Notes and Quotes - California

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - As you might believe, there was plenty of reaction coming from both camps in the wake of Washington's 79-75 win over California in the championship game of the Pac-10 Tournament Saturday at the Staples Center. With the Huskies now in, is Cal - the regular-season champs - still considered a lock?

Here are all the notes and quotes coming from the game, including the all-tournament team, as well as thoughts from both teams.

2010 Pacific Life Pac-10 Tournament All-Tournament Team:
Jamal Boykin, California
Quincy Pondexter, Washington
Jerome Randle, California
Theo Roberton, California
Michael Roll, UCLA

Pacific Life Pac-10 Tournament Most Oustanding Player:
Isaiah Thomas, Washington

Game Notes:
--Washington opened the same five starters for the ninth-straight game: Isaiah Thomas, Abdul Gaddy, Quincy Pondexter, Justin Holiday and Matthew Bryan-Amaning.

--Quincy Pondexter scored 18 points today. He has 83 career games in double-figures, which surpassed Todd MacCulloch for third on the UW career charts. He has scored in double-figures in 27 of 33 games this season. He has 1743 points in his career, which ties Todd MacCulloch for fourth on the UW career list with 1743. Pondexter, Oregon's Tajuan Porter and Cal's Jerome Randle are the only active Pac-10 players with more than 1700 career points. He is the only player in conference history to win five Pac-10 Player of the Week honors in a single season (2010).

--Isaiah Thomas, with 16 points, two rebounds assists and steals, is the school's first ever Pac-10 Tournament Most Outstanding Player. Quincy Pondexter was named to the All-Tournament team. The last UW All-Tournament honoree was Brandon Roy in 2006.

--Washington has won 12 of its last 14 games, and seven straight. With today's win over Cal, the Huskies defeated the Golden Bears twice this season - beat Cal 84-69 in Seattle, lost in Berkeley 93-81.

--For the Huskies, it was their fourth title appearance (2-2) and second championship - losing to No. 1 UCLA 76-64 in Pauley Pavilion in the first Pac-10 Tournament final in 1987; losing to No. 1 Stanford 77-66 in the 2004 final at Staples, and beating No. 1 Arizona 81-72 at Staples to win the 2005 Tournament title.

--UW advanced to the NCAA Tournament in five of the last seven seasons and each of the last two years, and the 15th time in school history.
Quotes:
UW President Mark Emmert - "That was a great game. That's what a championship game is supposed to be. It was a great basketball team. Both teams played their hearts out. And what a great win for us."

UW Athletic Director Scott Woodward - "That was fabulous, a great win. I'm just so proud of the kids. They had a rough start this season, but they finished like champions. And now they have to get ready for next week and get deep into that (NCAA) tournament. That's what we want. Cal played lights out. And our guys played that much harder, and I'm so proud of them for that."

UW Head Coach Lorenzo Romar:
On the game: "What a college basketball game. Both teams, I thought, played at an extremely high level. Both teams were really competing; it was obvious that there was something on the line for both teams. A tremendous effort by our guys, I'm so proud to see all their hard work paying off. I'm so excited I don't have a whole lot to say, other than I couldn't be more happy to watch these guys experience a championship situation like this, and knowing that we'll be playing this week in the NCAA Tournament."

On playing must-win games: "The anxiety that you may have as a team, knowing that you're one and done, is something that's been going on with our team for quite a while. The stakes haven't been as high as they're going to be now."

On late free throws: "Venoy (Overton) could literally be 0-10 going into a game, but when the game's on the line he rarely misses."

On idea of Pac-10 receiving one NCAA Tournament bid: "Once a statement is made publicly, sometimes it gains a lot of momentum and begins to snowball. But there's no way in the world I thought we were only going to have one team from the Pac-10 in the NCAA Tournament."

On Venoy Overton's 3-pointer: "There are some guys, that when the game's on the line, you don't mind them taking that shot."

Isaiah Thomas:
On seeing Jerome Randle after the game: "I didn't see him. Good luck to him in the tournament. I'm not worried about him or Cal."

On celebration and looking forward - "Once we know where we are going to play, the celebration is over. It's a new season now. Anyone can win any game, so we have to bring it."

On how close he thought they were to the NCAA Tournament - "We really didn't listen to what anybody else was saying. We were worried about what we do and we were just trying to get each win day-by-day, and we got it. Now we're in, so we're not looking back."

