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Husky Men's Basketball

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

November 25, 2011 at 7:04 PM

Lorenzo Romar gets tough in Houston Baptist win

romar vs hbu.jpg
Photo credit: Seattle Times – Alan Berner
Thanks to Kyle McCormick for producing the highlights from Washington’s 88-65 win over Houston Baptist. Here’s a photo gallery.
As for the game, coach Lorenzo Romar received just about everything he wanted in the 23-point blowout. He got the Huskies to focus defensively and they limited HBU to 32.3 percent shooting.
He benched players for miscues. He got them to ignore HBU’s record and focus on doing what it takes to win games at Edmundson Pavilion and on the road. Romar knows the Huskies aren’t likely to convert nearly half of its three-pointers (11 of 21) and shoot 47.2 percent from the field they way it did today.
This game was about sending a message. After Sunday’s embarrassing loss at Saint Louis, he said the Huskies are pointed in the right direction and is starting to take steps toward being the team he envisions.
“The severity of some things we take for granted,” Romar said. “Sometimes just as kids, we’ve all been there. When you’re younger, there are certain things you don’t really pay close attention to because you don’t think it’s that big a deal.
“There are consequences. We do enough of those with things that have a negative impact on the game. Defensively, we don’t give ourselves a chance. So, there was a lot of accountability out there, probably more on the defensive end. Offensively, I thought we had good shots and made great plays. But on the defensive end, we probably have a lot of accountability.
“And we usually do, but sometimes, guys have to play through their mistakes. When there’s a point now in the season, we feel that you’re not learning anymore. There are things that you should know. We’re not as accountable for things you shouldn’t know, but when you should know, and I think that was what was accountable tonight.
The hook came fast and furious today. First C.J. Wilcox and Aziz N’Diaye were benched after 84 seconds. Abdul Gaddy also got yanked early. Each of them made defensive errors. Tony Wroten Jr. took a seat on the sidelines a few times, but Romar said he only benched the freshman point guard after a no-look pass failed to find the target.
“We’re at a point where it’s not about anybody’s feelings,” Romar said. “It’s about this team being the best that it can be. I think we’ve taken a preseason and we’ve taken 4-5 games to do that very thing.
“What’s important is you don’t want to take someone’s confidence away. That’s really important. Somehow there needs to be a balance of you still going out and being able to play and be who you are, but not turn the ball over or give the ball to the other team. There’s a balance to it. … There does a come point where we have to get it right or all of our confidence is going to be shaken.”

Terrence Ross had more rebounds (a career-high 13) than shot attempts (10), which says something about the sophomore guard’s development as a player. He blocked four shots, which is a personal best. Ross delivered two assists, converted 3 of 5 three-pointers and shot 5 of 10 from the field. The only thing he didn’t do was get to the free throw line. Still, it was a special performance for Ross who is proving he can have a big impact on the game without scoring a bunch of points.
“We didn’t have to depend on Terrence for us to score,” Romar said. “Secondly he’s just kind of taken pride in (rebounding). He had 10 rebounds in our last game. … That would be great if it’s something he does here on out. … You don’t always have to rebound with your tallest guy. Terrence has shown that the last two games. The bottom line is to get a rebound regardless of who gets it.”
— Wilcox led scored a team-high 19 points on 7-for-13 shooting and the Huskies in scoring for the third time this season. He was 5 for 9 on three-pointers. Wilcox was also very active. He finished with five rebounds, two assists, two blocks, a steal and two turnovers in 28 minutes.
— Take away the six turnovers and Wroten would have had an amazing game. Cut the turnovers in half and it’s still a great performance. Even with the miscues, Wroten has shown he’s an undeniable force. He makes things happen in good and bad ways. He had 14 points on 6-for-12 shooting, a career-high six steals, five assists and three rebounds. The Huskies will win a lot of games with their point guard producing those types of numbers. Still it’s the turnovers, free throw shooting (2 for 4) defensive gambles that often leaves UW in a 4-on-5 situation that’s holding him back.
“A lot of stuff was going on with Tony Wroten,” Romar said. “If you just look at the stat sheet first of all. Six steals. Assists, turnovers and baskets. He was all over the place and that’s what he’s capable of doing. Tony was taken out after his second no-look turnover. That hadn’t happen to him yet this year.
“What we talked about was giving them a little rope. Letting guys make mistakes and now it’s tough times coming up so we have to do things right. So yeah, he got it. But then the game was going back and forth, Tony got the ball and threw a very text book, clinical two-handed bounce pass to a guy. And then about three possessions later he had the ball in and he dribbled the ball back out and didn’t try anything and just set it up. I thought he made a lot of progress in that area.”
— The Huskies found another three-point threat in Desmond Simmons who was 2 for 2 on threes. He’s 3 for 3 this season. Can’t overlook that type of production. You knew the redshirt freshman forward would give UW hustle and toughness. But hardly anyone was expecting a long-range gunner too. In addition to the perimeter shooting, Simmons collected six rebounds in 12 minutes, including two on the offensive glass. He also had two assists and two steals and a career-high 10 points.
“He showed what he can do today,” Wilcox said. “He wasn’t playing shy or anything like that. He’s always on the boards and today he was finding his shots.”
— Solid if not unspectacular effort from Gaddy who had a season-high seven assists. Many of his passes went to Wilcox. He didn’t shoot particularly well (3 for 8) and missed two three-pointers. He only got to the free throw line once and was beat a few times defensively on dribble drive penetration. But Gaddy had four rebounds, a steal and just one turnover in 27 minutes.
— N’Diaye battled 6-11 Joe Latas inside. Both players took hard spills and were elbowed during a physical confrontation. Latas (15 points and eight rebounds) had better numbers, but N’Diaye (8 and 7) held his own.
Darnell Gant provided the plays of the night. He flushed a putback dunk and followed that with a high-flying, windmill jam on the next possession late in the game. The slams got Hec Ed crowd rocking and it was a knockout flurry to a HBU team that had given up the fight minutes earlier. Aside from the late highlights, Gant had a quiet game. He finished with 7 points on 2-for-5 shooting.
— Whatever Martin Breunig did when he got into the game, he needs to do it again. During his first rotation, he brought energy off the bench and scored on a pair of putbacks. He finished with five rebounds and four points in 12 minutes.
Shawn Kemp Jr. had a similar outing to Breunig. He played well early and scored UW’s first two baskets. Then he disappeared. Okay, not disappeared. He managed two blocks and a steal in 12 minutes, but after the start you thought Kemp was on his way to a breakout performance.
— Freshman guard Hikeem Stewart scored two points in 10 minutes.
— Walk-ons Brendan Sherrer and Alex Wegner also made an appearance.
“There may not be as many minutes for everyone. The same guys will probably still play. … I don’t think it will be Nevada. Still hopefully New York.”

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


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