Washington Head Coach Lorenzo Romar
That was a very impressive basketball team that we faced today. Nate Wolters is a very impressive guard. It’s interesting – I’ve never seen his name on any of these mock drafts. I know he’s a pretty good basketball player. With that being said, I don’t care who we play. We don’t lose like we did today at home. It’s just unacceptable… unacceptable. I had a concern before the game began that we potentially might lack energy. After the very emotional New York trip, flying back and then not having a day off trying to prepare for finals week and all that. We got an adrenaline win, I think, against Santa Barbara, and it’s always been a rule of thumb with us, as a staff, just knowing that if you go seven or eight days in a row, it’s going to catch up with you. You need to somehow back off. I spoke, before the game, to several people about our lack of energy. I spoke to our team concerning our lack of energy and [said] we better be ready to go. I thought that was only one of our issues today. That’s not to discredit what South Dakota State did. They were very, very good today.
On when he noticed the team’s lack of energy:
I saw it at 8:30 this morning when we met for our pre-game meal. You know you’re team, you know the look in their eyes. You know when they just lack [energy]. I don’t think they’ve ever seen highlights on Sportscenter of South Dakota State and subconsciously, sometimes that can play in effect. We do all we can as coaches to try to make sure we understand that this team is better than we might think. We tried to help our team understand how good of a basketball player Nate Wolters was. Bottom line is, [with] energy or no energy, this is unacceptable. It shouldn’t happen.
Comparing with the St. Louis game:
I would say there were some similarities. We were very impatient in the first half. We were trying to go early without getting ball reverses. We were trying to switch everything, which was fairly effective against UC Santa Barbara, but not effective at all against them, so we changed in the second half. For awhile, we were playing better defense. We played them straight-up man. But there were some similarities there.
Talking about the first few minutes of the game:
I’m talking about a lack of energy all morning. And sure enough, they get out with two quick baskets right away. We come out offensively, something that we could do in our sleep offensively; we didn’t do in the first possession. Those are all indicators that right now, we’re not focused where we need to be and reading that right away we have to call timeout and talk about this. But that cost us our game – we didn’t have any timeouts left.
On the 1st Half
Once a team gets started early like that it’s hard to stop them. And in the second half too, we tried to knock down three-point shots but they didn’t go down.
On Nate Wolters
He’s a good guard. He’s good in the middle and he makes other guys look better. If we could have stopped him it would have been easier to stop the other guys.
On the conversation with Coach Romar during halftime
We had to start playing defense. Everyone needed to start (playing defense). We started off lightly and they (SDSU) came out on fire.
Coming out after the UCSB win
We have to know that every game everyone is coming to play. They aren’t going to take us lightly and even though we had to wake up early, we still have to play. Some guys were tired and some guys felt like it would be easy but we still have to find a way to win.
Message at halftime
Pretty much if we don’t do what we’re supposed to do, we are going to lose. We’re going to be panicky just like we (were). We didn’t play defense and we lost.
South Dakota State Head Coach Scott Nagy
Best Division I win?
I don’t know. Probably, I try not to categorize them. The North Dakota loss, I don’t think of it as a good loss or a bad loss. All losses are bad losses. All wins are good wins. I think for our program and notoriety, this is certainly one of them.
What was the key to it?
I think, coming off the UND debacle, playing so poorly. Our kids, I said after the game, it was uncharacteristic of the way we played and today was much more characteristic. We took a good look at the film the other day and they watched it with a critical eye. You can play with confidence, but we really shot it tonight. When you shoot it, it smoothes over everything and we really shot it in the first half. Offensively, one of the keys, these were like 20th in the nation in scoring, I mean, they really go. And the one thing we couldn’t do is turn it over and we couldn’t take bad shots. And in the first two minutes, I think we had more, what I call, wing to wing reversals than we did in the entire game up at UND. We played much more like a team, we shared the ball, we got open shots, you know, we’re a good shooting team when we can do that. We were very patient. I think what it did to them is it really made them work defensively. They’re a pressure team and they have got to chase and run through screens, and chase and run through screens, and it kind of wore them down. And making shots like that can cut the heart out of anybody.
On UW making a run early in the second half with the crowd getting into it and Griffan Callahan making plays
Well, you know, that’s Grif. Grif doesn’t care about that stuff. He’s our toughest kid by far. I was really proud because everybody knew they were going to bring it and they’re so much more athletic than we were. We had to take care of it and be tough and we were all over the offensive glass. I think they got to within 11, but our kids did a great job of just never panicking.