FROM EUGENE -- Here's everything Huskies coach Lorenzo Romar told reporters after Washington's 78-74 loss here to Oregon on Wednesday night at Matthew Knight Arena.
(Opening statement) “We’re playing against the top-scoring team in our league, Oregon. They did a good job. Joseph Young got going in the second half. We know he’s a heck of a player. We talked during the week about one of those guys that can just go get you a basket. Joseph Young did his thing, but aside from that, we still had too many defensive lapses. They are a good offensive team, and sometimes good offensive teams force you into those lapses, but those were things … we didn’t control the situations defensively that we could have controlled. And that hurt us. Offensively, I thought we did a fine job. We shot the ball, we got in the paint, we got a lot of layups. We took care of the basketball for the most part, but didn’t pull it out.”
(On the last offensive play) “We were going to try to come off a double-screen, and if Shawn (Kemp) was open, we were going to hit Shawn. If Shawn wasn’t (open), we were going to go back to Donaven (Dorsey) for maybe a 3.”
(Looked like Kemp was open?) “Yeah, just one of those things. They were tall, I think their hands were up. Sometimes if you play that right, you can make the pass difficult to make.”
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(And Anderson just got caught up in the air?) “He got caught up in the air. I think he felt like he had to make a play. We still had a little time left. It’s unfortunate.”
(Were the lapses similar to what you saw against Cal?) “Different. They didn’t get to the rim on us as much as Cal did. I thought we did a better job defensively. But those lapses hurt us. In the first half, when we got into rotation situations, we didn’t find someone to put a body on the box-out. So they scored 11 points in the first half off of second-chance points – a couple of those were 3s, I believe – and that hurt us a little bit. But I thought we made some improvement in this game. Again, it took Joseph Young to explode in the second half for us to not win that game. And that’s what he does, and they rely on him. He stepped up, did what he had to do.”
(On how frustrating it is to be that close to winning two games in a row) “I think what our team needs to be able to see is how close we are, and that we’re competitive and we’re right there. If we cut down on these lapses defensively, we’ll be able to come out on top in the majority of our games – any one of our games. But we have to cut down on those defensive lapses. When we see that, hopefully that can serve as motivation for us to concentrate for longer periods of time.”
(On coming back from such tough losses) “Each one is, but then every time we come back to practice, our heads are high. And our heads will be high when we come back to practice. We’ll come back, and we know our next opponent is a stingy defensive team in Oregon State.”
(Did you expect defense to be this difficult without Robert Upshaw?) “Well, Rob and Jernard (Jarreau), I have to keep saying that together. The biggest issue is just trying to shore up maybe some of the bad habits that we developed when those guys were in there. we were one of the top-five field-goal percentage defensive teams in America. So we were playing good defense, but with that, there was still some slippage in some other ways. I even mentioned this to our team – I kind of compared it to a team that has a little fast waterbug guard that you can’t press him. Just give him the ball and get out of his way. Now that guy gets hurt midseason, and maybe you’ve got to spend more time on your press offense and run it a little different way. And you can get it right, but sometimes, it may take a little bit. You’re dependent on the waterbug so much. What you were doing was the right thing to do.”
(Any problems with how you defended Young’s last shot?) “We stepped up on that one. There were some before that that I don’t think we did a good enough job on. That one, I think we guarded.”
(More on the frustration) “You’re frustrated because we didn’t come up with a victory. This is three straight games where you play well enough to win and you fall a little short. You’re frustrated. But at the same time, I’m hoping that frustration can motivate us, like I said earlier, to where we’re so close, we’ve just got to do a little more and we’ll get over the hump.”