UW - Gonzaga Coach and Player Quotes

First time out for a young team, it was about as expected. The Gonzaga Bulldogs threw the first punch - in the form of a 56-point first half, and the Washington Huskies never recovered. Both head coaches and players talked about the 97-77 Gonzaga victory Saturday night, a game in which the Huskies learned a multitude of lessons - the hard way.

Washington Head Coach Lorenzo Romar:

General Comments: "There's not a whole lot you can say. We got soundly beaten. We were no match for them tonight. We wanted to see where we were against a good team on the road, and we found out. This is a tough loss for us, they beat us soundly. The good news is, we know who we are and we're going to go to work and we're going to be a better team. But hat's off to them They did a fantastic job. (Matt) Bouldin - he's awesome. He's a great, great player."

On areas that need improvment: "Defensively, we just have to do a better job defensively. We did a decent job of holding onto the ball...we scored 80 points. We just have to do a better job defensively. And some of that is Gonzaga, they cut us up tonight, they played exceptionally well. But we have to do a better job defensively."

On putting Quincy Pondexter on Derek Raivio to start the game: "We did a poor job of maintaining where he was. You can't lose Derek Raivio. You can't lose him, and as a head coach - that's my fault. I didn't do a good enough job of communicating that to our guys. You can put that on me...you can put the whole loss on me. Our guys went out there and fought. We just weren't ready for this tonight."

On the road atmosphere: "I'm sure it played a part. We were doing some things that were uncharacteristic that happens when you are on the road. As I left the floor the first half I thought, young team on the road, that's what we're playing like. You are playing a veteran team like that and they looked like a veteran team. They looked like a well-oiled machine."

On the next road game being a Pac-10 game: "I'm not concerned about that, but we better be a lot more prepared to play than we were tonight."

On Justin Dentmon's struggles: "He had a poor performance. Justin steps up in big games, he has a flair for the dramatic. But he tried to put us on his shoulders instead of letting the game come to him. I think they did a good job of making sure they had someone in front of him all the time, like (Abdullah) Kuso and their other bigs. They made it difficult for him, and he went 2-14."

On Matt Bouldin starting: "I told a few people, I would be surprised if he didn't start. After a loss like they had, it might have been like, 'He's our best all-around player - what are we waiting on? Let's put him in there'. He's really good. Two years ago we came in with a veteran team that ended up going to the Sweet 16 and we got beat soundly. We didn't lose by 20, but we got beat soundly. This has happened to us before. Gonzaga's a good team.

On the first possession being a harbinger: "No. But it was tough realizing that we couldn't get the thing into single-digits. Something would happen, and sooner or later the dam breaks. And that's what happened tonight."

On defense: "Like I told our guys, it's like when your Mom tells you not to leave the back door open. And you leave it open and all sorts of bad things happen. It's just a matter of us just not being totally committed to it yet. We know what to do, we are aware of it, it just hasn't hit home yet. When Coach (Ben) Howland came to UCLA, you didn't hear comments about it until halfway through the year that they started to say that defense is important, we won this game with our defense, if we don't defend we don't have a chance...they bought into it. It wasn't that they were rebelling, it's just that they didn't understand how important it was. And that's what we have to get to - understanding how important it is."

On Spencer Hawes: "He turned it over a few times early, but he stuck with it. He had five rebounds in the second half, did a nice job. Jon Brockman really battled tonight and played as well as anyone on our team. He had a double-double and just fought and fought. And I thought he did a nice job on Josh Heytvelt."

On the short rotation: "It was the way the game went. Tonight, there was not one possession where we could breathe. We had to put our best foot forward the entire night."

On learning from a loss: "I hate to lose and to learn from losing. But tonight's game will get our attention. We'll definitely learn from it."

On trying to get a quick start: "We wanted to go inside early and we did that. We didn't want to lose Raivio early, but we did not execute our defensive schemes at all."
Gonzaga Head Coach Mark Few:

General Comment: "We came out with great energy and stuck to our game plan. We did a good job, and I'm really happy with it. Matt Bouldin stepped up, had some big plays. I thought we played really good."

On the new line-up: "I don't think the line-up was an issue. We just didn't go with the solid, iron five like we did last year. I thought they all responded well. Pierre Marie Altidor-Cespedes played great and came out with some great energy. Abdullah Kuso was tremendous off the bench and really assumed the role we wanted him to, which was flying around protecting the basket and finishing plays. Derek Raivio and Matt Bouldin had solid games too."

On the home-court advantage and playing at the McCarthey Athletic Center: "We have got some great atmosphere in this gym, we usually do when GU and UW play. Over there in Seattle last year was unbelievable and I think two years ago when Nate Robinson and that crew came here, was great. There was energy in the building and our team responded to it and really played off of it. It's a great place to call home. We need to come out and play well at home, especially after a loss, and especially since we are about to embark on our most difficult road trip of the year."

On rebounding from the loss to Washington State: "We needed to come out and rectify some things. Obviously our guys had kind of an edge, and we did a good job responding."

On freshman Matt Bouldin: "Matt is a complete guard. He can shoot it, grab it, he's an all-around good guard. He did a nice job rebounding tonight and did a nice job defensively."
Jon Brockman:

On the reasons for the loss: "When we go over film, we'll see where the gaps were, but Coach Romar used the analogy about holes in the dam. We would plug one hole and we just ended up going from thing to thing."

