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March 27, 2008

Danny Green

Ty Lawson

Roy Williams


COACH ROY WILLIAMS: For the first time in my life I thought the media was so powerful, it's unbelievable, and now we have more evidence of how powerful you guys are. Tyler was one of our players to be drug tested, and they said, "He has to talk to the media before he can use the bathroom." You guys are powerful.
Other than that we're ecstatic, we played really, really well during stretches. Defensively we thought we were really good but, let's be honest, they missed some open shots. We felt like we missed some open shots. Well, first play of the game we missed a dead layup, and some after that, but Washington had some shots they would normally make and they missed some shots tonight.
I thought on the backboards, we were really good on the backboards, and when you looked down they only had four points after second-shot opportunities, and we usually make a better living there than the seven we made.
But we're ecstatic about still playing. We felt Danny Green gave us a huge lift in the first half shooting the ball in the basket, and he hasn't been shooting the ball that well recently to say the least. I think he was 3 for 17 or something like that from the three-point line. That's not perfect, I'm not far off, but he came in the first half and gave us a big lift when we were having trouble scoring against a very good defense.
You've got to congratulate Washington State. If you're playing when there is only 16 teams left, you gotta feel really good about that. And I saw Tony before the game and told him I waved at his dad because there couldn't be anybody in the arena happier than his dad tonight. And he's one of the great coaches of the game, and it doesn't feel good for them right now but they had a great year.

Q. Danny, with what Coach just said, you did struggle a little bit up in Raleigh. What helped you get going tonight?
DANNY GREEN: I think just making one basket really, kinda gets me going. That shot gives me the confidence to knock down the next one and getting into a rhythm in the game and playing good defense, diving on the floor, doing the little things to get the butterflies out. And once I got going things started working toward my way.

Q. For either of the players, a lot of attention was paid to how many points you guys scored last week. Because of the nature of this game, the way you played it and the way they wanted you to play it, was this more impressive to you than the two last week?
DANNY GREEN: I would say so. I mean, they played really good defense. They slowed the ball down, but once we started going a little bit, getting out, pressuring defensively and getting some stops and running them, I think we started getting on a little rhythm and getting some easy baskets for ourselves.
TY LAWSON: I feel like it's more impressive because it's a tough game, it was a grind-it-out game. They played good defense. We had to make tough shots and things like that to score, and it was kind of hard for us to score in the beginning of the game. But I started playing and loosening up and started running, that helped us get the lead and win the game.

Q. Ty, looked like you were jetting up and down the court as well as you have all year long. I know you probably get sick of being asked this, it looked like you felt pretty good tonight. Is this the best you felt since before Florida State?
TY LAWSON: I think so. I was able to do everything I normally was able to do. I was going to the basket, pulling up. My ankle felt really comfortable, I was able to jump off of it to make right hand layups. So I feel like I'm back to 100% or close to it.
THE MODERATOR: Thanks, guys. Questions for Coach.

Q. Roy, you talked about them missing open shots but that was pretty good defense out there. What was the point of emphasis tonight? And were you just trying to contest everything?
COACH ROY WILLIAMS: Well, we were trying to contest everything. I think one of the things we wanted to be is, I put up on the board, "tough enough, patient enough, poised enough." And talking about guarding for 35 seconds. What they do they sort of walk the ball up the court, and they get it across the 10 second line with 7 or 8 seconds already lapsed, and they don't necessarily try hold the ball down till the end. But they want to hold it until they get exactly what they want. So I said to Marcus and Danny and Wayne, "You're going to be hit by a screen. You have to be tough enough and patient enough to get through it. You're going to be hit by another screen. You've got to be tough enough and patient enough to get through it. Guys are going to cut on the baseline. He's going to stop and cut in the other direction. You've got to be tough enough and patient enough to continue to play the defense for 35 seconds."
It was a huge emphasis tore us to keep them off the backboards and not let them get second-shot opportunities, and we wanted to do a better job on our offensive boards than we did. Defensively we wanted to really try to challenge everything, but you look at it and they shoot 29% in the second half, and we shoot 38% percent. And a lot of that is the NCAA tournament, kids wanting to do so well that they pressure themselves. But I was pleased with our defense tonight.

Q. Roy, in the first half or at halftime did you feel like you had to say anything to Tyler to help him through that tough first half?
COACH ROY WILLIAMS: You know, in the Florida State game at Florida State he didn't score in the first half, but he was doing a great job defensively and rebounding, and in the second half he owned that part of the game. I did say one thing to him, I told him, "You've got good shots, just relax, don't press yourself, just relax and play the way you've played all year long." And the other emphasis at halftime was that half is over with. We can't do anything about that, but we could do something about the second half. "Let's be focused and try and go out and do better in the second half."

Q. What does it say about your offense that you had six points less at halftime than Notre Dame had against this team in forty minutes without Ty scoring?
COACH ROY WILLIAMS: You know, I watched Notre Dame, they struggled getting the ball in the basket. Seemed like they were out of sync the whole game. We were struggling getting the ball in the basket, but I felt like we were okay. We were getting pretty good shots. We just weren't making them or we were rushing the shots we had. So I felt pretty good about that.
I do feel good about our offense, there is no question there. I think we had great balance, but you look down and Ty is 5 for 11, Wayne is 4 for 13, Tyler is 6 for 15. We don't have those kind shooting nights very often. But I do think in the NCAA Tournament we have to relax a little more.
I said something about putting things up on the board, first thing I put was "attack." We want to be aggressive. We don't want to say, well, it's going to be a low-scoring game and not play the way we like to play. And we did attack, we just didn't finish the play by making shots. First play of the game Marcus gets a layup and misses it. Late Wayne drives the length of the court and lays it up and misses it. Tyler had the jump hook he makes all the time and missed it. But I do think at times that offensively we have a chance at times to put pressure on people.

Q. Roy, with their style of play, was this a game that you had to get through? Did your players kinda feel that way, that they knew this might be the one game that might be different from all the others?
COACH ROY WILLIAMS: You know, we didn't look at it like that. We looked at it as we have to get through it because it's the next game. We didn't look at their style of play. We didn't look at our opponent. It was just the next game in front of us. And you guys have heard me say a lot, I'd rather win in the 80, 90, and 100s, but sometimes you have to win in the 50s and 60s. And you have to be tough enough to understand that, and you have to be tough enough to make the shots and tough enough to guard for 35 seconds.
I personally don't feel like our staff or players looked at it that way. This was the next game and that's the way we were trying to play.

Q. You know Derrick Low very well from high school and this season he had 24 points in the second half at UCLA last week, 11 in the first 10 minutes of the second half against Winthrop. Was he one guy you were paying attention to in the second half to make sure he didn't score in bunches like he has in the past?
COACH ROY WILLIAMS: Well, their whole team -- they may have missed that, but not by a lot. Seven threes in 85 seconds against UCLA, so they can score quickly when they start making them.
I grabbed Derrick and Weaver both and told them, "It doesn't feel good right now but congratulations on what you've done and great careers and great year." But we were concerned about Derrick and Weaver both of those guys from three. But Derrick has, I watched the Winthrop game, was it Winthrop or Stanford in the Pac 10 Tournament, where he made three just like that early in the second half. So we had seen that and talked about it, but we just tried to get focused for every possession.

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