Here is everything Huskies coach Lorenzo Romar said after UW’s 92-58 victory over Northern Arizona on Sunday night at Hec Edmundson Pavilion.
(Opening) “Tonight’s game, we thought we had a size advantage. We wanted to go inside and I thought our guys did a marvelous job of taking that to heart. We scored 50 in the paint to their 25. Guys did a nice job around there. If we’re going to break it into four-minute segments throughout the game, I thought there were two four-minute segments in that game where we kind of relaxed a little bit defensively. Aside from that, I thought we did a really good job of getting up, just trying to contest their passes and contesting their shots. Still trying to improve on the defensive end.”
(On what happened during the 23-0 run) “They were catching the ball, certain players on their team were catching the ball wherever they wanted to catch it. And part of the scout was not to allow that to happen in certain positions. During that stretch, our bigs did a nice job of stepping up to pressure, not letting their bigs catch so that they can run what they wanted to run. And that made all the difference in the world in us defending what they were doing.”
(How much have you improved since the Yale loss?) “We’ve improved. To put a number on it, I don’t know. But we’ve improved. There is more of a sense of urgency out there, and that means our team’s going to be better defensively. There’s more of an awareness, there’s more of a want-to. There’s more pride. But still, got a long ways to go. But we have definitely made improvement.”
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(Fultz only had 9 shots, should he shoot more?) “Well, if you think, how would that have made a difference tonight? And that goes back to … with Brandon Roy. ‘Brandon’s going to be a really good player this year.’ ‘Well, he only scored 17. What…’ ‘He didn’t need to.’ Markelle told me after the game, as we were talking about how he did and all, ‘I just felt Coach the way we were going, I didn’t need to score a whole lot. I was just looking to set my guys up because of the way they were playing.’ That’s the beauty of Markelle Fultz. He plays the game the right way. He’s not out there trying to break records when he’s out there playing, or make sure that he solidifies his draft status. There’s no stress with him, in that regard. He’s just out there playing, trying to make us the best we can be. So he’s perfectly fine going out and not getting 30 points.”
(Do you think Fultz will get a triple-double?) “If I were a betting man, I’d bet you a pack of Red Vines that he will. I think he will.”
(Happy with the bigs?) “We were happy with them. Sam in particular, we’d like for them to make their move now. There’s stuff going on around them when they get the basketball, but we’ve got to be able to read it and make our move now as opposed to waiting so long. There are other teams that want to collapse down on there and we won’t be able to even get the shot off, so we can get better in that regard. But I’m just glad we were able to throw it down there and have that mindset and get touches.”
(On how Fultz is as a defender off the ball, etc.) “There are certain actions we were guarding against in the scout. And what we like to do with the scout sometimes, the first time, is not let you know what’s going on. Rely on our defensive principles. Then after that, we break it down and talk about, OK, this is how we actually want to guard this. Before you say ‘this is how we want to guard it,’ his instincts are just tremendous. He’s so quick and so long, he gets through, it’s hard to screen him. He gets through little cracks. So he has really good defensive instincts. He still has to learn floor position and how to be engaged the entire time he’s on defense, because he can be one of those guys that could be a one-man disruptive force when he’s on defense, because he’s so quick, he’s so smart, he anticipates so well and he’s so long.”
(That what you expected from Carlos Johnson?) “On the offensive end, yes. On the offensive end, Carlos has the ability to do what he did. I’m not saying whenever he plays he’s going to go 5-for-5, but he’s strong, he’s strong around the basket, he gets up really quickly. He’s a good offensive player.”