Caught a few minutes of Coach Lorenzo Romar’s weekly show with KJR tonight.
— Romar raved about Isaiah Thomas who scored or assisted on Washington’s final 17 points against USC. “You talk about somebody being pretty efficient at the end of the game, he was,” Romar said.
— Romar talked about the three days in Southern California in which the basketball team got its third ever LA sweep and the football team upset Nebraska in the Holiday Bowl in San Diego. “We got some stuff done that maybe – football included – that people may have not given enough credit to us for getting it done, but we all did and it was fun,” he said.
— Romar called Aziz N’Diaye an unsung presence in the USC and UCLA games. “The fact that he was able to go out and wrestle with those two big guys and in the UCLA game as well, it just freed Matthew Bryan-Amaning up to go out and have an outstanding weekend, which earned him Player of the Week honors.”
— Romar said he made the Huskies practice on New Year’s Day “to cover all bases.” He wasn’t more specific, but he talked about wanting to get the players up and on the court. He said they didn’t do a whole lot at the practice.
— Romar said UCLA coach John Wooden was one of his biggest influences as a head coach. He also mentioned Michigan State’s Tom Izzo, Jim Harrick, his former coach at UCLA, and Bob Knight.
— Romar said he implemented three of Wooden’s rule including: No profanity. Don’t criticize a teammate. And never be late.
— Romar said one of his best friends is Saint Mary’s coach Randy Bennett. He also mentioned Washington State coach Ken Bone, a former UW assistant, and Georgia Tech coach Paul Hewitt.
MORE FROM ROMAR’S SHOW:
— (On UW’s depth) “It was interesting on that LA trip I felt a little bit like someone in a play that right as they’re about to go on stage, someone’s costume doesn’t fit or the lighting doesn’t work. Or you can’t find the make-up crew. The singer all of a sudden has a hoarse voice and they can’t go out. C.J. Wilcox wasn’t able to play in the USC game and Justin Holiday and Venoy (Overton) were nursing injuries and we didn’t know how they would do. I didn’t even know Venoy would be able to play for sure pretty much up until game time so those guys weren’t quite ready. But yet when it was said and done and pop corn started popping and the lights came on, it worked out.”
— (On Bryan-Amaning’s play in LA) “Against that caliber of opponent, he did a really nice job for us. If you watch Matthew out there, his demeanor was sensational. He was focused. He was very active. He rebounded. He defended. He scored. He did something that was really special whenever UCLA went on a run, Matthew was the guy that answered with a basket. … He answered and kept us going during that UCLA game. He hit some big, big baskets down the stretch for us.”
— (On if Thomas is too emotional) “Is he a detriment to the game, I don’t think so. He can be stubborn at times where he believes I can get this done regardless of the circumstances and it works out for him more than it doesn’t work out for him.)
— (On Overton) “He’s getting healthier. He was getting healthier before and he injured his knee, but right now he’s starting to get healthy. One of the impressive things about Venoy in spite of not being at full strength and being in and out of practice, his assist-to-turnover ratio is far better than its ever been. It’s close to 3-to-1 and he’s not taking as many chances defensively.”
— (On Abdul Gaddy’s recent shooting slump) “I’d like to say you get four exams during the quarter or the semester and sometimes your instructor will let you throw out your low score on a bad exam. Let’s say this weekend was a bad exam. He’s played very good all of nonconference. If this were to go one for next 2-3 weeks, you got to look at it a little closer. But I just think it was a tough weekend for him in terms of putting the ball in the basket. He missed some shots early and then I think he let it get to him a little bit and wasn’t as aggressive. But I think he’ll be fine because he started out so good and he was playing at such a high level.”
— (On Wilcox who sat out against USC because of staph infection and is 3 of 14 shooting in the past three games) “I would say he’s going through a bit of a shooting slump. Maybe it is the freshman wall a bit, but I guarantee if he goes out there Thursday the first time C.J. gets a look at the basket I’ll be shocked if it doesn’t go in. I just think every time he shoots it’s going to go in. But if you allow that type of thing to linger in your mind mentally, he can go on an extended shooting slump. I just think he’s too good of a shooter for that to happen.”
— (On Darnell Gant’s clutch three-pointer vs. UCLA) “He spent a lot of time working on that shot this summer and he’s shooting 58 percent from the three-point line. All those hours that he spent in the gym working on that shot, there it was right there. He was open. The ball came to him just at the right time. He caught it in rhythm and a guy like that deserves to make it when you spend that much time working on your shot.”
— (On why Gant improved his perimeter shot) “We talked about it as we do with all of our players at the end of the year. What are some things that you can work on and come back and be a better individual basketball player but also help this basketball program. That was one of the thing that we talked about, him extending his range. … We felt if he can extend his range to the three-point line and be able to stretch the defense, it would help him and help all of us and he spent a lot of time working on it.”
— (On Oregon) “What’s different is they have a roster right is somewhat depleted by everyone leaving. They don’t have a whole lot of depth, but in spite of that (coach Dana) Altman has decided we’re going to play the way that we’re going to play when we get our full compliment of players. They’re pressing a lot. They’re pressing more than anyone we’ve played or will play that’s on our schedule. They’re still playing up-tempo. They’ll try to push the basketball and they’re trying to get it up and down. This is a little different than some of the teams we played against.”
— (On if Oregon can rebuild into a conference contender) “They have everything in place. They have the backing. They have the resources and the facilities. They signed a really good recruiting class this year so I think they’re going to take a step forward. If they can continue to do that for the next couple of years, they’re going to make big strides.”
— (On Oregon State) “They’re more athletic than any team that he’s (coach Craig Robinson) has had. If you’ve gone to see us play against Oregon State in the past, you’ve never seen them have a team like they have now. They have three guards on the perimeter that are very quick and very athletic. Jared Cunningham is as athletic as anyone in our league. They still play that 1-3-1 zone. They’ll go back to the 2-3 zone and a little bit of man. But they’re just very athletic and they’re shooting quicker now. They’re not playing a slow-down, grind-it-out pace. They’re a little different look than the Oregon State of the last four years.”
— (On areas where the Huskies need to Improve) “We still need to make sure we rebound the basketball. We have to make sure we don’t get stagnant. We’re always a couple of minutes away from being stagnant on offense. We have to always be on the move and not stand around. We can get caught up in watching guys individually on offense instead of moving. So those two areas along with making sure we defend. Right now we have the best field-goal percentage defense that we’ve had since we’ve been here in the nine years. We’re holding teams slightly under 40 percent and we’re going to have to make sure we continue to do that.”
— (On which Pac-10 teams have a chance to make the NCAA tournament) Romar said UW, WSU, USC, UCLA and Arizona.