May 11, 2013 at 4:26 PM
Here’s a couple of videos of Washington coach Lorenzo Romar at today’s Marv Harshman memorial service.
And here’s the second part.
April 18, 2013 at 3:09 PM
Washington coach Lorenzo Romar had been 0-3 the past two years on players contemplating leaving school early for the NBA.
Unlike Terence Ross and Tony Wroten Jr. last year and Isaiah Thomas in 2011, junior C.J. Wilcox submitted his name for evaluation by the NBA before choosing to return to school.
Here’s a transcript of most of the interview with Romar who said Wilcox is a potential All-American candidate.
(How much of a surprise was the news if it was a surprise at all?) “I couldn’t say either was a surprise. I think he was really torn. I really do. He was really torn.”
(How much input did you have?) “My approach every year unless I think they’re making a horrible mistake is to gather the information for them, help them with the pros and cons and then let them decide.”
(Does Wilcox staying affect recruiting?) “I think really good players want to play with really good players. If you look around when a team has an addition, I think guys are excited.”
(How much does Wilcox returning elevate the team?) “When you have returners – he’s a second-team all-league choice – you can have just return and have experience, but maybe they’ve not done anything at a high level. Well, C.J. has. C.J. returns as an all-conference performer and anytime you have someone like that who is coachable and team-oriented as C.J. is it’s definitely going to make you better than if you didn’t have them.”
(How is Wilcox’s foot?) “It will eventually be fine. But like Scott Suggs’ foot was, Scott eventually had to have surgery with his. Whether you have surgery or whether you wait, eventually his foot is going to be fine. He’s still not at a point right now where he can just go 100 percent day in and day out. But that day will come.”
(Do you anticipate him having surgery?) “No.”
April 17, 2013 at 6:17 PM
The first day of the spring signing period went off without a hitch for Washington, which added guards Jahmel Taylor and Mike Anderson to a class that includes guards Nigel Williams-Goss and Darin Johnson.
Coach Lorenzo Romar said the Huskies have 12 players on the roster. The team has another scholarship to give, but he was unsure if UW will sign anyone else. If the Huskies did sign someone, it would most likely bring in a big man, Romar said.
Washington lists Taylor at 5-11 and Romar said he reminds him of former UW standout Justin Dentmon.
Romar said the Huskies began recruiting Anderson when it became apparent they could lose junior guard C.J. Wilcox, who is considering turning pro.
At the moment there’s really nothing new to report. Wilcox is still going through the process of collecting as much information as he can before making a decision before the NBA’s April 28 deadline.
March 26, 2013 at 4:22 PM
Apologies for the delay in posting video from coach Lorenzo Romar’s press conference Tuesday. But here it is. Be forewarned it’s lengthy, which is partly why we broke it up in two videos. However, there’s plenty to digest.
For starters Romar talks about the 18-16 season and says the Huskies just couldn’t get over the hump and was too inconsistent. “That was the story of our season,” he said. Romar also took responsibility adding: “There’s something as a head coach I did not do so that we were more on the same page. … It goes back to me.”
Here’s a few takeaways:
— Romar has met with C.J. Wilcox, who is contemplating leaving school a year early to declare for the NBA draft. Wilcox has submitted paperwork to the NBA Undergraduate Committee, which gives draft hopefuls feedback from NBA team executives. Romar believes the information in the report will be the No. 1 criteria Wilcox will use to base his decision.
— Romar talked about sophomore forward Matin Breunig, who decided to transfer. He supported the decision. He said Breunig chose to leave to find a place where he could get more playing time. Romar called Breuning “a great guy.” Breunig will remain at UW at least through the spring and will workout with players.
— Romar blamed many of UW’s problems on a lack of depth, which he admits has been an issue the past two seasons. He touched on the loss of Mark McLaughlin, the junior college star given a scholarship but never played for the Huskies. Romar promised a lack of depth among the perimeter players will not be an issue next season. He didn’t talk about it because he can’t due to NCAA rules, but Romar was probably alluding to the addition of JC standout Mike Anderson, a 6-5 guard.