On confidence and being in control - "I'm doing what I can to win basketball games. Doing what my teammates want me to do and playing my heart out. It's all I can say."

On playing for the rep of the Pac-10 - "We're not worried about the Pac-10. We're playing for the Washington Huskies."

On Cal's 14-0 run and what he was thinking - "Just calm down. We know it's a game of runs and they are a good team. We knew they had a run in them, so we just had to calm down and get some key stops. We did what we could, and Venoy hit a huge shot when I was on the bench. That was a big shot."

On playing away from home now compared to earlier in the year - "We've got faith. We believe we can beat anybody. We came together as a team and we're so much more mature now than we were when we were going through those losing streaks. Now we got momentum."

On the game being chippy - "It was. It was a man's game out there. They were pushing, we were pushing. But we got the win."

Quincy Pondexter:
On NCAA Tournament chances entering the Pac-10 Tournament: "We told each other, 'If we handle business, we don't need a committee to determine if we're good enough. We'll be automatically in."

On keeping the trophy - "It's not leaving my sight, especially not today. Maybe tomorrow they'll make me give it back. But I'm not giving it back for a minute."

On being the first one to grab the trophy - "It's something we've worked hard for as a team. Being a senior, you don't want this thing to leave your hands."

On making up for not being the regular season conference champions - "Nah, it doesn't make up for it, but it makes you feel a lot better. We've been playing really great basketball as of late, and we get a prize for it."

On running the gamut from not getting picked at all to Pac-10 Tournament champions in his career - "I wanted a regular season Pac-10 championship, but we have to settle for this. This is the story God wanted for us. It's so real right now. I can't even explain it. It's such a blessing. It's come from our hard work, and we earned it - but at the end of the day the man upstairs helped a lot."

On getting the berth - "We're in it, no matter what. They can't take it away from us. It's something I'll really enjoy because I won't get my heart broken tomorrow. We're going to be in the tournament. We're one of the 65 teams. It's a real blessing."

On how far the team can go - "I don't know. I don't want to jinx us or anything. We're going to take it one game at a time and continue to play how we've been playing."

On thinking of the two UW teams that made it to the Sweet 16 - "Different eras, different times, different teams, different matchups - different everything. You can't really compare to those other teams. You've just got to go with whatever is ahead of yourself and hopefully it is the best matchup for us."

On playing Cal and them being deserving of a berth - "Of course. There's no question about it. They are a great team. Their RPI speaks for itself. They should have been a top-25 team around this time of year because they've been playing great basketball and they won the Pac-10 championship. At the end of the day, both teams are in it as of now and hopefully we'll get another one in. We've got to come out in the NCAA Tournament and prove ourselves."

On reaching out to former teammates - "I talked to Jon (Brockman). He texted me. He said, 'Lead 'em Big Dawg. I'm proud of you'. I talked to him, BRoy (Brandon Roy) said good luck. All those guys sent their blessings. It really helped."

On motivated by going up against the Pac-10 Player of the Year (Randle) - "I had none. Our goal was to win this championship as a team. I don't really care too much about individual glory. They picked how they picked; there's nothing I can do about it."

On remembering Portland last year and letting the new guys know about the tournament - "I want them to embrace the situation and live it themselves. It's going to be a great experience for all of us and we're all just super excited about it."

On climbing a mountain to get to this point, but not being done - "We're going to continue to play Husky basketball. There's nothing we can do different. We've just got to come out and play the way we play every game and let the win loss record take care of itself as long as we're playing the right way."

Venoy Overton:
On having fun out there - "Definitely. You've got to have fun out there in a game like this. It's the championship game, two of the best teams in the league going at it, 22 lead changes, the crowd's in it - I wouldn't have asked for a different game."

On shutting Jerome Randle down - "We had to shut him down if we wanted to win the game. We just didn't let him feel comfortable. We took him out and that kind of helped us out, even though it was a close game. Robertson got going, and if Randle was going it wouldn't have even been a game. But our guards shut him down, so that made it easier."

On playing Patrick Christopher - "We shut his water off. We did pretty good on him, switching people off on him. Usually he gets off when Randle is going too. We shut Randle off, so that means less Randle finding him for easier shots. We just contested every shot."

