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April 15, 2010 at 1:29 PM

Romar on Turner: “You Hate To See Someone Leave”

Photo credit: Seattle Times – Cliff DesPeaux
Coach Lorenzo Romar (right) talked about Elston Turner (center) and newcomer Aziz N’Diaye in an interview with KJR-AM host Dave Mahler this afternoon.
(How did you hear about Turner’s decision?) “A couple of days ago. (He) sat down and said he needed to talk to me. And he came right out with it. He didn’t beat around the bush. He said coach I think I’m going to transfer. With me I was surprised, but at the same time I had talked to him before and spoken with his dad before. Going back as far as last year (we) had talked about some things. Although I was surprised that he had ended up doing it because of how well he finished and what his future would hold for him, it wasn’t a shock because today, in today’s game I think we’re going to see that more and more. With our program, as you begin to get better. As you begin to challenge for some of the top positions in the NCAA, you’re going to have to do that with talent and with a lot of talent sometimes it comes at the expense of someone feeling like they need to go somewhere else. I think we’ll see that happen. You look across the Pac-10, you see there’s a dozen or so players transferring this year. It’s unfortunate when it happens because it’s your family. You hate to see someone leave. You want to see them be successful. Elston will do fine. Whatever he decides to do, he’ll do fine.”
(Did his grades impact his decision?) “No. No. That’s not what he told me. He just decided he thought for his development he should probably – and I don’t think he meant personal development – I just thought for whatever reason he felt he could go somewhere else and be a little more spread out.”
(What does this do to the basketball team?)

“It’s a loss. No doubt about it. We don’t advance to the NCAA tournament like we did and win some games if he doesn’t contribute the way he did. He really helped us. Going into this year I think he probably would have hurt us even more so if he wouldn’t have been there. With our team coming back, we’re a year older. We got some guys that are making improvements individually. Last year, we didn’t have a C.J. Wilcox. Elston leaving is going to allow some other guys to step up that maybe wouldn’t have been able to step up because he would have been in there. So I think we can overcome it, but you always hate to lose anyone on your team.”
(Does he want to more of a featured guy?) “If that’s how he feels, then that may be right. I don’t think he thinks there wasn’t enough basketball to go around. Sometimes people talk about he’s a shooter just coming off screens and spotting up shooting and that’s all he can do. You look back to Tre Simmons, Brandon Roy, Nate Robinson and Will Conroy all playing together on the same team. Three of them make the NBA and the others all-conference. And they’re all on the same team and they’re all shine. They all did all types of things for us. Within our system that is built in for guys to be able to do that. But again, in today’s age, the way it is now and I don’t think it’s going to change at all, we want it now. And if it doesn’t happen, sometimes kids look elsewhere.
(Do you help Turner transfer?) “It’s different for each guy. In a situation like Joe Wolfinger and Joel Smith. Those guys already finished their degrees. They had their academic commitments were met, but yet they were looking at another school and you try to help them that way. They bounce stuff off of you. What do you think of this situation. In Elston’s situation, we’re here to help however he would like us to help. His dad being a NBA coach and having a knowledge of a lot of different coaches and access to them I think they’ll probably decide what they want to do.”

(Do you think you land N’Diaye if you don’t advance to the Sweet 16?)
“We would not have gotten Aziz and I think it’s a testament to Aziz because he’s such a winner. He’s so highly competitive. He really can’t stand to lose. As I watched him, he’s playing pick up and if the guys aren’t putting forth the effort – because he is – if they’re not putting forth the effort, he gets on the guys.
“You see guys get on their teammates because they’re not getting the ball. That’s common, but for a guy to say you’re not playing hard enough that’s pretty special. And that’s the type of basketball he is. He wanted to go somewhere where he felt they had a chance to win at a high level. Fortunately for us we were able to win down the stretch. Again, we would not have gotten him if we wouldn’t have won.”

Comments | Topics: C.J. Wilcox


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