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Husky Men's Basketball

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

December 20, 2011 at 1:21 PM

Lorenzo Romar: “We can come out of this”

Aziz N’Diaye who missed the past two games due to a sprained right knee will return Thursday as a reserve.
“It won’t be long before he’s back in there,” coach Lorenzo Romar said when asked when the junior center will return to the starting lineup.
Washington will remain with the same starters that includes a four-guard lineup for at least one more game.
Following Sunday’s 92-73 defeat to South Dakota State, the Huskies top priority is shoring up a defense that’s allowed 76.3 points per game. They’re also working to improve their offensive chemistry and redefine roles.
It seems like a major endeavor 10 games into the season.
Romar also said: “This group needs to have more fire in its belly.”
Here’s a partial transcript of Romar’s press conference:

(What came out of the South Dakota State loss?) “The No. 1 thing we’re looking at is becoming a better defensive team. The way we play defense is the catalyst for everything we do. When we don’t defend, things don’t go well for us. We have a goals board in our locker room . We want to score so many points. We want to turn the ball over no more than so many times. We want to give up no more than a certain amount of offensive rebounds and so on and so forth.
“The thing that’s been consistent over the years is the number of deflections that we get every game. The number of deflections that we get is normally a huge indicator of how we’re defending and what type of energy we’re playing with. We want to get a minimum of 26. Saint Louis was our low. We had 18. South Dakota State was our second low 19.
“Every game we met our goal, we’ve won. Every game we didn’t meet our goal in that regard we lost. It just triggers everything so that’s the main thing we’ve been talking about.”
(What’s not happening defensively?) “No. 1 we have to do a better job of containing the basketball. If we can’t keep the basketball in front of us, then our entire defense breaks down. If we’re able to contain the basketball and they do get by us at times, we have to do a better job with our rotations. We have to rotate quicker and smarter to make the right decisions.”
(Is it surprising you’re not getting more deflections considering this is the tallest team you’ve ever had?) “Very surprising. This is definitely not … I thought we would be a better defensive team than we have shown here. Although we were behind a little bit and I said that earlier in terms of teaching our defense. We had to really slow down this year. We tried to go at the same pace we had before and we weren’t getting it so we really slow down. Obviously it’s just taken us longer.”
(How do you fix the defense?) “Continue to rep it. Continue to emphasize it. One of the other things about us defensively we usually have 4-5 guys to rotate in there. The guys that are playing the majority of minutes at times because of foul trouble or someone sitting out sometimes I think fatigue sets in and we’re not able to sustain the type of pressure that we need to sustain. I think that hurts us at times.”
(What does N’Diaye mean to the defense?) “He blocks a little more than two shots a game. The reason I say that … he didn’t play the second half against Duke so he would have maybe another 1-2 blocks. He blocks two again. I think he changes 2-3 shots a game. And I think there’s probably 3-4 other times they just don’t shoot because he’s there. His presence is huge. And rebounding is a part of defense and he’s our best rebounder. There’s a lot of ways he’s our most valuable player because of what he does that way.”
(Seems like C.J. Wilcox gets lost in the four-guard lineup?) “I don’t think Wilcox does. If you look at his shot attempts, he was in foul trouble against Santa Barbara. He just didn’t play as many minutes. Same thing with Terrence Ross the last game. I think it affects Terrence more than it affects C.J. because C.J. is still doing the same exact things. Terrence with the four-guard lineup he’s playing a different position on offense. He’s doing different things.
“It’s the same lineup we went with in Quincy Pondexter’s senior year, but Quincy had kind of played in and out of that position for two years his sophomore and junior years. So he finally got it and got the hang of it his senior year. And that was one of the reasons he averaged so many points because he was a mismatch for everyone. He knew exactly where to go because he played in that spot. Terrence hasn’t played much in that spot. So I think as a result in the last couple of games it kind of hurt him. He scored 14 in the second half against Santa Barbara, but we had to run specific plays for him to get the ball. That’s what we’ll probably have to do when we run that lineup to make sure he gets the shots until he’s comfortable just being able to play within the flow.”
(Do you have to tell your guards to give the ball to Ross?) “We told our team – not just our guards – we can’t go too many more games with Terrence Ross taking that many shots. He has to get more shots. There’s no doubt about it. Terrence is a phenomenal scorer. He needs to get more shots.”
