Here is everything Huskies men’s basketball coach Lorenzo Romar said after Washington’s come-from-behind, 85-83overtime victory over Colorado on Wednesday night at Hec Edmundson Pavilion.
(Opening) “I think the question was asked of me (about) wins that can maybe get you going, make it click, and I said we’ve had a couple of those and didn’t follow up. This would be one of those wins. This was a great character win. We were down and guys just came back in the second half and scrapped like crazy. Stating the obvious, but Markelle Fultz was sensational, sensational tonight, just took the team on his back. Dominic Green played big for us in the second half. Hit some big shots. There were a lot of unsung heroes. Matisse Thybulle a couple times down the floor guarding their big-time player, (Derrick) White, and then Noah Dickerson after foul trouble came off the bench and made some big plays for us. David Crisp scored the last five points, which were as big as any of the points in the game. So it was a collective effort by our group against a very dangerous Colorado team.
(On going with a five-guard lineup) “They weren’t really going inside a lot so we felt if we went small we wouldn’t get hurt as much because the ball wasn’t going inside. Their perimeter players were so good. We thought to match up with everyone, that we could do that and hopefully make it more difficult for them to score. And then we just couldn’t get anything going offensively, so we wanted to spread them out and make them come out after us. And I think that really played into Markelle’s hands and somebody else, because we got a lot of good looks at the rim.”
(On what the difference was tonight compared to other late-game failures) “Growth, maturity. You learn, I continue to say you can draw from some of these things and maybe we learned from these experiences. That’s why it’s so good to be experienced, because you learn from those. You can’t discount the fact that we were down 19 at Stanford and came all the way back. That was an experience I think we were able to draw from tonight. We were just in this position, we know we can come back. I think that was very helpful. So as you play more games and our young team gets experience, you have these little mini victories that help you down the road.”
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(On what went wrong in the first half) “My opinion, I’m no doctor, but we were 1-for-12 from the 3-point line and with this team right now, if we don’t see that ball going in the basket with any type of regularity, I think we let down on the defensive end. We couldn’t put the ball in the basket and I think on the other end that affected us. The ball went in the basket more in the second half and we did a better job. But that’s just … getting to know our team and knowing this team, I just think that affected us. We talked earlier about being able to win games when the shot’s not falling for you. That’s when you have a real good team, because your defense sustains you. We’re not quite there yet.”
(On Fultz only taking two 3-pointers) “Coach (Will) Conroy’s always talking about don’t settle. He’s always telling Markelle, don’t settle, don’t settle. He wasn’t settling tonight. He was really being aggressive, attacking the rim.”
(On the final play of regulation) “We didn’t want to call a timeout and give them a chance to set up their defense. The problem was we got too bunched up. We weren’t spaced well enough in that situation, so it didn’t work out. And for the good majority of the second half I thought our spacing was really good. That’s why we had such wide lanes to drive the basketball and drive and kick.”
(On Dominic Green’s effort in the second half) “It was great. I think he hit three 3s in the second half and played with a lot of intensity. He just has to go out and play with confidence.”
(On Malik Dime earning U.S. citizenship this morning) “Malik interviewed today out in Tukwila and was granted U.S. citizenship, so he was very, very excited about that. His mother lives in Ohio and she was excited about it also, so he was pretty fired up about that. We were too, for him.”
(On this win helping them Saturday vs. Utah) “We’ll find out. It should. I think our guys have a healthy respect for Utah. They know how solid Utah is. They’re one of the more solid teams in this league. They don’t give games away. They just don’t do it. I know it definitely helps our confidence to walk into that game Saturday knowing we’re coming off a hard, hard-fought character win.”
(On giving up so many offensive rebounds when playing with a small lineup) “With the exception I think of the Cal game, when we have gone small we have scored it better. we’ve defended better. but we rarely have gone with five guards. But it’s hard when you go against someone who has two (bigs), where they’re really dumping it inside on you the entire time. That makes it a little more difficult. We thought tonight we could get away with it.”
(On having to be willing to sacrifice that) “You’ve got to give up something. The other way, we were giving up a lot more than just offensive rebounds. We decided at leas to get Noah back in there down the stretch just to try to at least help us on the boards. If it weren’t for their offensive rebounds, we would have done an even better job. They were just too long. They’re a good rebounding team anyway, but when we went small, that kind of helped them in that area.”