Here's what Washington coach Lorenzo Romar said about his team's 92-80 victory over Eastern Washington on Sunday.
(Opening) "Our effort in the second half, I just liked the way we competed in the second half and it obviously made a difference. When we compete, it’s obvious, we’re a much better team."
(On Nigel Williams-Goss' game) "Nigel I think showed tonight why he’s been a part of so many wins in his young career before he got here. He just had a determined look about him tonight. He was efficient, so efficient with the basketball and constantly chattering, constantly lifting guys up, constantly instructing. That’s what a floor general does."
(On Williams-Goss' performance so far) "He’s been fine. What we were hoping he would do when we recruited him. He obviously played well tonight. The thing about Nigel, even last game when we were down, his emotions aren’t up and down. He’s pretty steady. He’s one way – how can we find a way to be the best tonight. What can I do to help us? And he’s constantly grinding in his mind to do that. You can just tell by the way he plays. The ball might not be going in for him, (but he’s) still trying to grind and find a way to help us win."
(On difference in going small) "The big difference when we went small is we were able to switch the ball screens. The ball screens were hurting us. Once we did that, we did the same thing against Seattle U and we went five guys and there was no one that could not guard a guard or a big guy, because all those guys were fairly like-sized, and that made a difference. It’s about stops, and that enabled us to get stops. It seemed for a while, Mike Anderson, when we went small was just on the boards by himself. But then the rest of the guys came in and helped him and that made a big difference. When they were in foul trouble and we were small, we just instructed our guys to put their head down and go to the basket. With the rules the way they are, it puts you in a tough spot defensively if you do get in foul trouble."
(Did you know you could use this many guards together?) "I think in the summer when we met as a staff, we talked about playing a lineup just like we had out there tonight, when we went small and spread the floor and attack, and we kind of took it like one of our special teams, so to speak. Let’s put our special team in there. That’s the spread attack team, in that regard. There are some other games … for instance, it would have been interesting to see if we could have done that against Irvine with the big fella back there. Each game presents its own challenges. When the game presents that type of challenge, I think we’ll be prepared to attack it in that way."
(On free throws) "I think we were 33 of 41 the first game, 31 of 34 this game. We weren’t as good in the Irvine game, but the way fouls are being called, if you can make your free throws it definitely helps. We made one 3. I think they made … 11. that’s 10 points there, but we got them back at the foul line."
(On making free throws early leading to more consecutively) "When the first few go in, I think everyone sees the ball go in and it makes it a little easier. When the ball’s not going in early, maybe your best foul shooters aren’t at the line early and they don’t go in, sometimes that can carry over as well."
(On four/five-guard lineup) "I think with the right personnel in there, it could be good for us. Again, that’s why we talked about doing that this summer as we looked and evaluated our personnel, we thought we had some guys that could attack the basket. We needed to make sure we were prepared to do that if the opportunity presented itself."
(On guarding Tyler Harvey better after halftime) "I think we concentrated more on him as a team. We let him get loose early for a couple shots. Sometimes you tell a team, you have the scout and you say, these guys really run. They really run. Until you’re on that floor and you’ve got to beat them down the floor, you don’t really understand it. We talked about his range and how he can shoot it, but you’re just not used to closing out on a guy 26 feet out there. He hit a couple bombs early and we became convinced, but then he got on a roll a little bit. C.J. and different guys did a much better job on him in the second half."
(On C.J. Wilcox needing more shots?) "I think the thing that maybe everyone is missing on C.J. early is he shot 27 free throws in three games. Now remember, when you shoot free throws, maybe that was a shot attempt, maybe it wasn’t, but he’s not getting as many shot attempts. In the past, if C.J. took 13 shots, that was 13 shots because he would take two free throws, maybe. Maybe three. But now he’s getting to the line nine times a game. That’s good for anyone, especially for C.J., so I don’t think we can get caught up in how many shots he’s taking because he’s getting to the line much more now."
(On going small) "I think when we went small and began to get some stops, that energized us. I also think Darin Johnson, Mike Anderson and Hikeem Stewart came off the bench and gave us a big lift. Again, we didn’t go ahead of them in the first half but when those guys came in we had a little more energy, and that allowed us to stay fairly close until he second half when we were able to make our move."
(How would you evaluate the first three games?) "Inconsistent. When we put forth the effort, we’ve done a decent job. When we haven’t, we’ve looked putrid. That’s something you can control, your effort. Guys recognize that and this was good. It was good for us to come back in a situation. We’ve done this twice now, in the Seattle U game and this game. I know Eastern is a little different team than Indiana, which is our next opponent. But it’s something hopefully we can build off of, that effort."
(How different is this team than when season started?) "Totally different, one without Desmond, who is just so scrappy and helps you compete and then Jernard has become such a versatile basketball player. That changes a little bit in how you’ve got to play. We can’t go through him as much. He’s the guy that can switch a ball screen onto a guard. He can guard a guard. He’s just kind of a jack of all trades, and when you’re missing that you just kind of have to change some things."