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Husky Men's Basketball

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

September 16, 2010 at 12:09 PM

Lorenzo Romar talks about replacing Tyreese Breshers

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It remains to be seen how Washington replaces sophomore forward Tyreese Breshers (far right) who retired because of medical reasons.
The simple answer: The Huskies plug 7-foot center Aziz N’Diaye into the rotation and give the rugged junior college transfer Bresher’s minutes.
The complicated answer: The Huskies embrace small ball and rely more on their guards and perimeter players.
My guess, they’ll do a little of both. N’Diaye arrives with heavy expectations, however, the Huskies will go as far as their talented mix of guards and perimeter players carry them. That’s not a knock on the big guys,but rather an assessment of the team’s talent.
It’s silly, however, to undervalue the low-post players and ignore what Breshers gave UW last season. He wasn’t a big-time scorer, averaging just 3.0 points, but he started 12 games and made the proverbial plays that don’t show up in the statistics.
Breshers was just as likely to foul than grab a rebound – he had 88 rebounds and 89 fouls – but he gave the Huskies a toughness inside that’s difficult to measure. And despite a limited role, Breshers blocked 26 shots which was second on the team.
It takes a special type of player to thrive beneath the boards and often times today’s big men prefer playing outside. Junior forward Darnell Gant has one of the prettiest mid-range jumpers on the team, but admittedly he needs to improve as a rebounder if he wants to see more minutes.
Freshman Desmond Simmons looks like he’ll be a active on the glass, but at 6-7 and 215 pounds, he doesn’t have the prototypical size to bang with the big boys inside.
N’Diaye appears to be a quintessential enforcer, but he’s returning from a knee injury that kept him off the court last season. He also has to prove he can make the sometimes difficult transition from JC to big-time Division I.
And finally, there’s Bryan-Amaning. After a breakout campaign last season, he’s in the perfect position to elevate his game to another level as a senior and one of the Pac-10’s few dominant big men.
Losing Breshers may also impact the 2011 class.
Scout.com’s Dave Telep is reporting Jernard Jarreau, a 6-10, 190 pound forward from New Orleans, is considering UW after committing to Virginia Commonwealth. Jarreau told Scout.com: “VCU is my No. 1 choice but I want to keep my options open.”
[Sidenote: If Scout.com is accruate, UW is recruiting a kid who has given a verbal commitment to another school. Hmmm. Seems familiar. It happens. That’s recruiting. Nothing is official until a player signs papers. Husky fans blasted Kentucky coach John Calipari for pulling this stunt, but I wonder if they’ll express the same outrage in this particular case?]
According to Telep, UW did an in-home visit with Jarreau Monday and he’s making an official visit this weekend when the Washington football team plays Nebraska.
Scout.com is also reporting Jarreau has offers from UW, VCU, Tulane, Tulsa and Louisiana Tech.
The Huskies are also hot on the trails of Norvel Pelle, who is rated the No. 2 center in the class of 2011 by Rivals.com. Coincidentally, he attended the same high school – Frederick K.C. Price High in Los Angeles – as Breshers.
Zagsblog is reporting Pelle had in-home visits with UTEP, Washington, Kansas, Oregon, St. John’s and Arizona. He has in-home visits scheduled with UConn and UCLA and then will decide on his official visits.
I had a chance to briefly talk to Washington coach Lorenzo Romar last night and he spoke about how the Huskies will move on without Breshers.
(Is it too late to add anyone to the roster or do you go with what you have?)


“We’re not going to get anybody at this point. You got Desmond Simmons, Darnell Gant, Aziz and Matt. We can play small. If we did not have Aziz, boy we would really be scrambling. Aziz’s presence, when you talk about lack of bodies in case someone else gets hurt or get in foul trouble, then we really got to scramble. But I think Aziz really helps that cause. We still have size. We still have size with Matthew and Darnell and Aziz. Darnell and Matt have been starters at one time or another and have played in teh NCAA tournament. They’ve been a part of winning. They’re experienced. As far as that goes, guys with size, we’re not looking around and thinking “Oh no what are we going to do.” But someone like Tyreese with his strength and athleticism and all of the things he was going to bring to the table, it is a loss. But we just have to find a way to patch it up.”
(With Breshers gone, who fills the role of the enforcer in the middle?) “Aziz is 250 and 7 feet. We didn’t have that last year. Obviously it would be good to have both of those guys. Tyreese played 12 minutes (actually 9.9) a game last year, but he was not a 25-minute a game guy. Now we do have a guy that’s tall and aggressive and doesn’t mind mixing it to join what we have.”
(Can Aziz and Bryan-Amaning play together?) “I think so. But again, you can’t discount those other guys getting out there and playing. But if you ask the question can Matthew and Aziz co-exist on the floor at the same time, yes they can. They’ll play together this year. It’s not going to just be when one is in, the other one is out. Those guys will play together. Positions are up for grab. I can see them both in the starting lineup. I can see one coming off the bench. It depends how they go out and play, but we have no problem at all playing them together.”
(Other than Breshers, any more surprises with the team?) “No.”
(How did everyone look when they reported Tuesday?) “I thought our guys came back pretty well. (Wednesday) was the first day we could watch and they were in pretty good condition. I like our combination of size and quickness.”
(Why?) “We got more guys that can knock the perimeter shot down this year than we had in a long time.”
THURSDAY LINKS:
— Bad news in Eugene. Former coach Ernie Kent pops up to defend his program after Oregon launched a probe to investigate the eligibility of players on the past two teams. The Ducks asked the Pac-10 for assistance and the conference notified the NCAA.
Despite Kent’s denials, folks around the program believe the Ducks could avoid the big hammer from the NCAA if the school imposes a postseason ban this season. And that’s probably a wise move considering the grim outlook for a team that lost five scholarship players to defections.
— Whatever happened with Kent and his former teams, new coach Dana Altman is dealing with a big mess. Register-Guard columnist George Schroeder expresses empathy for Altman and writes: “Suddenly, it feels like Altman’s rebuilding job might take a lot longer — and that’s without considering any sanctions that might result from the whole mess.”
Oregon is staying close to home before starting the Pac-10 season. The Ducks play 11 of their 12 non-conference games in the state.
— Tickets for the 6th annual Cougar Hardwood Classic – a Nov. 12th game between Washington State and Portland at KeyArena – go on sale Saturday.
— It’s a little dated, but the Arizona Republic’s Doug Haller conducted an insightful Q&A with Arizona State’s Ty Abbott.
— Not sure if this is basketball related, but this story speaks to the restraints Pac-10 athletic directors are facing in this economy. Cal’s athletic department runs 27 sports and has a $70 million budget. To reduce its $10-13M debt, a committee recommended the school cut 5-7 sports. The Golden Bears offer 27 varsity sports.
— This also has a loose basketball connection, but it examines how one college coach is handling the Twitter phenomenon that’s become popular with players.

Comments | Topics: UCLA

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