David Crisp on Friday's opener: 'Everyone is looking forward to the Coach Hop era. We’re excited to show everyone what we’ve been working on.'

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Washington men’s basketball players David Crisp and Jaylen Nowell talked about Friday’s regular-season opener against Belmont and their 91-87 exhibition win over Division II Saint Martin’s last week.

Here’s everything they had to say Wednesday.


(Looking forward to a new start?) “It’s fun. Everyone is looking forward to the Coach Hop era. We’re excited to show everyone what we’ve been working on.”

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(What did you see on tape of the exhibition game?) “Not much of a sense of urgency, a little bit of missed rotations, out of place on defense. Defensively that was the biggest thing we looked at, and just little tweaks we could have made to contest where we could have been a lot better, a lot of things that we can correct. I’m not worried about that, just getting better at it.”

(Urgency and intensity – where does that come from?) “Just bringing it out of the guys. As a leader I have to bring it out of the guys and let them know that every possession is the biggest possession. Have to take it one possession at a time, and stops are important if you want to win games, so if we want to win games we have to get stops.”

(How big is it to rebound for you?) “It’s huge, because the way we run our zone a lot of times bigs are going to have to go out and contest some threes. That leaves them out of the paint, so that means guards have to come back and rebound. Traditionally the guards have been real aware of rebounding here at Washington so we want to continue that tradition and that’s a main focus that we have in practice, all guards have to come back and rebound.”

(Will your role change at all this year?) “No, it’ll probably be around the same. I’m just being more of a leader, just being more vocal, leading by example more. You can’t take any days off as a leader. I’m not going to have perfect days but every day I’m trying my best to lead these guys to a good season.”

(What were you thinking on Nowell’s last shot in the exhibition?) “I knew it was good. I came out and went in the corner just in case they tried to double or something. I knew he was going to make the right play. It went down. I was happy for him. We got the win.”

(How would you describe Hopkins in a game setting) “He’s real intense. He gets on you if you’re not bringing your best. He brings the best out of you. If he doesn’t do that, then what’s a coach. That’s what they’re supposed to do. In the games that we’ve had, if I’m slacking or something he’ll tell me to pick it up. He tells me to keep leading. And I just go out there and try do it for him.”

(On having a lot of family members at games) “Oh yeah. That’s one of the hardest things is figuring out who I’m going to get tickets from to try to get all of my family to be there. I know the exact feeling he’s (Nowell) talking about. I remember back in my freshman year the first time I stepped out on the court, it was just surreal. You dream about stuff like that. Your family gets to come. See all of your hard work pay off. To go to college on a full scholarship. So definitely, it’s huge having your family there.”


(What is this current team like in terms of its mentality?) “As you can tell we are very young, so we’re still trying to figure that out right now. We mainly hang our hat on defense and stopping people. Once we know that we’re stopping people, the offense is definitely going to take care of itself.”

(What was the conversation among the guys already here about wanting to stay and play for Hop?) “Just being here in the city, definitely wanted to get to know coach Hop and we all loved him, who he was as a person. We all felt that he was definitely rooting for everybody on the team. He loves everybody. We love playing for him and we want to be good for him.”

(What was it like playing in front of friends and family for the first time with the UW jersey on?) “It was a great experience. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I’m just ready to go out and continue to compete in front all of them.”

(Talk about the end of the game and the final shot.) “Of course it meant a lot, being my first college game. I’ve been placed in many situations like that so I just remained calm and collected and just knew that I was going to make it. You’ve got to have confidence in yourself. If you don’t, who else?”

(Did you want it to get down that low?) Nowell: “Yeah, I definitely wanted it to get down low. Of course if you miss it they have a chance to come back and make another shot. I just wanted wanted to get the time as low as possible. I wasn’t really nervous. As I said before, I’ve been in a lot of situations like this. I just remained calm and did what I was supposed to do.”

(More on Hopkins coaching) “Well it shows that he’s definitely invested in us. What’s going on in the game. When you see that you don’t want to give anything but 100 percent – 110 percent for your coach honestly.”

(First recollection of Crisp) “Definitely as a little kid watching these guys play in high school. Didn’t really get to see him play much until he transferred to Beach. But when he did, watching him was – I loved watching him as a player. We used to go to the games and was happy because of guys like this. Especially coming from Tacoma. It’s kind of a little rivalry there between Seattle and Tacoma. So it’s nice, but you wish love on all of those guys coming in from different states because everybody honestly is working for one goal. Especially here. We’re all here to win. Playing with Dave now is definitely fun. A fun experience. He’s playing with the same intensity.”