Coach/Player Quotes - Albany

Abdul Gaddy (Kim Grinolds/Dawgman.com)

SEATTLE - Washington Head Coach Lorenzo Romar, C.J. Wilcox, Aziz N'Diaye - as well as Albany Head Coach Will Brown and Mike Black - all spoke post-game as the Albany Great Danes defeated Washington 63-62 in front of an announced attendance of 7041 at Alaska Airlines Arena Tuesday night.

Head Coach Lorenzo Romar:

Opening Statement - "Give that Albany team a lot of credit. They were gritty, they ran their offense in the second half to perfection. Give them a lot of credit. They stuck with it on the road. They did a very good job. Aside from that, I take full responsibility for what just happened. That's on me. Can't place the blame anywhere else. We should have done a better job of defending them, especially down the stretch, and we didn't. And that's my responsibility, to have them better prepared to play against the offense that they were running."

On the offense Albany ran at the end of the game - "It's a roll and screen, screening type situation that they run. We knew that's what they ran and we just, like I said, didn't prepare our guys enough for us to be able to defend that."

Were you trying to set the tempo on defense tonight, and it just wasn't there? - "We jumped their ball screens early and it presented some problems, but if you do that the entire game…What you're talking about is what we did at the outset. We didn't pick them up full-court, but we double teamed the ball screen and they scored a couple times but they also turned it over. You do that the entire game and they begin to find holes and breakdowns in it. We defended, the other night, I thought really well, but the amount of ball screens that they set kind of backs your pressure off a little bit, because of that. We didn't finish the play. I'll look at the film. I would imagine they scored about 14 points at the end of the shot clock. We had defended them the entire shot clock and there was a breakdown at the end when they would score a bucket and that probably was the difference in the ball game."

Was it poor rotation from you guys? - "We were showing too long. We were staying too long with the ball. When they weren't, we didn't need to do that. It's something that we talked about but obviously I didn't emphasize it enough, that we couldn't stay with their ball screen that long, because they were looking to do something else with it."

What happened on their last bucket? - "We didn't get in front of him. I think it's pretty much that simple. I wish I had some great Einstein answer. We didn't stop the ball. They set ball screens, we were switching and we went out. We just didn't keep them in front of us."

On Scott Suggs - "Scott, we hope he'll be okay. He got hit pretty good, he was unconscious. He doesn't have a major headache or anything like that. We don't know if he was a concussion or not."

He was unconscious? - "He was woozy. You saw what I saw. I don't know, maybe I shouldn't say he was unconscious. One thing, he remembered what happened. A lot of time in those cases, guys don't even remember what happened. He remembered what happened."

Was he taken to the hospital?- "No. He was here the entire time in the training room."

Is this a good lesson to learn on the defensive end? - "Again, I think our guys were trying. That's why I said you can place the blame on me. I think our guys were trying to do what we asked them to do. The one thing we did ask them to do was not stay with the ball so long. We talked about that but…we haven't taught until they've learned, and we didn't learn it, so that goes back to the teacher, which is me."

Are you afraid this game will haunt you guys all year? - "If we let this turn into 2-3, then yes, it will. If we can go on from here and not stub our toe again then lesson learned early in the year. If this is a reoccurring theme, it'll be very very…it'll be a big blow to us down the road to us."

What does Suggs bring on both ends of the floor? - "Experience. Defense. Makes shots. But again, Scott not playing, we can't…you just ask me that question as a general question, "what does he bring," I could answer that. But as it relates to the game tonight, we still should have been in better shape than we were, what the final score says."

Did the team go into a lull after his injury? - "Perhaps. I think our guys saw him dazed out there. That's their guy, that's their teammate. Perhaps, but from the outset I think we turned the ball over five times in the first five minutes, before he got hit. We, for whatever reason, simple, mundane things that we practice over and over again, that we did in the last game, we weren't mentally doing them early. So there was something to it there. We weren't ourselves for whatever reason, before Scott got hurt."

Did you sense that the team was flat? - "We were definitely flat. There's no doubt. In the second half we came out with energy. We went up eight. Then we would play good defense until the end of the shot clock and someone would get away from us, or we didn't guard the ball screen properly. There we go, a bucket here, bucket there, next thing you know it's a three point game, and tie game."

Who were the five you had out there on the last play and why did you switch Hikeem for Aziz? - "Because we were switching everything. We didn't want Aziz to get caught way out there with a little guard. They weren't going inside. It was going to be one of those guards, and sure enough that's what it was."

Why was Wilcox on Black at the end instead of Andrews? - "He's one of our two best defenders."

