Lorenzo Romar took responsibility for Washington’s historic early season struggles on the road, which included a 77-64 defeat at Saint Louis.
He is 0-9 as UW coach in road openers on the opponent’s court.
“I’ve looked at that quite a bit and obviously that’s my fault on that,” Romar said. “Early on as you’re putting your team together a lot of times offensively you kind of let the guys play more just to try to find out who can do what when they’re actually playing.
“Sometimes you can restrict players and hold them back and you don’t know what they are capable of giving you. I kind of let the guys blow it out early on probably too much. It usually bites us early because we don’t do as good of a job offensively as we should do. That’s certainly was one of the reasons we played the way we did against Saint Louis offensively not to mention they’re just really good defensively. But that exposed that part of it.”
When asked how he’s going to correct the many flaws that were apparent in Sunday’s 13-point defeat, Romar said it begins Tuesday in practice. He plans to restrict the offensive freedom players enjoyed in the first three games when UW averaged 87.0 points per game.
“You tighten up the reins a little bit,” he said. “You go back and make sure that everything that we’ve been taught, we really, really hold them accountable. Not that you’re not holding them accountable before.
“But maybe it’s something in me that when I was a player I played so many times for coaches that just didn’t let you blink. Didn’t let you express yourself at all offensively. All of sudden you get away from that system and you’re like ‘I didn’t know you could do that. You have some offensive skills.’ Well you weren’t allowed to do it.”
MORE NOTES AND QUOTES FROM ROMAR’S PRESS CONFERENCE:
— When asked his feelings on Sunday, Romar said he was frustrated and “a small bit irritated. But frustrated. When you know you’ve gone out and have done everything right and it doesn’t work out your way, you say I’m fine. I hate to lose, but I’m fine because I don’t think there was anything more we can do. But (Saint Louis) was further along in terms of they’re preparation this year than we were and I put that on me. I just felt like we should have been a little further along in what we were doing offensively and defensively. That’s why I say more frustrated because I point right back at myself. Yeah we made errors, but me as the head coach, we could have had a little more prepared.”
— Romar said UW played zone for the first time Sunday. He said: “We were in the zone eight times, they scored six times. Scored or got fouled. … We hadn’t worked on it a whole lot. We didn’t think it could be any worse. So we just tried to do something to disrupt their rhythm a little bit and it didn’t go over very well.”
— Because of the depth last season, the Huskies were able to put in more of the offensive and defensive game plan. Romar reiterated UW’s youth has forced him to slow down how much he installs this season.
— Romar said the veterans weren’t to blame for the Saint Louis defeat. He said: “If they didn’t give us enough I point back to me I point back to me, we could have helped them be in a better position. Sometimes they try to do the right thing, but the way the game is going they can’t get into a flow, can’t get into a rhythm. I don’t place this one on them.”
— Romar called Saint Louis coach Rick Majerus “one of the top 2 or 3 coaches in America in terms of understanding the game of basketball and teaching the game of basketball. I just have so much respect for him.”
— Romar on the Billikens game: “I just don’t know if you can simulate a better situation to expose all of your warts and weaknesses than that game. That’s good. We know where the bubbles came up in the tire so know we put the patch were we need to put the patch in places.”
— Romar said the focus in today’s practice is transferring what they learn in drills into 5-on-5 situations. He said: “Anything that we do right now we can go out there and work it perfection in drills, but that has to move over to 5 on 5. When we get winded and when fatigue sets in, we need to still be able to do those things. … We got to be able to think on our feet quicker. All of that has to transfer to the game. Those are the things we will be dealing with in the next couple of days.”
— When asked how he plans to make that happen, Romar said: “Point it out as we continue to do. Continue to hold them accountable. Offensively now guys probably won’t get as much freedom – I don’t mean to play basketball – I mean to go out and take chances and to experiment. Either way offensively or defensively. There’s no more experiments. You just have to point it out and hold them accountable.”
— Romar said Scott Suggs would have had an impact in Sunday’s game because of his experience and the senior guard is a versatile scorer and a good defender.
— Romar noted C.J. Wilcox and Terrence Ross were played well in the postseasson as freshman, which is an example that “freshmen get it. They get there.”
— Romar said Aziz N’Diaye isn’t going to be Tim Duncan on the offensive end and said the big center was OK in Sunday’s game. N’Diaye defended SLU’s Brian Conklin, who had a game-high 25 points. However, Romar said some of those points came against other players.
— Romar on Abdul Gaddy: “That goes back to me. We didn’t give him a whole lot of help. Offensively we just weren’t in a good rhythm. … Abdul wasn’t involved as much. It was just one of those games. We’ll see. I like to look at patterns. We’ll see. The best will go a game or two here and there where you just got to give credit to the defense. They were really good. Things just didn’t go down. So we’ll see.”
— Romar said Darnell Gant’s early fouls weren’t good fouls.