven't talked to them yet. It's nice to get back to California, to get back to the nice, sunny weather but it's been nice in Seattle too.

On assessing his first year: I really didn't have any expectations. I just wanted to play hard and reach our goal, which was to make it to the (NCAA) tournament and go as far as possible. I just try to fit in. I think I fit in pretty well with the team.

Hakeem Rollins:
On ramping up his game late in the season: A lot of times this time of the year we start playing the tournament-type teams, complete basketball teams. I don't know what it is, but this time of year you just have to bring it because you might not get another chance. Everything is magnified. You always have to give one-hundred percent and you have to rise to the occasion.

On not seeing Ike Diogu again: Part of me wants to play against good players and the other part of me is like, 'I've had enough of that'.

On either Stanford or Washington State: Any time a team denies you something special like a Pac-10 championship, it always means a little more if you play them again, but both are good teams. Both are good teams and both play solid and fundamental basketball. They are very similar.

Mike Jensen:
On his confidence after making an early jump-shot: Yeah, I think it helps to get in the flow of the game. Because our game is so guard-oriented, it's hard for some of the big fellas to get in the game. But if you can get an early bucket, sometimes it can get you in the flow, and getting in rhythm is sometimes the best thing in basketball.

On ASU's run: Yeah, they are a good team. You can't ever count a team out, especially in March. All that's left are the teams that really scrap. We figured they would come out and give us a good fight in the second half.

On the feel of the ASU game being like Alaska: It reminds you a lot of Alaska because it's a neutral court. No one's really yelling at you one way or another. You can hear the fans, but they are all rooting for their own thing. It's a good atmosphere and it's going to be a fun tournament.

On not seeing Ike Diogu again: I think it's always fun. I like playing against Ike. I think it's always a great challenge to be playing a great player like that. I look forward to it. And I'm glad that he's going home but at the same time it's always fun to play against him.

Brandon Roy:
His own assessment of the team's performance: I feel like we're playing good, but not great. There are some areas on offense and defense that we need to clean up. It's really hard to judge when you're playing a team for the third time, they know everything about you. We just need to keep fighting.

On peaking at the right time: We're still climbing. We're trying to peak, but at the (NCAA) tourney it's going to be teams looking at us for the first time and trying to figure out who to guard. But we're trying to win this tournament first and then playing some other teams we haven't played in a while.

On knowing who is going to have the hot hand on a given night: We really don't. Before every game we tell each other to just go out there and make some plays. we're trying to seize the moment. Nate saw some opportunities to make some plays and I saw some opportunities. Maybe Nate has the same night that he had tomorrow, but if he doesn't it's still important that he puts out the same effort.

On his health: I feel alright. I feel normal. The biggest thing is how I feel in the morning. I feel fine now and I'll do a lot of icing. It's a good thing that we play late tomorrow. I'm not upset that I had to come into the game. I'd rather be playing than packing my bags and leaving.

On his effort the final five minutes of the game: Coach said not to pace for tomorrow, just to play it out. I just went after every rebound and tried to score on offense. I knew that the guys had fought so hard that I wanted to do something to help them out. They've been backing me up all year, so any moment I can go out there and help them I do it.

On posting up: I'm extremely confident down there. Most times there's a smaller guy guarding me, but if it's a bigger guy I can mix 'em up. The biggest thing Coach likes is that if two guys collapse on me I will pass it out. I'm pretty sure that if I can't beat my guy usually he has help, so I'll kick it out to the assist guy and he can finish it. But they didn't double me much, so that's when my eyes got that big. I was like, Wow. I know my guys are like, 'We need you to go after it', so I was like, 'OK, fine'.

On the officiating from the Stanford game: It was different. At times I thought we had the edge and at times it felt like they had the edge. It seemed like there were a lot of make-up calls out there. It pretty much evened out because we finally got some calls, but during the game they just looked sloppy. Top Stories