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Husky Men's Basketball

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

January 9, 2009 at 2:49 PM

Friday afternoon notes

Quite a few notes to pass along from today’s media sessions previewing the Cal game, so we’ll just do it in notebook form:
Elston Turner is again doubtful at best to play while nursing a high ankle sprain suffered against Morgan State.
— UW coach Lorenzo Romar confirmed that Charles Garcia Jr. is not playing basketball now so he can concentrate on academics. A Riverside CC spokesman said that Garcia also suffered a stress fracture, but Romar said that wasn’t a factor. Instead, the plan is for Garcia to use this time to make sure he gets eligible to come to UW. Garcia is apparently now attending Yuba Community College in Marysville, Calif, where he has some relatives.
— Romar said it is almost a certainty that the game against Lehigh will not be rescheduled. However, he said he still hopes to schedule a replacement game against someone, possibly Seattle U. It could be the first week of March when UW has some time off before playing WSU on March 7. Every other week, UW already has two games scheduled.
— Speaking of scheduling, KJR-AM has been running a clip this week of an interview with UW AD Scott Woodward in which he discusses his hope that a series with Gonzaga will be resumed. However, he said today there is nothing substantive in that direction that has taken place yet and that the final decision is still Romar’s. So for now, it’s pretty much status quo on that — they hope to play GU again but nothing has been planned.
— There was much discussion of the final play of the game where Justin Dentmon threw the ball high in the air to run off the final 2.2 seconds. Romar said it wasn’t planned and that while he didn’t have a real problem with it, he wished Dentmon would have thrown the ball in the direction of the UW hoop just in case. Dentmon said it was instinct and “spur of the moment.” He said he figured that was better than taking the chance of getting fouled and Stanford still having a chance to tie or the win game with a second or so on the clock.
— The big key for UW tomorrow will be trying to find a way to slow down Cal’s three-point shooting — the Bears are hitting 49.5 percent. Romar noted that’s better than any single player for UW has shot since he has been coach and that “they are doing it as a team.” Indeed, the last UW player to shoot that well for a season is Grant Leep at 52.7 in 2002, the year before Romar arrived.
— The coach said UW will have to do a better job defending the three than it has done at times by following the scouting report better and rotating more quickly. “Yeah, we better guard it,” he said. However, he also noted that UW is sometimes simply at a disadvantage with its smallish backcourt players, whom opponents can shoot over. That could mean a bigger role tomorrow for Justin Holiday.
— UW is ninth in the Pac-10 in three-point defense at 35.1 percent.
— There was also a lot of talk about UW’s rebounding prowess, something I plan to write about for the paper tomorrow. UW continues to lead the nation in rebounding margin at plus-12.4. UW is particularly powerful on the offensive glass averaging 16.3 offensive rebounds per game, 3.4 more than any other Pac-10 team.
— Romar said he isn’t surprised Cal, which is 14-2 overall, is having a good year, though he said he might not have predicted it would have that guady of a record to date. But Romar noted the trio of PG Jerome Randle and swingmen Patrick Christopher and Theo Robertson and said “that threesome is pretty talented.”
— He said Randle, a junior from Chicago, may have made the most improvement. Romar said he thinks Randle in the past tried to do too much and now is playing “more within himself.” Randle is second in the Pac-10 in scoring at 18.8 per game.
— Cal reserve forward Harper Kamp, 6-8, 245, could see more time tomorrow guarding UW’s Jon Brockman. “He’s a bruiser, a banger, a blue collar guy,” Romar said.
— If Cal wins tomorrow, it would be the team’s best start since going 28-1 to begin the 1959-60 season, when the Bears finished second in the NCAA Tournament.
All for now.

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