Coaches' Quotes - Pacific

BOISE, ID - Here are quotes from Washington Head Coach Lorenzo Romar, Assistant Coach Ken Bone and also Pacific Head Coach Bob Thomason after Washington defeated Pacific 97-79 in the second round of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Taco Bell Arena.

Washington Head Coach Lorenzo Romar:
On the game: We as a staff are proud of our guys today. Our guys went out and competed as well as we have all year. Not only did we just compete we played efficient basketball. We outrebounded a bigger team. We only committed seven turnovers. I thought we were extrememly disciplined and played smart for 40 minutes. I thought that was the difference in the game. I thought our pressure was at a high-enough level, and down the stretch they ran out of gas. That is a very good basketball team, and a well-coached basketball team. For us to come out with this type of performance shows the heart that our guys have.

On Nate Robinson: First of all, you almost blew it; he doesn't know he's small. Everyone else sees him, but he doesn't know he's small. There are different guards across the counrty, the best ones, that does the same thing Nate Robinson does. I don't think any one of them have a bigger heart or are as competitive as Nate Robinson. Obviously, you see his athleticism and the energy he plays with. You can't teach what's inside of that young man. I think that allows him to compete against anyone in America. I don't just mean in college. I'm not telling you he's the best player in America. I'm telling you he had a ticket that allows him to compete against anyone. The bigger the game, you almost see him grow before your eyes.

On halftime speech: We didn't talk about offense. We didn't talk about scoring 97 points. We said if we would defend and reboundwe would win the game. At halftime we had done a marvelous job defending. We were outrebounding them by one, but we only had four turnovers. When we finished that half and we came out, I think our team smelled Sweet Sixteen. I think that was motivation enough to know we could advance, and only be two games away from the Final Four. I think that propelled our guys to go out and really play with another high level of intensity.

Washington Assistant Head Coach Ken Bone:
On Thomason's comments and his pre-game speech: I was kind of shocked to read it in the local paper. I felt like he was taking a shot at our guys. It caught me off guard a little bit. He said that Pacific had been to two NCAA games the past two years and that Washington had only been to one. It's not a bad comment to make to instill confidence in his kids, but those are the type of comments that get our guys fired up. You could tell by their reaction that they were ready to go. It was a good reaction, the type of reaction we were hoping they would have.

On taking the message and maybe trying to do to much because of it: That's something that can happen and it entered our minds, but when I mentioned it to Lorenzo (Romar) I told him that I wanted to read this today and asked him what he thought. He said that he was totally fine with it. And I thought about that beforehand. I've never done something like that before.

On using quotes as motivation before: I can't remember anyone on this staff doing that before. I can't remember.

On opening up the second half on fire: And you know what was so sweet about that? It wasn't that our guys were just hitting shots, it was that they were hitting shots the way we had talked about, the way we could expose Pacific. And again, they are a good team, a very good team. But there are some weaknesses, some holes in their defense. And our guys played the game-plan out to a 't'. Therefore, there were wide-open shots.

On making adjustments: We really didn't make a lot of adjustments, even from the get-go. We just had to reiterate to them to keep doing what they were doing. Don't get comfortable with the lead, don't do what we've done sometimes and get content being up 10, 12...just keep playing the way we're playing and we're going to be really good tonight and next week.

On Pacific relying on the three: Lorenzo did a great job of not only changing up defenses but also rotating guys. I don't know what the final minute totals were, but he was able to rotate guys to the point that we were able to keep the pressure up for 40 minutes. They were not able to get in their sets, and that was our whole concern.

On reaching the Sweet Sixteen: It's so sweet. It's so sweet for the program and also for the individual guys because they have worked so hard at not only practicing and preparing themselves physically, but also changing their character, and that's been key to their success.

On the point differential in the paint: We were just simply quicker than they were. They are bigger and they might even be stronger, but you cannot replace quickness. Our guys were quicker to the ball and quicker to react to the rim when they did get possession of the ball. We felt that contributed to scoring in the paint."


Pacific Head Coach Bob Thomason:
Opening Statement: I couldn't be prouder of our guys this year. What a wonderful year to go 27-4 and 18-0 in the (Big West) conference. I couldn't be more happy about what we accomplished. We ran into a talented team that played very well.

On Nate Robinson: We we did make a run, (Nate) Robinson just took over the game and showed what type of player he is. He made some very difficult shots and made them look easy.

On Washington: They are a very talented team and when they play well they can play with anybody.

On Washington's defense: You don't classify them as a great defensive team, but they cause you a lot of problems. If you are great defensively you will probably create some turnovers.


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