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January 14, 2014 at 10:09 AM

Lorenzo Romar: “We can be very successful this year”

Had a chance to listen to coach Lorenzo Romar on his weekly radio show.

Here’s a partial transcript.

(On winning the past two games) “The wins are good, but I like the way we have gone about our business and handled ourselves on the floor. If we can do it that way, it will translate into more wins on the road. We always talk to our team about our approach and being the best we can be and I thought that we went out with a workmanlike attitude. We were focused and we’ve been focused since conference has started. The trick is to keep it going.”

(On winning low-scoring games) “We’re still trying to run, but I think right now with the way we’re defending we haven’t given up good looks early so teams are going to shoot early. When we were pressuring all the time, sometimes we would lunge. Sometimes they’d beat us off the dribble and we’d go right back at them and it was racehorse basketball. We still want to go right back at teams. When we get the basketball, we’re not walking the ball up the floor. But the way we’ve had to defend has just slowed the other team down probably a little more.”

(On C.J. Wilcox) “He was real good the other night. He got in a zone. I don’t know if we’ve seen him like that since his freshman year against UCLA when he scored 24 in the second half. But he was on fire and our guys recognized it. They went to him and he knocked them down.”

(More on Wilcox) “To give him more credit, he blocked four shots on the other end. Several of them on the ball. He’s a better shot blocker, better defender than people would give him credit for.”

(On Wilcox not liking praise) “Well understand he just started talking about six months ago. When he first came to the University of Washington, we never heard him say anything. He was on this show several weeks ago and you could just see how much more comfortable he is, but he’s not going to say a whole lot about himself.”

(On Wilcox having more three-pointers (7) than UW’s four Pac-12 opponents (6). Are teams that bad or is UW that good?) “The way we’re defending now, we’re switching everything from 1 to 4. Four guys are switching everything. In order to get an open three, screens have to be set or you have to get something in transition where you’re not organized on defense or someone beats you off the dribble, you help and they kick it out to someone. Well, with us switching everything we’re able to get through those screens. So when you set a screen, we’re there with you. Our packing it in a little more type of defense is not allowing penetration as much so we’re able to contest some of those shots on the wings.”

(On Colorado’s Spencer Dinwiddie) “You could see it. There’s some sicknesses and there’s some diseases where unfortunately people have, that when you don’t see them in awhile, you hear they have the disease and when you see them, right away you go wow they look like they have that. And with that ACL, when they fall that way you can see it and you kind of know exactly what it is. We watched it with Abdul Gaddy just going to the basket a few years ago in practice. No one touches him and he lands wrong and it gives out. It just pops. We saw it with Jernard Jarreau in the Seattle U game this year. When he goes to the basket, there’s very minimal contact there and it just pops. And we saw it unfortunately here again with Spencer Dinwiddie. It’s tough because he was a guy that would have been drafted this year and maybe still could be drafted. We’re not sure now if he’ll come back for another or just still try to enter the draft. It’s very unfortunate for him and the Colorado basketball team.”

(On Dinwiddie’s absence impacting the game) “Trust me we know. Spencer Dinwiddie obviously has a much bigger role than Jernard Jarreau had. But when Jernard Jarreau went down, we know what it did to our team and he was not our leading scorer, our leading assist guy.”

(On Dinwiddie’s reaction) “You could see it and he knew it. He went to the locker room and he came back a little bit later. I was standing up. He was walking by me to go to his bench and he said excuse me. And I didn’t know who it was. I turned around and it’s Spencer Dinwiddie. I said are you OK and he said no. He knew.”

(On Askia Booker going scoreless) “When he gets going, he can get in a zone. He was the player of the week the week before when he got going and was very productive. Andrew Andrews started on him and we do a lot of switching, but I think our guys did a good job of keeping him in front. And when he did get around us, we had guys stepping up and altering his shot so he didn’t get a whole lot of open, good looks.”

