Quotes - Purdue

PORTLAND, Ore. - Here are quotes from Lorenzo Romar, Paul Fortier, Jon Brockman, Justin Dentmon, Quincy Pondexter, Venoy Overton, Matthew Bryan-Amaning, Darnell Gant, Isaiah Thomas and Elston Turner after Washington's 76-74 loss to Purdue in the second round of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament Saturday at the Rose Garden.

Lorenzo Romar:
On Purdue's defensive pressure on the perimeter - We talked before in watching them on film and watching them play in person the other night, we told our team that they would probably get after us defensively more than anything we faced this year. Kansas, I thought did a tremendous job playing stingy defense and pressuring the ball, and we felt Purdue would be right there. And they were. I didn't think we handled it well in the first half. I thought in the second half we handled it much better.

On playing catch-up - You know, it's hard because they're not giving you baskets, that's for sure. They're hard to come by when you play a stingy defense like that. Like Quincy stated earlier, when we begin to apply our own defensive pressure, get our hands on the ball and get out on the open floor, that loosened up the game and kind of energized us. And also Quincy got going in the second half and was able to score big baskets for us. And that also loosened us up offensively.

On Jon Brockman's effort - We would be very fortunate if we got another player as good as him. And that is a possibility that we could get another player as talented as Jon Brockman. I'm going to go out on a limb and say we'll never get a player like Jon Brockman. Maybe as talented, but not like him. He is unlike anyone I've ever seen or played with. I was able to play professionally for five years and play with some of the best talent in the world and be around basketball my whole life. I've never been around anyone like Jon Brockman, with that type of heart, desire, servant attitude, humility, talent, just seems like too often the more talented someone is the less humble they are and the more they are takers. He's the complete opposite. He's a give. He's constantly...gave to us, his teammates, to our program for the four years that he has been here, not to mention he left as the all-time leading rebounder, second-leading scorer in the history of this program. So he's pretty special. I've said it before, he is like the old time, old school heroes that you used to read about that just play for the love of the game. They didn't play for the accolades, the money, the fanfare, and they were the same ones that would go out in the community and give themselves to everyone. That kind of sums up Jon Brockman.

On the atmosphere - Phenomenal. I'm positive that helped fuel our comeback, to have the people come out like they did and be behind us and be that vocal and spirited and enthusiastic was something that was really special. And I echo what Jon said, it's just a shame that we couldn't win that game and reward them for their spirit and support.

On Quincy Pondexter - Quincy, I'm so proud of him. He just...he became a man before our eyes this year. He comes out, gets a double-double in the second round of the NCAA tournament, 20 and 10. Gets 23 points and seven rebounds in the opener, just had a heck of a second half of the season. He finished this year becoming one of the better players in the country, I think.

On the end of the game - Everyone's going in there to try and make shots. and we got shots in the paint, you couldn't ask for better shots and they just didn't go down. And it's no one's fault. Guys were trying, trying to make plays, and they just didn't go down. And unfortunately sometimes that happens. But our guys were very aggressive getting that ball to the rim.

On calls going against Venoy Overton - I think Venoy did his normal Venoy impersonation. He guarded the ball. He pressured the ball. And this particular crew, I guess, decided to call it a little closer. And he was whistled for a couple of fouls that way.

On filling the void left by the seniors - Well, I think with what we have coming in and what we have coming back we will...I don't think we'll take a drop-off as a team in talent. What's going to be hard to duplicate and we're going to have to...someone's going to have to step up, in that leadership. Phenomenal leadership, great leadership. Jon and the guys, Justin, became and extension of the coaching staff in terms of preparing our guys, policing the others and Quincy is the...him and Joe Wolfinger are the only seniors on the roster, the rest of them are underclassmen - freshmen, sophomores. Someone, several, are going to have to emerge as big-time leaders. That is going to be very crucial in how well we do next year at this point.
Paul Fortier:
On life after Jon Brockman - I don't even want to think about that. It hit me on the last game at Hec Ed. I thought we would go a little further here, but he's just one of those guys you can't replace. There has to be life after Jon. Guys have to step up and I think they will. We're not going to be able to replace him, but with a group effort and team, I think we'll be fine.

On Tyreese Breshers - I think he can be our best rebounder next year. From the work Matthew Bryan-Amaning will put in this spring, as well as Darnell Gant - those guys are going to have to pick it up. Tyreese is going to come in really strong and not many have seen him, which is good. We're not putting pressure on him. We're not saying to him he has to be the next Brockman. You can't replace Jon Brockman. But with three or four guys working in the same direction, we'll be good.

On Charles Garcia - He'll make it in. He's taking care of that business right now. He's an older player, so we're looking for him to come in and step in. At the same time, this recruiting class coming in...it's not like the pressure is on. We have a pretty good base right now. They are going to come in and work hard, but we're not leaning on them to come in and get double-doubles. We're in good shape right now.