— Romar admitted Washington didn’t have the personnel to apply the type of defensive pressure in the backcourt that’s been characteristic of Husky basketball. The Huskies hardly ever pressed full court and no one other than Andrew Andrews really got up in opponents to make them feel uncomfortable. Romar reasoned because UW didn’t force many turnovers, it led to fewer transition opportunities and fewer points. The Huskies averaged just 5.2 steals, which he said is one of the lowest if not the lowest in the past 11 years.
— When pressed about how he plans to squeeze more points out of the offense that averaged 67.9 points – the fewest since 2001 – Romar gave a vague response. He didn’t have a good answer other than to say: “We’ll have more basket-makers. Sometimes it’s that simple.” But it’s not. At this point, it’s a leap of faith to believe the Huskies can dramatically improve offensively when they’ll lose at least three of the top four scorers. If C.J. Wilcox takes off for the NBA, then Andrews (7.8 points per game) is the leading returning scorer.
— Romar said Perris Blackwell, who sat out last season after transferring from San Francisco, is a basket-maker. He’s tough. At 6-9, he’s not ideal at center, but he’s strong enough to take on most post players in the Pac-12, per Romar. The coach also likened him to a bigger Jamaal Williams. Romar said Blackwell can play alongside Shawn Kemp Jr.
— Speaking of chemistry, Romar believes Andrews and star recruit Nigel Williams-Goss can mutually co-exist even though both are natural point guards. It would seem, one of them will have to take on more scoring duties as a second guard, but Romar isn’t filling out the starting lineup right now.
— Romar said Kemp averaged about 8.5 points in the last eight games, which is a good sign. He called Kemp a freshman knowing full well the big guy is a sophomore. But because Kemp had a long layoff before arriving at UW, it would seem Romar doesn’t think his freshman season was indicative of what type of player he’ll be. Romar thinks Kemp’s performance down the stretch this season bodes well for the future.
— Romar was equally optimistic about Jernard Jarreau, Hikeem Stewart and Gilles Dierickx.
— What you won’t see on the video is Romar talking about the Huskies taking charges. It’s one of the hustle statistics Washington charts and he believes it’s an indicator to gauge whether the defense is dialed into an opponent. He often talks about wanting players to get as excited about taking charges as they do about dropping a dunk on an opponent. Anyway, Romar didn’t have the exact numbers, but said UW did a poor job this season taking charges.
— He also said he was hoping to add a couple of recruits. Granted he said that before the Anderson news, so theoretically the Huskies have just one slot open.
March 18, 2013 at 10:27 PM
The Huskies practiced Monday before jumping on a bus that took them to Sea-Tac Airport and a flight to Utah. No. 6 seed begins the National Invitation Tournament with a first-round game 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at No. 3 seed BYU.
Coach Lorenzo Romar said the team is excited about playing in the NIT.
March 17, 2013 at 8:21 PM
Coach Lorenzo Romar met with the local media tonight via a teleconference to talk about Washington’s berth to the National Invitation Tournament.
Here’s the transcript.
(Was Selection Sunday bittersweet) “It’s kind of weird to explain because we certainly didn’t have a year where we’re playing every game and we’re very consistent and we expect to be in the NCAA tournament. However, down the stretch we began to play better. Until our last game, we thought we were doing a better job. It could be bittersweet in that regard. But we were our own worst enemy up to this point this year.”
(Early scouting report on BYU) “Very uptempo. We’ll know a lot more in the next 24 hours. They’re very up tempo. They’ve got Brandon Davies and Tyler Hawes are exceptional offensive players. They’re a tough team. They’re really good at home.”
(Is it a relief to get NIT bid?) “I knew we weren’t going to be in the NCAA tournament. I was hopeful that we would get a bid for the NIT, but we weren’t sure. I thought it was 50-50 going in. I would say it’s more excitement for our guys, especially our seniors to continue to play.”
(On BYU) “When you have an opportunity to play in any type of tournament, you’re ready for whoever you play against. You know you’ll have to play against someone. BYU is a very good team and has done really well over the years. It’s going to be a challenge for us at their place, but I don’t think many games given the seed that we have are not going to be a challenge.”
