Here’s the highlights from today’s weekly press conference with coach Lorenzo Romar’s.
— The Washington coach fingered defensive breakdowns as the cause for the team’s three-game losing streak. He said: “It’s step up the intensity. That’s what it is. The intensity and the focus is what needs to happen. You can be successful sometimes and forget what butters your bread and think that maybe because we can make threes and we’re athletic that things are just going to happen on the defensive end. No. It takes a lot of hard work on a consistent basis to be a good defensive team.”
— On the difference between playing zone and playing a man-to-man defense, Romar said: “If you’re winning whatever you’re doing is a great idea. If you’re lose, it’s a terrible idea. With that being said, we probably played a little more zone the last time we played Arizona. We won the game. They shot 40 percent. This time we played a lot more zone in the first half – not in the second half – against Oregon. In the first half they shot I think 9 of 22 when we were in the zone and when we were in man they shot better. … I didn’t think the zone hurt us in the Oregon game.”
— Darnell Gant msuffered a thigh injury in the second half against Oregon State. The injury limited him to just five minutes Saturday at Oregon. He has not practiced much this week, but is expected to be available Thursday.
— Romar said the Huskies miss Abdul Gaddy, who suffered a season-ending knee injury last month.
— Romar said UW can draw from last season’s struggles when the Huskies started the conference season with a 3-5 record.
— Romar cautioned the Huskies all season about how quickly things can change in the Pac-10. He said: “On the heels of some of those sweeps or the wins where we were doing well, I said in those situations you are one weekend away from being in third or fourth place so you can not relax. … If this unravels anymore, we can be in deep trouble.”
— Romar said the team had a good practice Monday, but was unsure how they’ll play. He said: “We’ll find out Thursday because if we come out and we’re not competitive, then we haven’t learned our lesson. If we come out with a fire and we come out and play right, regardless of what the score is, we come out and play right, then we’re focused the right way. And then we have to build from there.”
— Romar said the wings need to be more creative offensively and not just shooters to take pressure off of point guard Isaiah Thomas. He said: “Usually we have guys that are able to penetrate the zone. One of the thing that could happen and may have happen is Isaiah was so successful in those previous games, guys are not necessarily watching him, but putting themselves in position to shoot. Alright I don’t have the shot, give it back and let’s try it again instead of you creating now. You put a lot of pressure on Isaiah when you do that because he can’t be the only guy that’s creating. Now we know Venoy (Overton) is very good at penetrating the defense and Abdul Gaddy was good at it, but our other bigger wings are capable. They just have to do it. So that’s something we have been working on.”
—-Romar doesn’t plan to make any changes to the starting lineup on Thursday. Beyond that he’s unsure.
— Romar said he’s going to stick with Overton despite the senior guard’s struggles lately. The UW coach said Overton has proven himself and believes Oregon may have been a turning point.