Player Quotes – WWU

SEATTLE – Here are Isaiah Thomas' and Jon Brockman's thoughts from Washington's 105-85 win over Western Washington in an exhibition game in front of 7836 fans at Bank of America Arena Thursday night.

Isaiah Thomas:
On finally playing at UW- "At first I was anxious to get out here. Once the tip off came out it was normal. The lights were on and it was time to perform."

On how the team performed - "I think we did a lot better in a lot of areas. I won't say we didn't do good, but we're a lot better team than what you guys saw."

On when he starting limping - "I was cramping. It felt like I popped my knee."

On driving to the lane - "Today my shot wasn't really falling, my 3-point shot. That's not going to happen a lot with the work I have put in. I really don't drive as much as I did today but my shot wasn't falling so I had to do something else."

On how it felt to play - "It was blessing from God. It was something I've been looking forward to and my family has been looking forward to and it finally came today. I was blessed to experience something like that."

On scoring 27 points - "It doesn't mean anything. It's just another day at the office. Come back tomorrow and get better in practice. Build on this and be ready for next Saturday."

On the team having so many turnovers - "We cant have 20 turnovers, especially in close games. Like coach (Romar) says a forced shot is better than a turnover."

On his defense - "I think I did good with on-ball defense. I'm getting better on it every day, working hard, working my butt off. They are working me hard. I'm going to get better. You guys always said I couldn't play defense, so I'm proving you guys wrong."
Jon Brockman:
On how the team performed - "I thought we played like 30 minutes of great basketball. There were times when we playing that and I thought we looked unbelievable. We were just working on the defensive end. Guys were moving, guys were talking. Then all of a sudden, it would go dead and guys wouldn't be getting back on defense. But for the most part I thought we played a pretty good ball game."

On what the teams needs to improve on - It's just doing it every single day. It doesn't matter who we are playing against - Western Washington, Kansas or Florida. We'll get there. Besides the scrimmage this was the first game we were in a real game-time environment, so there will be some slippage. For the most part I thought we looked pretty good.

On Darnell Gant and Matt Bryan-Amaning - "Darnell can bring some energy. He is real active. If he plays the way Darnell needs to play he can be everywhere on the court. He could kind of be like a Bobby Jones. He's not going to catch the ball in the post and grind guys down and shoot a jump hook over them. He can hit the open shot. He can hit the open jump shot better than Matt (Bryan-Amaning). He doesn't have the inside presence that Matt (Bryan-Amaning) does. His energy, if he can bring that energy, he is a great person to play along with."

On his free-throw shooting - "I felt good up there. If coach (Brad) Jackson wouldn't have yelled out ‘short' on my fourth one right as I was about to shoot it I think I would have been alright. It felt good, I was in rhythm. I just have to shoot it the same way every time."

On getting ready for Portland - "If we play the way we did in the second half we could be in some trouble in Portland. I think our guys realize that. Portland gave us a game at our place last year. We need to improve a lot, but we can get it done. We want to play 40 minutes of great basketball, but if we can increase the good minutes each week then we'll get better. We need to focus on game situations in practice."

On his back injury - "It took a while to get warmed up today. When people hit me in the back it hurts. It's not a pulled muscle - it's more like a bruise. It's real sensitive to touch. I have a protective shirt for it, but it was too uncomfortable."

On Isaiah Thomas - "He can score. He is a fun player to play with. He brings the energy. He's going to do some big things. It's different. At times I just have to give him some space, let him go to work, get out of his way. He's not a freshman; he's a real heady player. He can control things. He's only going to get more comfortable out there. That was his first time playing at Hec-Ed; 27 points is pretty impressive for your first game as a freshman."

On Quincy Pondexter - I think that is something he wanted to focus on, attacking the glass at all times. He is so athletic and he got a lot stronger this summer. He can do a lot of things down low when he gets matched up on a smaller player or with someone that isn't as quick as he is."

On improving from last year - "I think everyone on the team last year improved. Our freshmen did a lot better than what everyone was expecting. Everyone knew Isaiah Thomas would do well, but all of our freshmen played well. It was good to see."

On if his teammates should pass to him more - "No, they're looking. If they are open they need to shoot it. That's the philosophy of our entire team. If you're open you need to hit the shot. That's what coach (Romar) expects from every single person all the way down the bench. As long as they aren't passing me up when I'm wide open down low I'll be fine. They'll feed me, they'll keep me happy."


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