On the game being like a fight - "Earlier in the season, this Washington team - after we got ahead - we would have just dropped and gave up. But over more games, we just became one. We became more of a team. We came back, like Mike Tyson, hitting harder. That's how we're playing right now. We're playing our best basketball."

On Cal's 14-0 run - "We're playing better through adversity. When things aren't going our way, we're responding better. Earlier in the year, we probably would have rolled over and got blown out, but now we just keep fighting."

On his 3-pointer late - "I just shot it with confidence. Shooting them in pickup and warm-ups, I was kind of liking these rims. They were going in for me."

On hitting them under pressure - "Coach Romar is giving me more confidence. A year or two ago, I probably would have shot a 3-pointer at the wrong time and I would look over my shoulder. Now I'm shooting the ball and I'm not looking over my shoulder. He always used to tell me not to look over my shoulder when I shoot the ball. If you shoot it, shoot it with confidence. Shoot it like you've made 15 in a row."

On the ice bath the night before - "I'm not going to give credit to the ice bath, but it did get my legs a little more ready for today's game. It was just really the crowd and Cal - big game. CBS and bright lights…that's what got me going."

On the chippiness of the game - "It wasn't really too chippy. It was just two team competing really hard. There wasn't a lot of smack talk going on. It was just two teams competing to win."

Matthew Bryan-Amaning:
On how the game felt - "Good. Really good. Damn, two years in a row we got ourselves a ring, and we're dancing again."

On playing three games in three days - "When you're in the game and you're playing for a championship, your adrenaline is rushing so much you don't really realize it under the game is over and you've chilled a little bit and shut down. Then your body starts to feel it and react to it. But right now the adrenaline is still going."

On Cal and going to war against them - "As a basketball player, you like to go against the best competition. And with their three seniors they've got now leading their team this year and last year, they have enormous talent."

On watching Sports Center last night - "We could see it in the lobby of the hotel even before I got to my room. Seeing it on TV is a lot different than what you picture it while you're in the game."

Justin Holiday:
On playing Patrick Christopher - "(Abdul) Gaddy did a good job of staying close to him, staying close and not going for his fakes - having a hand up to contest his shots. He did well doing that."

On Cal and the game being a war - "I think we're the two best teams in the Pac-10. They are a real experienced team and we're a real experienced team. We just showed how good the Pac-10 can actually be."

On Theo Robertson - "I was getting back from him too much. I wasn't as close as I should have been. I went for a couple of fakes and when I was off of him I wasn't helping as well as I should. I'm glad we got the win. We kept the other two down. Letting one of them get off is OK. I'm a little disappointed in that, but we got the win."

California Head Coach Mike Montgomery:
Opening comments: "Well, disappointing, obviously. In some way it's surprising that we shot the ball as poorly as we did from two of the people who were primary guys for us (Jerome Randle and Patrick Christopher), and we had a chance at the end to win. We made mistakes that we normally don't make. We gave them too many easy shots and we weren't as patient on offense as we needed to be. Theo (Robertson) and Jamal (Boykin) kept us in the game with their play tonight.

"Credit has to go to Washington. I thought to start the game they were more aggressive; I thought they were the aggressor. We looked a little bit tired, if not physically, then mentally, just in terms of movement. I knew that three games in three days would be tough on us."

On Washington attacking Jerome Randle early in the game - "He got two fouls early, which is a little unusual. We had him out of the game for a fair portion trying to get him back-and-forth and not get a third foul. He's small, so they can post him with a variety of different people. It caused a problem, no question."

Jamal Boykin:
On the difficulty of playing three games in three days: "Well, fortunately for us, in the game against Oregon, a lot of players were able to get rest. I think as long as you take care of your body, like we have been, it's not that difficult. It's all about how you take care of your body and how you mentally and physically prepare yourself. I don't think that was a factor for us tonight."

On how coach Montgomery made him a better player: "He's made us better individual players, such as helping us pay attention to detail, prepare for games, allowing us to continue to play our game, while being in a system. The discipline in that has helped improve our game."

Theo Robertson:
On how the team will react to this loss: "We only have one way to react, and that's just get back to work. We can't dwell on this loss. As much as we wanted to come out here and have a better performance and win this championship, it's a new season that's going to take place. First it's a matter of getting back to work and putting our best foot forward next week."

On how coach Montgomery made him a better player: "He's done a really good job of teaching us how to use each other to make each other better. We have a lot of guys that can play and are very talented."


Dawgman.com Top Stories