On Matthew Bryan-Amaning - Knowing Matthew, he's going to put higher expectations on himself. He's going to come back with a workman's mentality, and he knows he has to have that in order to be successful in this league. With that and the spring workouts we're going to put him through, he'll be ready. And I hope he comes back with a big chip on his shoulder.

On what happens after spring break - They are on their own, and once they start school back we have the Final Four as coaches. Once the Final Four is done and they are back we'll start spring workouts. And we'll start setting some goals and go from there.
Jon Brockman:
On having some momentum coming down the stretch and being close - You know, I think it was because of the position we put ourselves in the first half. It was a constant effort to climb back into it. It just came down to the fact that they made plays and we couldn't get stops when we needed to get them.

On putting the team on his back - Our guys were driving and they were stepping up, both these guys (Thomas and Pondexter) had good dump-offs to me and just trying to get active on the offensive end around the boards. It was just a little too much, a little too late.

On his teammates and sadness in the locker room - "I'm sure it will keep hitting me when I start realizing more and more things that I won't ever do again. But the fact that these guys were able to help me get back to the tournament, I'd do anything for them. And I think it's the same way. The saddest thing about the whole entire...when you look at everything it's last time this group will play together. And that's probably what hurts more than anything.

On the atmosphere - It was unbelievable the support we had. The fans came out full-force, wearing their purple. It really felt like we were playing at home. For me that meant the world that people really wanted to come out and support us and wanted us to get it done. I just feel terrible the fact that we couldn't get it done for them.

On JaJuan Johnson - You know, he's a beast down low. That mid-range game he excels at. And I made some crucial errors giving him position and also on the offensive boards he crashed really hard, but he's a great player. He's going to be...he's going to continue to get even better. He's going to be one of those fun players everyone in the nation is going to want to watch.

On the run by this team - I'm mostly proud of the way this team came together and was able to overcome the different bumps, overcome different adversity. And it's funny, there's only one really happy team at the end of an NCAA Tournament. And the fact that all these guys were able to do their job, come together, and help me get back here my last year - I couldn't ask for anything more.

On trying to pull out the game in the end - I knew at halftime we were going to get back in the game. And I knew as soon as we started rolling I really believed we were going to get over that two-point hump and take the lead. I really thought we were going to win it. That's one of the reasons why it's so hard to take. We were right there. But that's the tournament. It comes down to one possession.

On the end of the game and not getting key plays - I just put that on myself. There were a lot of mental errors. I could have boxed out a couple of times, but (JaJuan Johnson) is a warrior. He's not a stiff by any means. He's going to be a household name. He was able to make plays for his team.

On how they were able to get the lead early - It wasn't a matter of energy or effort, in the end the smarter team won. They made a lot smarter plays, they played a lot smarter basketball in the first half. And that's how they get their advantage.
Justin Dentmon:
On disappointment - It's hard, hard for the seniors. Thanks to all the Husky fans and my teammates.

On trying to dig out of a hole - They threw the first punch. They shot the ball extremely well, 50 percent from the two and the three. And the only team that did that to us all year long was Arizona. We had to fight back, claw back. They kept the lead and did a good job. It's a credit to their defense. They contested a lot of our shots. They did what we want to do. They didn't go for the on-ball fakes.

On the officials playing the game tight - It changed the game a lot. We go all week in practice and play physical, because we know they are a physical team. And then they got a lot of ticky-tack fouls, and that made us back off.

On spending a lot of energy coming back - I thought we had enough in the tank. It was just down the stretch, little foul calls, loose ball rebounds. We didn't get to the loose balls.

On the last four years - It's been amazing. I couldn't ask for much more from my teammates and my coaches.

On his advice to the team - Don't wait two years to give it your all.
Quincy Pondexter:
On playing catch-up, but not quite getting there - We came together defensively, that's what made the difference. We were getting stops and we were getting rebounds and taking better shots than we had earlier in the game. And it was just a little bit too little too late.

On next year and having more on his shoulders - Definitely. I'm really looking forward to it. They were tremendous leaders and I think I've learned from both of them. There's going to be a lot riding on my shoulders next year, and that's one of the reasons I came to Washington, so I could have this ability.

On Purdue getting the lead in the first half - They wanted it more than us in the first half, they played harder than us, they got to a lot of loose balls. They got a lot of rebounds. They came out and tried to punk us and they got the first shot pretty good in the first half. They took a good little lead, but we never gave up. I'm just proud of our guys for not giving up and playing hard throughout the game.

On coach Romar being very animated - He was trying to keep us motivated. That's him. He cares so much about us as his players that, for us to win, that's all he cares about.

On coming out a little nervous - They are an experienced team, and even though they have some young guys they all play with a lot of passion and play the game the right way, with a lot of fire. A lot of us haven't been here before, but I'm sure that next year we'll be ready for it. We're going to carry this feeling we have in our stomachs right now and work really hard for next season. I'll take it on my own shoulders if we don't make it. The whole city of Seattle can be mad at me. It'll be my fault if we don't make it. I'll be the leader for this team to make that next step.

