Here’s few notes and quotes from coach Lorenzo Romar’s weekly radio show last night.
— Late night for Washington following Sunday’s 71-60 defeat at USC. The team chartered a flight to Seattle after the game and Romar said he arrived home at 3:30 a.m. morning. Players were given their mandatory one day off on Monday leaving the Huskies just one practice Tuesday to get ready for Wednesday’s game against No. 23 Oregon.
— Romar talked about the unbalanced schedule having a negative effect on the Huskies. He understands the Pac-12’s new TV deal requires teams to play games on days and times that are different from the past.
— Romar is optimistic about Shawn Kemp Jr. and believes he has a big upside.
— The new high-post offense changes the type of players Washington will recruit. The old motion offense required athletic players who can create off the dribble. The new offense requires more skilled players, who can do a little bit of everything. Romar said the high-post offense is also very accommodating for tweaners, wing players who aren’t necessarily guards or forwards.
(Are you playing for pride at this point?) “We’ve lost six out of seven you would anticipate that it would be very difficult to even go .500 from here on out IF you’re an outsider. But within our own camp, I still feel like we can finish out and finish strong. If we finish strong in conference, there’s enough teams that we’re playing against that would be considered quality wins. We already have a few quality wins. I still think we can be OK. But it starts against Oregon. We can’t fall on our face anymore.”
(What do you look for when you’re watching the game on your laptop?) “I always like to see how they scored on us. Where we in the right position? During the game you can see it, but when you have the benefit of the tape right there, of the film, you can really look at it and rewind it. I like to look at that. I like to look at what we did offensively. Where we were getting our shots. What patterns were going on throughout the game. There are a number of things. I probably end up watching the game 4-5 times. I actually got back at 3:30. My wife can tell you before I even went in the house, I had to look at it again. I’m just sitting there. I didn’t even go in the driveway. I had to stop right there on the spot, now wait a minute. I had to watch this one more time. When you lose, it seems like you watch it more because you’re trying to figure it all out.”
(On turnovers) “There was a turnover in the second half committed by Andrew Andrews. They were hedging out on a screen and Desmond Simmons was wide open. Andrew made the right play and tried to get it to Desmond. One of their players (Dewayne) Dedmon was in the middle and he saw it. And like a quarterback that doesn’t really see that other defensive player there, you see your guy open. He thought he had a good one. He knew he should have thrown it up. But to me that’s a play where you’re trying to make the right play. That happens every now and then. The game is a game of mistakes. But the ones that are unforced. The ones that have nothing to do with the defense. Those are the ones that we have to avoid. The other type are in transition where we have numbers and we throw it away, (then) they go down and score. Not only do they score, we take away the two points that we had. Those are the type of things that have been really tough for us the last 3-4 games. … We’re just shooting ourselves in the foot. And we have to resolve that before Wednesday night.”
(On Aziz N’Diaye’s poor FT shooting) “Aziz is a classic example of when I played for Don Nelson, the NBA coach. Don Nelson, when you played for him, he didn’t look at what you couldn’t do as much as what you could do. And he would really, really use that. The things that Aziz can do is now if you throw it to him on the block, he can do go down there and put pressure on the defense and score the ball. He is a tremendous defensive player with the shots that he doesn’t block, the player is either altered or they’re thinking twice about going in there. And then obviously, he’s one of the top 2-3 rebounders in our league. He’s just a presence for us. I just wish we can have Aziz N’Diaye play with us forever. He’s good enough with what he brings to the table that we’ll live with the missed foul shots. … No one wants to make them more than Aziz. He wants to make them more than anyone. That’s why he’s spent so much time working on them.”
(On finishing the season) “I anticipate us coming back and being ready to go. This is not a situation where you look and just say oh we don’t have what it takes at all, we don’t have a chance. We’re going to play these last seven games and just try to win one if we can and probably exit the first round of Pac-12 Tournament. I don’t think our team see that because we’ve been so close. And we’ve been so close in spite of not doing. I was just telling my assistant, I’ve never been coaching or part of a team as an assistant where you play this many games – and with the exception of Colorado State where they got away from us – we haven’t blown anyone out and no one has blown us out. On the road. The No. 4 team in the country. The No. 6 team in the country. It’s just all been that close. And yet we don’t have enough to show for it. And it’s our fault. Because of all of that, that’s why we still have hope within our team. Whatever anyone else thinks, that’s on them. Within our team, that’s why we still have hope.”
(On the high-post offense) “I think it has something to do with why we haven’t been blown out. When the game becomes a half court game, when we have to play and take care of the ball, I think we’re still able to get baskets. We’ve been able to score down the stretch. They scored on us the other night. We throw the ball away. Shabazz (Muhammad) gets the dunk by himself. We come right back down. Our guys get into a form of the high post and we get Aziz down there for an and-one. Our guys went right in to it. In year’s past it hasn’t been that easy. Unless someone made a great acrobatic shot. I think it really has helped us. It really has in terms of our half-court execution.”
(On Oregon) “It’s unfortunate for Oregon that Dominic Artis went down with the injury and I don’t know when he’ll be able to come back. If he comes back for our game, I’m not sure. But in sports one of the things that you hope can happen with your team is that you avoid injuries. Injuries to key players can end your season. You can try and get after it, but when some of the key players go down it can be tough for you.”