March 18, 2010
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Williams Press Conference Podcast | Seniors Press Conference Podcast
ROGER ROSS: Coach Williams, Darius Johnson Odom and Lazar Hayward, and we'll open it up for a comment from the Coach.
COACH WILLIAMS: Congratulations to Coach Lorenzo Romar, his staff, all the University of Washington players. I thought they were outstanding. We had our hands full before the game ever started, and I thought they were absolutely spectacular from start to finish.
ROGER ROSS: Questions for the athletes?
Q. Lazar, you guys were up 15 in the second half, just curious, what changed for you guys and allowed Washington to get back into the game?
Lazar Hayward: Well, we weren't very strong with the basketball. We wasn't making smart plays. We let their pressure force us into things we shouldn't have done, and this time of the year there are always going to be runs like that, you have to withstand them, you have to take teams runs and you have to do what we were supposed to do well and we didn't do that at all, we let their pressure rattle us and they were able to execute in place.
Q. Lazar, your coach said yesterday if you guys got into an up tempo game with them it wouldn't be a good situation for you. Could you talk a little bit about that? You did and you had that lead but did that become something that became didn't work for you? It seemed like you played it well up to a point.
Lazar Hayward: We're not a bad up tempo team, but they play much better fast and those are the types of games that they like to shoot the ball within the first fifteen seconds and what we like to do is ball control football, and we didn't do a great job of that at all. We didn't take away what they do well, which is stopping in transition, guarding the ball, stop them from gettin' in the paint. We didn't play well on defense at all.
Q. Lazar, can you talk about that last shot that you got? You had a pretty good look at it, you had a dribble into it. Did you feel like it might have had a chance to go?
Lazar Hayward: For sure. I told Coach was drawing up a play I told him I wanted the ball. I felt it felt good coming off my hand. It was just a little long and I felt like, you know, we could have some of the March Madness luck, but we didn't.
Q. Lazar, can you talk about Pondexter and how he picked up his game at the end and that last shot he hit?
Lazar Hayward: We knew he was going to come out firing. He shot 1 for 7 in the first half. Jimmy did a great job on him. He did a great job on him throughout the game. We weren't playing well and weren't helping him real well, we weren't in gaps and we can't let one defender play we can't let one guy guard him. He's a great player and he has a great coach and his coach knows where to give him the ball in good scoring position, and we just didn't play real well team defense and that's why he was probably able to make that shot.
ROGER ROSS: That's it for the student athletes. Thank you very much, gentlemen, appreciate it.
Q. Buzz, could you breakdown that last play, the shot that Quincy Pondexter hit, what you saw from your advantage point and how Jimmy played that defensively?
COACH WILLIAMS: I thought Jimmy did a great job. I thought he was really good all night long on him. When Zar was in foul trouble, Jimmy didn't guard him in the first half, but he was 1 of 7 in the first half and 6 of 10 in the second half. I'm not sure how many offensive rebounds they had on that last possession, but I think that they had two at halftime, maybe 3, and I think they probably got 2 or three extra possessions over the course of their last two possessions. Great players make great plays. We got beat on the second shot not on the first shot.
Q. Buzz, you talked yesterday about how if you got into their up tempo game it would be tough on you, and yet you built a lead I think you were playing it up tempo.
COACH WILLIAMS: Way too fast.
Q. How did that turn on you, being okay and then not?
COACH WILLIAMS: It's fool's gold for us. They had 39 possessions in the first half. We didn't create near enough freethrow opportunities for ourselves, and in the second half I thought we started strong, not just because we were making shots percentagewise. We made about the same number of shots from the start of the game to the end of the game.
Where we got beat was we weren't doing what we needed to do defensively and that was because the game gets going too fast. We struggled with foul trouble in the first half. Arguably a little bit in the second half, had to play our five best players too many minutes in the second half. With the game going that fast it wears us down. That's why it's fool's gold.
Q. Buzz, were you expecting Lorenzo to call a time out after they tracked down that offensive rebound and prior to Quincy Pondexter's shot?
COACH WILLIAMS: No, it's a tie ball game, which is why I didn't call a time out. It's a tie ball game. We miss it or I guess somebody drove it and pitched it out to D.J., I don't remember, turnover and then it's their ball, 10 seconds, I think to go, and I did not anticipate that he would call a time out.
Q. Coach Romar was talking about how much it means to beat a team like you guys that have won so many close games this year. What does that say about this team this year that wasn't expected to make it this far?
COACH WILLIAMS: If I wasn't as emotional as I am now I could probably answer your question more succinctly. The problem with playing so many close games is it's fun when you win 'em, and it's really, really hard when you lose 'em. Then when you go back as we do when we're answering and asking questions how do you lose a game when you're up 15, why were you playing so fast when you were up 15.
How did their defense rattle you, all of those things come into what a coach thinks, but I think for us to have been what we have been through prior to the start of the season and then for us to have endured what we have endured since the beginning of the Big East season, just to have a chance to be on this stage speaks to the character of those kids, even the ones that don't play.
But it also speaks to their willingness to work and to be accountable for their work every day. You can't be as short as we are physically and as short as we are from a depth perception and not be willing to work every day.
You know, not only do we play six guys, sometimes seven in a game, and those are the seven guys that are gettin' the most reps every single day in practice as well, so it's a grind for those guys physically and mentally. I think it says a lot about their fortitude.
ROGER ROSS: Thank you for your time, Coach.