Not sure we've seen Lorenzo Romar as disappointed at any point this season as he was after Washington's 72-59 loss to California. Here's what he had to say.
(Opening statement) “We had our opportunities. We certainly had our opportunities, and we didn’t capitalize. Very unfortunate."
(On the difference between leading by 12 early, then giving up the big run) “Defensively I thought we were dialed in. I thought we were contesting shots. I thought we were playing good overall basketball. We still had a couple turnovers sprinkled in there, but offensively we were sticking with the offense. Then we had a couple of careless turnovers. The ball didn’t go down. I looked up, there were several consecutive possessions where I just thought ‘oh my goodness, we’re not playing well right now.’ We were playing very well. I thought we could have really distanced ourselves more in the first half. I looked up and said ‘we’re not playing very well,’ and I looked at the scoreboard -- we’re still up eight at that point. But at that point we got down on ourselves and we weren’t able to recover. The disappointing thing about that is Cal all of a sudden did not go on some 3-point shooting barrage where they were just hitting everything they threw up. It was there for the taking and we didn’t take it.”
(On needing to be more mentally tough) “After we were up (27-15) or whatever it was, we began to play like we played on the road. This was the first time in league play that showed up, that type of play. That’s what we did. We just have to be mentally tougher. We have to be able to will ourselves in the other direction when we see, ok, the ball’s not going in the basket. If the ball’s not going in the basket, we still need to defend, we still need to guard, we still need to do the things we were doing before, and in tonight’s case, it got us a 15-point lead, whatever it was. Let’s just get right back to that. But we haven’t been able to shift gears mentally to do the things at that point we know we’re capable of.”
(How do you make that happen?) “I’m one that when it’s all said and done, I go back and evaluate what I’m doing as head coach. As head coach we haven’t maybe prepared this team to be mentally tougher.”
(On C.J. Wilcox being more aggressive) "We talked to C.J. at halftime about being more aggressive. In the second half he was more aggressive.”
(On needing C.J. Wilcox to step up) “You need everybody to step up. It wasn’t just C.J., we just mentally … we didn’t take care of the ball. We didn’t guard. We didn’t make shots. If C.J. was not taking as many shots, somebody was. And we had quite a few open looks. Sound like a broken record, because we say that a lot, some of our losses, most of our losses. C.J. has and is having a heck of a year for us. We need to as a team be able to step up.”
(On the big rebounding edge early) “The numbers were a little bit misleading I thought. We outrebounded them by two, but early on, they were getting more second-chance buckets. Their rebounds were key offensive rebounds early. … we got them to miss a lot of shots early. They were missing 31 percent. I don’t remember if it was in the first eight minutes, whatever it was. So there were a lot of rebounds to be had, and we were getting them. Stanford has more size than Cal. We outrebounded both teams, but crucial rebounds, we weren’t able to pull down today.”
(On C.J. Wilcox not shooting much in the first half) “I think he did that more in the second half. There have been games when C.J. hasn’t taken as many shots in the first half and ended up with 20 points. And that would probably have been the case tonight. The ball just wasn’t going down for him tonight. He had some open looks. It just didn’t go down. He still would have scored at a high level. … C.J. is not a selfish ballplayer. Take away the open looks at times when guys are running at him, he just feels he needs to make the extra pass.”
(On if there were times he'd like Wilcox to be more aggressive) “Tonight. We mentioned that to him at halftime. There was one possession where we thought C.J. had the shot. He saw Perris underneath and threw the ball to him for a layup. The first half, he had four assists, I don’t know what he ended up with (five). … he wasn’t getting shots to go down, but he was distributing to other guys.”
(On Andrew Andrews' game) “Andrew came back and shot the ball well. Eight rebounds. So he was aggressive out there.”
(Where does this leave you in the big picture?) “I don’t know. It leaves us with now we’re going back on the road again, and I don’t know if you can do it in three days, but we have to have a mental adjustment fast before we get out on that road.”
(What did you say to the team afterward?) “Pretty much what I’ve been talking about a little bit. Individually, mentally, we’ve got to make sure we decide that mentally, don’t worry about anyone else, each to a man can maintain that mental focus throughout the game, especially now that we’re going on the road.”