There hasn’t been much news on Washington partly because coach Lorenzo Romar keeps practices closed to the media and the team has been seemingly sheltered inside Alaska Airlines Arena for the past month in preparation for the upcoming season.
However, Romar opened up just a little bit Monday about the Huskies, particularly last Saturday’s intrasquad scrimmage.
“We’ve been practicing here for awhile so there weren’t any surprises,” he said. “It was the first time we really went up and down the floor. We were looking for how we played together. How we handled the clock. How we were working and what kind of condition we’re in. I thought it all went pretty good.”
C.J. Wilcox led all scorers and Romar noted “there were several guys that scored high double figures.” He also added: “I don’t know if it matters that much at this point.”
Romar said the Huskies have had officials working practice the past three weeks so players and coaches can adjust to the new defensive rules that restrict hand-checking and will make it more difficult to draw a charge.
“It’s been good because we’re learning how they’re going to call it,” Romar said. “At first the players didn’t understand. They were looking for explanations like how do I guard this way? Can I do this or that? The officials have been gracious. They’ve been explaining and they’ve been teaching almost like we’re teaching. They’re teaching how the game will be called.”
And finally, Romar has settled on a starting lineup and rotation. However, he’s not going to make any announcements at this time.
“I know, but I’m just not going to say,” he said. “I got a pretty good feel for it now.”
Several weeks ago, Romar said transfer Perris Blackwell and Wilcox will start. The key position battles are at point guard (Andrew Andrews and Nigel Williams-Goss) and forward (Shawn Kemp Jr., Desmond Simmons and Jernard Jarreau).
— Arizona junior transfer T.J. McConnell scored 12 points, grabbed three steals and dished eight assists without a turnover during the Wildcats 84-52 exhibition win over Division II Augustana (S.D.) College on Monday. Nick Johnson and Gabe York had 14 while Rondae Hollis-Jefferson added 10. Aaron Gordon was limited with a strained groin.
— McConnell is the prototype pass-first point guard Arizona has coveted since coach Sean Miller took over.
— Here’s a look at Arizona’s eight-man rotation. The starting five of McConnell, Johnson, Gordon, Brandon Ashley and Kaleb Tarczewski. Backups: York, Jordin Mayes and Hollis-Jefferson.
— If Sunday’s exhibition is any indication, Oregon discovered a pair of perimeter threats in transfers Joseph Young and Jason Calliste, who each scored a game-high 20 points to lead the Ducks to a 99-59 exhibition victory over Northwest Christian in Matthew Knight Arena. Here’s postgame quotes from coach Dana Altman.
— Oregon guard Damyean Dotson is looking to parlay a week with USA Basketball this summer into better results on the court this season.
— It’s been a steady progression for Oregon since coach Dana Altman took over. The Ducks won the CBI, advanced to the NIT and NCAA tournament Sweet 16 in his first three seasons. If the trend continues, Oregon will advance to the Elite Eight, Final Four or NCAA championship game.
— UCLA senior forward Travis Wear has been diagnosed with appendicitis.
— Steve Alford is looking forward to his first game as Bruins coach.
— Here’s a detailed breakdown on UCLA. According to SB Nation, sophomore guard Kyle Anderson is the team’s leader, sophomore guard Jordan Adams is the best player on the team, freshman guard Zach LaVine is likely the point guard of the future, but senior Norman Powell will get the first crack at the job.
— Julian Jacobs, a 6-3 freshman guard, starred during USC’s intrasquad scrimmage on Sunday.
— Here’s three things to look for when Oregon State plays an exhibition game against Corban, a NAIA team, tonight at Gill Coliseum.
— Arizona State landed a verbal commitment from Octavius Ellis, a 6-foot-9 center at Trinity Valley Junior College in Texas.