Here is everything Huskies coach Lorenzo Romar said after Washington’s season-opening, 98-90 loss to the Yale Bulldogs at Hec Edmundson Pavilion.
(Opening) “If you follow Yale, you’ve got to be impressed with their basketball team and how they go about their business. They executed very, very well. Had a couple of terrific young players that were patient, and they made big shots. They were on the road, but they played with a great deal of poise, so hats off to them. With that being said, I think we point no further than the backboards on our end and their end. Although we had some defensive breakdowns, I think that tells the story. They scored 19 points on second-chance rebounds. And the thing about 21 rebounds is eight of them were team rebounds. That means the ball went of bounds and we could not come up with the basketball. We would get stops and not come up with the basketball. Twenty-one rebounds, you cut that – the number we want to get is below nine. If we reach that number, it’s obviously a different ballgame, but we did not do a good job of securing the ball. Sometimes we had the ball, but we were not tough enough to come down with it. Then on the flip side, we only had four offensive rebounds. That’s not Husky basketball.”
(On defensive problems) “I have to watch the film, but typically, in rotations, they had a lot of movement offensively so we were moving around a lot and sometimes you get out of position on box-outs. But again, I can’t wait to watch the film, because I think there were a number of times when we were right there with the ball, but they were quicker to the ball or more aggressive to get it than we were, which should not happen.”
(On having so many bigs but not rebounding well) “That is a good question, because I don’t think we played up to our capabilities in that regard. One of our guys who has been a physical, tough guy for us is Matt Atewe, but because they were spreading us so much, it was just difficult to use him tonight. Usually he’d go in there and get some rebounds and be physical.”
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(On guards not knowing how to play with the bigs yet) “I don’t know if that’s necessarily the case. I thought Noah Dickerson had some nice plays down there. We probably – Sam probably should have got more touches down there, but it still comes back to, we shot 58 percent. Let’s say the bigs would have got more touches. We shot 58 percent. That wasn’t the issue. The issue is coming up with a stop, securing the rebound, being in better position. We lunged at times, we reached at times, and that got us out of position.”
(Ever seen a better debut from a freshman?) “Not in a real game. Exhibition game, yeah. But he did a nice job, a very nice job.”
(More on defensive issues in exhibition and tonight) “We played two interesting teams. In the exhibition game we played Western, who played basically with five perimeter guys the entire time. The entire time, five perimeter guys. And in that game, we were kind of experimenting with different lineups and all. Tonight, we played the people we wanted to play, but again, it was a team that was very methodical, and if anything, we need to be more patient defensively. But we gave up a lot of points in the exhibition, we gave up a lot of points here. But I think it’s something that we can resolve.”
(On players knowing the system with so much turnover every year) “It takes a little time. But I still feel like we should be a little further along in some areas. Again, four guys in double figures, we scored 90 points ourselves – we’ve got to get stops, and part of getting stops is getting the ball. Get a team to miss, you’ve got to come up with the basketball.”
(On blocking 15 shots but not securing the rebounds) “I don’t think we go back and say, ‘OK, we blocked 15 shots, let’s not do that anymore.’ But you’re exactly right, when the shots were blocked, it was consistent on the backboards when the shot went up and we didn’t block the shot, we just were not as quick to the ball. We weren’t reacting as quick as we needed to, to come up with them. We got a ton of deflections tonight. Our guys were very active. Tons of deflections. Matisse Thybulle, he played a heck of a defensive game. Heck, I think there’s no question it was his best overall game since he’s been a Husky. He’s been all over the place. But he wasn’t the only one. Other guys were getting deflections, but we didn’t come up with the ball.”
(On Yale being more physical) “There’s no doubt they were the more physical team. There’s no doubt they were quicker to the ball. I think that’s indicative of the score, and the stat sheet.”
(On giving up backdoor cuts) “I’m going to go watch the film, and the thing about the backdoor, it just looks so glaring if it happens. But we’ve been in positions before, I remember playing an Air Force team where they got six backdoors on us. ‘Wow!’ But I think they attempted 20 of them, and turned it over 10 or 11 times trying to get them. So with us pressuring and that’s what they do, they’re going to get a couple, but I’d like to see the ratio of how we did against them.”