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December 9, 2014 at 12:55 AM

Lorenzo Romar on UW being ranked: ‘It’s a lot of fun’

Washington coach Lorenzo Romar. (Photo credit: KIRO Radio)

Washington coach Lorenzo Romar. (Photo credit: KIRO Radio)

Here’s a few excepts from coach Lorenzo Romar during his weekly Monday radio show.

(On San Diego State’s full-court press and trapping defense) “With Nigel Williams-Goss and Andrew Andrews back there you feel very confident about someone attempting to press you that you’re going to be OK. I think we turned it over one and half times maybe. But all in all, I thought we were able to break the press. Sometimes they tried to disrupt you and generate points that way, but I didn’t think we allowed them to do that. I was pleased with our team with how we handled it.”

(On UW’s makeup) “I think we have the foundation for a pretty tough basketball team. Our guys have not backed down. That UTEP is probably not going to win a national championship, but still really tough, the one we played in Anaheim to win the championship down there. They’re relentless. They’re a lot like San Diego State. San Diego State is a little better team and a little further along.”

When talking about the tough guys, Romar mentioned Robert Upshaw, Jernard Jarreau, Quevyn Winters, Mike Anderson, Shawn Kemp Jr. and strength and conditioning coach Daniel Shapiro.

(On Upshaw and Kemp) “Those guys did a really good job of packing it in. We had 3-4 guys in the paint the entire game. When you  get past someone to have Robert back there as the last stop to get that ball in the basket and he’s waiting – perched – to go after your shot, it’s something that we don’t mind seeing at all. And he was not in foul trouble.”

(On being ranked) “It’s a lot of fun. We went through a period where we were being ranked every year and then we didn’t have that. So right now for these guys it’s the first time any of these guys have played on a college basketball team where they were in the top 25. I know it means a lot to them. It was interesting today in practice, given the fact that we played yesterday, given the fact that finals are going on guys are taking finals today and guys will take finals tomorrow, we don’t play again until (Sunday). Today we were just going to shoot and go light and pick it up as the week go on and our guys came in there thinking coach let’s practice. Let’s go. So I like that attitude. I like our approach right now. I don’t feel like there’s anyone right now that’s satisfied having played seven games and feel like we can end the season right now. Guys want to play basketball and guys want to get better.”

(On team chemistry) “I don’t think I’ve ever been involved with a team that’s been successful that did not have outstanding leadership – players from within that police one another. Andrew Andrews and Nigel Williams-Goss have some very strong personalities. Together I think they’ve done a great job of holding our team accountable to the goals we’ve been talking about earlier in the year. Then you have a guy like Mike Anderson who is a no-nonsense guy who is playing his last year. He wants to go out on top. He’s helping with all of that and I think it’s kind of caught on. The leadership has played a big part I think up to this point in us being able to go 7-0.”

(On UW’s offensive) “I don’t think we’ve seen the ceiling at all. We’ve played seven ball games and not one have we’ve all been clicking on all cylinders as a group. I think two guys may step up and two others the next night. But there’s going to come a time when we’re going to get into an offensive rhythm and there are going to be several guys stepping up playing good offense on the same night. I think that’s going to make us an even better ball team.’

(On why Upshaw doesn’t start) “He is good enough to start for anyone in the country. I think right now our rotation and our mix is going pretty good. Shawn Kemp has not been exactly a scrub. He’s been playing really well. He’s been scoring points for us. He has been playing defense a different way than Robert does. Robert just goes up. He blocks shots. He’s an intimidator. But Shawn Kemp plays great position defense for us and provides a lot of help. … So right now, we’re going to leave it the way it is.”

(On the luxury Upshaw provides coming off the bench) “It’s a great luxry. Down the stretch that other team has the ball and you got to have him in the game. Because if they do get by us and they do get to the rim, he’s going to play a big part in preventing them from getting there. I can still see Albany a few years ago getting past us, getting all the way to the basket for a layup to get the go-ahead points to win the game. A guy like Robert Upshaw, if he’s in there that just doesn’t happen.”

(On Eastern Washington) “They were a handful for us last year. We played them in our place last year and they were up in the second half against us. We were having a tough time preventing them from scoring baskets. It seems like they picked up where they were last year, but they’re better because they added a couple of new players. They play with a lot of confidence on offense. They’re averaging 85 points per game right now. One of their starters is shooting like 8 percent from the three point throw line and with that they’re still shooting 41 percent as a team from the three-point stripe. With that they are very, very efficient offensively.”


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