Here's everything Huskies coach Lorenzo Romar said after Wednesday night's 84-74 loss to Stanford at Hec Edmundson Pavilion.
(Opening statement) “First of all, Stanford’s a good basketball team. I think right now they’re playing as one of the top three teams in our league, and they showed it tonight. They were able to distance themselves from us. They did a good job that way. Shot the ball really well. We were going to try to play Nastic 1-on-1, and he did a good job of scoring in the first half. But what we wanted to do was limit the rest of their guys, and I thought we did a pretty good job of that in the first half. We just had trouble putting the ball down. Early on, I think we missed three or four real close shots, something that could have set the tone right away, but they didn’t go down. Obviously we turned the ball over too much in the first half. Eight turnovers, finished with 13.
"But when I look at it, maybe we were trying, but maybe a little flat. Quick turnaround from what we experienced a couple days (ago). It would have been great if we could have had two or three practices to kind of make a couple adjustments. What we could see that was pretty evident, is we had gotten away a little bit from really containing the basketball. They drove us several times to the rim, and we were accustomed to guys having a tough time once they got to the rim. But we don’t have that at that level. So we’ve got to tighten up on defending the perimeter. We played with some different lineups. This was the first time – we haven’t even been able to play with those lineups in practice. So we have a couple of days before we play again, and look forward to those days of practice to try to get a little better.”
(On playing five guards at the end, and if they might be onto something with that) “Oh yeah. There will be times when we will be able to do that. That won’t be a starting lineup. Shawn Kemp I thought played well tonight, did a good job. But there are times when you’ve got to go with what you’ve got, and I thought those guys at the end did a terrific job of staying in there, still playing hard, forcing turnovers. They hadn’t turned the ball over very much until the end, and those guys were flying around. It was great to see Darin Johnson and Quevyn Winters come in and make some baskets and make some plays.”
(Last time you played five guards?) “I can’t remember. I can’t remember. It might have been back with Brandon Roy and Bobby Jones would play, and three other perimeter guys. We haven’t used that very much. Back in the days when we didn’t have taller guys we would do it a little more.”
(Did you see anything tonight that makes you feel encouraged you can get this headed in the right direction again soon?) “In the first half, again, couldn’t get the ball to go down. Down the stretch, I know it’s different, some times, maybe Stanford relaxed a little bit, but whatever the case may be, an open shot is an open shot, and we were missing those. We were missing shots around the rim. In the second half, we played with more energy. And certain guys were contributing, like I said earlier, that hadn’t really been able to do that this year as much, and we saw it. So that was very encouraging. It’s very encouraging that if we can go on and play some guys that are going to be able to make baskets and not put so much pressure on a couple of guys to score all the points. That was really encouraging to see.”
(Is that how Quevyn Winters shoots in practice?) “Quevyn, that’s why we recruited him, because he can knock the shot down. Tonight he was in a flow. There wasn’t a whole lot on his mind. He didn’t have to go out and make a lot of decisions. He just played in the flow and got in a good rhythm. It’s good to see that. Great to see that.”
(On the team looking different without Robert Upshaw) “It looked different on the defensive end, when they were going to the basket. We’ve been so accustomed to … you almost feel like, they’re going to the basket, ‘oh, we’re in good shape,’ because they’re going to the basket. And that’s not the case. So the last few games – we started out in zone tonight, but we’ve been playing a lot of zone. So some of our man-to-man principles take a step back a little bit. So we’ll get a couple of days to do that so we can do a good job in both man and zone and make that adjustment without having Upshaw back there.”
(On players getting discouraged by lack of scoring) “Subconsciously, sometimes when you don’t see the ball go in, we’ve seen this before, you tend to get frustrated. You’re not trying to, but you just tend to get frustrated. You go watch someone take 25 jump shots – they’re working on their shot – they hit seven in a row, they’re moving, they’re moving, their form is right. And they miss seven in a row, they’re not moving as quickly. They get a little discouraged. I really think when that ball doesn’t go in the rim sometimes, it can wear on you. The thing about us is that we’ve had many games where it didn’t go in the basket, but we were able to sustain our defense, and the last couple games, we’ve not done that. We didn’t do it before Robert (was dismissed), the last game against Utah. We have to do that.”