(On what win over Colorado means) “The score is irrelevant. We won by two points against Utah. We won by 17 against Colorado. In both situations, we guarded. We were focused. We played together. We shared the ball and if we’re doing those things it translates into much better basketball than it was in the nonconference schedule regardless of who we’re playing.”

(On what pleased you the most about the weekend) “That we were continuing to make progress. We go to Arizona, the No. 1 team in the country, and we give ourselves a chance to win the game with the way we played. I thought we played really good basketball on the defensive end against Arizona State. We come back and play two really good basketball teams and continue to do the same things. So overall, what I’m trying to say is there appears right now to be a certain level of consistency that if it continues we can be very successful this year.”

(On the Utah game) “Utah really plays very good defense and they’re the type of team, they can survive for moments of the game if they don’t score because they do such a good job of guarding you. So that was a game where I thought that night we were playing good defense as well and there was nowhere to go so consequently there were no assists. Both teams were guarding each other and there you go. That’s why I think it was a low-scoring game.”

(On Utah’s Delon Wright) “Going into the game we knew that Delon Wright was special, but Jordan Loveridge was the one that hurt us last year. They have a kid named Brandon Taylor who scored 19 points on us last year, but Delon Wright in the second half was just sensational on the ball screen coming off of it.”

(On Utah’s loss at Washington State) “Unpredictable Pac-12.”

(On what it meant to pass Marv Harshman on UW’s all-time coaching wins list)Ashley Walker our sports information director for us, I think she had mentioned that it was tied the game before so I’m not that dumb and I figured the next one would be the one that would surpass him. You’re aware of it. … I came to the University of Washington because of Marv Harshman. I remember how revered he was when he was the coach here. I remember how much I respected him and how much I admired about his knowledge of the game. Then when I became a coach, he was the first person that I contacted. We went to Burgermaster right by the university of Washington. We sat there for about four hours and out two notebooks later we were done. He told me all types of things. He didn’t tell me everything he knew because that would have took about two weeks. I just remember that. And I remember when I became the coach at the University of Washington I thought Marv Harshman was prematurely asked to leave here. And that’s something he never forgot. He had a great attitude about it, but he wasn’t done coaching. And I felt like as his former player, I got your back Marv. I got a chance to pick up where you left off. And if I can be here eight years and be anywhere close to what you did, I would feel really proud. And to tie him and get one more, I just thought for that reason it was pretty special.”

(On assistants playing a vital role this season) “They really are. … Over the years you look back at the different assistants that have been here and they’ve been so good – Ken Bone, Jim Shaw, Cameron Dollar, Paul Fortier and all of those guys that contributed so much and all of the different players that have came through here. Some of then in the NBA and some of them that have really contributed. It takes a village to do something like that.

“But our guys right now, I’m really impressed with them. Brad Jackson is a guy that could be there two weeks telling you all that he knows about his basketball. I think people forget that it was just two years ago that Brad Jackson led Western Washington to a national championship. I’ve always been impressed with his basketball knowledge. Coach (Rapheal) Chillious has been a head coach even though it was at the high-school level. He coached some NBA players when they were there and really understands the game. And then T.J. Otzelberger is outstanding. Really understands what’s going on. Defensively, he’s really good. He’s 35 years old, but you wouldn’t know that just based on his knowledge of the game.”

(On the changes at UW) “One thing I’ve learned from John Wooden he would say every year try to learn something that you don’t know about the game. When his season would end, even if it was the fifth national championship in a row, he would spend time in the summer researching and learning about some area that he was weak at. He would do it every year. He would make adjustments at times. I watched Lute Olsen over the years and how he would adjust to his personnel. He would run the same system, but he would tweak it based on who he had. When he had Sean Elliott, he did more things with Sean Elliott with the basketball. When he had two 7-footers, he did a lot high-low action. When he had Damom Stoudamire and Khalid Reeves, he ran a lot of ball screens. So he would adjust that way. I think that’s very, very important. We try to do that.”

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