(How did you motivate the players last year and how is it different this year?) “That brings me to comment on the first question. Last year we won our league and although we didn’t make it look good for us to make the NCAA tournament, there was a glimmer of hope because we won our league. This year we knew it so it’s a little different. It’s not as much of a letdown as it was last year. … Last year our guys weren’t ready to play the first game. We didn’t play very well. I don’t think we were prepared to play in the NIT in terms of our minds. It was tough for us to overcome that we weren’t in the NCAA tournament after winning our league. But we won the first one. Then we won the second one. Then we were playing Oregon after that. I think during that second game our guys started to embrace it. Against Northwestern our guys were familiar with Northwestern and they knew how tough of an opponent it was. And then finally after Oregon going to New York we were totally bought in to the NIT tournament. I think this year knowing who are opponent is BYU, I think our guys will embrace it a lot sooner.”
March 15, 2013 at 3:36 AM
Here’s a video (above) and postgame comments from coach Lorenzo Romar after Washington’s 80-77 overtime loss to Oregon in the quarterfinals of the Pac-12 men’s basketball tournament.
(On the outcome of the game) “Obviously, it was a very hard-fought game. Oregon did a good job of applying pressure on us for the entire game. We had our chances down the stretch and didn’t capitalize on them. When you have that small window against a good team like Oregon, you have to jump through it or it can close on you and it closed on us.”
(On his message to the team) “We didn’t know if that was our last game or not. That’s what I told them.”
(On the final possession during regulation) “There were some huge gaps. You put something out there and you always want to see how the opponent is going to defend it. You check one and that’s OK. So you check two and that’s OK. It’s exactly the way we want it. We just didn’t put it up to the basket. That’s what we wanted to do. We wanted to get C.J. Wilcox into isolation so we could go to the basket and draw a foul. We certainly had our chances.”
(On why Oregon has had UW’s number this season) “Number one, they’re good. They were one weekend away from winning this league. We were six plays from finishing. They’re a good team. They were better than us this year.
March 12, 2013 at 9:16 PM
Here’s video (above) of Lorenzo Romar after Washington’s shootaround on Tuesday at the MGM Grand Arena. The Huskies practiced early in the day at nearby Clark High.
No. 6 Washington plays No. 11 Washington State at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday in the first round of the Pac-12 Tournament.
March 11, 2013 at 8:27 PM
Coach Lorenzo Romar ended his final weekly radio show tonight with comments on Washington’s disappointing season, this week’s Pac-12 Tournament, Washington State and the possibility of losing junior guard C.J. Wilcox who is mired in a shooting slump.
He retold the Pine Cone Story from his time at Saint Louis and talked about how the Billikens won four games in four days en route to a conference title. He even touched on former UW basketball player Austin Seferan-Jenkins, who was cited for a DUI on Saturday.
Here’s a few notes:
— On the season, Romar said: “I don’t think we had the year that I was expecting that’s for sure. I thought we would play better, but we didn’t. Early on we were inconsistent. There were some injuries. We just didn’t have much margin for error all year and it hurt us at times.”
— On not being able to hit on all cylinders at the same time, Romar said: “When the season is over and the emotion of the season is over and we’re removed a little bit and we can look a little more objectively I’m sure I’ll be able to look back and it will come back to me. I will look back on our year and I will say if I could have done a better job here we may have had a little more consistency. Just trying to get your teeth into exactly what that was, why we weren’t as consistent and just trying to figure all of that out. But we will.”
— On if the buck stops at the top, Romar said: “Always. I don’t care how much you get on your players. I don’t care what you said at the end of the game, what didn’t happen on the stat sheet, when all of that is done me as a head coach I always go back and look at what I could have done better. Usually I refer to our coaching staff as we and not I, but I’m the one that makes the final decisions. I’m the one that good or bad says this is how we’re going to do it. And if we don’t do well, I always put that on myself to try to figure out how to do better.”
— On WSU’s Brock Motum, Romar said: “He’s really good and extremely versatile with great size. I thought throughout the course of the middle of the season Brock kind of wasn’t playing with as much fire as he had before. Over this weekend especially against USC, he played like his life depended on it. He played very, very aggressive. He went to the basket. He tried to dunk on their guys. He just played with a lot of fire and consequently he goes out and scores 31 points.”
