Players Quotes - UCONN

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Players from Washington and Connecticut were on hand Wednesday during Media Day at the Verizon Center, and Sports Washington was there to get quotes from both teams. Washington will be playing Connecticut Friday night in the third round of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament.

Washington Players:
Brandon Roy:
On Washington Head Coach Lorenzo Romar calling him America's most complete player: "Lately I think a lot of people have been giving me that respect. When they don't give it, it's just motivation. It's nice to have people respecting me and noticing me."

On the recent level of attention, compared to last year: "Nate was doing some spectacular things and maybe I was overshadowed, but giving me accolades doesn't determine how I play. I try to perform well no matter what they say."

On why Illinois' Brian Randle called him a 'Matchup nightmare': "I think it's because I do a number of things. I can penetrate, I can shoot the three-ball, I'll penetrate and pass the ball. I'm not one-dimensional. When I make plays, I make plays to help my team perform well. I'm just making plays to help our team be effective and help our team be able to win. I think that's why I'm hard to guard."

On Connecticut's possible weaknesses: "There's always a weakness on every team. They've had a lot of games where they are up 20 and let teams back in. And other games, they are down 15 and they come back. That shows how dominant they are, but it also shows that sometimes they are less focused for the full forty minutes in a game. We know if they are up 15 they may leave the door open for us to come back, and if we're up 15 we have to be conscious of the fact that they can come back. I don't know if you get excited about it or just stay focused about it, because they can do both sides. We just hope they have that lapse during the game where they are unfocused."

On being a household name if he was on the east coast: "Yeah, I think so. Honestly, if I played on the east coast, I think I would be a household name. On the west coast I'm a household name, and that's good enough for me."

On Bobby Jones: "Bobby's made me a better player over the past four seasons, especially this season. All summer when we played pickup basketball, me and Bobby matched up against each other every game. He pushes me. He makes me work for every basket. Every time I pinch on up to the basket, sometimes he'll stop me. His ability to guard big men and small guys definitely helps our team, because he can guard anybody. He started off the (Illinois) game guarding Dee Brown, but then (James) Augustine got going, so coach said, 'Bobby, guard him'. That gives us a two-dimensional guy on the perimeter and it definitely helps our team."

On UW's defense and how it's improved: "Last year's team, we were really small and tended to give up a lot of easy baskets. Whenever you start Nate (Robinson), who is 5-8 or 5-9, and Will (Conroy), who is 6-1, when you've got backside rotations, there are smaller guys getting their hands up on shots. Now when you have Brandon Roy at 6-6 and Bobby Jones at 6-7 and those are your perimeter players, we're a little better inside, keeping teams out of the paint. If anything, I think we're just more physical. Our size is average across the board, but I think it plays to our advantage."

On who would win if both teams play their perfect game: "I've been thinking about that. If UCONN plays their best game ever and we play our best game ever, it's tough to say. We almost need to have them have lapses. They are so talented and have experience. We need to play our best basketball and we need to have them be unfocused at times during the game in order for us to win. I watched them play against Kentucky and when they were going on all cylinders they are a tough team to guard. I think they are definitely going to need to make some mistakes for us to win, I think."

On coming to Washington, D.C. early: "We went to the nation's capitol, we got a nice tour. We got to walk around and see all the old Presidents' statues. We went to the White House, that was real cool. I was hoping I would see the President going down one of those hallways so I could say 'Hi!'. That was a great experience, we took a lot of pictures. But we're happy we came early to do those things because when I woke up this morning, all I could think about was the tournament and playing UCONN. We got a chance to see some great things and now we get to play a great team."

On visiting the White House: "We were in the West Wing. We got to see his office and everything. It was pretty nice. I asked, 'Will he randomly walk around,' and they said yes, but I guess it was past his bedtime, so we didn't get a chance to see him."

Justin Dentmon:
On what makes Brandon Roy a 'Matchup Nightmare': "I think it's because when defenders get on him he can draw fouls. People underestimate his jump shot and he can drive and cut. He's a nightmare for any team."

On keeping things feeling like home: "We just stay with each other. We talk to each other, just like home. When we are all together and crack jokes, it's just like being at home. The same stuff we do at Washington, we do on the road."

On the improvement in defense lately: "It's better because we've shifted gears. It's tournament time and anybody can go home. We definitely don't want to go home right now, so we are going to try to pick it up and play our best ball."

