Quotes - Oregon State

CORVALLIS - Here are quotes from Washington Head Coach Lorenzo Romar, senior forward Jon Brockman and junior forward Quincy Pondexter after the Huskies defeated Oregon State 85-59 Saturday night at Gill Coliseum to earn a share of the Pac-10 lead with UCLA and California.

Lorenzo Romar:

Opening Comments - "Well, I thought the first half of the first half, it was like a boxing match. We were feeling them out. We had two days to prepare for how they play defense and offense, which is different than most teams in our league. Once we settled down and realized what was going on, I thought our guys did a great job of getting the ball inside. I thought we defended well. I thought our guys were smart defensively. We got good shots off of it, our guys were patient. I was really pleased with how we handled our business tonight."

On being in first place - "We mentioned it to our guys, but we also told them we've only played five games. This is a long season, and it's just a start. We've put ourselves in a position to maybe do a good job in this conference. That's all that means. They aren't handing out any trophies for the first five games."

On what has changed - "I think we have gotten better defensively and I think we have more guys that understand their roles. We have no problem sharing the basketball. We are coming together as a team in terms of no one cares who gets the credit - putting their teammates first. That's what different than before. I also think we've put together a string of games where we've come out focused and not had mental letdowns."

On rebounding - "Our guys really attacked the glass. We knew they zone for 40 minutes and it's something we addressed heavily. Matthew Bryan-Amaning set the tone with six offensive rebounds in that first half."

On building the lead - "We guarded. We did a good job of guarding and we got the ball inside. We didn't settle for the 3-point bombs; we made a concerted effort to get the ball inside."

On getting swagger back - "I think guys are starting to believe that if we are focused and play with intensity, we can be successful. Maybe that's what's called swagger. Maybe when you really believe it, that's what is developed. Success breeds confidence, so maybe that's what we're possibly seeing. But we've played five conference games. We have thirteen to go. It is a long season. In this conference you can be high as a kite one week and the next week you can be low as low. So we know we have to take one week at a time."

On not having any rebounds against Cal being motivation for MBA - "I wish I knew what happened in that game. I know he did not get any rebounds in that game. He did tonight. He did a much better job. He's a proud man. He's aware of that, so I'm sure he went out and made sure he attacked the glass."

On USC coming off a sweep and helping with motivation - "Doesn't matter. Whether they haven't won a game or are undefeated, it doesn't matter. What matters is what are we doing? Are we going to be focused? Are we going to be prepared this week? Are we going to play hard? Are we going to do the things we're supposed to do? That's what we are focused on."

On being road warriors and reversing a recent trend - "You don't win young on the road very much. If you are older and have the talent - you can be old and not have talent - but with Jon Brockman, Justin Dentmon and Quincy Pondexter, those are juniors and seniors that have played quite a bit of basketball for us. And it helps having Isaiah Thomas. He's helped us on the road. He didn't get going as much tonight, but in our other games against Oregon and Washington State, he kept us going in the first half. At Washington State, he assisted or scored on our first 15 out of 17 points. So along with the veterans, they've done a great job."

On coming out of the second half firing - "Sense of urgency. Guys just understanding that we can't lose focus, because we've done that before and it's bitten us."
Jon Brockman:

On rebounding - "We rebounded it well. Guys attacked the glass. That was a point of emphasis for us, and to come out and get that done is nice."

On the zone - "It probably bothered us early, just trying to get in our rhythm. As soon as we figured it out and figured out where we wanted to get the ball, we worked pretty well in it. It's tough when you only have one day to prepare for it - something like that. But our guys did a great job of moving the ball around and getting the ball down low."

On Oregon State - "They are better. They didn't let up or quit at all in the game. They are a lot more organized, a lot more together as a team. And that's something you could feel playing against them - they are a team. They are going to be tough. It's the first year running this system. Once they start picking up the concepts and doing it more, they are going to be a good team."

On how they are better - "Just figured out how to play together. When we play as a team and contribute and we use each other, we are going to be a hundred times better than if we try and do it on our own and go one-on-one."

On being tied for first - "It's perfectly fine to feel good about it. It's a great start for us and a good way to start out conference play. But no one cares in March how you did at the beginning of the season. We just have to keep improving, keep getting after it and continue with the little bit of success that we've had."

On playing well on the road - "It's good. It's unbelievably good to be able to play the same way that you play at home; throughout all the adversity, throughout all the differences of staying at a hotel, not eating normal food, everything that goes into being on the road...to be able to come out and play as a team the exact same way, that shows some signs of a lot of maturity in this team."

On the difference between this team and recent UW teams playing on the road - "We've had a lot of guys that have been in that position before and aren't going to get rattled when we're down eight to Oregon State in the first half. A lot of times the last two years that would have happened and it would have been a lot tougher for our group to get back from that eight-point deficit. This group - we were able to stick to the grind, take it possession-by-possession to slowly get it back there, and once we got it back there we never looked back."
Quincy Pondexter:

On Oregon State - "They are a lot different team than they were last year."

On being a much better team on the road than in past years - "I think our team has had great focus so far, and we still have a lot of room to improve. Week by week we keep honing in on that defensive end and we're getting better."

On OSU's 1-3-1 zone - "In the beginning of a lot of our Pac-10 games, we're getting used to how the team plays. I remember against Washington State we were forcing in a lot and it takes a little time to get used to it and loosen it up, hit the open man and little things like that. It helps win games."

On playing like a team - "We've been playing a lot better as a team. We're hanging out a lot more and I'm really excited to see how the rest of this season plays out."

On knowing they could be tied for first after the game - "We had an idea. We were at the hotel all day, watching games and talking about how Stanford could pull it out at home. They are a great team. It was exciting all day how it played out and it feels good to be tied for first right now."

On rebounding - "We knew that every team that zones there's holes on the rebounding. Our team is pretty big and we do really well on the rebounding, so we attacked it."

On Matthew Bryan-Amaning coming in the game for Gant - "Darnell is still physical as a player. He did a great job denying (Roeland) Schaftenaar the ball and keeping him off the boards. He does a lot of the little things for us. Matthew does a lot of great things for us rebounding-wise and he's a great player. As we sub and rotate I think we get better, because (Justin) Holiday does a great job and everyone else does too."

On things coming together for him - "It happens. Pac-10 basketball, you can have a bad game. I'm doing my best to stay consistent as much as possible. I felt awful after the Cal game because I felt it was my fault. I blamed myself, I told my teammates it was my fault and that it would never happen again."

On what has allowed him to be more consistent - "I think it's more doing a lot of the little things that gets me going: Attacking the rebounds, getting a lot of hustle plays and getting out into transition. I don't even set plays right now; I just play off our other guys."

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