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Husky Men's Basketball

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

March 9, 2009 at 3:15 PM

Awarding conversation

There was lots of happy talk as the Huskies met the media today to prepare for this week’s Pac-10 Tournament given the news of this morning from the Pac-10.
UW coach Lorenzo Romar said “I didn’t know, I really didn’t know,” whether he would be named as the Pac-10’s Coach of the Year. It’s his second honor, also winning in 2005.
Romar now joins a select group of coaches to win it multiple times including Lute Olson (7), Mike Montgomery (4), George Raveling (3), Marv Harshman (2) and Ralph Miller (2).
Romar says such awards are simply nice by-products of team success.
“When you set out to coach, that isn’t the goal,” he said. “You set out to do the best job you can possibly do and if that happens (great).”
Romar, meanwhile, said he didn’t have a real issue with Jon Brockman not getting the Player of the Year Award. He said he hoped there might be a split but that “it’s hard to argue with James Harden because he means so much to Arizona State.”
Brockman felt similarly saying “he’s definitely the best player in the league in my mind. I didn’t think I was going to get it.”
Romar said the honor that might have gratified him the most was seeing Justin Dentmon named to the First Team along with Brockman.
It’s been a long climb for Dentmon from being benched last season to not only regaining a starting spot but then becoming one of the best players in the conference.
“I’d trade my coach of the year award for him being all-conference any day of the week and also him being Most Improved Player,” Romar said, citing the work Dentmon put in this off-season to prepare for his senior year.
Dentmon said being all-conference “was a goal of mine, so yeah, it crossed my mind” but that he knew “individual goals would only come with the team winning” so that was what he made a priority.
“It felt good, a blessing,” he said of the honor, though he said his overall mindset was “tournament, just to get better and be a captain, how I could become a better captain and get our team back to the tournament.”
Romar called the selection of Isaiah Thomas as Freshman of the Year “a no-brainer” and said it was more impressive given how Thomas worked to fit himself into the structure of the offense this year. Romar noted Thomas was used to taking 20 shots a game on every team he’d ever been on and that it’s been hard for him to break that habit at times. That he was able to do so and also become a better defender, he said, was proof of why he should be the Freshman of the Year.
If Romar had a disappointment, it was that Venoy Overton was not namd to the All-Defensive Team. Romar said he thought maybe Overton began his surge just a little late to catch the eye of all of the coaches.
Overton said it didn’t matter to him much, saying that “I wasn’t really worried about it or thinking about it. We did what we had to do on the defensive end to win a conference championship.”
But he also admitted it’s something he could use as motivation going forward, saying Dentmon had said just that to him earlier in the day. “It’s just a reminder that I have to step it up a little more in the tournament,” he said.
The team will practice here today and tomorrow before leaving for Los Angeles on Wednesday.

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