Winter quarter classes began today at Washington and you’d think that if freshman tight end Austin Sefarian-Jenkins were going to play basketball, then he’d have to adjust his class schedule to accommodate a busy basketball schedule that includes afternoon practices and games twice a week.
Coach Lorenzo Romar has not heard from Sefarian-Jenkins recently.
Romar said he’s still open to the idea of the 6-foot-6 standout joining the team, but added: “that’s a football decision.”
Romar scouted ASJ at Gig Harbor High and became enamored with his basketball skills.
“His level of physicality is off the charts,” Romar said. “I saw him play in high school. He’s a good basketball player. He’s really good at football too.”
Romar noted a handful of football players have talked about playing both sports in recent years, but it never happened. Nate Robinson was the last player to do it, but “that agreement had been made before we got here.”
On Robinson, Romar said: “Nate was so adamant about it. Nate would sneak in here during football season and shoot all the time. You knew he was serious about it.”
HERE’S NOTES, QUOTES FROM ROMAR’S WEEKLY PRESS CONFERENCE:
— Romar addressed UW’s 0-4 road record, which includes an 0-2 mark in neutral settings. He said their best game on the road was against Marquette. He believes the Huskies are better defensively and have better spacing than their last road game – an 86-80 defeat to Duke on Dec. 10.
“When you’re away from home and you don’t have the crowd motivating and we go on these frenzied runs – these spurts – what about when you don’t have those on the road. Well your defense has to carry and sustain you through those times and you can’t fuel their offense by taking bad, quick shots. So it’s more of that than what we do on the road in terms of preparation.”
— On Desmond Simmons: “He’s a guy that I don’t know how excited you’re going to get if you see him in an All-star game because he’s not crossing anybody over and doing all the and-1 plays. He’s not going to get four over the top tomahawk dunks on people. He’s not going to hit 10 threes. At least right now he’s not. He could one day. But he just has a great skill called helping you win.”
— Romar said it takes awhile for freshmen to buy in to his system and understand how to win in college.
— On Colorado: “Defensively they’re very fundamentally sound and solid defensively. They don’t give you many easy baskets. Cal and Stanford. Those guys play defense like that. You’re not going to get anything cheap and easy.”
— Romar called Colorado guard Spencer Dinwiddie ‘a poised freshman.’ He also noted: “He’s a guy that not only takes, but hits big shots early in his career. He looks really good.”
— And finally Romar was reluctant to talk about the high altitude at Boulder, Colorado and Salt Lake City. He admitted as a NBA player, he was affected by the elevation and would get winded running short sprints.
He told a story about Washington’s Dec. 6, 2003 trip to Wyoming.
“We played in Laramie, Wyoming. We were already struggling that year and you’re at the arena, at the location where you’re going to play,” Romar said. “You’re inside. This is not a staircase like some other part of campus, this is in the arena. You’re walking up and you’re walking up and finally when you get to the top right where the locker room is it says: ‘Welcome to Laramie, Wyoming. Elevation: 7,200. How is your oxygen?’
“So our guys were walking up and everything was fine and then they read it, a couple of them went ‘Coach I’m all out of breath.’ Nothing was said until they read that sign and then all of sudden we’re out of breath. We got down 29-4 at the beginning of that game. We were exhausted, running in slow motion. (UW lost 92-76)
“But that was 7,000 feet. This is nothing. This is only 5,000.”
Some teams try to prepare for the high altitude. There’s a theory that if you overhydrate, it helps. Romar doesn’t plan to address the altitude situation with the players. He said if you’re there within 24 hours, it doesn’t affect you as much. But beyond 24 hours, there’s a belief you need to be there 72 hours to get acclimated.