Here’s a few notes from coach Lorenzo Romar’s weekly radio show Monday night.
— He talked extensively about last week, which was the Huskies final regular-season road trip.
— He said the second-half performance in the 70-52 loss at Arizona was close to their worst showing this season. He compared it to the 73-55 home defeat to Colorado State on Nov. 24.
— The main emphasis in practice after the Arizona game was stressing the importance of transition defense. Romar also talked to the players positively about what they were doing right and letting them know they’re a tough team to score on in when the defense is set.
— He noted the Huskies appeared to have fun in the 68-59 win at Arizona State, which is something that’s been missing this season.
— He said UW was very efficient against ASU while shooting 48 percent from the field and committing just seven turnovers.
— Romar called Shawn Kemp Jr.’s high-flying dunk over Jonathan Gilling “pretty special.” He added: “A dunk like that is a great motivating force. It really gets our guys fired up. The trick is to get our guys to act like that when someone takes a charge.”
— Romar admitted he thought the UW team that played at ASU would be the one that would emerge this season, but that didn’t happen. He added: “I’ve said this probably three weeks ago, I thought this team still had some upsides because we all weren’t hitting on the all cylinders. We were close the other night at Arizona State. I think we can duplicate that type of performance more than not in the remaining games that we have.”
— On Scott Suggs, Romar said the senior guard got a steal and a block early in the game. He added: “Right away he did something other than make baskets. That’s something we talk to Scott about, having an impact on the game when you’re not necessarily scoring. … He got us off to a good start with 10 points in the first half.”
— On ASU sensational point guard Jahii Carson, who scored 32 points on UW in the first game, Romar said he got about three good looks that didn’t go down. He noted Abdul Gaddy and Andrew Andrews were physical with Carson and added center Aziz N’Diaye and forward Shawn Kemp Jr. “did a great job on ball screens of making a wall there and not letting him turn the corner.” UW’s scouting report on Carson said: “Make him drive left and see what happens.”
— On Gaddy-Suggs connection at the end of the game, Romar said: “That’s what seniors do. You go on the road, the seniors say c’mon fellas get on my back. We’ve been here before. We’ll show you how it’s done and that’s what they did.”
— On takeaway from ASU game, Romar said: “We talk to our team about we don’t have to be Superman. Let’s just play up to our potential.”
— On the rest of season, Romar told his team: “You think this is bad, it can get worse if you hang your head and you throw in the towel. This season is not over. … I don’t care what anyone on the outside thinks or what they say or what you hear, amongst us in this group, we’re not going to quit until the final horn sounds at the end of the year. … You want to be as good as you can be going into that Pac-12 Tournament. You want to be playing with a lot of confidence. You want everything to be clicking when you go into that tournament. … This year I just feel like we can be competitive with any team that we play in our league so it’s very important that when that time comes, we don’t look back and say we’re not playing our best basketball.”
— On the Pac-12 Tournament, Romar said: “There are going to be some so-called upsets, but I don’t think they’ll be upsets because the teams are all so closely matched this year.”
— Washington doesn’t play again until 12:30 p.m. Sunday. The Huskies practiced Monday and will workout Tuesday and early Wednesday. They’ll take off Thursday and return to the court for workouts on Friday and Saturday.
— Romar believes during the offseason the Pac-12 will explore changing the conference schedule next season. He favors a plan to play a home game and a road game every week. “I don’t think you miss very much school,” he said. “I know that for sure. You get used to it and it becomes routine. I think that would be a good way to go.”
— On C.J. Wilcox’s prolonged shooting slump, Romar said: “I think the missed practice time is more problematic. It’s more a nagging injury. … He does not have a stress fracture. He has the beginnings of it. Our guys (trainer Pat Jenkins) has done a great job of keeping him out (of practice) so that it doesn’t get any worse so he’s able to play in games. … Here pretty quickly, this week or next week he’ll be able to do a whole lot more in practice because he’s been staying out (for three weeks).”
— Romar acknowledged Wilcox is shooting around 20 percent on three-pointers in the past 7-8 games. He also noted: “Looking forward, there’s a silver lining to that one because when he does start making them again it’s really going to elevate our team. The hope is the other guys will continue to play the way we did at Arizona State and then you have C.J. doing what he’s doing. You talk about Shawn Kemp’s dunk and how it just kind of lifts your team up. When C.J. Wilcox is hitting his shots, that lifts our team up as well.”
— Romar said Wilcox has gone through shooting slumps before and talked about his inability to make a shot during UW’s exhibition European trip last summer. However, Romar admitted Wilcox has never been this cold for several weeks during the regular season.
— Romar believes at least five teams will make the NCAA tournament.
— On Washington State, Romar said: “Washington State has had the lead in a lot of games in the second half against a lot of teams, with the exception being Arizona. I just think they’re dangerous. They’re a dangerous team. Mike Ladd has been out and he can be back for the game against us. They’re a dangerous team. That’s why I said earlier, we’re going to have to be the best that we can be to make sure we can take care of business.”
— On WSU coach Ken Bone getting the most out of his team, Romar said: “I don’t think there’s any question that he gets the most out of his team. A big blow when Reggie Moore doesn’t play for them this year. That was going to be a four-year starting point guard that was tough for us to deal with I know that. We had to really game plan to limit his productivity. He’s out. And now Mike Ladd is out who was starting to play really good basketball. You try to hold that together is really tough. And then you have teams trying to game plan against Brock Motum to try to take him out of the game. That’s a tough situation to be in. To watch his teams play and they still don’t have any quit in them, I think it’s definitely a credit to Coach Bone and his staff.”
— On WSU’s problems, Romar said: “They don’t have a true point guard on their team. I think we can start and end it right there. If you don’t have a true point guard to go out and lead you game in and game out. Mike Ladd was kind of helping with that and playing really well. He’s not there. I just think it makes it tough for you. They can shoot the ball though.”
— On Kemp versus Motum, Romar said: “Shawn has had some great on the job training guarding perimeter guys. Let’s start with Jonathan Gilling from Arizona State. We know how well he shoots the basketball. If that wasn’t enough, we play against UCLA and he’s guarding a 6-8 point guard in Kyle Anderson, running around with him on the floor. So Shawn has been able to get a lot more reps defending a player out on the perimeter than the last time we played against (WSU). Just because Shawn is starting that doesn’t mean Desmond Simmons and Jernard Jarreau are not going to have their shots at guarding him as well.”