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March 12, 2012 at 2:14 PM

Tony Wroten says UW treating NIT like it’s the national championship”

Tony Wroten Jr. addressed the media for the first time since Thursday’s loss in the Pac-12 Tournament quarterfinals.
The Washington freshman guard said he was distraught after the defeat and said it was “funny” he scored a career-high 29 points during a game in which he missed four crucial free throws in the final 18 seconds.
Wroten buried his face in his jersey and held his head in his hands as he walked off the court at Staples Center. He declined to talked to the media after the game.
Wroten said today it took him a day to get over the defeat, but now he’s focused on playing Texas-Arlington in first round of the NIT.
Here’s a full transcript of his interview.


(Thoughts on the NIT) “We did this to ourselves. We just got to look forward to the next game and try to win the NIT.”
(How do you pick up the pieces?) “You just got to move forward. Everything happens for a reason. And I feel like everything happens for the best reasons. Of course we want to make the NCAA tournament, but we didn’t. So we just got to move forward and worry about Texas-Arlington.”
(How long did it take you to get past Thursday’s defeat?) “The next day. Of course that day really hurt, but it happens. It happens to all of us. It’s just funny how my potentially best game was my worst game on the same day.”
(What did you do to help you get past it?) “My family helped me out. It happens to all of us. Everything happens for a reason. Everybody goes through adversity.”
(Have you watched that game at all?) “Nah. Watching it would make it worse. You can’t get that game back so just moving forward.”
(Did each free throw feel good or was something else going on?) “It felt good. I had made six straight before that so I was confident I would make those four. But just didn’t.”
(Were you surprised Washington was left out of the NCAA tournament?) “I kind of knew the situation. Coach was telling us. I never wanted to get my hopes too up because you can be disappointed. But at the end of the day, it still shocked me because that was our goal, but it is what it is.”
(Did the criticism you received surprise you?) “Nah. I knew it was coming. It comes with the territory for an athlete. The same people that praise you and say how good of a player you are are the same people that’s going to say I’m a failure and I’m the reason that we lost. So it comes with the territory.”
(Any motivation to possibly returning to New York?) “Yeah we’re going to treat this like its the national championship. Obviously it’s not what we wanted, but since we’re here we’re going to deal with it and play like we are in the national championship.”
(A competitor wants to win games regardless of the tournament, right?) “Yeah. And this should give us more motivation to win it to show the committee that we deserved to be in it.”

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