The defensive end of the floor did it for us. Our guys came out active early and dialed in and focused and set the tone for the rest of the game. Our guys did a nice job tonight defending individually and as a team. That’s a good Colorado team—we know what they’re capable of. We knew it was going to be a tough challenge and our guys stepped up I thought.
On rebounding improvements:
If we’d have played them when we played Colorado St, they would have dominated us on the boards. I keep repeating myself, but I don’t know any other answer other than we’re a team now, our full team is together, we have great understanding of what we’re doing. And I think that rebounding, defending, taking care of the ball, it all ties in together. I think that’s why we’re seeing some differences.
On team’s gritty personality:
Before the season started, I think I had mentioned that this group was perhaps the most coachable and had the best chemistry of any team that we’ve had. I didn’t say it was the best team, just chemistry. That’s the reason we’re able to do that. We don’t have several guys sulking because they’re not getting more shots. We’re all for one and one for all. Sorry I couldn’t be more creative—that’s just how it is.
On winning “ugly”:
You can color it any way you want to color it. I just know that when you go out and you play two games in a row and you have single digit turnovers, you hold four teams to under 40% from the field, you outrebound three out of the four, you’re beginning to do things right. The only “ugly” thing if you want to call it that is that we haven’t been making shots. Two out of the last four games we haven’t made shots. Other than that, I think we’re doing everything else ok.
On anticipating the defensive effort:
I saw that one day we’d be a good defensive team if we put forth the effort and concentrated, but I don’t think that we’ve ever had a team that held four teams under forty percent. That part I didn’t see coming, because we’ve never done it before.
On impact of watching film of old Husky teams:
Maybe it did. I know it had an effect on Desmond, because you could see after he watched those films he was picking up early like Bobby Jones used to do. A couple of guys have seen that. I just think that we have some veteran guys on this team who have been playing in this defensive system three or four years, so they understand it. And what we have now been able to get are some defensive playmakers. Aziz N’Diaye and Simmons have become defensive playmakers, and CJ, Scott, Abdul, and even Andrew are now making plays on the defensive end. It’s been contagious. But again, I think the biggest reason is that we have experience playing this type of defense, and when everybody came together, it finally clicked in.