On coach Romar's words after the game - He was hurt that Jon and JD couldn't get back to the Sweet 16. It was a tough way to end the season. It does hurt. Jon and JD are all really good friends and we have been around each other for the last three years. It definitely hurts. I know they are going to stay with us and continue to talk to us and help us through next year. But their legacy is tremendous because they won a Pac-10 championship and got us back to the tournament.

On Purdue vs. UConn - It's going to be a battle. They all play hard. I think they are going to do well against them. I just wish it was us playing against UConn in the Sweet 16.
Venoy Overton:
On the officials - People were playing physical and I thought the refs were blowing their whistle a little too much. I felt like if it didn't affect the play don't call it, but that's the way it was. It was the same kind of contact I played yesterday, but they weren't having it. I didn't have any fouls in the first half and I just tried to keep pressuring up.

On his reputation - Their guards handled the ball pretty good. They tried to draw the contact to make the ref call the foul and that took me out of my game a little bit. They are a great team, rock-solid on defense. They did everything to win.

On not being able to fluster Purdue's guards - They had a couple of guys bringing it up. They saw that I picked up whoever was bringing it up, so they passed it back to the other guy. They prepared very well for this.

On the next couple of years - I'm going to take a week off and then back in the gym. The weight room, I'm going real hard this summer. I've already talked to coach Ludwig. I'm going to dedicate my life to this right now, working real hard this summer.

On the guard mix with Gaddy coming in - Just like how it is this year we had three guards, so it can't be all the much different. Abdul Gaddy is a real point guard, playmaker. So maybe I'll have to step up the scoring role, because he's not a big-time scorer, but he's a good point guard. It's going to be fun.

On lack of energy early on - They threw the first punch. They came out shooting the ball well. They locked up and played D. They kind of did what we've been taught to do. Very physical team on defense, and it showed.
Matthew Bryan-Amaning:
On the first-half deficit - At halftime we knew we just had to calm down, gather ourselves and we would be right back in it. We had the potential to come back.

On the senior class - They've accomplished a lot and we did a lot toward that this season, but we just wanted to go a little bit further.

On rebounding - Jon (Brockman) does what he does, but we were just trying to get everybody to work as hard has he does down low.
Darnell Gant:
On challenge of the game - We tried to get together and we showed a lot of heart, we just didn't get over the hump.

On sync of team - Some nights shots don't fall. Things weren't going in our favor. Defensively, in the second half, is what got us back on the run

On what Romar said after the game - He reminded us we accomplished a lot this year and to not look past that, but right now losing in the second round it does not feel that way. But we will have a whole new mindset for next year. We were real focused all year and played together as a unit all year long. We got as far as we could. We'll work hard in the off-season. We are a group of guys that like to work, so it'll be fine.
Isaiah Thomas:
On the two drives and misses at the end - Those two drives, it was open. It's shots I usually make. I thought I got fouled but they didn't call it. and the second one it was too hard; the shots that usually go down and usually are successful.

On his first experience to the NCAA's - "It was a great experience, especially with these group of guys that I've known for a while and worked out with, worked hard, practiced, long practices with these guys. I'm never going to be with them again. The seniors, like Brock and J.D., this core group of guys that I won't be able to play with again. It means a lot. We've worked so hard and the experience was the experience of a lifetime. I soaked it in, but this isn't the last time I'll be here."
Elston Turner:
On the comeback - We came back and we all knew we were going to come back at some point in time. That's just how we are. But we just couldn't get over that hump. It hurts. It hurts for the seniors, but we're using it as motivation. Our heads are high. We had a great season. The returners, we're already talking about how we have to work even harder next season. We're going to try and make a serious run at it next year.

On getting close after his 3-pointer - We fought to the end. We were down 11, 12 with 10 minutes left and we were talking like we've got this, we can come back. Eventually we did, but we couldn't get the defensive boards when we needed them. We got stops, we just couldn't hold them off the glass. And I think that was the biggest thing in the game.

On coming out slow - We were just surprised that they were going to be as tough, and defensively they were really tough. They brought as much pressure defensively as we've seen since Kansas. They kind of play like UCLA, how they pressure the ball. And when we penetrated, they collapsed. We had to adjust to it.

On the shots not falling at the end - I guess it was just luck. Normally we always hit those shots, the little chip-ins. But that's just how it goes some days. But we'll be ready. We'll be fine.

On still having a successful season - Yeah, we accomplished a lot. We're still the Pac-10 champs and finished the season 27-9. We have our heads up high. We just have to get ready for next year. About a week and a half, we'll be back at it.

On rebounding - It was tough. It happened a lot. Guys would get hands on it, but it would go out of bounds and go right back to them. They would shoot threes and long rebounds. We just couldn't get our hands on 'em. We just have to take it to heart and come back next year ready. We're going to work twice as hard as last year to get ready for next year. We're going to push ourselves to make sure we don't have this feeling again.


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