UW COACH LORENZO ROMAROpening comments: I knew when Santa Barbara contacted us and wanted to play that they would be a good team. They’ve been to the NCAA tournament two years in a row prior to this year. They have some great seniors on their team, and you could see the experience and maturity of the future NBA player Orlando Johnson and that team will probably be in the NCAA tournament. That first round game will be interesting. That’s a very good basketball team and we want to give them a lot of credit. Give our guys a lot of credit too. I thought they grew up a lot in this game too. We faced some adversity—first half, you go down at half time. We had a 10-point lead and they came back and tied it up. We stuck with it. Tony Wroten had a monster game obviously. He scored, he rebounded … he was all over the place. His presence was felt. Abdul Gaddy broke out of his so-called slump tonight and played well defensively. But with guys like Desmond Simmons and Darnell Gant, those guys were unsung heroes tonight. Especially Desmond Simmons. Shawn Kemp Jr. didn’t score a point except for his two free throws, but his presence was felt. Tony helped neutralize (Greg) Somogyi. He stepped up and played well and was much needed.
Does Abdul Gaddy have to continue to be assertive and does he defer to Tony Wroten?I don’t think he defers to anyone. We’ve seen him play times when he’s aggressive and times when he isn’t. He played with Isaiah last year and he definitely was aggressive. And last year before he got hurt he was aggressive. When you’re playing basketball and your shots don’t go down, that can definitely affect your aggressiveness. Players have to understand you can be aggressive without shooting the ball though.
On Tony Wroten’s progression: He’s a great talent. There’s not much he can’t do out there on the floor. He scored 70 points in the summer league game.
On earning his 200th win: It’s a blessing that there’s been longevity here. You don’t get any amount of wins and have any success if you don’t have a lot of people around you. From Ken Bone to Cameron Dollar to Paul Fortier, Jim Shaw, Raphael Chillious. The guys that we work with all the time. And Lance LaVettier. We’ve had eight pros play for us. And then Tre Simmons and Hakeem Rollins, guys that were really good that didn’t play in the NBA. We had a lot of good people around us, and when you talk about 200 wins, that’s the reason why. The confidence from our administration has been great. The Dawg Pack as well.
ABDUL GADDY, UW guardOn the game: I just tried to come out and be really aggressive. I was trying to get to the foul line as much as possible – that’s what we’ve been working on all week, just trying to get more people up to the foul line, like me, Terrence, and CJ. Tony gets to the free throw line a lot. I was trying to get to the foul line and just be really aggressive.
On the starting lineup: (I like) any line-up that Coach puts out there. I mean, it’s great playing with Tony because he’s so aggressive that teams try to pack it in, so it leaves open for 3-pointers. I think it’s a great line-up – we’re fast and we could pick up full court. We could press and we could do a lot of things out on the court.
On Wroten’s aggressiveness: In a lot of ways (Tony’s aggressiveness makes me more aggressive) because his personality is always aggressive and that’s how he has to play. If he doesn’t be aggressive, then he’s not good. So if he’s aggressive, then he’s a great player and he has to stay aggressive. I tell him all the time on the court ‘If you see something, then just go. Just keep being aggressive all the time.’
TERRENCE ROSS, UW guardOn his second half job he did against Orlando Johnson, of UCSB: (Coach told us) we needed to step up, step up and take charge and told me to guard Orlando, so I just took that and accepted the challenge. I guarded him and slowed him down. I’m just happy that I slowed him down.