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Husky Men's Basketball

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

September 12, 2012 at 9:40 AM

Romar on foreign trip, starters and recruiting

Had a chance to talk with coach Lorenzo Romar last night and he gave a breakdown of Washington’s recent foreign exhibition trip to Europe and Africa.
Romar was generally pleased with the Huskies 3-3 showing against professional teams and described the competition as “pretty good.”
Heading into next month’s training camp, there’s only one starting job that hasn’t been decided. Abdul Gaddy, C.J. Wilcox and Scott Suggs will begin the season starting at guards and Aziz N’Diaye returns for his third year starting at center.
There’s a four-man battle between sophomores Desmond Simmons, Martin Breunig, Shawn Kemp Jr. and redshirt freshman Jernard Jarreau at power forward.
Redshirt freshman Andrew Andrews also has seemingly secured a significant role in the rotation.
Romar talked about UW’s high turnovers, bad free throw shooting and the unique challenges of playing overseas. He also said touched on the recruiting period and said UW has secured official visits with its prospects.
Here’s most of the interview with Romar.


(How was it?) “It was really good on a lot of fronts. I thought we improved as a basketball team. I thought with the practices and the games, we will go into next month’s practices with a much more clearer understanding of where we are. I think we were able to see where our issues possibly were and work on those early. From an educational standpoint, it was unreal. The sights – Spain and France and the last leg in Africa – was just priceless. Going to Aziz’s home and seeing where Aziz grew up and seeing his surroundings. Then going out throughout the city of Dakar. We really went out quite a bit to see the circumstances out there and what things are like out there. Then finally the visit to Goree Island where the prisoners where housed and the story behind all of that. Wow. I was blown away. I think everyone involved was as well. So the trip was good.”
(What was the best part for you?) “From a basketball standpoint just being able to go out there and practice and put into play what we had practiced and seeing where everybody was. And competing like this during the summer. But also again, meeting Aziz’s family. Seeing Aziz interact with the people out there and how well respected he is. All of that was a highlight for me. The Dakar, Senegal trip was a highlight.”
(You said were able to identify some issues. What issues?) “Defensive transition was one. And when I say issues, they’re issues like if you look at your house and say here’s an issue and we have to paint this room. It’s not a plumbing issue where the house isn’t working. Or you got a bad roof. It’s nothing like that. It’s just from Day 1, we’re going to be hitting some things hard to where we weren’t as good as those on the trip. Most of it came on the defensive end.”
(How did the new offense look?) “I thought our guys did a good job. I thought our guys did a good job of trying to stick with it. I thought we had great shots. The turnovers at times were bad, but there were reasons. The first game we played the floor was so slippery, we probably turned it over six times just slipping. And then they were calling traveling and you don’t call it like that in the states at all. That took awhile to get used to. One game we had the officials didn’t show up so we had guys from their party officiate the game. In that same game the lights went out. They were out 5-10 minutes. There were things like that along the way. So at times the turnover number wasn’t reflective to how we were playing.”
(Was every game played using international rules such as the longer three-point line and being able to take the ball off the rim?) “Yes. Everything was international rules.”
(Did you guys practice using those rules?) “Oh yeah, we practiced it before hand. But the only place it may affected us was the three-point line because it’s a little farther back.”
(How would you rate the competition?) “It was pretty good. I talked to a couple of coaches that went on some other tours and they were disappointed with the competition that they played against. It didn’t challenge them at all. That wasn’t the case with us. We played several teams that were pretty good.”
(Just looking at the stats, which usually tells only half the story, but they suggest Abdul Gaddy had a pretty good trip.) “Yeah he played really well. He had games with a large number of turnovers, but then again a lot of those turnovers were guys slipping and falling. That traveling thing and guys getting turnovers on that. Abdul played well. Guys didn’t get as many as assists because we did not shoot the ball well. If guys were knocking shots down, then Abdul would have had a lot more assists.”
(The other thing that jumped out was C.J. Wilcox rebounding. Where did that come from?) “C.J. really went to the boards hard. So did Scott Suggs, but C.J. had a little more success. He had nine rebounds in one game and 13 in another. He was just so active. Very active. The thing that C.J. does best, he didn’t do as well and that’s shoot the ball. And we all know C.J. can shoot the basketball. I was pleased with C.J. because he was getting after loose balls and rebounding. Doing a lot of the intangibles. Driving to the basket. He did a lot of good things. If he would have been knocking his shot down his normal way, boy he would have been a monster on this trip.”
(And Andrew Andrews got a lot of minutes. Was that by design or did that just happen?) “Well we had five guards on the roster, six counting Quin Sterling the walk-on. So yeah, he got a lot of minutes and he did a nice job.”
