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Lorenzo Romar unsure of Markelle Fultz’s status as Huskies lose at Washington State

Lorenzo Romar discusses Huskies' 79-71 loss at Washington State

The win marks the Cougars' first season sweep of the Huskies since 2010-11, and extends the Huskies losing streak to a school-record 10 games.
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The win marks the Cougars' first season sweep of the Huskies since 2010-11, and extends the Huskies losing streak to a school-record 10 games.

Here is everything Huskies men’s basketball coach Lorenzo Romar said after Washington’s 79-71 loss to Washington State on Sunday at Beasley Coliseum. Romar did not have a definitive update on the health of star guard Markelle Fultz, who sat out with a sore knee for the third time in five games.

(Opening) “We came up short. We didn’t do a good job of two things in the second half – we didn’t keep them out of the paint and our shot selection at times was questionable. That’s just not a good combination. I thought we did a lot of things good, thought we did a lot of things well. But we couldn’t finish it.”

(When did you know Markelle wouldn’t play?) “I think it was yesterday or the day before.”

(Was that a surprise?) ‘No, we knew there was a chance it could still be sore after he played the games. We just wanted to wait and see.”

(Did his knee get worse?) “No, it just hasn’t responded the way everyone would have liked for it to respond, that’s all.”

(On playing without Fultz) “He’s such a playmaker, there were times tonight where we just couldn’t score, and a lot of times Markelle is just able to make a play, and when he’s not in there, you miss that part of it.”

(On what worked for the Huskies to take the lead) “We were sharing the ball, we were taking good shots, we were executing on offense, and because of that, they weren’t getting in any type of a rhythm offensively. Then we quit doing that. We started shooting quick, we started shooting 3s. They got into more of a rhythm and the complexion of the game changed.”

(On Malik Dime switching onto Malachi Flynn) “Well, we were able to switch, and Malik usually does a good job. Tonight he was underestimating the quickness of (Ike) Iroegbu and probably stepping up, getting too close instead of gapping him and making him shoot over him.”

(On the strategy defending ball screens) “We did several things. We played the ball screens several different ways tonight. After a few of those, we changed that.”

(Why man-to-man and not zone?) “I thought the beginning of the game last time when we played them, they were very effective against the zone, so we kind of stayed away from it tonight and tried to play more man. A lot of stretches in the game, I thought we did a good job, but allowing that penetration, that began to hurt us.”

(On not being able to improve as much if Fultz is out) “Well, if we play this game five weeks ago without Markelle, I don’t think we’d have had a chance as much. I thought our guys played right in a lot of ways, so whether Markelle plays or not, we have to come out and play together and execute and play hard. I thought for a lot of the game, most of the game, that’s what we did tonight.”

(On Fultz’s status going forward) “We don’t know. I don’t know what to say right now. We’ve got to wait. At the end of the week, beginning of the week, he meets with the doctors and then we’ll have a better idea.”

(What happened to Noah Dickerson?) “Just fell on his ankle. He’ll be fine.”

(Nothing serious?) “We don’t know right now. It’s a basic ankle sprain.”

(On mood in the locker room) “Disappointed. Disappointed. Because again, for a long stretch of the game, we played well enough to win. So, disappointed, but as you can see tonight, we’ve had some tough losses, and our guys fought tonight. I don’t think that was a problem.”

(Are you more or less confident that Fultz will return this season than you were the last time he sat out?) “Probably less confident, but again, we have to wait and see. I’m not telling you he’s playing, I’m not telling you he’s not playing. We just don’t know at this point. I don’t know any other way to answer it other than, I don’t know. I can’t tell you.”

(On maybe just having Fultz sit out the next week and come back for the Pac-12 tournament) “I would love to see for it to happen, but we’ve got to wait and see. I don’t have anything to go on right now, because we haven’t examined him again.”

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