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February 15, 2010 at 8:52 PM

Lorenzo Romar: “We just have a tad bit of wiggle room”

Was able to catch a few minutes of Lorenzo Romar’s weekly coach’s show on KJR-AM with hosts Mike Gastineau and Bob Rondeau, the voice of the Huskies.
When asked about last week’s games in the Bay Area, Romar said he would have been really excited with a sweep and after the split “We just have a tad bit of wiggle room. At this point with the split, we can’t afford to not go out and play to the best of our abilities in any games in the remaining schedule
(Thoughts on chances of winning the Pac-10 title) “We were honest with our team and talked about we’re probably going to need some help now in order to win a championship this year from someone else, but in the mean time we got to make sure we [do the things that are] necessary for us to finish strong.
(On Matthew Bryan-Amaning) “He’s done a great job averaging 12 points and six rebounds in the last three games. In 13 minutes (against Stanford) he gets 11 points. If he wouldn’t have been in foul trouble, maybe he goes for 20 that night. He’s playing good basketball. What he’s done for us is defensively he’s given us a little more of a presence. He’s in the middle. He’s helping out. There was a situation when Jeremy Green was about to pop open for a three-pointer, he’d gotten away from Isaiah Thomas. And there was Matthew to hold him up until Isaiah got there.
“We’re going to play against two teams with maybe two of the best front lines in the league with USC and UCLA so we’re going to need him for sure in those games.
(Final word on USC) “The past three years USC has been the most difficult team that we’ve had to matchup with. We start with a small lineup and they’ve always has a big, athletic lineup. … We’re not quite that tall. It’s going to be tough matchup for us. They’re the best defensive team in the league in terms of defensive field goal percentage so we got to really work in that game.”
Senior forward Quincy Pondexter also joined the show as a special guest. He was asked about the final minutes of the Stanford win when Romar put him at the top of the key and ran the offense through him.

“It felt great to feel so much confidence in me and let me go out there and handle the ball a little bit,” Pondexter said. “He hasn’t done that much in the four years that I’ve been here.”
(On getting a second chance against USC and UCLA.) “We definitely think like that. We have them in the back of our minds. We didn’t win those games. We lost a heartbreaker against UCLA, a last-second shot. We definitely remember getting beat really bad by USC down there. We know it’s going to be a really tough matches. Not to take anything for granted just because we’re at home because those teams are going to come out fighting. It’s going to be a great experience. It’s going to be lot of fun out there at Hec Ed.”
(Being a senior, are you thinking about these last couple of games?) “Everyday. … Before they call my name for the starting lineup, you kind of get choked up because it’s the last time. It’s come down to the end. It’s all been a great roller coaster ride. I’m just so excited to see how it plays out.”

(Is it tough knowing you’re the only one left from your recruiting class?)
“It’s definitely tough. You look on TV or even our own team, guys have classes that they come in with and they develop into really good basketball players and great teams together. I can just only imagine to see what our team would be right now if we has Spencer Hawes or if we had Adrian Oliver. Different pieces. But they went their different ways and you got to live with it. That’s life. Sometimes I wish they were there because we were all close for awhile.”
Pondexter is the No. 3 active scorer in the Pac-10. He’s the No.1 active rebounder in the conference. This season he’s had 14 20-point games, nine double doubles. He’s third in scoring (20.4 points per game), third in rebounding (8.1), sixth in field goal percentage (54.0) and fifth in free throw percentage (82.0).

(Which statistic impresses you the most?)
“Rebounding. … When I first got here, they weren’t happy about my rebounding skills. And I turned out to be okay at that.”

(How did you improve?)
“You have to get a lot stronger first of all. And after that, you have to have a lot of motivation to go get rebounds know the importance of rebounding for your team to win games.”
(Final word on USC) “We all remember how bad they beat us there at the Galen Center. We’ve carried that with us. We’re still in the hole. We still have to climb up to the top of the Pac-10 as best we can. We’re really looking forward to playing USC.”

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