Here is some of what Huskies men’s basketball coach Lorenzo Romar said after Washington’s 86-75 loss at Arizona State on Wednesday night.
(Opening) “I thought we did a pretty good job of guarding them in the first half. They’re an explosive team offensively and the second half, we had a couple lapses and they capitalized. One time I think we were down 5, something like that, and we get a stop and can’t come up with the ball. Then we get a stop, can’t come up with the ball. They end up hitting a 3. Just little things like that. Couldn’t quite get there. Arizona State is just too dangerous of an offensive team for you to continue to let them get opportunities.”
(ASU is the least efficient defensive team in the Pac-12...think you’d have a better offensive performance?) “I’d love for you to go back and watch the game and just see – the answer is yes – go back and watch the game and just see how many shots we missed. We missed layups, we missed wide-open shots. We never fault guys for missing shots. No one is trying to miss shots. We couldn’t put the ball in the basket. We were 6-of-13 from the (free-throw) line. We had opportunities. This wasn’t a situation where we just couldn’t get good looks at the rim. We couldn’t knock the shots down.”
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ASU COACH BOBBY HURLEY
(Opening Statement) “That was a big win tonight, especially considering where we were in the standings and being on the road a lot and coming up short in a couple of games. It was important to get back on the winning track, which was great. I thought the student section was tremendous tonight and had a great turnout. There was great energy from the crowd. I think that helped us with the free throws so that was outstanding. The guys loved the old school uniforms, that was another plus. Joe Caldwell would have been pretty good in that uniform and I’m sure he was. The guys enjoyed the uniforms, that was terrific, but really our defense was as good as its been all year, especially in league play in the first half – to hold them to 30 percent shooting was big when our offense wasn’t in a great spot. We didn’t make shots, we were kind of stagnant with the zone and we just didn’t play the best we’re capable at that end. But, because we guarded and got stops and created turnovers, we had a solid advantage going into the half, which was nice. We came out of the locker room before the second half and made play and extended the lead. We watched a lot of film on Washington and they’ve been down before in the second half and made big charges in a number of their games. They have the talent to do that. We withstood some of those also. Tra Holder was terrific with his 11 straight points at a crucial time for us in the game. He really took over the game and was clutch. He had that great look in his eye and really delivered. It was really a good team win. Obi in foul trouble didn’t get his touches that we would normally give him. He had 12 defensive rebounds, which was huge for him. Jethro and Ramon were underrated contributions because it wasn’t maybe in the second half as the game was closed out but those guys had good minutes rebounding and scoring. We were able to use our bench and get productivity from it.”
(On scoring 17 points off of turnovers) “We did a nice job of doing that. We have to be that way. We’re small so we have to be feisty and try and create those. Our field goal percentage defense, to me, was the more impressive number with how we’ve struggled at times with that.”
(On the difference between the last four games and this one) “You’re playing some of the best teams in the country on the road. Our Utah game we were right there and we had our chances. They’ve proven they’re a pretty good team with how they’ve been playing and then to hit the road against three top-25 teams. We were in those games but just getting back here and having a couple days to get ready for this knowing it was a crucial part of the season for both teams because of where we both were in the standings. It was a great win.”
(On Tra’s second-half explosion) “We started making shots and they got out of the zone. When they did that, we went to high-ball screen with him. He hit one and he worked the high-ball screen and hit another and we just kept trying to milk that because we had the advantage there and he was feeling it. It was great for him. Shannon, I thought too, was outstanding throughout the game. He guarded [Markelle] Fultz a lot and spent a lot of energy guarding him and still played one of his better games, offensively.”
(On what they did against Fultz) “We gave him a lot of attention and Shannon knew he had to be right in him. You can’t give a guy like him a down-hill run at you. The few times that we did do that during you game, you saw what happened. He took away some of the space, we crowded him some. We gave him a lot of attention and ball screens. He’s a special player and has great gifts, a great feel and a great vision. He just does it real easily.”
(You heated up in the second half. How did it feel to help your teammates stretch the lead?) “It was a good feeling. My teammates and the coaching staff was encouraging me to come in and hit shots because I really wasn't doing as much as I could have in the first half. I'm lucky I have my teammates believing in me and I'm glad I got their support.”
SHANNON EVANS II
(You had an amazing step back 3 in the first half. How often do you practice those?) “Not often but I hope it makes top 10!”
(Was there a sense of urgency in tonight's game? Especially with how the last few has gone...) “Yeah, definitely. We were on a losing streak so we needed to try our best to get a win here today and then again on Sunday so we can start piling up these wins so we can get back to the top of the Pac.”
(Yesterday, you talked about needed endless effort defensively to stop Fultz. How hard is it to stop a guy like that?) “It's tough.... He's fast, 6'5, athletic and uses his teammates well. He can score too. It's tough. He's a great player and young so he has a bright future ahead of him.”