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Husky Men's Basketball

The latest news and analysis on Husky men's hoops.

March 19, 2011 at 6:13 PM

Washington prepares for North Carolina

Photo credit: Seattle Times – Dean Rutz
Apologies for the slow day on the blog. Reminder I’m also posting on Twitter so you can follow me there.
Lots of interviews today. All the practices were closed to the media. Here’s a sampling of what was said on the podium.
When you think about North Carolina and when you were younger, what do you think about when you think about a school like that in basketball?
ISAIAH THOMAS: “Michael Jordan
. I mean, the best player to ever play the game went there, and then they got a lot of legendary players. It’s basically every kid’s dream school. I mean, to go to North Carolina or play against them, it’s legendary.”
Talk about sort of the pace that you expect tomorrow. This is probably going to be a very entertaining game from a spectator’s constant point. I assume it’s fun for y’all to find another team that wants to run with you.
“It’s going to be a fast-paced games. We’re both teams that like to run in transition, so there might be a few heartaches here and there. It’s uptempo. That’s the type game we like to play. Hopefully, we can have a good game for the crowd, but really we want to get the win in the end.”
MATTHEW BRYAN-AMANING: “Definitely uptempo game, something we love. We feel we’re at our best when we’re running the floor. Coach always says you got a good shot in transition, take it. He’s always giving us that kind of green light. He thinks we’re going to make the right decisions. I think it’s going to be a lot of fun just being able to play with a team like that.”

Harrison Barnes, what have you seen from him? Can you tell how you may be able stop him?
“He’s also another real good talented guy. He can score in multiple ways. I think I’ll have to make sure I’m there when he catches the ball. Probably even limit him some touches. Do that to the best of my ability. He’s still going to get the ball. When he does, contest every shot he shoots. That’s all I can pretty much do from there.”
What are your thoughts about playing North Carolina in North Carolina?
“I love it. I mean, backs are up against the wall. We have very few fans here. So, I mean, feels like everybody is against us like it’s been the whole season. So it’s nothing new. We know it’s going to be a lot of baby blue in the crowd. We’re ready for it. It’s the NCAA Tournament. So I mean, you have no excuses.
Like I said before, I can play in my home town and we can end up losing. You got to be the more mature team and really, really fight through adversity because there’s going to be a lot in games like this.”
Can you talk a little bit about the North Carolina bigs and your ability to adjust to matchup with that?
“They are big. I would agree with that. They are — when you go out there and you see them out on the floor, that’s one of the first things that struck me was their length. They have great size. There are times we can put a line up out on the floor that I think can come close to matching their size.”
Coach Roy Williams said you owe him money for ice cream. Number two, that you had a daughter that went to UNC and that she was the only smart person in the family. Can you respond to those accusations?
“He’s unbelievable. (Laughter). He begged me to walk to the store with him to go get ice cream, first of all. I was minding my own business, “Would you please, I don’t have anybody to walk with me? Would you please walk with me to the store so we can get some ice cream. I’ll buy.”
Okay. All right. I guess I didn’t want to be rude to him. So we went, yeah, bought some ice cream.
And my daughter did go to North Carolina, that’s true. I may as well tell everybody the story. No, never mind, I won’t. Let you tell him the story. Coach Williams is unbelievable.”
Cup or cone?
“No. It was a pint (laughter). If I don’t have the facts, I won’t say the story, unlike Coach William.”
He said both of you were recruiting Marvin. He looked at Marvin (Williams) and said, “Ask Lorenzo where his daughter goes to school.”
“I knew he would mess that up (laughter). It was Martell Webster, it wasn’t Marvin, it was Martell Webster. And he was talking to Martell Webster about how many people really loved North Carolina and the Carolina blue. He said even his own son — when Coach Williams was at Kansas, even his own son went to North Carolina. He said, you know, Coach Romar’s daughter even goes to Carolina. I thought that was interesting, he brought that out in the home visit.”
Can you just talk about finding another team like North Carolina that likes to run like you do and what you expect the tempo to be and what you want — what needs to occur for your team to win tomorrow?
“Well, there’s going to be a lot more possessions, that’s for sure, than we been accustomed to playing with.
“They are so good in transition. They not only get the ball up the floor, but they’re very organized in their approach. You can be back, you can have all five guys back and still not stop them, because they’re not just running, they’re running with a purpose. They’re very efficient in their transition.
“So they want to do that. We want to push the basketball. Both teams I think get up and try to pressure the basketball. I would imagine it will be a lot more possessions than we’re accustomed to seeing in our last few games.”
Two questions: You changed your starting lineup for the Georgia game. Will you go to that same lineup again tomorrow? And then number two, the players were asked about their ability to penetrate and get to the bucket against the bigs, and they all think they can. Can you talk about those difficulties tomorrow?
“We’ll see about the starting lineup. As far as getting to the rim, you better have a purpose and a plan because they’re long, they block shots effectively. If you’re going to go to the basket, you need to go strong but you also need to make good decisions. Can’t be stubborn against those guys. Regardless of what happens, they’re going to maintain that length. When you go to the basket, you have to be under control and you have to be very purposeful.”



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