Washington Player Quotes - Wed., March 15
March 15, 2006
Brandon Roy, Senior, Guard
On critics giving Washington no respect as a No. 5 seed:
'I think we're handling it well. It's almost good news for us, we get to bethe underdogs again. Utah State is a good team. People think we're theteam that's going to lose, the five to the 12th seed, but we're not here tomake any predictions. We played really good basketball down the stretch;we've won eight out of our last nine games. Utah State's a good team, but Ithink we're just going to approach it as if we're the underdogs and we'rejust going to try to get a win.'
On preparing for Utah State:
'I think that's their strategy no matter who they play. I think they're apack-it-in team; they don't want to stretch their defense out very far.Even if they're playing a man, they're going to stay packed in and try tomake you force jump shots. That's something we've been working on all week,going against a zone and working against a sagging man-to-man defense andmaking sure we still penetrate and don't just settle for outside shots.We're going to still take our cracks at it because we have players who canshoot; but at the same time, we have to make sure we penetrate and stayfocused at trying to get inside their defense.'
On stepping his game up:
'I just tried to be more aggressive offensively for 40 minutes. Everymoment I'm on the court, coach says, be aggressive, to not only score but tomake plays for other players. This year, I'm leading the team in assiststoo. It's not about going out there scoring, but it's about being a threatto create shots for other players on the team. Coach (Romar) says, 'everymoment you're on the floor, we need you to make plays.' If that means takemore three's this year in games, I'll do that. If it means to penetrate,then I'll penetrate. Basically, I'm trying to be more aggressive to dowhatever it takes for this team to win.'
On the the pressure to win after past year's success:
'Actually, I feel like it's less pressure. Last year, we were the No. 1seed and we had some big names. Nate Robinson was our star name and peopleput a lot of attention on him. Last year I was able to slip through thecracks and Jamaal got some offense going. But now we're the bigger names onthe team, but people aren't picking us to do very well in the tournament.I'm approaching it as we're the underdogs. I'm telling the guys, it'salmost like we have nothing to lose, so let's go out there and leave it allout there on the floor and let's try to make it special. It's a total teameffort. I don't think you have as many individual stars as we did lastyear, but we have, I think, a much better team and we play more as a team.I think that will be our huge advantage going through this tournament.'
On taking it one game at a time:
'I think we're handling it well. Just riding over on the bus, I'm almostapproaching it as if it's another game. Sometimes you can get caught up inbuilding it up as too much of a game. I'm just saying, it's another game.We feel like, if we play Husky basketball for 40 minutes, we could dosomething special. But I don't think we want to make it any bigger than itis, not after we've been here three years in a row. I think we just have tocome in and approach it as if it's just another basketball game that wehave to win or our season's over. We don't want to build it up too much, wejust want to have fun and enjoy the experience, but at the same time, justknow it's another basketball game and we have to get it done or our season'sover with.'
Jamaal Williams, Senior, Forward
On coming off the bench:
'My role hasn't changed at all, except now I'm coming off the bench. I'mfine with it. It helps the team out. Our bench scoring has gone up a lot,so that helps. I do whatever it takes to help this team win.'
On defending against Nate Harris:
'We're going to play him the same way we play everybody else. We stick toour basic defensive principles and keep playing. We never change what we dofor pretty much any player, but we'll make it difficult for him to catch andtry to limit his touches as much as possible.'
On facing teams with zone and man-to-man:
'By playing zone all the time. It's very rare that we get a team that willplay us man-to-man for a full 40 minutes. For the most part, if they dostart out in it, they'll decide to change it back into that zone quicklybecause we have a lot of good players that can create plays. GuardingBrandon (Roy) is tough one-on-one and if you try to help guard him in thatman-to-man situation, he's going to find the open guy. The effect of thisdepends on how we're shooting. If we're shooting well, it doesn't reallybother us. But if we're not shooting that well, then we've got to findanother way to get it done. We'll see what happens tomorrow.'