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March 16, 2009 at 1:52 PM

Romar teleconference notes

UW coach Lorenzo Romar has just concluded a teleconference with reporters to update his team’s preparation for its NCAA Tournament game Thursday against Mississippi State. Here are some highlights:
— The potential times for a game on Saturday are 2:40 p.m. or 5:15 p.m. UW could be in either game as it is not dependent on the sessions from Thursday as they will slot the games on Friday once they know of the matchups.
— The team will practice here today and tomorrow morning and then leave on Tuesday around 1:30 p.m. or so via bus for Portland.
— Romar said the most apt comparison in terms of style of MSU and a team the Huskies played this season is Oklahoma State, which would be a good omen considering how easily the Huskies handled the Cowboys. Like OSU, the Bulldogs run what is essentially a four-guard offense with one big guy in the middle. “But they didn’t have a shot blocker in the middle,” Romar said, referring to MSU’s Jarvis Varnado.
— Asked if Varnado is similar to USC’s Taj Gibson, Romar said “I think Taj is a very good shot blocker but not quite the shot blocker this guy is.”
— Romar said the important thing in playing against Varndo will be to remain aggressive. “If we are fearful of getting our shot blocked, it will get blocked more,” he said.
— As for an overall assessment of MSU, Romar said: “They are very quick, very tenacious, definitely very scrappy and can really hit the three. If they get going from three they can really present a lot of problems.”
— Romar said that in that regard, the way the Bulldogs play offense, MSU reminds him a little bit of ASU, Cal, Stanford and UCLA.
— Asked about having to play a team like MSU as a 13 seed, Romar said: “When you are in the NCAA Tournament, you take what is given to you. You prepare all year to play one of the 65 best teams in the country and you work toward hopefully meeting the better teams of those 65 down the road. But we can’t be too selective. We were not in the tournament the last two years so it doesn’t matter how tough our opponent is. We are in the NCAA tournament and we are excited about that.”
— Romar said he saw the game I referenced earlier that pitted Isaiah Thomas’ South Kent team against MSU PG Dee Bost’s Hargrave Military Academy team last year. Of Bost, he said: “I thought he played really hard. I thought he was a serious competitor who took big shots, hit big shots. Just a fearless, fearless guard.”
— Asked about UW’s offensive struggles of late, Romar said: “I don’t think we are clicking offensively right now. When we were early on I thought we were doing a better job making shots. Offensively, some teams in our league have gone through that and all the sudden they couldn’t put the ball in the basket with regularity and then they bounced back. No better time than now for us to bounce back. I think we are still playing hard and with intensity.”

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