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August 22, 2012 at 7:42 AM

Video: Lorenzo Romar on UW’s new offense

Coach Lorenzo Romar explained why he decided to scrap the motion offense Washington has run the past nine years in favor of the high-post offense.
Basically there’s three reasons.
First the personnel of this year’s team is better suited for the high-post offense.
“I don’t think we have as many guys as we’ve had in the past that could just put it on the floor and make plays,” Romar said. “We have some guys that can do it. I also think with our big guys, it puts them into better position to be effective.”
The foreign trip gives the Huskies 10 practices and seven exhibition games to install the new system and work out the kinks. Washington is not allowed to practice once it begins its trip to Europe and Africa.
And finally Romar said he’s always wanted to implement the high-post offense since coming to Washington. He became familiar with it while he was an UCLA assistant when the Bruins won the 1995 NCAA national title.
“We did it our first year (at Washington), but then we were just getting here that first year,” he said. “We kind of abandoned it. I thought our personnel was better suited in the half court for more dribble drive. (In) ’09 we did it because of Jon Brockman to put him in better position. And in (2010) we did it with Quincy (Pondexter) his senior year. But we always did it to complement our motion. This year it would be our primary half-court offense because I think No. 1 it’s something I wanted to do more consistently.
“I talked to (former Bruins coach) Jim Harrick about it. We talked at length because when I was at UCLA that’s what we did the four years I was there. We were comfortable with it. And we’re going to do it.”
There might be a fourth reason, according to junior guard C.J. Wilcox.
“It was pretty easy to scout us last time (because) we’d the same thing,” he said. “But there’s so many options off of this that we can always make a read and counter.”


Washington’s version of the high-post offense is essentially a 1-3-1 offensive zone. Unlike years past when almost anyone would bring the ball up court after a made basket, the point guard will be largely responsible for initiating the offense.
“If you have two guard front in the high post – two guards in the front – and then three across the free throw line well then you have one guy that’s always at the high post,” Romar said. “We’re doing it with a one guard front. So whatever side it goes to that post will become the high post. So they all have to kind of learn it and be fairly effective at it.”
Here’s a quick breakdown of the UCLA high-post offense from its creator John Wooden, the former legendary Bruins coach.
And here’s an animated display of the 1-3-1 offense.
The new offense will also force everyone on the court, including big men like 7-footer Aziz N’Diaye, to handle the ball in space and make passes. Conceivably N’Diaye will remain in the low post and a forward will move into the high post. Fortunately for Washington it has three hybrid forwards in sophomores Desmond Simmons, Martin Breunig and freshman Jernard Jarreau.
Still the high-post offense requires everyone to think like a playmaker and Gaddy is the only UW player who averaged more than 1.2 assists last season. It remains to be seen if sharp-shooters Wilcox and Scott Suggs or the big men can create offense for others.
Romar doesn’t believe the new scheme will slow down the offense. In fact he was adamant about maintaining Washington’s high-scoring, up-tempo attack. He’s hoping a tenacious, ball-hawking defense can force turnovers and missed shots to create fastbreak opportunities.
He wants the Huskies to look for early scoring chances and if nothing is there, then use the high-post offense as the primary half-court set.
Romar hopes the new offense will help the Huskies “late in games, the last five minutes of games and being better the last five minutes and being better in the half court.”
While the personnel on this season’s team helped spur Romar to make the offensive switch, he admitted the Huskies aren’t perfectly suited to run the schemes.
“If we could handpick everyone we wanted to run this effectively, we don’t have that right now,” he said. “But we have enough for it to be effective.”
Romar said the Huskies will stick with the high-post offense for years to come.

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

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