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October 28, 2010 at 6:24 PM

It’s a wrap: Notes, quotes and observations from Media Day

Pac_10_Media_Day_Basketball.JPG
Photo credit: AP Photo – Reed Saxon
It was a historic day for the Huskies. For the first time in UW history, the team landed in first place in the Pac-10 preseason poll.
Coach Lorenzo Romar (above, left) didn’t try to downplay the significance of being tabbed the preseason favorites, however, he said the Huskies have a lot of work to do before they can win a conference game.
During the craziness of Media Day, Romar appeared on ESPN’s First Take in the morning.
Romar told me he would have liked to have brought senior co-captain Justin Holiday with him to Los Angeles, however, its been a past tradition for teams to bring all-conference players and Isaiah Thomas (above, right) is an all-conference player. Romar was very pleased how Thomas handled himself in interviews.
“From what I saw, he did a really good job,” Romar said.
Thomas looked at ease mixing with the players and coaches. He tweeted USC women’s basketball coach Michael Cooper told him he’d lock him up if they ever played. He enjoyed hanging out with Oregon State’s Calvin Haynes and Stanford’s Jeremy Green, but said he mostly maintained a business-like approach.
“This is fun, but it’s business too,” said Thomas wearing a purple Washington polo. “You’re representing your team and your school. Anytime I have this W on, it’s mostly business.”

MORE NOTES AND OBSERVATIONS:


— Washington State junior Klay Thompson said he’s worked on improving his bad body language and promises to not show much emotion this season if any at all. He said opponents would feed off the bad vibes he’d give, which only increased his frustration.
— Stanford junior G Jeremy Green looks like he worked on his body this summer and appears to have added a few pounds of muscle.
— Arizona State coach Herb Sendek doesn’t apologize for his team’s love affair with three-pointers.
“We really like the three-point shot, but that’s largely determined by our opponents and how they choose to defend us,” he said. “We have to be good at taking what’s there. If defensive schemes give us other things, we have to respond accordingly. We take as many three-point shots as anybody in the conference. We have outstanding shooters like Ty (Abbott). Whenever he shoots, I think it’s going in.”
— Redshirt freshman G Roberto Nelson sat out last season while the NCAA reviewed his eligibility. Coach Craig Robinson said he expects to have Nelson at the beginning of the season or or the end of the academic quarter sometime in December. Either way, Robinson said Nelson is worth the wait.
“If he’s just okay, he’s good for our team,” Robinson said.
— California forward Harper Kamp said he’s 100 percent after sitting out last season with a knee injury. Kamp said the time off made him a different player. He still enjoys banging in the post, but he’s able to step out and shoot from the perimeter as well.
— UCLA freshman center Josh Smith said he became overweight in part because he was injured last season at Kentwood High.
“I would say that it has been a long year,” Smith said. “I was hurt at the beginning of my high school season. I gained some pounds. Coming here and working out has been great. I am adapting to the system, they have gotten me to lose some weight. I realized that the !rst time I got to play with them that the game is much faster and if I lose some weight I will be able to get up and down the court faster.”
— USC coach Kevin O’Neill is expecting a big year from junior F Nikola Vucevic.
“I’ve seen a big-time jump in him conditioning-wise and strength-wise,” O’Neill said. “His game is just overall better. He’s still a young guy, but he’s going to be a guy you can get the ball to in the most. He’s going to have to become a better free throw shooter. He’s is going to have to play more minutes. I think he’s primed to have a great junior year.”
— Arizona State senior G Ty Abbott said the Sun Devils switched from the Princeton offense to a motion offense after starting the Pac-10 season 0-2 last year.
“We never really had time to put it in,” Abbott said. “Now we have that time and you can already see the difference. We’re much better offensively and I believe coach when he says we’ll be more explosive.”
— Oregon coach Dana Altman was the last person to leave the luncheon. It’s been a rough start for him and he acknowledges it. Still, he said: “The funny thing is, no one in this room is feeling sorry for me. They’re like, first-year coach. So what. Suck it up. And that’s what you got to do.”
— One final note, let’s host a live chat tomorrow at noon. Should be plenty to talk about.

Comments | Topics: UCLA

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