A contrite Lorenzo Romar spoke with reporters following Washington's 80-77 loss to Washington State on Saturday afternoon. Here's what he said.
(Opening statement) “You’ll probably be upset with me today, because I don’t have a whole lot of comments. Washington State shot the ball extremely well. As I said before the game, they came out and played with a lot of confidence and a lot of energy. They did a great job coming up here on the road and getting a second consecutive road victory. I don’t have a whole lot to say, because right now it’s not about looking at any individual – what about this guy, what about that guy – it’s all on me. As the head coach I have to make sure that we get this turned around. And slippage that’s gone on here, put that on me. Work very hard to come back next time we play and get some things turned around. Tweaks in the lineup, all that, I don’t know. I don’t know about anything other than this is my fault. I have to make sure that this team is more ready to play for 40 minutes. Not seven, 15, 20, but for 40 minutes. It’s on me.”
(Common thread during this losing streak?) “We’ve come out and we shoot 60, 70 percent in the first six minutes. We guard. We get a lead. And then we fade. That’s been the pattern, in terms of what has happened. That’s been the pattern. You can name a bunch of reasons. But one night it’s one reason, another night it’s different. That means we’re not doing a good enough job. So, no excuses.”
(Feel like you were close to breaking through in final minutes?) “I felt like we were. But again, that game didn’t come down to the last two minutes. The other 33 minutes – after the first five, six minutes of the game – that’s where the game, to me, was won and lost. Yeah, two minutes, we did a great job of coming back. We did a great job of having the ball in possession where we could have went up one. But we didn’t. I just feel like we put ourselves in that position.”
(What led to so many open 3-pointers for WSU in the first half?) “When (Jordan) Railey went out with foul trouble – you notice Railey didn’t start the second half – they did a great job of putting four shooters out there on the floor, and when we had kind of a slower, less mobile lineup in there in transition, I think they hit five of those 3s in transition. We weren’t getting back. And they do a tremendous job of pushing the basketball, so several of those, a couple of those 3s we went to zone, but in transition, we weren’t as organized as we should be. We didn’t get back in the right positions. And therefore they had open looks at the basket. We did a much better job in the second half, but …”
(What led to the decision to go zone?) “Because we didn’t have – Jernard was in foul trouble, and we didn’t have the necessary mobility maybe because they kept getting loose with the man lineup. So we decided to try to go zone. In the past when we’ve gone zone, it’s made a difference for us. Tonight, it didn’t.”
(How to fix 3-point shooting woes?) “Keep shooting, keep making guys understand where their shots are coming from in the offense, and keep preaching shooting with confidence.”
(Looked like Jernard Jarreau limped off?) “I’m not sure exactly what his status is. I’ll find out here pretty shortly.”