Coaches' quotes - USU

SAN DIEGO - Here are quotes from Washington coaches Lorenzo Romar and Cameron Dollar following the Huskies' 75-61 win over Utah State Thursday night at Cox Arena in San Diego.

Lorenzo Romar:
On the slow start: "Maybe it was nerves. You're so anxious becuase it's the NCAA tournament, and I always feel like the first game is the toughest game. You have to get your initial baptism into the tournament. And we only got 19 minutes to warm up, so that could have been a factor. But it was the same for both teams."

On what he expects from Illinois: "I expect them to play great offense, to run their offense with precision and to be physical."

On Brian Randle matching up against Brandon Roy: "I don't want to sound like a wiseguy, but we're not worried about that. We're concerned about our team and how we approach the University of Illinois. They are a very good basketball team, and as the game goes, we'll assess how Brandon is being played and go from there."

On getting an opportunity to play a top team like Illinois: "That's a compliment to Illinois. Our guys really respect Illinois, and if you are worth anything as a competitor, you want to play against the best. Illinois made it to the championship game last year. Our guys follow them and are basketball fans. You want to play against the best and our guys have the utmost respect for them, so that's why they want to play them."

On what UW has to do to beat Illinois: "We have to play at the top of our game, we have to play at a high level and be very efficient."

On stopping Dee Brown as the answer: "He didn't score a lot tonight and the other team didn't win. We've got to be worried about shutting down the University of Illinois as a team."

On using their defense dictate offense: "If we can play that way with that mindset, if we could have done that the whole year, we're a much better team when our defense decides where we are at as opposed to whether or not shots are going in."

On the strange nature of the statistics: "It was. We outrebound most of the teams we play against, but they did a good job on the boards tonight, so my hat's off to them. But we scored a lot of points from our forced turnovers. We played USC and turned the ball over 28 times, but out-rebounded them 46-22 or something like that. If it's not working one way, hopefully we can get it done another way. I think that's the mark of a well-rounded team."

On Jones' defense against David Pak: "We wanted a bigger guard on him (Pak) and we knew that Bobby was capable of guarding four different positions. We're fine putting him on a point guard. We just asked him to keep him in front of you, keep your arms active and try to get as many deflections as you can."

On Brandon Roy's game: "It was another Brandon Roy great performance. That was something we've seen before. When a player like Brandon Roy is that good, plays just work. The one that was consistent was the one where we gave him the ball. That's a good play."

On the underdog talk: "When you get into a NCAA tournament, if that's what gets you going, you're not going to get very far. It's the NCAA tournament, that's why you're motivated. You're trying to win a national championship."

On the win adding to the validity of the program: "Hopefully it does. We want to be looked upon as a program that is consistent over the years, a program that has to be reckoned with. And we're still moving in that direction."
Cameron Dollar:
On the defensive pressure and the play of Brandon Roy: No question about it, that's what good players do. It's their time to shine. Defensively, we were excellent. we got after it and made them do things they weren't accustomed to doing, able to take them out of their sets. It was special to beat them like that.

On Washington's defensive gameplan: "We knew they were a high-powered offensive machine, and what we wanted to do was cut them off at the point and not allow them to make those first initial entry passes. On the wing or the elbows, that really gets their offense started. If you go back and look at their possessions, they probably were able to run their offense ten times minimum the whole game. Once we got them playing some scattered ball, they just aren't used to doing that. They are used to running their sets and having great timing and spacing. We just tried to take them out of everything they wanted to do."

On Bobby Jones' work against David Pak: Bobby did an exceptional job on him. Bobby Jones' point of emphasis is play with energy. Rebound, defend, scrap, score scrap buckets, opportunity buckets. Whenever he's doing that, he's one of the best in the country in affecting the outcome of a game without putting a lot of points on the scoreboard."

On the early sluggish start and whether or not Illinois might be licking their chops: We'll see. They are used to playing ugly, smashmouth and banging it. I know they are excited to play us and we're excited to play them. So let's go get it."

On the open Idaho job: You're blessed to be successful enough to have people that are interested in you. You listen, but it's going to have to be a truly special deal to leave Washington, and more importantly, to leave Romar. He's been so important in my life as a mentor and as a friend. It's hard to leave that. I've been with him a long time. We want to keep this thing going and win a national championship. But you're always listening, I was listening eight years ago." Top Stories