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January 2, 2010 at 7:03 PM

Mailbag: Why start Washington center Regina Rogers?

ReginaRogers.jpgApparently glancing over the boxscore from Friday’s 11-point loss at Oregon, more than one reader was confused at why center Regina Rogers was played. She saw five minutes before being pulled by Washington coach Tia Jackson.
I’m not going the extreme of some e-mails and passing comments saying Rogers shouldn’t be played at all. If you watch her game, you can tell there’s something special there. She has a nice shooting touch and can grab rebounds.
But as Jackson admitted after practice today, Rogers’ conditioning is a problem.
So, when the Huskies faced the Ducks’ noted run-and-gun game, Rogers couldn’t guard or make enough quick moves to be effective on offense. Sophomore Mollie Williams played instead, leaving Rogers on the bench with one rebound, one foul, and one turnover.
“I’m not a fan of exposing any weakness of my players,” Jackson said. “The game was really too fast for her, to be honest with you.”
Jackson said she spoke in-game with Rogers about the benching and they mutually agreed it was the best solution to give UW (5-6 overall, 0-1 Pac-10) a chance to win. Teammate Mackenzie Argens was in the midst of a career night with 21 points and nine rebounds while Williams finished with nine points and six boards.
Too bad Oregon senior guard Taylor Lilley hit eight three-pointers in her career-high 33-point night to guide the Ducks to victory.
Rogers (pictured right by Jim Bates of The Seattle Times) is expected to play in Sunday’s matchup against Oregon State (9-2, 1-0), which will be a defensive battle. The Beavers held opponents to 49 points or fewer in their past four games — a school record.
“She took one for the team,” said Jackson of Rogers. “We will get her to where she needs to be. A year from now, we’re looking for a [Dexter] Pittman I.D. And that’s ideal – the same reciprocation.”
Pittman lost 93-pounds in transition from high school play to college at Texas.
I’ll have more on Rogers in the newspaper soon, but for now, if an opponent plays a fast-paced game like Oregon, don’t expect to see Rogers on the court. But watch her play before questioning why she starts — that should be clear against any other style of basketball.

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