Player Quotes - Louisville

ALBUQUERQUE - Here's quotes from Washington and Louisville players on the eve of their highly anticipated Sweet 16 battle royale in Albuquerque. Respect is there, but both squads made it known that they will not back down from one another.

Washington player quotes:

Nate Robinson:
On seedings: They (Louisville) are definitely a great team and in my mind are deserving of a number-one seed. But I don't really think of seedings right now, this is for the Elite 8. That's how I look at it.

On Louisville's perimeter game: But watching them on TV throughout the year, they shoot the ball well and play hard, play together. They are similar to us in so many ways. They have a pressure full-court game. We're just looking forward to playing against that.

On his height, or lack thereof: I've got a big heart. My heart is as big as the world. I play with passion, emotion and I have fun. That's the biggest key.

On Louisville shutting down other guards and how he's going to counteract that: I'm me, simple as that. I'm always going to be me regardless of who we play. I'm just going to do everything I can to help my team win. If I don't get the numbers but I do everything else I can to help the team win, I did my job.

On altitude change: We're used to it now, playing in Boise. It can't be an issue. We've got to be tough as nails.

Will Conroy:
On playing consistent defense: You can't change your plans now. You can't try to hide what we do just because we are a good team. We can't sit back and play on our heels, or we'll be at a disadvantage. I'm sure we'll make adjustments to do what we have to do. We all know we play better when we get to the 80's and 90's. If the game is scored in the 50's and 60's, it definitely plays more into Louisville's hands.

On Rick Pitino: I was just watching a special on him yesterday (on ESPN Sports Century) and it was a little intimidating. He's a special coach. He's a warrior. His team follows him and they are a direct reflection of him. Whenever your team reflects what a coach does, you can go far.

On what UW needs to do to win: It's just what we've done all year. Our key to our success is to play hard, leave it all on the floor, gang-rebound and stay together. When you get this far, you don't change a thing. We're not about changing up what we're doing. You stick with what you are doing. There will be adversity in this game and we've got to stick together during that adversity.

On Francisco Garcia: We see him more as a Julius Hodge-type player, but he's a better shooter. He shoots with more consistency. He's also been though a lot, so nothing is going to get to him. He's a tough cover.

On Lorenzo Romar: He's a great role model. He's helping us grow up to be men. College helps prepare you for life and he's just one of those guys from Compton that's seen it all. As we go through adversity in life, he's seen it all. When you have someone like that in front of you, you try all we can to be sponges and soak it all in.

On being undersized: I'm not sure if you watch us much, but it seems like every game we are undersized. It's not a problem now. Our bigs know that we trust them and they trust us. They trust the guards to make plays and we trust them to make plays and defend. We'll come down there and help them. We will do whatever we've got to do to get a team win. It's not an individual thing, it's a team thing. If we win it, it will be a team effort to guard the bigs and go to the boards.

On Nate: He's a leader by example. Whenever you've got a player with Nate's gifts, it's a plus to your program. He doesn't have to come to the locker room and say we've got to this and we've got to do that. He just shows it. If there's a ball on the floor, he'll go get it. and that kind of stuff sparks us. As a team it gets you ready. It gets your blood pressure going, and when you see Nate doing it and everybody is talking about it, then our worst guy has to go out and do it.

On being intimidated: Nobody on our team is ever intimidated. We respect everyone and everyone is here because they are good, but we are not intimidated by anybody. They put on their spandex the same as everyone else. They tie their shoes same as everyone else. We're ready to go.

Louisville player quotes:

Larry O'Bannon:
On Sweet Sixteen: This is definitely an exciting time. Two games away, I mean you got Washington and then you got the winner of Texas Tech and West Virginia.

On Washington's guards: They're quick and they should shoot the ball just as well as we can. They have (Will) Conroy, and (Nate) Robinson and they have another guard-forward coming off the bench (Brandon Roy), so they all have been playing with each other for a long time so they know each others' moves and they really know how to play the game of basketball. Our backcourt has never really got the respect, nationally, that we really deserve. We proved ourself last week against Georgia Tech and did a great job.

On size mismatch with Robinson on offense: He's quicker than I am, so I know I definitely have to give him some room ... He shoots the ball well too, so you can't give him too much room. I will just take the same approach I took last week. You're not going to stop the guy...the guy is going to make some nice shots and some nice moves. You have to contain him and make every score and every shot that he has challenged and play to the best of your ability.

On size mismatch with Robinson on defense: Just keep moving without the ball and make them play defense, make them lose a lot of energy on the defensive end. We know he's a great offensive player. You want to try to work him a little bit, post him up a little bit.

On what Francisco Garcia means to their team: Well, he's a great guy. He's even a better teammate off the court. He brings the team together. He's hillarious, a very funny guy and everything he does off the court leads to everything we do on the court. He builds up confidence. He used to send me, like three-paragraph text messages before every game just to get me fired up before the game. He just does the little things. He's just a great teammate to have.

On matching their performance against Georgia Tech: I defenitely think we can do it again. We had obviously a great shooting game. Whether we play like that offensively depends on how we're shooting the ball. Defensively, we can match that all the time, I mean we just control the boards and make sure every shot is challenged, that's the one thing we can control is the defense. Sometimes my shot might not be good, but it's just a matter of time before they start falling in.

On controlling tempo: We definitely want to cotrol the tempo, but we'll pick our spots when we run. We won't just throw the ball down. We definitely want to slow them down. They have an awful lot of speed. We definitely are not going to turn into a half-court type of team. We'll run, but we pick and chose our spots when we run or slow them down.

Francisco Garcia:
On playing his last games for Louisville: I don't really think about about it all that much...playing my last game, but I'm trying to enjoy this ride and I am trying to have as much fun I can right now with my teammates.

On the role tradition had in picking Louisville: I have been watching Coach (Rick) Pitino since he was at Kentucky, and I love the way he coached. That was the reason why I went to Louisville and now that I'm there now I understand how big basketball is there. I really love playing for Louisville and I talk to my family all the time about how happy I am that I made that decision to go to Louisville. Top Stories