FROM LAS VEGAS -- Huskies sophomore point guard Nigel Williams-Goss spoke with reporters shortly after UW's 71-69 loss here to the Stanford Cardinal in the first round of the Pac-12 tournament.
He answered some questions about the game, the season, and whether he might be back next season.
(On losing like this to end the season) “It’s tough. Obviously no one wanted to go out like that. We feel like we played well enough to win. It hurts even worse because we lost on a game-winning 3 last year here in the first round. So it’s just tough to swallow right now.”
(On Dan Kingma missing the front end of the 1-and-1) “I told him I love him like a brother. I told him that there was not another walk-on in this tournament stepping up for his team like he did for us in the first half. Dan’s going to be a heck of a player and I just told him like I did after I missed my free throw, just got back in the gym, made 100 fee throws a day every day after that to not let it happen again in the future. We all trust Dan. If we could do it again, I’d have him up there again and have full confidence that he can make those free throws.”
(On what cost UW the game) “No game comes down to one play. We all know that. There’s tons of plays throughout the game that add up to a loss. We could have done a better job on the defensive glass. We had some turnovers in the second half. It’s not one play, and by no means did it come down to those free throws.”
(Did missed dunk and then your transition 3 make you feel like things were going to work out?) “Yeah, definitely. It was a big momentum shift, even when Jernard hit his 3 in the corner it was a big momentum shift. It’s tough when you feel like you’ve played well enough to win the game and there’s times late in the game where we have full control. It’s messed up because it’s the same situation down at Stanford – up five, up six, under a minute to go, whatever it was, and not to seal the deal is really tough."
(On the season) “It was tough. It was not a season that any of us wanted to have. Obviously we had some uncontrollable hit us. Some injuries. Players leaving the program. It’s just a lot to deal with on a week to week basis. Regardless of the circumstances, we wanted to have a better year and it’s just unfortunate that we didn’t.”
(Do you expect to be here next season?) “I really haven’t thought too much about next year. All I’ve been focusing on is finishing the season as strong as possible. Really wanted to come out here and try to extend our season. Thought we had a good chance to do it tonight and just didn’t get it done.”
(Assuming you do look into your NBA prospects, what feedback would you need to hear to strongly consider leaving?) “Like I said, I’m not even thinking about that right now. My focus was 100 percent on the season. There was no reason to look past the season when you have games still to paly. I try to go out every night and play to the best of my abilities, and give my team the best chance to win. And when you’re thinking ahead, you’re not as focused or locked in as you need to be. Like I said, I haven’t put too much thought into it right now, so I’ not thinking about down the road.”
(More on playing the season shorthanded) “Every time we stepped on the floor we played with confidence, we played hard. We never just laid down for anyone. Every time we stepped on the floor, we expected to win. Tonight was no different. We came into this tournament thinking everyone’s at 0-0, and there’s been crazier, crazier things happen than Washington winning the Pac-12 tournament. So … try to come out here and win. It was just unfortunate that we didn’t get a break to go our way.”