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Husky Men's Basketball

The latest news and analysis on Husky men's hoops.

February 23, 2007 at 2:49 PM

In Eugene

I’m Eugene and just back from the end of Washington’s practice and the beginning of Oregon’s, where we talked with players and coaches on both sides.
UW coach Lorenzo Romar insisted that the team will bounce back, saying “I think that loss took a lot out of us but I think we will recover.”
The question now is recovering to what. It’s pointless now to do much speculating about UW’s post-season hopes. It’s either win the Pac-10 Tournament and get the conference’s automatic bid, or go to the NIT.
For the record, Romar said today the Huskies would accept an NIT bid, though he was quick to say that doesn’t mean he’s accepting that as UW’s fate. He said he’s holding out hope of an NCAA bid and won’t concede until it’s official there can’t be one.
But UW’s RPI took a fatal hit last night, dropping to 94 today. Not that it’s really worth talking about.
For now, this team has to figure out how to win a few games against good teams. UW has three left against NCAA Tournament-bound teams, all teams that should be playing at full strength.
In the portion of practice we watched today, the Huskies were working a lot on entry passes and transition defense, two things that have failed this team often. Oregon State greatly exposed UW’s backcourt Thursday night. The Beavers play aggressively — they lead the Pac-10 in steals when considering conference games only at 7.38 per game and had 14 against the Huskies. Expect Oregon to also get after UW’s guards.
To answer a few things I’ve seen on here:
— Hans Gasser is a scholarship player for UW and always has been one, though there was briefly talk two years ago of him becoming a walk-on to free up a scholarship. He was recruited by Romar and not Bob Bender and was part of Romar’s first full recruiting class.
— UW may go after adding some help in the backcourt if it can figure a way to make the numbers work. For now, the Huskies are full up for the next two years, but these coaches are also always working, so nothing they do would surprise me in terms of trying to add some backcourt help, especially of the JC kind. UW tried to do just that last spring with the recruitment of Blake Young, who ended up at Kansas State.
— For now, there’s little the Huskies can really do lineup wise with just 10 healthy players, so expect to see the same lineup the rest of the way. The Huskies have to hope Justin Dentmon can begin to turn it around just enough to get some confidence heading into the off-season. He admitted last night he’s “real, real frustrated” at the way his season has gone, but also insisted that he isn’t giving up, saying “I’ll be back.” Those comments were included in this story here.
— There will undoubtedly be a lot of media focus tomorrow on the first meeting between Aaron Brooks and Ryan Appleby since the incident at the Pac-10 Tournament last March. Both players met the media today and said their issues are in the past, though Appleby admitted he’s not sure how he will react tomorrow if Brooks reaches out his hand or otherwise greets him. I’ll have more on that in the paper Saturday.

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