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Husky Men's Basketball

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

March 1, 2011 at 2:51 PM

Romar says UW hasn’t improved as much as he wanted

Enlightening comments from Washington coach Lorenzo Romar who delivered a frank evaluation of the Huskies today at his weekly news conference.
Before we get into Romar’s analysis of the team, let’s update the Scott Suggs’ situation. The junior guard who has missed the past three games due to a strained left MCL is going to practice today for the first time since suffering the injury.
He’s listed as probable for Thursday’s game. Even if he’s able to play, redshirt freshman C.J. Wilcox will remain in the lineup and will make his third start 6 p.m. Thursday against UCLA.
During a 33-minute interview with the local press Romar admitted the Huskies have not progressed as much as he would have liked this season. He also talked at length about a disconnect between what UW practices and preaches and how it performs, especially in Sunday’s 80-69 defeat to Washington State.
Romar said part of of the problem is some players don’t understand who the Huskies really are. He’s filled the roster with talented shooters and has called UW his best shooting team ever, but Romar is all about defense first and foremost. And defensively Washington has not gotten better this season. The team slipped during the three-game losing streak and again in the second half of Sunday’s loss when it allowed 56 points and sent WSU to the free throw line 29 times after the break.
“I think we understand intellectually, but deep down in our gut we have to understand really who we are and what makes us successful when we’re successful,” he said. “We always tell our team if we understand that and execute that, we’re going to be fine.”
“The last game that we played was a classic example of totally understanding who we were for a half. I thought we played good defense for a half. Unfortunately we missed eight layups in the first half and every time we missed those layups, I think mentally we deflated a little bit. In the second half, we lost concentration as to who we were. If we miss 40 layups in a game, if we would still continue to defend, we would have a chance. Whenever the Huskies are not playing well, it’s because we lose sight of that. … But sometimes our focus is on that offensive end.”
For the first time, Romar talked about the team’s lack of depth as being a hindrance. He also speculated his rotation pattern may have hurt the defense.
“To play the way we play, you need that depth,” Romar said. “And slowly our depth has been affected a little bit. You go from having 10 available to nine available and then more recently eight available in terms of scholarship guys. I think maybe I’ve played guys too many minutes at times to where physically we’re worn out to play the type of defense that we should. But that’s not a fact yet, that’s just a theory of mine.”

(Do you think the team has progressed this season?) “Not very well. I don’t think we’ve progressed nearly as much as we needed to. … When we were 4-0 and even at 7-1 we talked about we cant’ remain stagnant. We’re doing well right now, but teams are going to get better as the season progresses. We have to make sure that we get better and I don’t think we have improved as much as we should.”
(In what areas?) “Defensively. We’ve talked about that area.”
(Why hasn’t the team improved?) “When we initially went through the three game losing streak I put it squarely on me. We knew what we were doing early on and then all of a sudden we weren’t playing the type of defense we should be playing. You can title it coach hasn’t done a good enough job to get us to defend better.”
(What type of challenge is it for you this week?) “I think we are getting better at this point. I don’t think we’ve improved liek we should have, but I think we’re getting back to where we were before we dropped those three in a row. … I’m not ready to say we’re sliding this way based off of that one game.”

(Is maintaining mental focus a skill the way shooting is a skill?)
“I think you have teams that are a little more erratic sometimes if that is the case. With this particular team – I don’t like saying it now because I’m not willing to make excuses, but we did recruit Abdul Gaddy to be able to do that because we didn’t feel we had that. Well he hasn’t been playing so now we have to adjust and do things a little differently. I put that on me as well. We have to make sure in these last games, the group that we have with their makeup we have to insists and demand that we do a better job in that area.

(Is this team good at keeping its focus?)
“We have to work at it. This team really has to work at it. This team really has to focus on focusing. (laughter)”
— Romar said he can’t explain why so many Huskies missed layups Sunday against Washington State. “That was just different,” he said.
The Huskies attempted 27 three-pointers and 11 of them were contested shots.
— Romar said Washington needs to be more patient offensively and turn down some open three-pointers early in the shot clock. He wants the Huskies to run more offense and work to get a better shot or create a foul and get to the free throw line.
“If you eliminate the contested ones, you don’t shoot as many, but your percentage will go up,” he said. “The old less is more theory. … Shooting a three is not an issue for me. The issue is shooting them when they’re contested or when they’re rushed.”
— Romar said there’s times Matthew Bryan-Amaning doesn’t concentrate on his missed layups, but quickly added: “If Matthew made all of those layups that everybody keeps talking about, he would be shooting 70 percent. … It would be great if he could made every shot. Especially the close ones. But you’re talking about a guy that would be averaging 21 or 22 points a game if that were the case. … It just shows how good of an offensive year he’s having.”
— Romar said he doesn’t think UW has to tweak a whole lot offensively.
“I just think we need to understand a little better what the right shot selection can do for us,” he said. “If I come down on one pass and I shoot a rushed shot and it’s a contested three, we didn’t give our offense a chance to create a good play. I just think we have to do a better job of turning down 10-12 or whatever it is contested threes. That’s a lot of possessions in the game.”
— Romar said Washington will only use the trapping defense like it uses the zone, only if needed.
— Romar raved about UCLA freshman Joshua Smith, the former Kentwood High star and said the Bruins have four players including Reeves Nelson, Malcolm Lee and Tyler Honeycutt who will play in the NBA.
‘How many teams in the league have four guys like that,” he said. “And I really believe – and I’m not blowing smoke – Ben Howland is one of the best coaches in the country. You have that combination, it’s going to click sooner or later.”
(UCLA still has Pac-10 title hopes, do you have to talk to the players about that?) “We can play all the mental motivation games we want, but none of that matters. We have to be motivated to be the best group that we can be. It’s playoff time. Every game now is like a playoff game. Everyone has something at stake. You just have to expect to make sure you’re going to come out and play to your potential. That’s what we have to be able to do. All the rah-rah and this is this team has to do and you better watch it because they’re mad, we need to do what we’re supposed to do. And we’re confident in the fact that if we’re focused and playing Husky basketball we have a chance to be successful against anybody.”
— Romar said Terrence Ross has not hit a freshman wall and characterized the 6-6 guard as streaky. He said Ross will have plenty of chances in the next game as will Wilcox who has connected on 2 of his last 14 shots.

Comments | Topics: Abdul Gaddy, C.J. Wilcox, Scott Suggs


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