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Husky Men's Basketball

The latest news and analysis on Husky men's hoops.

February 15, 2011 at 4:01 PM

Tuesdays with Lorenzo Romar

Just wrapped up Lorenzo Romar weekly press conference. The Huskies are watching video and will practice in a few minutes.
With Saturday’s big matchup at No. 12 Arizona on the horizon, the UW coach warned against the dangers of looking past Thursday’s game at Arizona State. He reminded everyone the Huskies led by just four points with two minutes left in what turned out to be an 88-75 win over the Sun Devils on Jan. 22 at Edmundson Pavilion.
Actually, the Huskies had a 70-68 lead with 4:08 left. They were up 72-68 with 3:49 remaining and 78-73 with 1:33 on the clock. UW finished the final 93 seconds with a 10-2 run.
Romar said ASU is traditionally a difficult matchup because of its unique 3-2 match-up zone. However, the Sun Devils are playing more up-tempo this season.
Still on his weekly radio show Monday Romar dusted off one of his favorite quotes, which sums up Washington’s mindset as it prepares for games against the worst and best teams in the Pac-10. He said: “You can’t con a con and you can’t kid a kid.”
The UW players know they’re supposed to beat ASU and they feel the hype building for Saturday’s game.
Romar said it’s the challenge of the Washington coaching to keep the players focused on what’s in front of them.
He also indicated the Huskies didn’t have the right approach last month when they were 15-4 and ranked No. 18 in the AP poll. He said UW needed the three-game losing streak to correct problems and adjust how the players approached the games.
“When you lose consecutive games and you get swept it’s a reality check,” he said. “And in a good way … I like where we’re at right now in terms of our mental attitude. There’s not a whole lot of showboating going on out there. There’s smiles on guy’s faces because they’re having fun because they’re being rewarded for working hard out there on the floor. There’s not a lot of extra-curricular sideshows going on the way we’re playing right now. I like that approach. I like that business approach. We’re going to work really hard. We’re going to create out own fun.
“Those highlight plays, those fun plays are still happening, but your approach is different. It’s more of a workmanlike approach. When it’s all said and done, you have more substance. There’s more depth to that approach.
“When we talk about complete swagger, we don’t have that type of swagger where we’re out predicting scores and all that stuff. So it’s a different type of swagger. That’s why I say we’re more confident. Sometimes this swagger deal can get, it’s a false swagger.”
A week ago, Romar said his 2004-05 team was an overly confident bunch that talked trash and often backed it up. They predicted scores and at times they were criticized for showboating. Romar believes this team is just as confidence, but it is much more businesslike in its approach.

— When asked about what it takes to win on the road, Romar said poise, good defense, good ball handling and experienced players.
— Romar countered the notion UW isn’t a good road team. He noted the sweep in Los Angeles and the 21-point victory at California. He said: “We just have to do it they way we did it early on.”
— Romar described ASU senior guard Jamelle McMillan as a someone with “great character” and a “great leader.” McMillan is the son of former Sonics player and coach Nate McMillan. He also starred at O’Dea High.
— When asked if UW has it’s swagger back after winning two straight games, Romar said: “This team doesn’t have its swagger back yet, but is playing with much more confidence.”
“The road will always expose any warts you may have and we were exposed. It’s a credit to our team that our team responded and came back this weekend and played more like we’re capable of playing.”
— When asked if UW needs a big road win Romar said: “We’ve dug ourselves in a hole. We’re not a lock for the NCAA tournament. We have to go out and play well and at this point that’s all we can be concerned about. We’re not in a position to start hand picking how we’re going to do this. Or we’re going to make a statement here or we’re going to make a statement there. We made a statement when we lost three in a row. That’s when we made a statement as far as I’m concerned that we’re not ready yet. We still have to get much better. So if we want to make a statement, we need to continue to play like we’ve played here this last weekend over the next few weeks. Then you begin to make your statement.”
— Romar said Isaiah Thomas has an amazing will to win. He said: “A lot of guys say they want to win, but are they willing to sacrifice to do it. He’s one of those guys, he’s willing to sacrifice and do whatever it takes.”
— Romar said Thomas could have scored 40 points against California if he had played more minutes. The UW guard scored 23 points in 26 minutes. Romar said: “On his 23rd point he looked over at me like ‘This is the night. If I’m going to get 40 that’s up to you.’ He didn’t tell me that, but that’s the look he gave me.”
— Romar said Terrence Ross has the ability to make the transition from a freshman reserve to a sophomore all-conference player.



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