Here's everything Huskies coach Lorenzo Romar said after his team's 86-38 victory over Grambling State at Hec Edmundson Pavilion.
(Opening statement) “I can’t remember the last time that going into a game we were facing an opponent that on paper may be the inferior team, and we approached it and handled it this way. I was so proud of our team how we took that game possession by possession. 32 field goals, 24 assists. We were sharing the ball. We were not playing selfish at all. We were trying to work and grind each time down the floor, defensively. I was really excited about that. The score was irrelevant. We were trying to develop habits. I thought our guys played with great focus tonight.”
(Anything you didn’t like about this game?) “I don’t think so.”
(How satisfying is that with tough game coming up Saturday?) “Again, I couldn’t be prouder of our team tonight. Sometimes we say this – big game, championship game, big road victory. Tonight, the score wasn’t close, but at the same time, our ability to maintain our concentration and focus was very pleasing. Very refreshing.”
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(Does a particular mismatch from years past stick out?) “No, I just know that over the years, coming into games like this, at some point we have to call timeout, because we’re going through the motions. Because we are up 18, or we feel like we’re going to win this game no matter what. And you win the game, but you leave with not a great feeling about it, even though you won. Somebody that reads the score that didn’t see the game may say ‘oh, you guys handled those guys pretty good.’ But it’s not a good feeling tonight was a good feeling. Not because of the score, but because of our level of concentration.
(On walk-ons Dan Kingma, K.J. Garrett and Greg Bowman playing) “We’d love for them to play every game. Those guys were very good. They’ve been very good – San Diego State game, they were the scout team. They were awesome. They were dialed in. They do a great job for us. This is one of the best walk-on groups I think we’ve had since we’ve been here. We had another group I remember with Zane Potter and Brandon Burmeister and Matt Fletcher and those guys, but this group is really special. So to see them get rewarded, go in and play and have fun – they weren’t showboating. They were just playing, having fun. That’s great to see. Kind of capped off the night for me.”
(How good is your team and how much better can it get?) “I think we can be better. I don’t know how good we are. But I know we can be better. I know that we still haven’t been hitting on all cylinders offensively in games. We haven’t done that yet. I still think there are a couple individuals that can still play better. and when it happens, we will be a better basketball team.”
(On how offense can be better) “Tonight, ‘Drew (Andrews) was 4-of-8 from 3, and aside from that there were only two other guys who made a 3. I think there’s going to be some nights where three or four or five guys on the perimeter all knock shots down. We haven’t had that yet.”
(On Jernard Jarreau’s struggles) “He’s got to play through it. He’s got to work through this.”
(Is it tough coming off the ACL injury?) “Sure. But when you have some pride, like Jernard does, you work through these things.”
(Will Oklahoma be a good measuring stick for your team?) “I don’t look at one game and decide if we’re good or not. I think tonight, what we did, tells me that we’re a team that’s focused and ready to play and we have a workmanlike attitude. And if you have that, you’re able to be successful in any game and be competitive. I don’t think one game ever defines you as a team.”
(Why did you want to hold them to nine offensive rebounds, as Andrews said?) “That’s on our goals board, and we’ve only held one team to nine or below, offensive rebounds this year. We felt, look, it’s time to start doing a better job of keeping people off the backboards. It’s a goal every game. You’d never know it by what we’ve allowed, but that is our goal.”
(Think Shawn Kemp Jr. has a good bounce-back game?) “Yeah, I do. He ran the floor like crazy. He ran the floor the entire time. He’s in great condition. He doesn’t get tired. He just kept running the floor, running the floor. He did a nice job for us. Nigel did a phenomenal job of pushing that ball up ahead. He had 11 assists, he probably could have had 16 or so. We weren’t able to convert sometimes. Shawn was the recipient of a few of those.”
(Tempted to leave Williams-Goss in for the triple-double?) “He played 33 minutes. We were up 40, 50. He played 33.”
(Robert Upshaw look more comfortable?) “That would only make sense when a guy that hardly did much last year and is getting in better condition and he’s going to be more and more comfortable.”
(What’s better about concentration on this team?) “I think the leadership is such that it won’t let us give in. Nigel and Andrew are co-captains, but Mike Anderson, he’s not going to allow that. I just think this group has more purpose just to play together. Everybody wants to play. Everybody wants to shoot all the time. But we don’t get a whole lot of complaining about either of those. And that’s rare in today’s game. Even if your team is doing well, there are some outsiders that are always telling you, ‘you need to shoot the ball more.’ Rarely do they say, ‘you need to play defense better. Rebound better.’ But, ‘you need to shoot the ball more.’ That can get to you. And if that’s being said to our guys, it’s not getting to them. Our guys are with one purpose about this team, and that’s special. It’s hard to get that. At any level, it’s very hard to get that these days.”