Player/Coach Quotes - Northwestern

Abdul Gaddy (Kim Grinolds/Dawgman.com)

SEATTLE - Here are quotes from Lorenzo Romar, Abdul Gaddy, Terrence Ross, Darnell Gant, Tony Wroten, Aziz N'Diaye, C.J. Wilcox, and Northwestern Head Coach Bill Carmody after No. 1 seed Washington blew out No. 4 seed Northwestern 76-55 Friday night in the second round of the NIT at Alaska Airlines Arena.

Lorenzo Romar:
Taking the microphone after the game:
"Several reasons. Having been here 10 years, we've had a pretty faithful crowd throughout the 10 years. They've really supported us and you feel sometimes like it's family, a little bit. Even if you don't know a lot of the people that are there. They come out and they didn't have to come out, so I just wanted to make sure they understood that we weren't completely happy with how things turned out, but we wanted to show our appreciation that they still came out, and … we have a chance to still do something special. We need their support. I just wanted to relay that to them."

Did the crowd help the team out?
"Oh yeah. They helped us out last game and there weren't nearly as many people as there were here, but in the Arlington game in the second half, they gave us a lift and tonight they gave us a lift. You would have thought it was close to a sellout just based on the noise. Pretty loud."

Defense taking them out of their comfort zone:
"Their team shot 21, 22 percent in the second half, that's hard to do against that team. I thought our guys were really focused and disciplined on the defensive end. There were only a few mental errors that we made in the first half defensively. In the second half, I thought maybe they were worn down a little bit. They weren't able to hit a couple of shots because they weren't open on a few. I just thought we did a pretty good job. It was interesting that the first half I think they shot 62 percent from the field, but they had only taken 19 shots. We had taken 37 shots in the first half. Even though they were shooting a good percentage, our guys were doing a good job to where they had to go deep into the shot clock and I think they may have only backdoor'd us once, where they score without us touching them and without a charge. So, against Northwestern, you just have to commend our guys and tip our hats off to them. It's really hard to do because they are so efficient on offense."

Key on the backdoor cuts:
"Obviously, our guys did a good job of being alert to not get backdoor'd, but to guard against the backdoor, you must have help-side defense. Your weak-side defense has to be on point, or else you will continue to get backdoor'd. Our weak-side defense was able to take a couple charges."

Best defensive effort in a while?
"In a while, absolutely. In a long time."

Aziz being named to the all-defensive team:
"Aziz was in a very tough position tonight. He had to guard a guard that was not standing by himself stationary. The guy is moving the entire time. Not only did he have to guard the guy, he had to guard the three and he was helping. Aziz did a great job in help defense. He got some deflections and some steals. You would think that we were concerned that it would be really difficult for him to play against that system, but he did a great job. He was acknowledged by the coaches in this league as one of the top five defenders and I'm sure he takes pride in that, but again that's why he was chosen. Because he's been doing that all year."

If you were Northwestern, what would you have done to stop Ross:
"I probably would have low bridged him. (Romar says with a laugh.) No, just kidding. When Terrence gets it rolling, you almost have to send two guys at him to get the ball out of his hands. Because he can continue to backup. His range is really deep, as well. If you come up too far, he can finish over the top of you. He can go inside on the post. I think the best way is try not to let him get going. But once he does, in some kind of way, you just have to take the ball out of his hands."

Performance against Northwestern defense:
"It was good. Oregon State plays that 1-3-1. They have longer guys, so we have had some experience. They don't trap as much as Oregon State does, but we have had some experience against it. I thought in the first half we did a great job. In the second half, for whatever reason, we lost a little concentration and turned it over too much. It was good to see us handle it the way we did."
Abdul Gaddy:
On Terrence Ross' game:
"We started to expect that out of him. He's been playing well and we keep going to him to make big shots. It's working for us."

On the 1-3-1 defense: "It's a lot different playing against it. You just have to swing the ball and make the extra passes. You really need to attack not to score, but to pass."

Fun being in a tournament or still odd being at home?
"I'm just happy to be playing. Not a lot of teams are playing right now around the country. We're still playing, so I am trying to win a tournament. I feel like us, as a team, are playing with a chip on our shoulder in that we're trying to prove we should have been in the NCAA tournament. So, we're trying to win the NIT."