— On Wilcox, Romar said: “Some other guys are focused on it. He’s not as focused on it as some others. He’ll make his decision here pretty soon as the season ends. … I’m sure C.J. will lean on his dad. They’ve been very close. His dad is a good adviser for C.J. his entire life. In terms of his slump, I always feel like the next shot he’s going to break out of it and make seven in a row.”
— On Saint Louis’ run to a conference title: “We didn’t work out at the gym because it was 30 minutes to get there and then to come back. So we didn’t take our shootaround time. We met in the parking lot of the hotel. And the ball or what we used to simulate a ball was a pine cone from a tree. We take this pine cone and say so then they’ll cut this way and we toss the pine cone. We’re tossing the pine cone around. So we beat Cincinnati. Now we go to play the third night and our star player Justin Love says as we’re about to go over the (scouting report) on the other team ‘Where’s the pine cone?’ I don’t know. Go get another one. He says: ‘No. No. No. You can’t get another pine cone. Who has the pine cone?’ Someone says: ‘I have it. It’s on my room.’ (Love) says: ‘Go get it.’ It was something. You can call it superstitious or whatever you want, we were just so dialed in to exactly what was going on. That’s the kind of mindset you have to have.”
— On ASJ, Romar said: “Anything like that, especially with someone like him it kind of catches you off guard. I just hope that can get resolved and I’m sure it will. And I’m sure that he’ll learn from it.”
— When asked if those situations affect your team, Romar said: “When you have a group for football, 80 on scholarship or whatever it is, that’s a lot of people. That’s a lot of kids that you did not raise that come from all different backgrounds and cultures. And now you’re with them, you can’t watch them 24-7. I would think that with that many kids every now and them someone is going to make a mistake. I don’t think that’s a bad reflection on their coaching staff. And truth be told there’s some others that have made a mistake like that. Is it a pattern with one individual? I think at that point something is really, really wrong. But again I’m just pulling for Austin and hoping he can get over this.”
March 11, 2013 at 4:19 PM
Here’s video (above) of coach Lorenzo Romar talking about the Pac-12 Tournament and Wednesday’s first-round game against cross-state rival Washington State.
A few notes:
— The Huskies swept the regular-season series with the Cougars, but Romar said it’s difficult to beat a team three times in a season. He noted UW beat Oregon State twice last year before losing to the Beavers in the conference quarterfinals last year.
— Romar said WSU is “a different team” from the squad UW beat 72-68 eight days ago. Since that loss, the Cougars beat then-No. 23 UCLA and USC. Romar said Brock Motum and Royce Woolridge are clicking. On Motum, he said: “He’s on a mission. He’s very, very aggressive.”
— Washington will start the same lineup: Abdul Gaddy, C.J. Wilcox, Scott Suggs, Aziz N’Diaye and Shawn Kemp Jr. In the last game, Kemp was benched two minutes into the contest because he allowed Motum to score five points after the first two possessions. Backup forward Desmond Simmons came in and held Motum to 18 points. In their first matchup, Motum had 15 against Simmons.
— Romar said Simmons is a good defensive player because he follows the scouting report.
— Wilcox is 12 of 58 on three-pointers in the past 11 games. Romar said: “I wonder if he’s been worn out a little bit.” Romar also acknowledged Wilcox could be mentally fatigued.
— When asked if Scott Suggs should shoot more, Romar said: “Less is more with him.”
— Romar talked about winning four games in four days when he was at Saint Louis. He said you need to win the first game and play defense. His team didn’t allow an opponent more than 60 points.
— When asked what he remembered about the last meeting against WSU in the conference tournament, Romar said: “Klay Thompson went berserk.” Thompson scored 43 points in the 89-87 UW win on March 10, 2011.
— Romar isn’t sure what to expect at the MGM Grand Arena where the tournament is being held. The venue has held just one basketball in its history. The Huskies are flying down early Tuesday and will practice on the MGM floor Tuesday afternoon.
— Romar was also unsure if there’s any advantage on playing the late game Wednesday. He noted, the Huskies have lots of experience this season with late starts.