What does it mean when Lorenzo Romar talks 40 minutes about No. 21 Washington during a press conference and no one – not the media or Romar – mentions Isaiah Thomas?
We talked about Justin Holiday, Matthew Bryan-Amaning, Abdul Gaddy, Aziz N’Diaye, Darnell Gant, Scott Suggs, C.J. Wilcox, Venoy Overton and Terrence Ross. We discussed Texas A&M, future scheduling and we compared this Husky team to past Husky teams.
Thomas? Nothing. He didn’t come up.
Maybe we’re starting to take UW’s scoring leader for granted. Maybe that shows how deep Washington is when arguably is best player goes unmentioned on the one day the coach talks to a room full of reporters.
Or maybe we need better media types asking questions. I’m guessing the latter.
Anyway, here’s the gist of Romar’s press conference.
— N’Diaye is bothered a bit with a little tendinitis to his non-surgically repaired knee, but he’s expected to start.
— Romar talked at length about Bryan-Amaning and how he’s handled coming off the bench.
“Matthew may want to catch me outside in the dark when I’m not looking and have a bat in his hand, but he hasn’t shown it,” Romar said. “He’s been great. He’s had a great attitude. Initially when it first happened, you could see he was disappointed. He’s probably still disappointed, but he’s practiced hard. I thought the other night in the game, he played really hard. He’s put forth great effort. He’s been good.”
— Romar acknowledged N’Diaye isn’t playing better than Bryan-Amaning, but he wanted to reward the 7-foot center after his stellar play in Maui and has not changed the lineup after three games.
— Romar said Bryan-Amaning isn’t starting in place of Gant because he likes Gant’s versatility as a defender and his three-point shooting stretches the defense.
— On Texas A&M: “They’re more physical this year than last year. That seems to be more of their identity that they’re going to come out and punch you in the mouth right away. That is very evident in the film that we’ve watched. They’re without Donald Sloan, Derrick Roland and Bryan Davis, those three seniors have played a lot of games and logged a lot of minutes. So earlier in the year they’re still I’m sure trying to find their identity that way playing without those guys. But man they play hard and they come after you.
— Because the Big 12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series ends this season, UW is going to try an replace those two games with a “high-level” opponent in a game played on national television. In addition, Washington will host a tournament next season early in the season and will likely invite a handful of mid-major schools similar to the 2009-10 season.
— After eight games, Romar said he’s pleased with the way UW is shooting, sharing the ball and defending. He’s still concerned about the rebounding. He said the Huskies give up too many second shots.
— Romar was asked about Roland, who broke his leg in last year’s game. Romar and Quincy Pondexter visited Roland at the hospital on Christmas Eve and it was the first time Romar has ever done anything like that for an opposing player.
Said Romar: “When adverse situations occur in sports, a lot of times you’re able to kind of get a wake-up call. As much as we love to play this game and follow this game and support this game, there is a real world where this game doesn’t mean a whole lot. When you see him laying down on that floor, staring up at the ceiling with zero emotion, you temporarily forget about this game because there’s more to life than this basketball game. We feel like there isn’t at times and as much as we place stock in this game, there’s more to it. You go to that hospital, the humanity of the whole thing really comes out. Again it helps you understand the world doesn’t revolve around the game of basketball.”
— Romar said it’s difficult to compare this team to past teams because they haven’t played a full season. He said the 2005 team that was a No. 1 seed was his most talented group so far.
— Romar dodged a question about comparing Suggs, Wilcox and Ross and how he doles out minutes between them. He explained they’re similar while also pointing out their differences. Essentially, their playing time depends on matchups and will likely fluctuate each game.
— Ross sat out the second half Monday because of a calf injury, but he will be available Saturday. Overton is still bothered by a tail bone injury, but he’ll continue to play.