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Husky Men's Basketball

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

July 17, 2007 at 11:44 AM

GoHuskies.com interviews Romar

The University of Washington’s official athletic web site, GoHuskies.com, has an interview with hoops coach Lorenzo Romar previewing the season and the team’s trip to Greece.
Nothing earthshattering but Romar again makes the statement that the Huskies didn’t slow down the offense last year due as much to the presence Spencer Hawes but more because “we forced less turnovers.” Fewer turnovers, obviously, means fewer opportunities to get out on fast breaks.
Seth Kolloen, who publishes a good blog about Seattle sports called “Enjoy the Enjoyment,” is among those intrigued by that statement. You can find his thoughts here.
Loyal readers of this blog may remember that I quoted an anonymous opposing assistant coach as telling me in December that perimeter defense was the biggest difference between the 06-07 Huskies and the teams of the past few years.
The coach told me that the Huskies wouldn’t get as many easy points because they didn’t have the same type of perimeter defense and couldn’t press as well as in the past, something that became apparent as the season wore on.
The stats bore that out, as well, as UW had 175 steals last season compared to 273 the year before while playing just one fewer game. UW also forced just 445 turnovers last season compared to 592 the year before.
Romar doesn’t really say it in this interview, but he has said in other interviews that he expects UW to be much better defensively on the perimeter this year due to the return of Joel Smith, the addition of Tim Morris and the expected return-to-form of Justin Dentmon. Adrian Oliver and Quincy Pondexter will also be a year older and presumably that much better on the defensive end.
Improving the perimeter pressure was also a big reason for the signing of Venoy Overton, who would figure to have an immediate presence defensively if he gets eligible. Justin Holiday will also help in this area and the other two new frosh — Darnell Gant and Matthew Bryan-Amaning — while each big players are also pretty athletic and should make the Huskies better in this area, as well.
Kolloen wonders if any of this means a reduced role for Ryan Appleby.
I don’t think it’s necessarily quite that either/or. What I think it means is that UW may go back to having more sm:aller lineups on the floor (Phil Nelson, who also wasn’t stellar in this area, is also now gone). His shooting alone will ensure that Appleby will have a big role this season, the place where Nelson’s departure will be felt the most.
However, it probably wouldn’t be a surprise of Appleby played fewer than the 29.6 minutes per game he got last year — believe it or not, that was the highest on the team (Dentmon was next at 29.0 and Jon Brockman at 28.8) — if for not other reason than that all the added depth in the backcourt will mean a wider distribution of minutes.
UPDATE 12:50 p.m.: The final roster of 12 has been set for the Pan American Games. Looks like Bryce Taylor didn’t make it, but the other three Pac-10 guys did —- WSU’s Derrick Low and Kyle Weaver and, yes, Maarty Leunen. So does this mean Ernie Kent likes Leunen more than he likes Taylor?
Here’s the official roster: Joey Dorsey (Memphis / Baltimore, Md.); Wayne Ellington (North Carolina / Wynnewood, Pa.); Shan Foster (Vanderbilt / Kenner, La.); James Gist (Maryland / Silver Spring, Md.); Roy Hibbert (Georgetown / Adelphi, Md.); Maarty Leunen (Oregon / Redmond, Ore.); Derrick Low (Washington State / Honolulu, Hawaii); Eric Maynor (Virginia Commonwealth / Fayetteville, N.C.); Drew Neitzel (Michigan State / Grand Rapids, Mich.); Scottie Reynolds (Villanova / Herndon, Va.); Kyle Weaver (Washington State / Beloit, Wis.); and D.J. White (Indiana / Tuscaloosa, Ala.).
The other final cut was apparently Texas A&M guard Josh Carter.

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