Huskies Insider Blog

Lorenzo Romar on Oakland’s Kay Felder: ‘The last guy that played in this building that looked like that plays for the Celtics now’

Here is everything Huskies coach Lorenzo Romar had to say after UW’s 97-83 loss to Oakland on Saturday afternoon. He was particularly impressed with Oakland point guard Kahlil “Kay” Felder, who scored a career-high 38 points and had nine assists.

(Opening) “Oakland is a very impressive team. The last guy that played in this building that looked like (Felder) plays for the Celtics now. He was outstanding today. Felder, he’s just a really good basketball player. You can see why he leads the nation in assists and why he’s fifth in scoring – he’ll probably move up now. Early on, they came out and I thought they were very physical, and we were a step slow, and consequently got in foul trouble early, and we weren’t able to knock shots down early. Finally, we had some life a couple of times, but we made mistakes and they were able to distance themselves from us in the second half. Tough team. We’ve got to move on, obviously, and get ready for the next one.”

(Curious how team will respond?) “Not really. I’m sure we’ll respond the right way. I don’t think this is a game where we’ll go spiraling the wrong way. I’m sure we’ll respond the right way.”

(Will it be harder to bounce back from a loss like this?) “By the time we get on the floor next time, Tuesday, we’ll have bounced back.”

(What was most impressive about Felder?) “He takes his time. He turns it on when he has to. He plays with different gears. I think the great point guards have different gears, and he has that. He was trapped at times, he was pressed at times, and he didn’t get rattled. It was difficult to make him do something that he did not want to do.”

(What else could you have done to stop him?) “He didn’t really drive by Andrew (Andrews) much. I thought he used his lift and got him to back up and hit a couple shots. I thought in the second half, Dejounte (Murray), for a long, long time, he held him to one bucket. Down the stretch, a couple transition situations and free throws, he started to score more. But I thought in the second half, we did a much better job on him.”

(Lessons from this game?) “One is that we’re not invincible, and a team that you’ve never really watched play before can come in here and beat you, right in here and take a game from you. And that the scouting reports are not trying to overhype somebody.”

(On early struggles making it harder) “Just psychologically, just picked up fouls early, the ball didn’t go in for us early – psychologically, that may have played on it. But again, regardless of what happens, the guy Felder just comes out and makes play after play. We had cut it down after they went up, and then he goes on a scoring streak. He’s a good basketball player.”

(On team defense) “I would say we won’t play against anyone else during conference play or our remaining nonconference games that’s quite like Felder. And if you watch the film, watch how many times they scored a basket because of him. So I don’t think it was that we were all asleep and just weren’t guarding anybody. He gets 38 points, he has nine assists, and there were a number of times, because of his penetration, the ball comes off and we weren’t able to box out, because we were rotating, and they score off of that. I’d like to go back and look – I would guess he was responsible for two-thirds of their points, in one way or another. So I don’t think we just played horrible defense on their team. I just thought we saw a sensational performance. That’s what I saw.”

(More on Felder) “One of the things we told our team is that they will run a lot of motion and screening around the rim, but it frees him up to just kind of do his thing. He just got in a zone. He started to just take it … they weren’t running anything. It was just him starting to make shots. Over the years, Salim Stoudamire scores 37 points on us in the Pac-10 championship game. We won the game, but it was a phenomenal performance. Klay Thompson, we guarded him with everybody, Klay Thompson scores 40-some points on us. We won that game. We won a game against Gonzaga with Adam Morrison going off. Just super performances. Every now and then, there’s a player out there that has a great night. We can say, should we have run at him? What would we have done differently to throw him off? Maybe we could have done some different things. I think he’s clever enough to where he sees the double team coming and just kind of goes at you and makes you pay for it. Hats off to him and his team and their coaches. I thought we saw a great performance here today.”

(On the gameplan going in) “We were going to try to trap him on the ball screens. I didn’t think we did a good enough job on that, because once we got a couple of fouls, it took our aggressiveness away. So we didn’t do a very good job of that. We wanted to be aware where he was, but again, when they have the floor spread like that and it’s just one guy up at the top, unless you just leave a man – they shoot the ball so well, we were afraid to do that. And then guys were wide open for shots. But that’s how it went.”

(On Martez Walker making his debut for Oakland) “That might be the unsung hero in the game, because he came out, scored 18 points and was very active, did a very good job for them and kind of helped Felder that way. I thought Hayes played a very good game, 17 rebounds, but he kind of played off of those guys. Walker, he came in and made his presence felt.”

(On bouncing back from so many runs) “It’s tough. We hadn’t been through this yet. We lost a couple of games – the two that we lost, you felt like, ah, we were that close to getting that stop. Ah, we missed it. This one was, again, someone kind of imposing their will on you. So this was a first for us. Like I said, I know we have some good guards in our league, but I just don’t know if we’ll play against anybody else like that.”

(Did putting Murray on Felder hurt your rebounding?) “If it did, we’d take the tradeoff to keep him from going off. But like I said, the way he plays, again, he wasn’t averaging 10 coming into today. He was averaging 24. And yeah, he got 38 on us, so he exceeded his average, but it was just difficult for us to contain him today, as a team. Me as head coach, maybe we should have done some different things to try to maybe get the ball out of his hands, which he did, but he’d somehow find a way to get it again.”

(On attempting so many 3-pointers) “They kind of lull you to sleep in the way they play. We didn’t force very many 3s. they were wide open 3s. and we weren’t able to known those down. It’s hard to turn down those. I think three out of four, or four out of five games, we’ve made 40 percent of our 3s. Now all of a sudden we’re going to turn them down? No, I don’t think so. But I don’t think we were forcing those 3s. They were open. Thirty-seven’s a lot though, but remember, we probably took eight or nine down the stretch when the game was out of hand.”

(On the rebounding) “We got outrebounded. I don’t think there’s one formula – again, I want to go back and look at the film and just see how many of those rebounds they got offensively as a result of the penetration there. And we missed so many shots – now that is an area where, foul trouble, getting down, whatever it was, I don’t think we attacked the offensive boards as hard as we’ve been attacking them.”