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December 27, 2010 at 5:05 PM

Romar on USC: “It’s not easy to run against that team”

Lorenzo Romar spent the first portion of his weekly press conference updating the status of Justin Holiday (strained right foot) and Venoy Overton (left hyperextended knee). Both are expected to play Wednesday at USC in the Pac-10 opener.
He also said he’ll use the same lineup that’s started the past two games of Isaiah Thomas, Abdul Gaddy, Matthew Bryan-Amaning, Aziz N’Diaye and Holiday.
When asked which Pac-10 has impressed him during the non-conference season, Romar singled out Washington State and USC.

“Washington State has a very good record right now,” he said. “They’ve played in some big ballgames and have come out on top, have beaten some good teams. The team that we’re opening up with may be the most impressive that I’ve seen so far. They don’t do a whole lot of things wrong.
“They have a heckuva front line that is averaging right near a double double. And now with the addition of (Jio) Fontan they have another good scoring guard. They play really outstanding defense. What they did on the road, almost beating Kansas and in my opinion had the game won. And what they did at Tennessee that’s pretty impressive.”
USC was the only team that swepted UW last season and after reviewing the video, Romar said the Huskies needed to be more patient and knock down open shots. He also admitted the coaching staff made some errors that contributed in the losses.
“If we had to do it over again, we would have guarded them differently,” he said. “We would have adjusted our scout. Make certain players do different things than we did. Maybe matchups would have been different.”
Not sure how much reviewing last season’s game will help the Huskies this week because the Trojans are smaller and quicker on the perimeter. Their 6-foot-8 forwards Nikola Vucevic and Alex Stepheson remain the focal point of the team while 6-6 Marcus Simmons is a solid small forward. Five-foot-seven Maurice Jones and 6-0 Fontan make up one of the smallest backcourts in the Pac-10.
“They are an entirely different team,” said Romar, who spoke highly of USC’s defense.
“They are really kind of a percentage-playing type of team,” he said. “They’re very conservative in how they play. They’re very well coached. They don’t make very many mistakes. Those that are supposed to shoot the ball, shoot the ball.
“They make sure that they get back. Hopefully we’ll win the game, but if things don’t go right I’ll get the question why didn’t you guys run more? They send everybody back. When they shoot you just see guys on their bench running back to the other end. Everybody runs back. Their crowd runs to the other end. And they just stack up in the paint.
“It’s not easy to run against that team. And they’re the type of team, you start trapping them and really speeding them up well then they may not take a shot and they’re good enough to where they’ll score. You got to be careful in how you play it. You just can’t go helter skelter on them. They’ll get a lead on you and then now what are you going to do if you’ve already tried to go helter skelter.”
Finally, Romar was asked if he should have scheduled more tougher road games to prepare for the season. Washington lost 63-62 at Texas A&M. The Huskies also posted a 1-2 record on a neutral court at the Maui Invitational.
“People say that, (but) I totally disagree with that,” he said. “How many road games do you need? We went through this last year. By the end of the year, we were winning on the road. We had a team (in 2005-06) before that didn’t play one road game and we had a winning record (13-5) in Pac-10 conference.
“We played away from home against a true crowd once and the three games in Maui. We got a feel. This isn’t a team that has never played on the road in their careers before. I disagree with you got to play 3-4 road games to get you ready for conference. Everybody doesn’t do that. … I don’t think it’s necessary to schedule 3-4 road games every year. One or two are fine. Definitely would like to schedule one for sure. They year we didn’t do it, it just happened that way.”

Comments | Topics: Abdul Gaddy


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