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Husky Men's Basketball

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

September 22, 2009 at 1:45 AM

Romar’s first impressions

It’s been a week since the Washington coaches began on-court instructions with players so I figured it was a good time to check-in with coach Lorenzo Romar for some insights.
(What are your first impressions?) “Well, we’re quick. We’re very quick. We got a lot of quickness and our guys get along really well. I think we got pretty good chemistry.”
(What are you trying to do with these workouts?) “We try to build our defense, the foundation of it. And build the foundation of our offense. We want to be prepared so that on the first day of practice we’re able to go up and down and have a general idea philosophically of what we want to do.”
(Are these workouts catered to the newcomers) “Oh no. It’s interesting. It’s like learning Spanish. In Spanish I if you don’t practice it over the summer, you come back for Spanish II and you have to take a little bit of a review course to remember Spanish I. It doesn’t take long. And then there’s some who never quite got it their freshman year, then you have to do a little more. So it’s not only for the new kids, but for the reserves as well. And each year you can just walk into anyone of our workouts and see who’s been here longer than the other guys.”
(Would you give me a scouting report on your freshmen?) Clarence Trent is a warrior. And an energy guy. He’s strong and athletic. He’s a hard worker. He’s in the mix. He’s always in the action, one way or another. And they’re usually good players when they’re in the mix.
C.J. Wilcox is the best jump shooter on our team. You can have everyone take 100 threes and he’ll make more than anyone else. Elston (Turner) is right there, but as of today C.J. is our best shooter. But he’s just not a shooter, he’s also a good athlete. He can get up and touch the top of the square, about 11 (feet) 6 inches up there, which is very good.
And Abdul Gaddy is a pure point guard. He’s a very good playmaker that all of the guys like playing with.”
(What’s the latest on Tyreese Bresher’s injury?) “He had surgery to put a rod in his shin. He’s participating in the drills now. Last year, he couldn’t participate in the drills. The rod is still there. … And they (doctors) had to come back and take a screw out that they had put in there because the screw was bothering him and that set him back a little further.
(Is he 100 percent yet?) “Not yet. He’s still getting there, but he’s doing much more. Like I said, he’s playing 5-on-5 with the guys. He’s doing much more than what he was doing in the past.”
(Can Quincy Pondexter play power forward?) “You know people want to say he’s at the 4, but we don’t say that. We say we just play small and got four perimeter guys out there. I think the question with us is can you play four perimeter guys at the same time with Quincy being one of them and the answer to that would be yes. But we don’t put him at the 4 per se. When we go with the smaller perimeter with let’s say Quincy, (Justin) Holiday or Clarence Trent then we give him a little more flexibility offensively.”
(Can Elston Turner play small forward?) “Again, perimeter. We don’t have a 3 or 2 or a 1. We have perimeter guys. So if we go smaller, we have four perimeter guys.”
(If you went with the smaller lineup, do you worry about rebounding?) “We always have to be concerned about rebounding. What a lot of people forget is that before Jon Brockman was here, we were still a pretty good rebounding team. It was a gang effort and that’s what we’ll have to go back too now. Before Jon Brockman was here, we started 6-8 (Mike Jensen), 6-7 (Bobby Jones), 6-5 (Tre Simmons), 5-9 (Nate Robinson) and 6-2 (Will Conroy). And that was a small team. When we go with a small team like that now, it’s the same idea.
(It sounds like you’re excited about this team.) “I am. The thing is, we got to come together. Right now, we just have the big “P” which is potential by our name. Potential means you haven’t done anything yet.
(Why don’t you talk about defending the Pac-10 title?) “We play to win and we play to win championships. But this group, we’re trying every drill to be our best. And at the end of the day, we’re hoping that our practices are our best. And at the end of the week we’re hoping that our week was our best. At the beginning of the year, sure we set goals to win championships. But that is not what we talk about all the time. We talk about championships here and there, but day in and day out we talk about putting forth the kind of effort that champions put forth. When you talk about defending the Pac-10 championship, that is over. We did that. Technically on paper I guess that’s how you would describe it, but right now this is a brand new season and we haven’t won a Pac-10 game yet.”
Some quick observations
— A reader asked about the mile times (each year players are required to run the mile as a conditioning test and they ran the mile on Monday) and those weren’t readily available. However, Scott Suggs had the best time for the second straight year and everyone passed.
— Romar named just two starters (Pondexter and Isaiah Thomas), so obviously there’s several hotly contested position battles. Matthew Bryan-Amaning was considered the odds-on favorite to start at center because he was the backup last year and Breshers and Trent have no Division I experience. Still, don’t count out the young guys.
— If you’re trying to figure out a starting lineup and 9-man rotation … good luck. Romar isn’t being coy when he says the hardest decision he’ll have will affect the end of his bench. The freshmen are making this difficult. Even if Gaddy doesn’t start, he’ll play big minutes. And Wilcox could find a spot in the rotation with his shooting and Trent may carve out minutes because he’s a hard worker. Add the freshmen with Suggs and Breshers and you’ve got great competition for playing time.
— Keep that 2004-05 team in mind as Romar builds a rotation. That team finished 29-6 and Romar has similar pieces to construct another NCAA Tourney Sweet 16 team. For instance: Robinson/Thomas, Conroy/Gaddy, Simmons/Turner or Wilcox, Jones/Pondexter and Jensen/Gant. Does anyone else see a pattern developing here? The major difference: the ’04-05 team had way more experience (four three-year starters), arguably more talent (four future NBA players) and a future NBA All-Star in Brandon Roy coming off the bench.
— And finally, if you’ve got questions, then I’ve got answers. Or at least, I’ll find the answers. I want to start a weekly Mailbag post, which may be replaced by a Live Chat once I figure out how to do that. In the meantime, chime in with questions/observations and I’ll tackle them at the end of the week.
More later.

Comments | Topics: Abdul Gaddy, C.J. Wilcox, Scott Suggs

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