It’s a relatively light week for the Huskies, who were off Tuesday and will take a break Thursday. Per his normal routine, coach Lorenzo Romar starts the season with a 2 1/2 practices before dialing back to 2 hours. These days, the Huskies go about 1 hour and 45 minutes.
At his weekly press conference Romar touched on a variety of topics, including his relationship with his good friend Ken Bone, the Washington State coach and former UW assistant. Romar said the Huskies and Cougars have began to go after the same recruits because Bone runs a similar style of offense.
Romar said he’s comfortable with Isaiah Thomas play 35 minutes per game and the UW coach also declined to speculate if and/or how the police sexual assault investigation involving an unidentified player has affected the team.
(On Bone) “He knows more about what we do then what we know about what he does. He ran his own program for a number of years before we were together. So any secrets that he has, he still has them. He knows all of our secrets. I just know from being with him, he’s a heckuva basketball mind.”
(On the WSU rivalry) “I think they’ll come out and be ready to go at us. Not just their team, but their student section and they’re whole basketball community. And they will be waiting for us when we get off the bus. … I don’t think either team is going to hold anything back. Forget the rivalry, there’s a lot at stake for both teams.”
(On if the rivalry intensified with Bone as WSU coach) “I don’t think either. Again we’re trying to win a championship so each game that you go out, there’s not a team on our schedule in conference that you say this is not as big a deal. Every game is a big deal. I really don’t think one game is (bigger than any) other. … What if you lose to the last-place team? That became a huge loss. You have to play every game as if you’re fighting for a championship.”
(On if Bone’s style can work long-term in Pullman) “Players like to play more of a wide-open, up-tempo game. When you look at some of the players that they brought in already, Faisal Aiden and Reggie Moore, those guys thrive in up-tempo systems. And I think they’ll continue to try to bring those types of players in that can do that.”
(On the differences between UW and WSU) “Maybe defensively we probably like to get out and pressure the ball a little bit more than they do. Beyond that I don’t know how much of a difference there is.”
(On the need for Abdul Gaddy’s calming presence in a pressure road game as opposed Thomas) “They have their own different styles. They really do. You can make an argument for the element that Isaiah brings, the in-your-face attitude in a hostile environment with the game on the line. They do it different ways. Isaiah’s freshman year, like he did at the UCLA game at the end of his first game of Pac-10 play, he assisted or scored on our first 15 of 19 points. First game on the road. He kind of played that game the way he’s been playing here lately.”
(On if the Huskies are developing a swagger and toughness like the 2005 and ’06 teams) “I feel our guys are confident in playing a certain way to be successful. If you want to call that a swagger in terms of not being confident that if we do what we’re supposed to do, then things are going to work. We’re going to focus on doing the right things and trusting the results to be positive. I think we’re more that way. I don’t know if we’re going to look down the line and say we have this many tough guys. But I do know Isaiah is tough. I know Venoy Overton is tough. I know Justin Holiday, those guys are pretty tough guys out there on the floor. Aziz N’Diaye is tough. He’s not going to back down. We have some guys on this team that are tough.”
(On the differences between the ’05 and ’06 teams compared to the 2010-11 team) “That was more a lot more of a brash outfit. That group felt like if they were playing against the Celtics, then the Celtics better watch out. That’s just how they felt. That group they had kind of that them-against-the-world kind of attitude. This team is a little different that way. I think our team is more of a mindset of we got to put our hard hats on and just go out and play and let the results take care of themselves. That other group would tell you a lot more of what they were going to do.”