What did you impart to the team at halftime? - "We talked to the team at halftime about the energy, but offensively we were so impatient. Mentally, we weren't there. We weren't in the proper spots. We weren't passing the ball to the right person. We weren't reading the defense like we've been doing all fall and the other night, second half. Things that we've been doing that have been second nature, all of a sudden for some reason it just wasn't there. So at halftime, I said I'm not really upset. I'm frustrated that we're not doing what we've been doing in our sleep. Things we were just doing in our sleep, from the outset we just weren't doing for whatever reason. It was hard to explain why we were like that at that point."

In hindsight, would you have liked to have Aziz out there? - "No. No. Again, we were switching. In reference to the question about was CJ on him, no one was on anyone. If there was a screen involved, if there was a switch. We had 7.6 seconds to go. You gotta figure they were going to the basket. That's why we didn't want them to get in a situation where someone was wide open, so we were going to switch everything. It just so happens, guy took the ball to the basket."

On his feelings - "Very disappointed. Very disappointed."
Guard C.J. Wilcox:

On Albany mixing up their offense - "They saw that we were hedging the ball screens really hard, so they would come off and run the big guy to the rim. It caused some rotation issues and they got some wide open lay-ups."

On momentum surge in second half - "We came out in the second half with a lot more energy. But they made some adjustments to counter our aggressiveness."

On not shooting as well as Sunday - "I can't make all the shots, but I definitely need to play better—especially on the defensive end. I feel like I'm going to make every shot, so when they aren't falling, there's nothing you can do."

On coming out of halftime - "He [Lorenzo] told us to come out with more energy, and that's what we did. Be more aggressive, try to get in the lanes a little bit."

On last play of game - "We were anticipating a lot of switches, we were trying to switch everything. They just cleared it out really nicely. We tried to force him [Black] left—we always try to force off-hand—but he made a play.

On dealing with Albany's quickness - "We were making a lot of different adjustments. We would come out and trap the on-ball, then we started to hedge a lot. Toward the end we didn't hedge as much because they kept hitting the diving guy."
Center Aziz N'Diaye:

On last possession of game - "We thought that they would set up somebody to drive to the basket. But it's not that the last play made the game. In the first half we were slow. If we would have started the right way, it would have been different in the second half. They just made a lot at the end of the game."

On starting aggressive on offense - "They did a good job of finding me early. If it's a mismatch, I do a quick move, try to finish over people."
Albany Head Coach Will Brown:

What does it mean to get a win on the road at a place like this? - "You beat the defending Pac-12 champions in their building. For us, we opened up Friday against an Atlantic-10 team, two days later we're playing at Ohio State, and then two days later we're here. I was so concerned about us being fatigued and tired and losing our legs. I thought we really had to weather the storm in the first 10 minutes of the game. It's a great win for us. Lorenzo Romar, what he's done with this program, the success that they have, it speaks for itself. For a program like ours, hats off to my kids. They played their rear ends off and when Washington went on that run early in the second half, the easy thing for us to do would be to fold, and our kids just kept fighting and I'm really proud of them because Washington's bigger, stronger, more athletic than us at every single position. They just didn't wear us down. I thought at the end we were the fresher team."

What's the signature win for your program to date? - "I've been here 12 years. We won at Utah the year after or the year before they had gone to the Elite Eight, possibly. I think it was the first year that (Rick) Majerus wasn't coaching, so that was probably, outside of going to the NCAA tournament twice, which we did in '06 and '07. This is obviously the biggest, single game that we've ever won, that's for sure. We've only been Division-1 for 12 years."

On his team's guard play - "Mike Black's the best player in our league, in my opinion. He's definitely the best point guard. He's had plenty of games like this before. He dropped 20 on Aaron Craft the other day, who's the best defensive player in the country at Ohio State. And Jacob Iati, I think he had 23 in the CIT tournament last year. He's just a gutsy kid."
Albany Guard Mike Black:

What were you thinking when you made that last layup? - "Just hopefully they didn't make the last three. I know Gaddy had a pretty decent look and I was praying to God that he missed it, and he did so it was a good game."

What does this win mean for your program? - "It's a lot. It's the biggest win in Albany history. I'm just grateful for the opportunity to be on the team."

How did you guys get it back together after Washington's run early in the second half? - "Composure. Jacob Iati, he's our leader on the team, and Coach Brown, he's a great coach, just told us to keep our composure."

Was there something about Washington's defense they wanted to exploit? - "Honestly, not really. They have some great guards. They were very aggressive on defense. It was tough. It was a hard earned 42 points me and Iati put up."

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