Being down eight to going up nine, what changed?
"We picked up the pressure. Tony was doing a really good job of pressuring the point guard, he had a couple of almost steals, but that weighs on a point guard's mind, especially his. So, we started pressuring. I mean, he got loose a little bit and he found the open guys, but eventually, they started turning the ball over and we flourished in transition. Finding our open shooters, finding Aziz in the middle, stuff like that. So, we were just making that extra pass and getting our guys open so they can knock down shots."

What did tonight tell you about your guys?
"That maybe we're maturing a little bit and the fact that we're flourishing in this situation. We want to win it. I think we're just playing with a chip on our shoulders. We want to prove something that we should have been in the NCAA tournament, but we're not. We're just playing the cards that we're dealt. We're trying to win this whole thing and keep our season going."

Would you guys like to play Oregon?
Gaddy: "Yeah."
Romar: "We'd like to play whoever we're going to play."

What do you expect the atmosphere at the next game to be like?
"A fun atmosphere, great home game, a lot of fans. We're going to come out and compete and play Husky basketball, whoever we play."
Terrence Ross:
On tonight's game:
"At first the three was open; they were giving that to us. We started hitting some shots and that opened up the court. Once we started penetrating they started to collapse, and we were able to kick it back out to shooters. When you have to defend us in that many ways it's hard."

NBA talk and Tuesday being the last game at Alaska Airlines Arena:
"Right now, I'm just focused on the season. Right now, I am still playing college and still have an Husky jersey on. I'm just worried about this next game."

Chanting one more year and used to hearing that:
"Yeah, I guess. It's flattering, but still. It's in the middle of the game and you're trying to shoot free throws."
Darnell Gant:
On turning over Northwestern:
"What we wanted to do was disrupt them a lot on defense. Make it hard for them to get [backdoor passes], I think they only got one backdoor pass. I felt like we did a good job disrupting their offense. I felt like we did a good job of taking them out of it."  

On guarding Shurna:
‘He had 24 points, but he had to work for them. In the second half he hit two threes, but I felt like every time we made a mistake, he scored. I felt like if we didn't do a good job on him, he was liable for 40."  

The difference between tonight and Tuesday:
"I felt they were a good team, and they were going to hit shots. And they were doing that early, we was being physical with them. I just felt like it was different in the sense that we approached it differently. I felt like now, everybody's embraced the fact we're in the NIT."

Rooting for someone specific on Sunday?
"Oregon"

Third game with them:
"It would be great because they got us good at Oregon. So I feel like we owe them something."

Romar taking the microphone:
"I didn't know what he was doing, but I'm glad he did what he did because it will help us win Tuesday night.
Tony Wroten:
How this game tested your patience?
"The deeper you get into the season, the harder it gets. The scouts will make it tougher to do the things you do. So, be patient and let the game come to me."

What were they trying to do to stop you?
"They were trying to pack it in. They would send one person to when there is three people in the lane. That's fine, I can kick it out to my teammates."

On taking only fewer shots this game:
"It's never about me. I'm just trying to help my team; trying to become more of a point guard. That's why I only took five shots. We have a great scorer in Terrence and C.J. There's no need for me to take that many shots when we're playing that good."  

On getting 8 rebounds (5 offensive rebounds):
"When I get a rebound, I can just get it and go and get it in the fast break. I'm trying to rebound and cut down on second chance points."

Extra passing:
"When we play as a team, it's hard to beat us. Whenever we make a pass, that's what we're trying to do."

Role today:
"Every game, coach tells me I'm one of the best defenders on the team. So coach tells me it starts with me. So I'm putting the pressure on. This game, I kind of got into the point guard and affected his game."

Iowa or Oregon?
"It doesn't matter who we play, but Oregon because of last game was rough for us. They kind of beat us badly."
Aziz N'Diaye:
Getting named to all-defense team and lighting a fire:
"I was excited when I heard it and just the way we play. I am inside and trying to protect the rim as much as I can. It's just some motivation having that. I just keep playing my game."

More confidence?
"Just like being part of the team, going through last year and this year, my teammates have been trying to find me whenever I've been open inside and throw me the ball in there. So, I'm just doing my job and finishing around the rim.

