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Husky Men's Basketball

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December 30, 2014 at 12:50 PM

Lorenzo Romar still at loss to explain Stony Brook stunner

Head coach Lorenzo Romar looks on in disbelief as his team trails Stony Brook late in the second half. (Photo credit: Lindsey Wasson - Seattle Times)

Head coach Lorenzo Romar looks on in disbelief as his team trails Stony Brook late in the second half. (Photo credit: Lindsey Wasson – Seattle Times)

Coach Lorenzo Romar jumped on the Pac-12 media teleconference today and talked about Sunday’s upset loss to Stony Brook, UW’s unexpected 11-1 start and Friday’s conference opener at California.

Interesting to note, Romar still doesn’t have a strong understanding about why the Huskies played so flat in the 62-57 loss to the Seawolves. Immediately after the defeat and again today he alluded to the possibility of internal strife. Again, Romar was just making a point and didn’t say with certainty there’s any problems within the team.

Here’s a transcript of Romar’s interview:

(What’s your impressions of California during its nonconference play?) “I’ve been impressed with how hard they play, which is no secret knowing that Cuonzo Martin was going to be their coach. They’re playing together. How Tyrone Wallace has emerged to be an outstanding leader and one of the best guards in the country. How well they defend. That’s what stood out to me.”

(Has it surprised you how good Wallace has been as a point guard?) “I won’t say it totally surprised me. I didn’t know he was going to go out and get over eight rebounds a game and he’s shooting a high field goal percentage from three. Those are the things that he’s worked on to become better. But when we’ve played them in the past, he’s been a guy that has hurt us in the past. So we’re not totally surprised because he’s always played well against us. He has the ball in his hand now to make decisions. He’s obviously very comfortable in that role.”

(Would you elaborate on quote after Stony Brook when you said: ‘I learned when you come out with a performance like this there’s something going on.’ Have you  been able to solve it?) “I have not been able to solve it, but usually when a team comes out and they play totally uncharacteristic of how they’ve played sometimes that’s internal strife going on. Sometimes there’s final exams and everybody was involved in that. Whatever it is I don’t think in our case I believe – hopefully – it was more of an aberration than something that’s going to be pattern here because we’ve not done that the entire year. So whatever it was I haven’t been able to put my finger on it, but whatever it was we weren’t right that night.”

(How has the team been following the Stony Brook loss?) “Yesterday because we would have gone 9 or 10 straight days, we didn’t go. We just lifted yesterday. We didn’t practice. We’ll practice again today. We haven’t been with our group on the practice floor after the loss a couple of days ago.”

(After watching the Stony Brook video did you  see something that wasn’t apparent immediately following the game?) “I would say everything we saw was exactly what we saw on the film that’s why it was so disappointing. We were extremely lethargic on the defensive end. We were up 15-5 with 13 minutes to go and I don’t know if we guarded the right way 1 or 2 possessions. They were just missing. They were shooting 17 or 18 percent early and it was fool’s gold on defense on our end because they were getting wide-open looks. We saw that in the game and when you watch the film we saw the same thing. It was disappointing and it hadn’t been the case all year.”

(What concerns you about Cal?) “Obviously Wallace is a big-time basketball player, big-time guard. Jordan Matthews is so streaky. If he gets on a roll, he can go out and get 30 like he did when he was a freshmen. And we have to be able to score because they’re going to guard you. Really guard you well.”

(Has UW exceeded your early expectations?) “We were hopeful. We were hoping to come out and play well. There were question marks at the  beginning of our year because Robert Upshaw and Jernard Jarreau neither played last year. And Jernard, once November hit he didn’t any basketball until September because of his ACL tear. And Robert Upshaw wasn’t with us much. So we had to see how they were going to work. We were hopeful that some of our veterans had improved and gotten better. Those things have all happened. Because they happened this is something that we envisioned could possibly be the case.”

(Where has Upshaw been most impressive?) “His defense. No doubt about it. He averages over four blocks a game. I think he changes four shots a game and there’s four other shots that people don’t take because he’s in there. So he definitely impacts the game on the defensive end.”

(On if team is confident after fast early start?) “We stubbed our toe in the last game and we didn’t win it. But I think we’ve played enough games – you know we played 12. We didn’t play 1 or two. We played 12 and we played enough games against a variety of competition that I think it would have instilled some confidence in us that if we come out and play the right way we have a chance to be really competitive.”

(How do you access Cal after it lost its nonconference finale?) “I haven’t been able to see that game yet. I’m sure I’ll watch it, but I haven’t been able to see it yet. Obviously Bakersfield did a great job, but I couldn’t tell you what’s going on there.”

(Nationally there’s been several upsets where big schools have lost to little schools. What’s your take?) “I don’t know. I’ve just have said for about 4-5 years now with guys leaving early for the draft – it’s been going on for sometime now – I just think everyone is catching up. We’ve watched how international basketball, the international game closed the gap with the United States in terms of amateur status. Really closed the gap there. I think the schools that aren’t as high profile are closing the gap because they’re able to have older kids. They’re more established when they go on the road and they’re not intimidated. And they go out and play basketball. You have a group that in the mid-major level that went to the tournament two consecutive years, they got all of those guys back and now they go on the road and they’re very confident they can beat anyone. Sometimes that’s the case.”

(UW’s backcourt is leading team in scoring, but the shooting percentage is low. Can they continue to score in volume and having low shooting numbers?) “No. We’re going to have to shoot the ball better. There’s no doubt about that. That’s why I believe we have room for improvement as a team. If one thing if you’re not capable. We’re very capable of shooting the ball better and I think we will. If we can continue to defend, it will make our team better.”

(On UW’s front court) “Those guys have shown that we can count on them. They’re both averaging double figures. They play in the game together now and it’s something that we haven’t had in the 13 years that we’ve been here. We probably had a situation like this 1-2 years. Usually we’re smaller. We don’t usually have two guys to be able to contribute like that so that’s good to see.”

Comments | More in Lorenzo Romar | Topics: California, Stony Brook

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