Here's everything Huskies coach Lorenzo Romar told reporters after Washington's 77-68 upset of No. 13 Utah at Hec Edmundson Pavilion on Saturday.
(Opening statement) “Haven’t had a chance to be very complimentary lately, but today, it was fun to watch, from a coach’s perspective, because we played right for 40 minutes on both ends of the floor. We still had to make shots. We made shots. That always makes a difference. But our guys were just dialed in and very disciplined on the defensive end. That team just torched us last time from the 3-point line, and our guys challenged shots without getting too extended today. It made a big, big difference. A number of heroes today. Guys stepped up and did a great job.”
(On Dan Kingma’s contributions) “He is an energy giver. Dan Kingma is an energy giver. That’s one. No. 2, he will do whatever you ask him to do. He’s not fighting you. He doesn’t have his own agenda. He does what the coaches want to do, and he does whatever is best for the team. And he lifts you up. Some guys take energy out of the room. He brings energy into the room. And he’s been at a point where he does against Nigel (Williams-Goss) and Andrew (Andrews) in practice every day, and it was rough on him at first. But towards the latter part of the year, he began to hold his own, and our guys respect him because they know the type of effort he brings every day, and he does the right thing. He made one mistake. He turned the ball over. He made a nice attempt at a backdoor pass. But at this point in the season, with a lot of energy really being taken away from us with the injuries and guys sitting out, he’s been a breath of fresh air in that he just comes in, like he does every day in practice. Just, ‘I’m going to do the right thing, Coach.’ It means something to him. That’s why he’s in there, and that’s why he helps.”
(Last time you played this well?) “Wow. It’s been a while. Probably Stanford, at Stanford, in a loss. We lost the game. I thought we still played well in that game. I thought we played pretty good at Oregon. We came up short in that game. Washington State – but it wasn’t as dialed in as this one. When I think ‘playing this well,’ I think of the focus, paying attention to detail, those type of things.”
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(What was so much better in terms of executing the scout?) “Just for whatever reason, I felt we were totally committed to it. Again, you talk about a Dan Kingma – he’s totally committed. When you’re going over the scout, he’s dialed in. he’s not looking around, he’s not making jokes on the side. He’s dialed in. he only played 13 minutes but he helps collectively, for whatever reason, he’s just dialed in. maybe we made the scout more clear this time. Maybe we haven’t communicated it as good other times.”
(On Gilles Dierickx) “He helped us. Us playing the zone, we believe if you’re going to play zone, you need to have some size in there. and he allows us to play that zone. He’s doing a pretty good job in there in what he’s supposed to do with his assignments in the middle. He kept some balls alive, gave us a few extra possessions, even though he wasn’t given the rebound. The last two games, he’s got six rebounds a game for us. I think our leader is 6.2, Mike Anderson.”
(What sparked such an improved performance?) “Maybe emotions of senior day. I think our guys love Shawn and Mike. Maybe that was it. I think the opponent, Utah, I think our guys remember what happened when we went to Utah. I think our guys understood that if we didn’t come focused, we could lose by 40-50 points. We need to come focused. So you put all that together in the pot, and maybe that helps. This is also the second game in a row we’ve played somewhat with that group. Maybe guys a little more accustomed to playing together, because we’ve been changing lineups so much.”
(How far can this win go toward confidence going into Pac-12 tourney?) “I kind of felt like our guys felt like, ‘OK, we’ve really stumbled here toward the end of the year, but when we get to the Pac-12 tournament, we’ll be all right.’ I think we felt like that before we’re leaving to go to Vegas, and to come out and get a win against that type of opponent should do nothing but help. It certainly is not going to hurt our confidence.”
(Surprised you out-rebounded Utah 28-23?) “I wouldn’t say it surprises me. I know we haven’t out-rebounded teams very often here as of late, but when you look at the stats, you see it was four rebounds, six rebounds, six rebounds, four rebounds. A number of guys rebounded. What I was pleased about is they only had five offensive rebounds and we played a zone for almost the entire game. So our guys were doing a little better job of boxing out.”
(On mental impact of losing so many players to injury) “If we had a team that had four or five pros on it, and a guy is injured and is out, you can play through that. If your key player is out for a long time, eventually it can catch up with you. But I don’t think we have that much margin for error. When you see a guy go down, then another, then another, then another, it can become deflating. We can talk about, ‘we’re Superman, we’re so mentally tough, nothing affects you.’ But subconsciously, that can begin to get to you. I even felt like toward the end of this year, our guys were just mentally drained from the emotions of the beginning of the year. 11-0, 13th in the country, then some things happen, we had all of our players and we dropped a couple (games), then the roster started to become depleted. We lost. Emotionally, I just think it’s been very tough on our guys. I really am proud of our guys and commend them for being able to come back today and generate some energy and focus. Hopefully we’ll take that into the tournament.”
(How close is Shawn Kemp Jr. to playing on Wednesday?) “We don’t know. He hasn’t made a lot of progress in the last two days. First couple days, he did. We’re hopeful come Monday he’s feeling a lot better. he’ll probably still have some pain, probably can’t practice Monday, but hopefully he’ll have turned a corner by then.”
(On Donaven Dorsey’s status) “I think he could have gone, but he probably would have been running gingerly out there, maybe not running with confidence. But he definitely will be ready Wednesday.”
(On why certain players didn’t play) “Just coach’s decision. The guys were doing such a great job. It’s a little bit like when we went to Colorado this year, we played six guys. They were doing such a great job, we just went with those guys.”
(On Jernard Jarreau’s three 3-pointers) “How big-time was that? Jernard’s 3s were great. They were very timely. He hit some big ones. And then he hit another shot where he kind of shook the guy a little bit, went up for it. Nigel had a monster game. He did a great job. But a guy to me who has just become a rock is Andrew Andrews. Even in our losses, he’s just become a rock. He’s been very, very steady. He didn’t have 20 or 30, but he was very steady and he kept pushing, kept pushing out there. So, great team effort.”