Athens, GA (Mar 22, 2009) - In 2nd round action from the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball tournament on Saturday, Washington lost to Purdue 76-74. This is the transcript of the Washington post-game press conference as provided by the NCAA and ASAP Sports.
Q. Isaiah, toward the end of the game you were feeling it and you
were breaking them down, and then the last couple of possessions
JaJuan got a block on one of your drives and then the other drive you
missed. Could you talk about those two drives to the basket, what you
saw and what happened from your perspective?
ISAIAH THOMAS: Those two drives it was open. It's shots I usually
made. I thought I got fouled but they didn't call it. And the second
one it was too hard, the shots that usually go down and usually are
Q. At the end of the game you seemed to have several things going in
your favor. They were in foul trouble early, there were out of time
outs, you were in the bonus early and you had them on their heels. Did
you feel like you were one or two plays away from getting them to
JON BROCKMAN: You know, I think it was because of the position we
put ourselves in the first half. It was a constant effort to climb
back into it. We were getting better looks in the second half, it just
came down to the fact that they made plays and we couldn't get stops
when we needed to get them.
Q. Jon, it looked like especially in the second half that you just
took the mindset I'm not going to let this team lose, just flying
everywhere, doing even more than usual it seemed, almost. What was
going through your mind? Did you try to take that on yourself?
JON BROCKMAN: Our guys were driving and they were stepping up, both
these guys had good dump offs to me, and just trying to get active on
the offensive end around the boards. It was just a little too much, a
little too late.
Q. Jon, just got out of your locker room and there's guys that are
just tearing up for you, Jon, the senior, Justin, just how much does
it hurt, this loss, knowing this was your last game in the purple and
JON BROCKMAN: I'm sure it will keep hitting me when I start
realizing more and more things that I won't ever do again. But the
fact that these guys were able to help me get back to the tournament,
I'd do anything for them. And I think it's the same way. The saddest
thing about the whole entire when you look at everything it's the last
time this group will play together. And that's probably what hurts
more than anything.
Q. Jon, if you could comment on the atmosphere. I know it's hard
amidst a loss like this. Coming to Portland and the fan reaction you
got, if you had been in Miami, say you wouldn't have.
JON BROCKMAN: It was unbelievable the support we had. The fans came
out full force, wearing their purple. It really felt like we were
playing at home. For me that meant the world that people really wanted
to come out and support us and wanted us to get it done. I just feel
terrible the fact that we couldn't get it done for them.
Q. Isaiah, can you talk about your first experience coming down here
and what you're going to take away?
ISAIAH THOMAS: It was a great experience, especially with these
group of guys that I've known for a while and worked out with, worked
hard, practiced, long practices with these guys. I'm never going to be
with them again. The seniors, like Brock and J.D., this core group of
guys that I won't be able to play with again. It means a lot. We've
worked so hard and the experience was the experience of a lifetime. I
sucked it in, but this isn't the last time I'll be here.
Q. Jon, both you and JaJuan Johnson had big numbers, huge impact on
the game. Could you talk a little bit about his presence in the game,
what your impressions were?
JON BROCKMAN: You know, he's a beast down low. That mid range game
he excels at. And I made some crucial errors giving him position and
also on the offensive boards he crashed really hard, but he's a great
player. He's going to be he's going to continue to get even better.
He's going to be one of those fun players everyone in the nation is
going to want to watch.
Q. Jon, you talked this year about wanting to return things to
greatness, you talked about your legacy here. Obviously you would have
wanted to go further than this. How proud are you of the year you had
and this team did have?
JON BROCKMAN: I'm mostly proud just the way this team came together
and was able to overcome the different bumps, overcome different
adversity. And it's funny, there's only one real happy team at the end
of an NCAA tournament. And the fact that all these guys were able to
do their job, come together, and help me get back here my last year, I
couldn't ask for anything more.
Q. Quincy, can you talk about the way the game was going, you guys
were playing catch up the whole way, it gets to 2 a couple of
different occasions, it seemed like you guys were getting right to the
point and couldn't quite get over it.
QUINCY PONDEXTER: We came together defensively, that's what made the
difference. We were getting stops and we were getting rebounds and
taking better shots than we had earlier in the game. And it was just a
little bit too little too late.
Q. Jon, did you think you guys were going to pull that out the way
the momentum had swung so wildly?
JON BROCKMAN: I knew at halftime we were going to get back in the
game. And I knew as soon as we started rolling I really believed we
were going to get over that two point hump and take the lead. I really
thought we were going to win it. That's one of the reasons why it's so
hard to take. We were right there. But that's the tournament. It comes
down to one possession.
