Here is what Huskies coach Lorenzo Romar had to say after Washington’s 109-103 victory over Western Washington in Thursda’s exhibition game at Hec Edmundson Pavilion. A few quick notes:
--- Sophomore forward Noah Dickerson sat out due to a concussion, but should begin practicing again Saturday and will be ready to go for UW’s season opener Nov. 13 against Yale, Romar said.
--- Star freshman guard Markelle Fultz only played 23 minutes because he has been sitting out of practice recently to rest after a busy summer, Romar said. He’ll be full-go by the Yale game.
(Opening) “Well, if you follow the Vikings from Western this year, I’m sure they’re going to have a very exciting season. They really shoot the ball. They go play basketball. They have a lot of weapons out there. They spread us out. We played with our big guys early in the game because of whoever got the most rebounds in the practices we’ve been having, they were going to start in those positions. And right away they spread us out, hit a couple 3s. We finally had to go small against them because we weren’t able to guard and they would space us and make shots. But we learned a lot. We got to play against zone for a large portion of the game early in the year, so we got a lot of reps out of that. I wish we had a chance to play more guys more minutes, but we weren’t able to. But give Western a lot of credit.”
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(On UW bigs scoring a lot early) “In the first half, our bigs were 8-of-9 in the paint, so were doing a really good job, but like I said, defensively, it was tough. But in the second half, our guys kind of adjusted to how they were playing and our bigs were able to do a little better job defensively, so we were able to make them pay on the other end.”
(On what happened defensively) “We, right now, are not paying attention to the details. Stafford, phenomenal shooter, (Parker), really good scorer, and there were a number of times they shot the ball and our hands were down. You have to contest those guys’ shots like that, good shooters. That burned us a number of times with that. So we just have to get better at the details defensively.”
(On the officiating) “I’ll stay away from commenting on that one. I don’t want to get fined.”
(Did you plan to play that much zone?) “Yeah, yeah. We’ve been working on it, so we wanted to throw it out. I thought our guys were pretty effective in it tonight when we did it. But again, certain lineups, we didn’t use it.”
(More on the zone) “It was a lot of different coverages than we’ve ever used in the zone. So it’s more of a 3-2 look, but it’s not a conventional 3-2.”
(What did you think of Markelle Fultz?) “Markelle did a really good job. I wish he could have played more minutes. We had rested him. Markelle’s done so much, so much, he’s getting a little sore, so we rested him. And he had been out, he missed a number of practices. He’s working his way back up. When we play next week, I’m sure he’ll be able to go 40 minutes, but tonight, we only were able to play him the minutes that he played. He makes a difference with our team, no doubt about it.”
(Is he hurt?) “Nothing serious at all. Just like I said, for the last year, Markelle Fultz has traveled around the world, literally, playing basketball. He’s a gym rat, he’s always in the gym, he’s trained, he was here all summer, so after a while sometimes you just get a little sore, so we backed off.”
(On Fultz taking over down the stretch) “He’s not your normal freshman. It’s one thing to have freshman that are talented, it’s another to have one that’s a level above, and he’s one of those guys. So when he comes in and does things like that – not just that, he got some key rebounds. He also guarded (Jeffrey Parker) down the stretch. We put him on (Parker), and he did a really good job guarding him. So he did a lot more than just make those baskets when he came in the game.”
(On what led to UW’s 16 turnovers) “Negligence. That was disappointing. That was disappointing. Not to take anything away from Western, but they’re not a team that’s exactly out there pressuring a lot. In fact, they played zone a lot. And just too many careless turnovers in the game. That’s going to bite us if that becomes a pattern. It hasn’t been for us. But tonight … and it helps when Markelle’s in there, because he has the ball more in his hands and does a good job taking care of it.”
(On not having Noah Dickerson) “Noah’s been playing very good basketball. But even without Noah – if Noah was still in the game, I don’t know, maybe we score more points. But that would have nothing to do with our not paying attention to detail on defense. So yeah, he would have helped us score more and he would have rebounded the ball more, but we rebounded. We did a good job rebounding. We scored over 100 points. Yeah, Noah would help, but defensively, that’s the thing that was frustrating. I don’t think we’d have had less turnovers if Noah was in there. The things we didn’t do well, I don’t know that having Noah would have changed that, so you can’t blame that. He couldn’t go because of a concussion.”
(Expect him back soon?) “Oh, yeah. He’ll practice Saturday. Unless something happens next week, everybody will be totally healthy and ready to go for our opener.”
(On Markelle Fultz having the ball in his hands in a close game) “Just seen him do it so many times. Very comfortable with him with the ball in his hands right now, and I think all our guys are comfortable also. He makes you pay. You make a mistake, he ,makes you pay. He’s very aggressive without being out of control.”
(On Sam Timmins’ performance) “Sam I thought played very good, really good basketball. Again, because of the way they were spreading us, it made it a little difficult, but at the same time, Sam has gotten quicker. He moves his feet. He was 5-for-5. I thought Sam in his freshman debut did a very, very good job.”
(Is there more to Fultz’s game than what we saw tonight?) “I don’t want to put pressure on Markelle like that, but … he has more tricks up his sleeve. Put it like that.”
(On having more depth in the frontcourt) “Oh, yeah. There’s no doubt our front line is stronger than it’s ever been from top to bottom. We just have more options. I think those guys are physical down there. Those guys will rebound. I think we’ll do a good job with our front line.”
(On Dominic Green’s performance) “Seven of 13, 25 points, seven rebounds. That’s the Dominic we’ve been seeing. He scored 24 in one scrimmage, 27 in another scrimmage. When a guy is producing like that, you let him play through his mistakes, and whatever he did tonight, whatever he didn’t do, if he’s going to give us 25 and seven every game, I say that’s phenomenal.”
(On what they need to improve before playing Yale) “Paying attention to detail on defense. And making sure that’s what gets us upset if we don’t do a good job. Nothing else. That has to become our identity.”
(How do you do that?) “We continue to show film, we continue to talk about it and put those guys in the game that are going to do it.”