On the environment: "It was awesome. Great arena. They were a great crowd, I love playing in this kind of environment. But to lose the way we did it can be one of the most discouraging, hang-your-head-low type of things. But we'll learn from it. A lot of it comes from inexperience. Three of our starters were freshmen, and this was their first road game. It was a big shock to them. And I've never seen an environment like this before."

On the next road game being in the Pac-10: "It doesn't concern me. It just means that we have to wake up. This was a reality check right there. We got beat by 20 points and they scored about 60 points in the first half. We have to learn from our mistakes. You can't win the game now. We just have to hold our heads up and keep working. We are going to be better. I think we are going to be a great team when it's all said and done. It's just going to take a lot of hard work."

On the emotion of the game: Anytime you play in an environment like that, it's going to get you pumped up. It can be rattling for the opposing team. Tonight they proved why they've won 45 straight home games and I don't see that number going back to zero. I see it climbing up. Hat's off to Gonzaga, they are a great team."

On his scrappy style: "I like playing that way. I hit a couple of guys in the face, I got hit a couple of times in the face. That's the way I play. There was nothing cheap out there, it was just hard, aggressive basketball."

On finding his jumper: "It felt good. It's been absent for the last few games, so I've been going in and doing some extra shooting, trying to find my rhythm, and it helps a lot."

On adversity: "You can't simulate it in practice, you can't simulate that kind of crowd. It's hard being a freshman coming in. Last year I remember not being able to hear the coaches and it takes a lot of focus and concentration. We learned a lot about ourselves, we learned a lot about other teams, we learned a lot about the road. This thing is a huge learning experience."

On Justin Dentmon's struggles: "He was going up against a great set of guards. They can play with a lot of teams in this nation. He struggled and we have to bounce back. It's not just him. We are taking this whole hit as a team. We just have to keep fighting."
Spencer Hawes:

On the crowd getting personal: "I expected it. It's nothing I haven't heard before. They were talking about my girl. What they were saying was true, two years ago."

On his performance: "Look at the result, we still lost by a sizeable margin. You like to play well, but when you get blown out, it just doesn't mean much."

On early on: "I think we might have been trying too hard early on, trying to force things. I know I was. But we settled in a little bit, but we just couldn't overcome that much.

On the lessons he'll take from the game: "Don't force things, don't worry about the atmosphere, don't worry about the opponent, treat every game the same. I remember one hook I missed bad and had a couple of travels. That definitely hurt our team."

On the atmosphere: "It's a great venue, a great place to play basketball. They have great fans, a great arena. It's top-notch."

On what helps calm him down: "A bucket, a block - something like that when you start doing something positive."

On the opening alley-oop by Gonzaga: "We should have been there, we saw it on tape. I don't think there was ever a point where we thought we couldn't come back, but we just couldn't get over that hedge."

On other experiences like this where he can draw from: "The Metro championship last year, we lost to Rainier Beach by 19. We got outplayed in every definition of the word. We came back and beat them in the district championship and the rest is history. We learned not to panic. Take what the game shows you. Don't shy away from it or be obstinate about it."

On buying into playing tough defense: "You can try and play hard defense all the time, but there are the principles and the breakdowns that you have to do to actually play defense."
Justin Dentmon:

On a tough game: "It's just one of those nights where I wasn't on. I got into a hole and I couldn't get out. I got the shots I wanted, they just weren't falling."

On helping the team in other ways if scoring isn't there: "I was going for loose balls and trying to help my team rebound."

On not being able to get back into single-digits: "We kept turning the ball over as a team. We were trying to make the home-run play every time down the floor."
Adrian Oliver:

On the atmosphere: "It was an experience on the road in a hostile environment. I don't know if it got to us. We had some lapses. But it was fun. The rush before the game, that's something I've never felt before. The road is out of the way now, we can't use that as an excuse. We have to grow up in a hurry."

On the lessons learned: "We just have to adapt to life on the road. That's a great learning experience, but we hate to lose. We'll go into practice focused tomorrow and this game is behind us. We need to be consistent. We can't let the crowd or the refs or whatever get in our way of winning. We have to go out there as a five guys. We have to be consistent on every possession, cherish the ball."

On dealing with a hostile crowd: "The crowd is never going to affect me personally. In high school we played against some big crowds, like 7,000 people, so I got used to it. I've learned to adapt to it. It fuels me. The crowd is never going to affect the way I play.
Ryan Appleby:

On renewing the rivalry: "I've been asked a lot about playing Gonzaga, and I want to play them. We all want to play them. It's a great rivalry. we got them at our place and they got us this year. As players, we want to play it, it just didn't work out schedule-wise."

On trying to hit the second three: "It was difficult because they were hugging me the whole game, and I had to come down myself to pull one because no one was setting screens to get me open. It's pretty easy to guard someone when all you have to do is sit there and hug 'em because there's no screens."

On lessons learned: "Everything we did tonight, we'll learn from. We're a young team. When you play good teams on the road we have to realize that you have to swing the ball a couple of times. You aren't going to get a lot of things first-side. Most teams are good enough not to give you something on the first side all the time."

On the atmosphere: "I know we were amped to play well. Anybody who is a competitor wants to play well against a good team in an environment like this."

On moving forward: "The biggest thing is learning to play on the road. A lot of games on the road, the crowd is in it early and you might go down early. They'll throw the first punch. We've played from behind, but that's been at home. We need to learn how to play from behind on the road."

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