On what it would take to guard Marcus Williams: "I can't say right now. In general, just slowing him down in transition. But any more than that, I can't say because I really don't know."

On transition from being a scorer to point guard: "That makes me dangerous. It's a big advantage. In scouting reports, they probably think I'm pass first, which is true of this team because there are so many scorers. It just shows that I can hit some open shots when they are keying on the other guys. I just think it's going to play to our advantage. But it's been hard. I was used to being the go-to guy in high school, and knowing that I was going to have to change the way I play to make the team better, it was a big step. It was a big adjustment, but somebody had to do it."

Jamaal Williams:
On what he plans to do to score against Connecticut's big men: "I'm not going to give you all my secrets. I'll be ready to go. I've got some things I'm going to use that I haven't showed yet. They've got to come out to the perimeter, because I'm not just going to go down to the post and let them beat around my shot all day long. I'm going to use my quickness to my advantage, as I have been doing so far. I don't think I'll have any problems."

On the defensive improvement: "I think we're being more aggressive. Early in the year, guys were still asking questions. Justin and Brockman were still trying to find out where they were supposed to be, but now we understand all the game-time situations, how we're supposed to play it and our rotations. So when we get on the floor we don't have as many problems that we need to solve, we can solve them on the fly on our own."

Artem Wallace:
On the team's physical shape traveling from the west coast to Washington, D.c.: "We're pretty well adjusted by now. We got into Washington (DC) on Tuesday night. We left on Tuesday at 1 p.m. - our time - and arrived here about 9 p.m. We went sightseeing on Wednesday. We went to the Congress Building, White House and a bunch of monuments. It was neat. My first trip to Washington. It was hard to fall asleep the first night, but we're ready to go now."

Mike Jensen:
On the importance of personally getting off to a good offensive start: "I don't know if I feel pressure, but if I'm able to hit a few three-pointers, it would go a long ways to help our team."

On the atmosphere of being in the Sweet 16: "The atmosphere is always great. The tension, the excitement...last-second wins...

On the game vs. Connecticut being a physical game: "We can't shy away from the physical part of the game because if you're afraid of being physical with a team like this, you'll wind up losing. We have our work cut out for us, but we need to start out matching their physical presence."

Bobby Jones:
On the key(s) to beating Connecticut: "We need to play our game, be aggressive, use our speed and trapping abilities. They are a physical team, a great rebounding team so we need to be aggressive and take it to the hole. If we don't, we'll get a lot of shots rejected."
Connecticut Player Quotes:
Marcus Williams:
On avoiding costly lapses: "We just need to all stay on the same page and keep focused. If we can keep our focus and stay within our offense, we'll be alright. Every team has lapses, but ours are more noticeable because our team is so talented."

On playing their best as the season ends: "We've been shining all year. We were ranked No. 1 in the country a few times, so we just need to keep up that level of play. But we know that all these teams got this far for a reason. We can't take Washington lightly, and if we win that game, we can't take the next team we play lightly. They've been beating good teams too."

Josh Boone:
On playing close to home(Mt. Airy, MD): "It's a great feeling, because I get to play in front of people who haven't had a chance to see me play in person so far this year. I've been getting a lot of requests for tickets, but that's always going to happen. I just need to keep working and stay focused."

On the absence of the No. 2, 3 and 4 seeds: "We don't really think about these teams in terms of what seed they are. All the teams that are here got this far because they beat those teams that were seeded higher, so they're just as good, if not better, than those higher-seeded teams that we could be playing. Right now, our goal is to beat Washington, and then if we do that, we'll move onto focusing on the next team we play."

Rudy Gay:
On playing close to his Baltimore home: "It's good to be here. It's a little bit warmer than Storrs, but not too much warmer. I've heard from a lot of people about tickets, but I just need to keep focusing on why I'm here and let that stuff take care of itself."

On the matchup with Washington: "It's going to be a fun game. Washington is a team that plays a lot like we do, so it's just oging to be one team against another. It won't really be much of a 'thinking game', it will just be a matter of us throwing our stuff up against theirs."

On Washington star Brandon Roy: "He really impresses me. He never thinks about his last shot, whether it was a miss or a make. He just works to get his next shot, and that's going to be tough for us to guard."

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