Player Quotes - Montana

BOISE, ID - Here are player quotes from both teams after Washington defeated Montana 88-77 in first-round action of the NCAA men's basketball tournament Thursday.

Tre Simmons:
On the hot start: We tried to take advantage early and that's what we did. But then we played it cool. We just switched it on and off. That's what happened.

On scoring the first 13 points of the game: That's how we try to bring it every game. I think coach (Lorenzo Romar) does a good job of pumping us up before the game. But that's just us, bringing intensity to the game.

On the crowd: Most of the fans cheer for us, but now we're at a neutral court. A lot of people think we're overrated, but we have to put that behind us.

On Montana's tenacity: I'm not surprised. This is the top 64 teams in the nation. It's not going to be easy. If we play aggressively the whole 40 minutes, we probably have a good chance to beat them the way we wanted to.

Brandon Roy:
On trying to maintain momentum: We came out with a lot of intensity and we rotated some guys in there who kind of kept the intensity up a little bit. But like coach (Lorenzo Romar) said, we kind of got cool down the stretch. Being a number-one team is hard you know bcause the whole game you are thinking about that and we just had to put the fact that they were playing a good game behind us and get the win. We're still new to this whole system and we are just going to take the win and try to get better.

On the crowd: Well, for me it felt great. It was new to us to be at a neutral site and the other team cheering against us because you know we have Nate (Robinson) and everyone loves Nate. We've kind of always been the underdog team so usually they follow us, but tonight we are the number-one team and a lot of people think that we shuoldn't be, so they are kind of against us right now. I think I hit a few big shots and Tre hit some big shots. That's what we have to do throught the tournament you know when the other team makes runs at us. A lot of guys have to step up in order for us to go far in the tournament.

On Pacific: I watched the first half and Pacific is a very good basketball team. They don't make a whole lot of mistakes and they can really shoot the three. Our gameplan has to be to match their intensity and not make very many mistakes. They won't beat themselves. We're going to have to go out there and beat them. Hopefully we can do that. We've got a lot of guys and it's hard to prepare for all of us, especially in this short of time. Hopefully that can be to our advantage.

On keeping up the intensity after a big lead: It's hard. We've been watching the tournament all our lives and you see teams win by 30 and you think, 'OK, that's neat. I think we can do that,' but when we played tonight the game just seemed to go on. I was like, 'Man, this is a long game', but we're still new to this and we're going to try to keep getting better at this. We're not going to put our heads down and say that we didn't live to the whole 'number-one' hype. We came here to play six games, not one.

Nate Robinson:
Hard to keep a big lead going: We jumped on 'em so early, thinkin' it's going to be a cakewalk. We need to keep playing like we're down 20. They played us tough and we found a way to win.

On what changed for Montana: They started getting other guys to bring the ball us and they used screens to get easy buckets.

On keeping up the pressure: It's just like when you are a little kids and you're playing and you're up 25 and they tell you to back off. It comes back from when you're like ten years old and you're up 30 and you can't pressure the other guys. At times it felt like that, but coach kept telling us to go after them and sometimes it's tough to do it when you're up 20. We have to learn how to do that on a consistent basis.

On having 'too much gas' in the tank: I was tired when it was jump ball. I was so ready to play, I just wanted to do so well. But it's like being too juiced. You might have too much gas in the tank and blow it all out.

On the crowd: You didn't hear them until they really started coming back that you hear them the most. There have been times throughout the season where teams did that, so we're used to it. A win is a win, and we'll take it. We have to play better on Saturday.

Bobby Jones:
On being too hyped up: We're used to doing that, but we aren't consistent. It's hard to start out like that and stay like that.

On being able to go for big offensive bursts at a time: It's a good and bad thing. It's good to know that you can turn it on and off when you want to, but it's bad because you never want to turn it off. You want to leave that light-switch on. You want to always keep that intensity.

On the pressure of being a 1-seed: At the time, we hadn't won a game in the NCAA's since I've been here, so I just wanted to get that first win and continue to play on Saturday. But looking back we did have a lot of pressure to get this win. A lot of people will be watching us because we are a number-one seed. Some are happy that we got it, some wonder why we got it. We got the win now and maybe we didn't win as much as people thought we should, but we got the win. That's all that counts.

On Pacific: I know they have a couple of transfers and have some guys from overseas. We just can't mess up on defense or they will expose us.

Mike Jensen:
On Pacific: They had a stretch where they won 22 games. Any team that isn't that good won't be able to do that.

On stepping up and answering challenges: We were able to constantly answer them, but at the same time it's disappointing knowing that we didn't play as hard in the first round, knowing that we got bumped in the first round last year. We had a lot of things on our mind and maybe the pressure got to us a little bit. We didn't play the kind of basketball we are capable of, and that's the bottom line.

On late first-half 3-pointer: Coach always says that if you're open, just let it go. Tre gave me a great pass in the corner and I was in my rhythm, so I took it. When it went in, I was happy. I think it gave us some momentum going into the half. Whenever you get a three-pointer at a crucial time, it always helps your team out.

On Kamarr Davis: We didn't do near as good a job as we are capable of against him. We were easily capable of shutting him down, but he got a lot of easy buckets that shouldn't have happened.

On going up early: It's a lesson we learned, but we've learned this lesson before. It's something we have to take to our hearts and know that we can't let teams constantly come back on us.

On the hot start: I don't think it was by surprise. I think we were so bottled up and so energized. I think the biggest thing was that we just didn't think it was going to be that easy. And when we got up that big that early, that's when we put our cool jackets on.

Will Conroy:
On the strong start: I think that lead set a great margin to sit on for the game. We got flat a few times, but we were able to bounce back from their runs with our own runs. It was a game of runs.

On the side effects of a big lead early: I think early it was tough because you have to get your second wind quick. You're so pumped up, it takes some time to get your breathing pattern back right. At one point, even Nate was getting tired, and that doesn't happen very often. That's crazy. We finally settled in and finally started to make some plays.

On taking leadership during Montana's runs: To me, it was anything to get the win. No one remembers how much you win by. When you're in the NCAA tournament, it's all about who wins. We were able to handle our business, and that's a good thing.

Kamarr Davis:
On staying patient: Coach (Krystkowiak) told us, 'they love to take quick shots.' We believed in the coaching staff and went out and contested shots and got rebounds. Then we pushed it back at them. we began to run our offense, and that's what got us back in the game.

On his effectiveness down low: They like to play post defense on the high side. I just posted up on the strong side. When we swung it to the high post he was already on the top side. Then I just sealed and had an easy layup.

Kevin Criswell:
On UW's hot start: I think they just came out and hit eight of their first nine shots, and we were kind of lapsed on the defensive end. I don't know if it was because of the pressur of the tournament, or guys not ready to play. It would have been nice to get that three and half, four minutes back. We kind of settled the storm there. In the late, late first half we made a game of it.

On the crowd: You have to love that atmosphere. I don't know whether it's Boise loving coach more, or loving Montana. we made a run in the first half and a couple in the second. It really gets the adrenaline pumping when you have the majority of the crowd on your side.

On Washington going on quick offensive bursts: I think we got lackadaisical on our offensive end. A missed lay-up and two turnovers in a row. They came down, hit a three, two lay-ups and the lead was back up to 17. With a great team like them, you can't afford to have those kind of mistakes. Top Stories