Coaches' Quotes - UCONN

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Here are quotes from Washington coaches Lorenzo Romar and Cameron Dollar during Wednesday afternoon's media session at the Verizon Center. Washington will be playing Connecticut Friday night in the third round of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament.

On UW's welcoming party in DC: "I was surprised, pleasantly surprised. To be this far away from the west coast, to have someone there greeting us was good. It was a nice touch."

On the importance of defense in his system: "It's had a lot to do with why we've been able to win ten out of our last 11 games. If we are successful at all in this program at any time, it's because we're doing a pretty good job on the defensive end. If we're not, we're just a mediocre team. So our defensive intensity has picked up for sure, and it's been reflected in our wins and losses."

On the Connecticut game being a game of their size versus Washington's speed: "We can't go as big as they can, but I don't think it's our speed against . They're quick as well. They are not only a tall team, but they are tall, athletic and quick basketball team. They are definitely a bigger team than us, we realize that, but I don't think it's our quickness versus their size."

On the importance of having Mike Jensen back in the lineup: "It's made a huge difference. He's been in our defensive system for four years, someone who has guarded the No. 1 pick in last year's draft - Andrew Bogut - he's guarded Channing Frye, Ike Diogu and has guarded a number of very good big post players over the years. He's the best on our squad of doing that, so it makes a difference."

On Brandon Roy and the accolades he's received: "It's refreshing to see Brandon getting the national attention he's recently been getting. It helps when you win. We always talk to our guys that, if you win, sometimes you're able to get those accolades. Before now, it was somewhat unfortunate, but at the same time, we had some very good players on our basketball team. Nate Robinson, everyone knew who Nate Robinson was last year. He was exciting, people pulled for him. He did amazing things on the basketball floor. A lot of times people would forget about the other players on this basketball team that could play. Brandon Roy is not one playing, begging for everyone to say, 'Look at me!'. Some players are like that, but that's not how Brandon Roy plays. He deferred to his teammates. He averaged 13 points a game last year, and the year before, but when the game was on the line, Brandon Roy had the ball. Last year, and the year before, Brandon Roy had the ball. So he's always been talented, but because of his unselfishness, lack of flashy play and the fact that there were other good players on the team that were also good, he hadn't received the notoriety that he is now. Earlier in the year, we were able to win a few games by sizeable margins, and Brandon wasn't the one that was taking all the shots. There were other guys open, but Brandon wasn't like, 'Forget you guys, I've got to be an All-American, I've got to be a lottery pick, so I've got to get mine', he distributed the basketball. When we started playing Pac-10 ball though, and defenses started tightening up and the shots weren't available for others, Brandon stepped up and has been on an unverbalized crusade to make people understand who he is and who the Huskies are."

On the media not knowing much about Brandon Roy: "Before the season started, when you hear people talk about Brandon Roy and say he's a good basketball player, but if he could work on his ball-handling skills he'd be a much better basketball player, that was an indication nobody knew who he was. Now we see how well he distributes the ball, he plays point guard for us and he's just a great all-around player. I just read a comment that he's a really good basketball player in spite of being a great athlete. They don't know who Brandon Roy is. I don't think anyone knows who Brandon Roy is, with the exception of his name and how he's performed a couple of times on the national stage. Brandon Roy is an unselfish basketball player with great character that decided to come back for his senior year of college and has matured quite a bit as a result. He can do anything you need him to do on the basketball floor. I think he's the most complete player in America."

On a perceived East Coast bias when it comes to knowing about Brandon Roy: "A little bit, but if that were the case, no one would know who Adam Morrison is. But everyone knows who Adam Morrison is."

On defensive matchups against Connecticut: "We have difficult matchups at each spot, and come game time we have to decide exactly what's going to be best. The way we defend, we have a lot of interchangeable parts, so a number of people could be guarding different players at any given time. I know that's probably not the answer you wanted, but we aren't playing until tomorrow."

On UCLA's 1995 win over Connecticut (where Romar was an asssistant under Jim Harrick) in preparing for this game: "They were a high-octane team when we played them. It was an Elite 8 game. They had future NBA players in that game and they have future NBA players on this team. They had great size. Travis Knight was a 7-footer that was their starting center. Donny Marshall was a 6-8 four man that had great size. They also had a guy out on the wing that was pretty good - Ray Allen. They were comfortable, they knew how to play well together. They understood their roles and they defended. If you drove at the basket, you better have come with some sort of strategy or they would throw it back out at you. The one difference is that then they had a couple of ball-handling guard, but this year Marcus Williams is such a dominant playmaker that he's been pretty much handling it alone. Earlier in the year they were starting (Craig) Austrie, but now they've gone with Denham Brown, who I think is a heck of a basketball player, a very tough-minded basketball player. That might be the only difference."

On whether or not he is surprised with frosh point guard Justin Dentmon: "I wouldn't say surprised so much as pleasantly pleased. When we went out to look for a guard last year, we knew that he was going to have to be one that would have to come in and play right away. We never promised Justin a starting position, but if Justin would not be doing what he's doing right now, we would have misevaluated and recruited the wrong guy. We recruited him hoping that he would be able to make this type of an impact as a freshman. We tried to play him early in the year a lot of minutes, knowing that down the stretch, he was going to have to make mistakes and fall flat on his face a few times to get better. So he's learned from his mistakes and here we are in the NCAA tournament and through two games he hasn't committed a turnover and has scored in double-figures both games. I would say in short, he is what we hoped he would be."

On win over Connecticut being potentially a defining moment: "I think it would be fantastic for our program if we were fortunate to advance to the Elite 8 or even further. It hasn't happened in a while. For the seniors, those guys have accomplished a lot, things that haven't been accomplished in forty or fifty years. You've got to give these guys a lot of credit for allowing that to happen. If we're fortunate enough to do that and go on it would be fantastic. It would be awesome."

On concerns going into the game: "We're concerned with how big they are. Some teams are tall in terms of their roster but not as tall when they go out and play. Their size suggests they are tall, but then you see they have a ten-rebound margin and they block nine shots a game. Against Notre Dame, they blocked 18 shots. You realize, they are tall. That is something that we have to deal with, and it will be very important for us."

Cameron Dollar:
On the freshmen getting too up or down during the tournament: "It should never change. The hype in the media is nice, but it should never change. That's where the focus should come in. You should be on auto-pilot, where you are out there just playing, and not really aware of your surroundings. The good thing about being a freshman, it's easier to deal with."

On what goes into determining defensive matchups: "We talk all the time. Coach Romar will get their feedback from time to time on it. We talk about their feel or their style, they like covering this guy more than that guy. We may ask some trenches questions, what's going on during the course of a game. What's he trying to do to you? Is he being more aggressive, is he trying to post you up? Those type of questions."

On Bobby Jones guarding Marcus Williams: "It's possible. Brandon could get him, there could be a lot of people on him. The thing for us, when individual guys have success guarding others, at the end of the day the Huskies have to have success. Even at Illinois, when we had success, it wasn't individual success. Our whole team got after it. Bobby and Mike did a great job of carrying out their individual assignments, but it would have been meaningless if the other three guys didn't do their jobs. Our defense is always a five-pronged approach." Top Stories