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October 12, 2012 at 3:40 PM

Notes from Romar’s press conference

UW coach Lorenzo Romar kicked off the beginning of practice today with a press conference. Here is some of what he said. …
— First off, no significant personnel news. Romar said everyone is healthy and ready to go. Austin Seferian-Jenkins is on the roster, but Romar said it is not yet known if he will play. “That’s a question for Austin and coach (Steve Sarkisian) and not met.”
— Romar clairified some coaching duties and said Paul Fortier will remain an on-floor coach while Jim Shaw will concentrate on recruiting. Fortier has a new title of Director of Player Personnel and Player Development, which came after the team added Lamont Smith as an assistant. But he said Smith, Fortier and Brad Jackson will be the on-floor coaches. He said Smith will coach defense and guards and Jackson will help Fortier with the big players and offense.
— Asked if C.J. Wilcox can step in to do more scoring, he noted that Wilcox has “scored 24 in a half before. … his role will increase. He won’t be a support guy. He will be one of the guys we will look to to shoulder the load. Scott Suggs is someone who has to emerge, and will, to shoulder the load, as well.”
— Romar reiterated some common themes about this team that it is closer than some of those he has had previously. He also said he thinks the NCAA snub of a year ago is still on the collective mind of this team. “I sense our team has a quiet chip on our shoulder and that would have something to do with it,” he said. But he said it’s not something that will be mentioned often. “We are totally dialed into this season,” he said. “his is a totally different season. We’ve moved on.”
— As for the closeness of the team, he said “there have not been many closer knit teams. This team is set apart a little more just because it really is a team.”
— He also said there is “more of a sense of urgency” with this team and this season in being good on defense from the start. “Just making sure we coach the fundamentals of defense. … we’re not good enough to go out there and not play defense.” He said last year from day one “we just didn’t get it. We went at a slower pace and we just didn’t get it.” But he said he thinks this team will.
— He also said to expect Abdul Gaddy to have his best year as a Husky and also be one of the go-to players. “He will have his best year as a Husky, by far,” Romar said.
— He said Aziz N’Diyae is “100 percent” and that now being in his third year should be readier to make a big contribution from day one.
— He said he thinks the team’s non-conference schedule is more than enough for the purposes of the NCAA Tournament and also said the team understands that “we have to be playing well early because the toughest part of our non-conference schedule is early.”
— There was a lot of talk of the high post offense, and Romar revealed that former UCLA coach Jim Harrick spent some time with the UW coaches in the off-season helping them understand how to teach it. He said the African trip helped reinforce that the players are fully on-board with the move. “Our guys have embraced it, that’s a really important piece of this whole thing,” he said.
— Asked if there is an obvious emotional leader of the team, he said he thinks there are lots of candidates and said while there may be some real vocal leaders there are lots of “quiet assassins.”
— He talked a lot about Gaddy’s importance in the high post and that it makes him “much more of a decision-maker and puts more pressure on him to be a good decision maker.” He said the high post does not mean the team will not look for the same opportunities to run as in the past but that now when that opportunity is not there, there will be an obvious person in charge to run the high post in Gaddy. He said “he’s going to define himself as a point guard and you are really going to see why he’s such a good point guard.”
— He said he always wanted to run the high post but that he didn’t think UW had the personnel when he first arrived and then the team had success with the motion so they stuck with that. He said they sprinkled in high post in 2009 and 2010 but that “we didn’t work on it enough to be really successful at it.”’ He said this team doing it from day one should help the transition, though he said to expect it to get better as the year goes on and in future seasons. He said the high post fits this team’s personnel as well as what UW may have coming in future seasons.
— He said Shawn Kemp Jr. is “in better condition than last year after sitting out two years” and that his “effort is sustained for longer periods of time and confidence is gaining.”
— He noted that Jernard Jarreau and Andrew Andrews are coming off redshirt seasons and that those two are like UW’s freshmen class and that those two are “as good as anybody we would have taken in the 2012 class.”
— Asked what he may be most curious to see about this team, he said he’s “anxious to see, two minutes left in the game, who is going to take over? I’ve got some ideas, some candidates, but I’m anxious to see who it is going to be.”

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

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