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Husky Men's Basketball

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March 27, 2006 at 10:31 PM

Clearing the notebook

Here are a few notes and quotes as we begin to head into the off-season.
• I wrote today about a letter Washington athletic director Todd Turner wrote to NCAA officials about his displeasure over the officiating and the late start time. Here’s the link to the story.
Turner also wrote about it on his blog on the UW athletic site here.
I got a few notes from Illinois fans saying it was “ironic” that Turner would write such a letter after the way Washington benefited from a 39-11 free throw edge in that game. Not sure that’s the right usage of ironic or not. What I would say is that I think Illinois fans should welcome what Turner is asking for — a review of the procedures for selecting the officials for NCAA tournament games. I think every team could benefit from that.
• You’ve probably heard, but Brandon Roy became the first Husky since Bob Houbregs in 1953 to be named to the The Associated Press All-American first team. This is the most prestigious of the All-American teams. Here’s a link to that story.
• For those wondering about the academic status of the incoming players, Phil Nelson is apparently the one question mark. But my understanding is that it’s not that worrisome. Nelson is 30 to 40 points shy of a qualifying test score and is due to take it again in April. Should all go well for Nelson, he is expected to arrive on campus in June along with Quincy Pondexter and Adrian Oliver to begin working out with the team during the summer. Spencer Hawes will play for the U.S. Junior National Team this summer and may not be around as much for workouts with his future teammates. But that is obviously an invaluable experience.
• A few writers who lingered at the luncheon to kick off spring football ran into Lorenzo Romar and he sat down and chatted with us for a while about the Connecticut game.
I’ll paraphrase a few of his thoughts:
• On the officiating: He said his postgame comments weren’t meant to pardon the officiating per se because he thought there were some bad calls. But he doesn’t think it does any good to dwell on them and repeated that Washington had chances to win the game and didn’t get it done.
• His biggest regret is not more thoroughly emphasizing to his players the best way to defend the three-point shot before the one Rashad Anderson hit to tie the game in the final seconds. He said he should have made sure his players understood to guard the line and not inside of it, since a two-pointer wouldn’t have hurt the Huskies. Romar said he’ll take the blame for that one, but Ryan Appleby had Anderson covered well on the shot. The problem was that Anderson got the ball where he did in the first place.
• He doesn’t second-guess the decision not to foul. He said it is a general philosophy of his not to foul when up three in the final seconds. Washington actually faced that situation five times this year …quot; Oregon State at home (Chris Stephens missed a tying three-pointer with about seven seconds left), UCLA at home, Stanford on the road and Illinois and UConn in the tournament. Washington went 3-2 in those games. Romar said his main reason for not fouling is that sending a player to the line can create a situation where the Huskies could lose the game by making one free throw, missing one and kicking the ball out for a three-pointer. You are assured of no worse than a tie by playing it straight up.
• My two cents on the “to foul or not foul” controversy? If I were a coach, I’d probably be more flexible and foul sometimes and not foul others based on who the opponent has on the floor, game situation, etc. But I also think playing things straight up fits with Romar’s overall philosophy. The Huskies are an aggressive team in every way, but fouling in that situation is a passive move. And while this is a part of Romar’s philosophy that is certainly debatable, I think 55-13 the last two years and two trips to the Sweet 16 indicates that the overall philosophy is working.
• Turner also said that Duke turned down a proposed series with Washington. He said Duke instead signed a deal with Stanford because it is recruiting a player in that area. That’s interesting, becuase if Jon Brockman had signed with Duke instead of UW, no doubt Duke would be coming here for a game.
• A few people have wondered about the status of the blog now that the season is over. Keep checking in. I’ll try to do some season wrapup stuff in coming days as well as keep up with what’s going on.

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