Terrence's or Martin's dunk was better?
"I like Martin's dunk better because he came off the bench and wasn't loose at all and he made that dunk. That was fun to watch."

Had fun tonight?
"Yeah, we definitely had fun as a team. That's what the game is all about, having fun and having fun with your teammates."

On the game and size advantage:
That was part of the game. We had to use our size and length to go to the boards, get rebounds and try tobeat them on the glass to make it easier for everyone, make it easier on the shooters. Offensive rebounding opens it up for everybody. Terrence and those guys can make shots, and CJ.

On the game plan and exploiting Northwestern:
Just stay in there and protect the rim, make everybody's shot difficult inside. I just did my job. They isolated, tried to take me out. I just tried to stay in the paint and help as much I could.
C.J. Wilcox:
Putting the letdown behind him:
"Yeah, coach Romar told us the more games we win the more fun it will get. So, I think, the more we win, the more excited it's going to get."

Both him and Terrence hitting their shots:
?"You know, it always sucks when people are hitting shots and there is really nothing you can do if you want to keep taking shots like that."

Did they do anything you weren't expecting?
"Not really. I think in the second half they kind of got worn down and started missing shots."

The crowd tonight:
"Really impressed. Coach said every game it's going to get bigger and bigger and hopefully next game it's going to be pretty packed."

Get excited when a team plays zone?
"Yeah, I always just around and say when a team plays zone, I am going to hit some shots. Especially having Gaddy and Tone who can penetrate and get open looks, that definitely helps."
Bill Carmody:
On the game:
We had a nice early lead, things were looking pretty nice, but their continued pressure in the half court defense—they got their hands on balls, forced a number of turnovers. We had 11 turnovers in the first half and we only average 10 for games. I thought that was really the difference—their defense was just really good. And then, they beat us to so many balls. They're quick and fast, but they're also good basketball players. Sometimes you get guys that are quick, but they were also good players. They passed the heck out of the ball. Wroten…woah. On tape I saw it and I said, ‘This guy is a superb passer.' That was the right word.

On the season:
"We've been to seven post-seasons in the history of this school, including this last four…so this class has meant a lot. We were disappointed that we didn't get into the tournament. I didn't think we deserved it. If we win a couple more games and we had some tough losses, but the expectations are higher now. And that's good. They weren't mad when they lost, and now they are mad when they lose - so that's good."

On the 1-3-1 trap to start:
"That's what we play. Mostly we play man and 1-3-1, but I didn't think we'd be able to keep our bodies in front of these guys man-to-man; they are too fast."

On the start:
"We turned it over. We had a seven-point lead, and then we had three straight turnovers. We took 19 shots and made 11 of them. But if you turn it over 11 times, they had 19 more shots in the first half than we did. Because we turned it over. We didn't give ourselves a chance. And give credit to them, because they forced us out of our stuff."

On the turnovers:
"We average 10 turnovers a game, and we had 11 in the first half. It was only seven points, but the tempo of the game and the feel of the game was all in their favor."

On UW pushing tempo in the second half:
"I'm sure that's what they were trying to do, but of the first seven three pointers they took, they made six of them in the second half. Ross, it's not like he's hard to find, but I guess he was hard to find for us. I know his number, guys know his number, we know what he looks like and we know what he does…but we didn't locate him. And a lot of that had to do with their passing. Wroten is a superb passer and the rest of them are good too."

On UW getting after Shurna early:
"They played him hard. They were banging around, knocking him around, grabbing…but he's used to that. He gets held a lot and they try to beat him up a little bit, but they did a nice job on him."

On UW coming out with more intensity:
"After winning their conference and they don't get a bit - and take nothing away from Arlington, because they looked really good to me - and I don't know the psyche of the team the other night, but they played to win tonight."

On UW hitting threes early in the second half:
"That certainly hurt us, but I still say it was that first half when we had the lead and we just turned it over and couldn't shoot the ball. Eleven turnovers - we can't win like that. It changed our heads."

On what they did right to start:
"We knew if we just ran our stuff we were going to get some easy things…which we did in the beginning. We got some layups, they were overplaying a lot so we got some open looks. But their pressure was too much; the cumulative effect started to show up in the latter part of the first half."

Dawgman.com Recommended Stories