(Is part of that on Ross to demand the ball?) “Yeah some of that is on him. Sometimes with young players that’s been scorers everything has been geared for them. The other four guys don’t really shoot until he a touch. So sometimes they wait for that ball to come to them.”
(Is that not recognizing roles?) “Some of it is and that’s the other area, chemistry. We have not settled on that yet. Who’s supposed to be taking shots and where. We’re still evolving that way.”
(What would you like to see from Tony Wroten Jr.?) “I would like to see his turnovers down. I think that’s too many turnovers. He is so good at getting in the paint, they collapse on him. I think there’s times he needs to find the guy that’s open. He knows that. He realizes that. There’s one guy that’s shooting a higher field goal percentage than Tony and that’s Darnell Gant. Martin Breunig is at 50 percent, but not as many attempts. Of the guys that are playing major minutes only one guy is shooting a higher field goal percentage and the rule of thumb for me if you’re shooting at 50 percent (then) you need to shoot the ball and be very aggressive.
“He’s not made his foul shots as much as he would like, but when you’re talking about he’s shooting almost 50 percent from the field and he’s getting fouled seven times a game, man that’s putting a lot of pressure on the defense. So do you want him not to shoot? … What I’ve addressed with Tone is he needs to make when they collapse on him to pass the ball out to the open man. But Tony is not by himself. We watched a lot of film yesterday and we saw we’re missing the open man quite a bit. Our team is missing the open man. We have to do a better job as a team doing that.”
(How do you improve the chemistry?) “We continue to point it out. We continue to watch film. We continue to look at the different combination. We continue to talk to the individuals about this is what we need from you.
“Some of you heard this story, but Will Conroy had a tough time with not being the guy that wasn’t going to score. When we weren’t winning, he felt I’m going to score just like Brandono (Roy) and Tre (Simmons) and Nate (Robinson). When he finally got it and decided alright we need a play maker and I’m going to be the guy. We kept talking to him about it and finally it clicked. You know the rest of the story. All-time assists leader in school history. Did a lot of winning and ended up being one of the best point guards to play here. But that took awhile. It took awhile for Brandon Roy because he could do so much to figure out exactly what I am going to do here. Finally we got it down. It takes time sometime. It took Justin Holiday awhile to figure out what he would do to make this team better. We don’t have the luxury of 1-2 years to develop this. We have 20-25 games left. So we have to get it quickly. But it does happen. It does click. Guys finally do get it. But that’s what nonconference games are for to try and develop your team and that’s what we’re in the process of doing.”
(With such a young team, how is the morale?) “The tough part about it is there are 7-8 freshmen who have not gone through this before and in their minds they could be thinking that we’re 5-5 and this just isn’t going to work. Thank goodness we have the veterans that can talk about how … Darnell was talking to our team about how we’ve been in this situation. Not 5-5, but we’ve gone through tough times and ended up winning our league. We’ve gone through tough times and ended going to the Sweet 16. We’ve won conference championships. I think those guys who have been here before probably are relaying the message to the young guys if we stick together and do things right and buy in, we can come out of this.”
(Should Gant and Abdul Gaddy give more than what they’re giving?) “I think Darnell has really stepped it up. I think he really has. He’s rebounding the ball better. I think he’s been stepping up here. I think Abdul is just, with Abdul with all of our guards I think we’re working to find our niche and get that whole chemistry thing ironed out.”
(Can you pinpoint to 1-2 things that’s disrupting the chemistry and balance?) “With everyone, with all of our guards the first thing is with each one of our guards when someone else is open or has a better shot, pass them the ball. That goes for all of them. That would be one area.
“A second area would be as we get better offensively – and you can put this one on me – as we’re moving better and going to the right spots better, it will open up more opportunities for guys to hit the open man. Sometimes there’s just no one open because we’re not moving the way we should. We showed our guys on film, when we move you can see the first 1-2 passes we’re about to get a good shot. And when we don’t, we’re not. I think that will help the chemistry with our guys.
“And then as that goes, I think we will get a better understanding of who’s supposed to be shooting the ball and when. That’s the process that we’re working on right now and the process that we’re going through.”

Comments | Topics: Abdul Gaddy, C.J. Wilcox, top 25


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