Q. Coach, was there defensive pressure on the perimeter, was that
something you hadn't quite seen all year? In the first half did you
feel like you shot the ball too quickly?
COACH ROMAR: I would say affirmative on both. We talked before in
watching them on film and watching them play in person the other
night, we told our team that they would probably get after us
defensively more than anything we faced this year.
Kansas, I thought, did a tremendous job playing stingy defense and
pressuring the ball, and we felt Purdue would be right there. And they
were. I didn't think we handled it well in the first half. I thought
in the second half we handled it much better.
Q. You had to go all the way from playing from behind, talk about
playing catch up against a good defensive team like Purdue?
COACH ROMAR: You know, it's hard, because they're not giving you
baskets, that's for sure. They're hard to come by when you play
against a stingy defense like that. Like Quincy stated earlier, when
we begin to apply our own defensive pressure, get our hands on the
ball and get out on the open floor, that loosened up the game and kind
of energized us. And also Quincy got going in the second half and was
able to score big baskets for us. And that also loosened us up
Q. Coach, can you just real quickly talk about Jon's effort tonight
and maybe is that reflective of his entire career?
COACH ROMAR: We would be very fortunate if we got another player as
good as him. And that is a possibility that we could get another
player as talented as Jon Brockman. I'm going to go out on a limb and
say we'll never get a player like Jon Brockman. Maybe as talented, but
not like him. He is unlike anyone I've ever seen or played with.
I was able to play professionally for five years and play with some
of the best talent in the world and be around basketball my whole
life. I've never been around anyone like Jon Brockman, with that type
of heart, desire, servant attitude, humility, talent, just seems like
too often the more talented someone is the less humble they are and
the more they are takers.
He's the complete opposite. He's a giver. He's constantly gave to
us, his teammates, to our program for the four years that he has been
here, not to mention he left as the all time leading rebounder, second
leading scorer in the history of this program. So he's pretty special.
I've said it before, he is like the old time, old school heroes that
you used to read about that just play for the love of the game. They
didn't play for the accolades, the money, the fan fair, and they were
the same ones that would go out in the community and give themselves
to everyone. That kind of sums up Jon Brockman.
Q. Jon reflected on it, but could you reflect on the atmosphere in
Portland, in the second half, as you inched your way back the crowd
was with you the whole way.
COACH ROMAR: Phenomenal. I'm positive that helped fuel our comeback,
to have the people come out like they did and be behind us and be that
vocal and spirited and enthusiastic was something that was really
special. And I echo what Jon said, it's just a shame that we couldn't
win that game and reward them for their spirit and support.
Q. Could you talk a little bit about Quincy's game and how he sort
of evolved over the last couple of weeks and really came through for
you here at the NCAA tournament?
COACH ROMAR: Quincy, I am so proud of him. He just he became a man
before our eyes this year. He comes out, gets a double double in the
second round of the NCAA tournament, 20 and 10. Gets 23 points and 7
rebounds in the opener, just had a heck of a second half of the
season. He finished this year becoming one of the better players in
this country, I think.
Q. Coach, how did you feel about the end of the game, the last five
minutes, particularly with some easy shots, easy opportunities that
were missed? And then also some of the fouling 40 feet from the
basket, some of the calls that went against Venoy Overton?
COACH ROMAR: Well, I'll answer your questions in reverse. I think
Venoy did his normal Venoy impersonation. He guarded the ball. He
pressured the ball. And this particular crew, I guess, decided to call
it a little closer. And he was whistled for a couple of fouls that
And you go out, everyone's going in there to try to make shots. And
we got shots in the paint, you couldn't ask for better shots and they
just didn't go down. And it's no one's fault. Guys were trying, trying
to make plays, they just didn't go down. And unfortunately sometimes
that happens. But our guys were very aggressive getting that ball to
Q. Coach, you talked about Jon and the talent that will be leaving
the program, about that heart and that determines. How do you fill
that void and how will your team be different next year minus John and
Justin, considering the young men you have coming in?
COACH ROMAR: Well, I think with what we have coming in and what we
have coming back we will I don't think we'll take a drop off as a team
in talent. What's going to be hard to duplicate and we're going to
have to someone's going to have to step up, is that leadership,
phenomenal leadership, great leadership.
Jon and the guys, Justin, became an extension of the coaching staff
in terms of preparing our guys, policing the others and Quincy is the
him and Joe Wolfinger are the only seniors on the roster, the rest of
them are underclassmen, freshmen, sophomores. I think three juniors is
what we'll have. Someone, several, are going to have to emerge as big
time leaders. That is going to be very crucial in how well we do next
year at this point.
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