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Husky Men's Basketball

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May 25, 2011 at 11:17 AM

Lorenzo Romar on the 2011-12 schedule, Duke and Gonzaga

If there’s any regret about the 2011-12 schedule, coach Lorenzo Romar said he would have liked to have brought a big-name opponent to Seattle.
Otherwise he’s pleased the non-conference lineup that includes Madison Square Garden dates against Duke and Marquette, a pair of road games at Nevada and Saint Louis and eight home games against lesser-known opponents.
It’s debatable whether the schedule is tougher than the 2010-11 schedule that sent the Huskies to the Maui Invitational to face Virginia, Michigan State and Kentucky as well as a tough game at Texas A&M.
Romar talked about how next season’s schedule came together and gave a little scouting report on the teams. He finished the 10-minute interview with a few words on Gonzaga and the possibility of renewing the in-state rivalry that ended in 2007.

(You’ve been criticized for not scheduling more than one true road game in the past. Did you intentionally put two on the schedule this time?) “No it wasn’t intentionally done. Nevada was a 2-for-1 and it just so happened that way. The way this worked out is it’s Scott Suggs’ senior year and for him to go home to St. Louis, we made a commitment to doing that so that happened.
“Although two things we didn’t intend to happen was No. 1, we’re playing four games away from our place. We’ve done that before with tournaments, but this time we’re playing two big east schools on the East Coast as well as the two true road games.
“And No. 2, we would have probably liked to have had more of a high-profile opponent at home this year. We tried to work that out, but we couldn’t get that done. As a result next year, I would see us having a couple of more higher-profile opponents at home like we’ve had in the past. This year maybe the teams coming in may not have big names, but when the year is over they have a solid RPI and they’re in the NCAA tournament. We think we have some of those.
“But it was just one of those years where it was just difficult to get it worked out that way. But it will happen again next year.”
(How did the game with Duke happen?) “The game with Duke was a made-for-TV game. It was something that we wanted. Something that we’ve been trying to get. In the absence of a Big 12 Challenge this is something that’s going to be a coast-to-coast situation that is really good. They talked to us about it. We had put feelers out there for it. They called us and said how would like to do this one.”
(What are your thoughts on playing Duke?) “You’re playing a tradition-rich team in a tradition-rich arena in front of a nationally televised audience. It’s a great game.”
(How did the Jimmy V Classic invitation come about?) “Coach (Jim) Shaw does a great job with our schedule. He talked to me about we have a chance to play in the Jimmy V Classic against Marquette and it was something that we were approached with and we agreed to do it.”
(Before going to New York, you play in Nevada. That looks like a long road trip. Is it a concern?) “I got to check, but I don’t think we’re going straight from Nevada to New York. I think we’re going to come home first and then head to New York. But that is a lot of time on the road.
“We’ll make the most of that road trip. We’re going to do the road trip to New York in conjunction with a little bit of school work. Some academics will be involved. The guys will go see a Broadway play. Some guys will do a paper on it and some things like that. There’s a lot that’s going to go into that road trip.”
(What day would you get to New York?) “It would probably be that Sunday. We play on a Tuesday.”
(You start the season with the Basketball Travelers Inc. (BTI) Classic again. Talk to me about that.) “Portland, Florida Atlantic and Georgia State. Georgia State has a new coach (Ron Hunter). … They have 8-10 returning guys. They might have nine seniors. So they are going to be a veteran team. Florida Atlantic is coached by Mike Jarvis [Jarvis was a candidate for the UW job before the school hired Bob Bender]. And then Portland is always a tough game for us.”
(Are you excited about the trip to Saint Louis?) “I’m excited for Scott Suggs to be able to go back. A lot of guys get to go home based on the schools in our conference. C.J. Wilcox will be able to go back home when we play Utah. So that’s within our conference. For Scott, the people around that area haven’t seen him play in person for four years. It will be fun for him to go back and play at home.”
(Do you still have fond memories from your years there?) “The guys that we were able to coach were tremendous guys and I would think a lot of them would probably come to that game. The memory of winning four straight in that (2000 Conference USA) tournament to make it to the NCAA tournament. Winning that thing was a great memory. I remember those things.”
(After the Duke game, you got a little time off before playing three more non-conference games. Was that intentional?) “I think it’s a week before we play again. The schedule in terms of those road games and the opponents that we’re playing, I think it’s pretty challenging in that stretch.”
(Is the schedule as tough as last season’s? I could argue there’s no Texas A&M game, which makes this a weaker schedule.) “I think any time you’re on the road, it’s a difficult game. We were Pac-10 regular-season champions in 2009 and lost our opener on the road in Portland. So whenever you go on the road it’s going to be difficult. We’re going to Reno and Saint Louis. That’s not easy at all. They are going to be good teams and they do well in their arenas and we travel a long distance to get there. And then Marquette and Duke playing in the east, those aren’t going to be easy either.”
(What’s your thoughts on the Pac-12 season?) “The inaugural season is going to be something that you’re going to remember. I just think there’s a lot of quality teams and a lot of players that are going to step up in this league. Again it’s going to be wild and hard to predict who the winner is going to be.”
(Will Washington ever play Gonzaga again?) “I’ve always said I think it’s going to happen again. I’ve always said that.”
(Is it something that will happen soon or down the road?) “I don’t know. But it will happen again.”

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


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