Here is everything Huskies men’s basketball coach Lorenzo Romar said after Washington’s 94-72 loss to Utah on Saturday at Hec Edmundson Pavilion.
(Opening) “...Tonight was kind of an exam to see, and we failed the exam. We took some steps backwards defensively, for sure. We talked to our guys the last few days about the type of team Utah was and how efficient they were, and if you make mistakes, they’re going to make you pay for them. Sixty points in the paint worth of mistakes. And I don’t want to say all 60, but quite a bit was that. They’re very efficient and we made a run, but it was just too much. Just too many breakdowns on our end.”
(On whether he wanted playes to gravitate to the perimeter so much in the second half) “I don’t think so. When you look at their team, it wasn’t like those 60 points were coming from their bigs. They did a good job of getting to the rim, their guards. Both of their guards scored 24 points apiece and many of those were in the paint. So we could have done a better job attacking the basket. Markelle obviously does. But as a group we could have done a better job of getting in there.”
(Were the issues in zone or man to man?) “It was more man to man.”
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(On communication being the problem) “Sometimes it was poor communication. We talked about our defensive principles being on point, and many times it was a breakdown in defensive principles.”
(What’s it going to take for your defense to click?) “I thought, like I said, I thought we were making progress. The teams that we have played against here recently I think are a little behind Utah, and Utah plays at a higher level in terms of offensive efficiency. We saw we still obviously have a ways to go. I’ve said that before. We still have to get better. But to compete against the upper-level teams in our conference, I think we saw what we have to do. I don’t know if there are many teams in the league that will execute as well as Utah does. Utah really, really executes.”
(On the offensive problems tonight) “…We got our bigs out on the floor and (they) spread us and we couldn’t get our base that way. I thought we were ineffective and they had a lot to do with that.”
(How much better can this team get defensively?) “I still think we can get better. Air came out of the balloon tonight against a team that, if you’re going to get burned, they’re the ones that are going to make you get burned. We had gotten better. I think we still will.”
(On defense being about “want to”) “I think sometimes our want-to is taken away because we get distracted by things that are going on in the game. Just our team right now, the makeup of our team, if certain things don’t go our way right now, we don’t have the wherewithal to stick with the course. Stick with the course. When we were coming back, we made our run, shots start going in, we’re up. But we have to get over the mental hurdle. Things aren’t going our way, you stay steady. That’s what veteran teams do. That’s what really good teams do.”
(On maybe going with a bigger lineup to prevent points in the paint) “But that’s what got it rolling. When we went big early, they were beating us on the ball screen and driving around us, the ball screen, so we went smaller to try to switch things. So they beat us both ways.”
(On the team needing to evolve around Fultz and give him some help) “Evolution is probably better. Markelle is Superman out there at times. There’s a lot on his shoulders. Sometimes we can take what he does for granted. We expect him to solve every problem out there on the basketball floor. He can’t do that. We all have to step up – teammates, coaches, all of us – we all have to step up and try to lead by committee. We don’t have anyone on this team – Andrew last year, freshmen saw Andrew’s example – but by and large, we don’t have that across the board, where there’s an example of guys who have been in these games, game in and game out, and know what can happen and what it takes. That’s why it’s more of an evolutionary process than anything.”
(On 2017 signee Blake Harris, who was at the game) “Blake is a jet with the basketball and he could be the best passer that we’ve ever coached here. He’s a terrific passer, really fast with the basketball.”