(There was a game when you had five free throws. And that first two games, you didn’t shoot it well from the line. What was that about?) “The first couple of games, we just didn’t shoot the ball well period. Over the last 3-4 games we shot the ball from the free throw line pretty good. I haven’t gone back and looked at it just yet, but we played six games and if you were to track the last four we probably shot over 70 percent at the line. The game where we didn’t shoot as many free throws that was the one game where we probably settled for the three too much.”
(I think you guys ran into a team that zoned a lot for the first time.) “We shot 27 threes and had not practiced much against zone and we just kind of settled.”
(Any surprises? I was surprised with Martin Breuning starting the last two games, but in the reports it was explained as if the coaching staff was looking to reward guys for effort.) “The scores and outcomes of these games, they can be misleading at times. This was a time to go out and experiment. Maybe you try some things out that maybe you wouldn’t during the season. One of those things was we challenged the bigs. Each game we would start the two that rebounded the most per minute in the previous game. It didn’t matter who it was or what combination, which ever two rebounded the best per minute. If one guy played nine minutes, he still had a chance to start versus a guy that played 30 minutes. That was how guys ended up getting into the starting lineup. When you say surprises, I don’t think we ever have surprises. I really don’t. We have guys that stand out, maybe. Or guys that step up, but I don’t think there are every any surprises. Like if Andrew Andrews goes out and gets 20 points in a game, that’s not a surprise to us.”
(Really?) “No. Not at all. It’s just that he stepped up. He stood out, but it’s not a surprise. Here’s a surprise, if Aziz hit’s five threes. That’s a surprise.”
(Shawn Kemp Jr. played in crunch time the first two games. Was that another deal of putting guys in different situations and seeing how they respond?) “Yeah a little bit of that, but also Shawn Kemp Jr. played well. He stood out. He did not show something to where that’s a surprise, he stepped up as far as just playing well. One game with the game on the line, we went to him and he came through and scored. Another time with the game on the line, guys rotated the ball and got it to him and he hit another big shot down the stretch. He did a nice job offensively. He showed that he can potentially score on the block as well as any of our bigs.”
(Judging from the stats, it looked as if Jernard Jarreau played well early, but his production tailed off later in the trip.) “When you say production, I’d say that’s probably right. When you look statistically, he didn’t stand out as well. But he was able to get his feet wet. He was able to do some things that were impressive. He just didn’t get the ball to go down. He made some nice moves with the basketball, some nice passes. At times did some things defensively like blocked shots and got deflections.”
(It looks as if your starting lineup is Gaddy, Wilcox and Suggs at guard, N’Diaye at center and Desmond Simmons at power forward.) “Boy those guards did a nice job. Based on how everyone played out there, those guards would probably be in there. We still have a month to go before practice. And again, this is not like football where you name your starters in the spring. We still have a whole training camp to go. But it seems like Aziz will probably be the guy in the middle and after that I’m not sure.”
(So there’s some competition, which is probably healthy. It looks like four guys – Simmons, Jarreau, Breuning and Kemp – battling for one spot.) “Yeah I would say that’s accurate for the beginning.”
(What did learn most about your team on the court?) “That we are a true team. Our guys work together really well. Sharing the ball really well. We had situations where officials weren’t officials and slippery floors …”
(Hate to jump in, but I saw a picture of officials wearing jeans. What was that about?) “Yeah I was calling them the jean dudes, the jean crew. The other officials didn’t show up. We needed three so they gathered three officials up and they didn’t do a bad job.”
(So the team had to overcome some stuff?) “There were slippery floors and the way the officials were calling the games and the lights going out during the game, I was impressed with how our guys did not get rattled in situations and did not get distracted.”
(It seems as if you will not have a high-scoring team like you had in the past and will need to win games in other ways. Is that accurate?) “I’m not ready to say that yet because we didn’t shoot the ball well. If we had shot the ball well, we would have scored 80 points a game. C.J. and Scott are really good shooters. Some of the tops in the country and the ball didn’t go down for them. They were getting a lot of looks so I’m not ready to say that yet. I really think we would have averaged 80-plus points if we would have shot the ball normally.”
(I read from your tweets that you’ve hit the recruiting trail.) “Yeah the recruiting period started where we can do home visits on Sunday. So we got back Sunday at 1 o’clock. We got back to the school at 3:30 or so and the next morning I took off. As a matter of fact, I’m on another red-eye tonight. So this week that’s what I’ll be doing.”
(How critical is this time?) “Extremely critical. This is maybe one of the most pivotal times of the year because not only is recruiting big now and the signing date a month and a half away, but you’re getting ready to start the season. You’re opening up official practice next month. This is a very pivotal time of the year.”
(I’ve heard this week is the time when coaches firm up the official visits with recruits. Is that true?) “Yeah. Oh yeah. But usually that happens in August when you start to set those up. Ours have been set up.”

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

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