Dawgman Insider Blog: February 2011

It's all Jake Locker, all the time, here at Dawgman.com! Locker spoke with Dave 'Softy' Mahler this morning about his NFL Combine experience, what the feedback was from NFL scouts, and what's next on his agenda as he works his way toward UW's Pro Day, which will be held on March 30th.

Posted by Chris Fetters
11:30 am

Locker talks with Softy

The former Husky QB spoke with Dave 'Softy' Mahler this morning about his NFL Combine experience, what the feedback was from NFL scouts, and what's next on his agenda as he works his way toward UW's Pro Day, which will be held on March 30th.

Softy asked when was the last time he had a couple days home in a row, and Locker said he was back home for Valentine's Day, where he got some pre-wedding stuff done with his fiancee, former UW softball player Lauren Greer, and then had a Valentine's Day dinner with Greer and his roommates.

As to the meat of the interview - the NFL combine experience - Locker just said he felt 'comfortable and confident' out on the field during the combine, and that 'it's no great secret' what he has to work on - accuracy while in the pocket. He's taking steps to fix it. He said the biggest thing for him in improving his accuracy is his footwork. Long stride with his feet caused ball to sail. Locker said that the No. 1 thing he's working on is footwork with QB coach Ken O'Brien.

Softy asked Locker about his 4.59 40 time, and he said it won't have a big effect on his draft status. "I felt like I ran really smooth." Locker added that he feels faster when he's playing, and he believes there's a difference between football time and track time.

Softy also asked Locker about the 'passing tree', and what throws he felt good about and not so good about. Locker said he felt good about all his throws, and his misses weren't 'bad misses'. Said throwing to new receivers is a challenge.

Overall, Locker said the combine was an 'awesome experience', and he wanted to go out and 'let it loose' and see what happened.

Softy wanted to try and throw Locker a curveball by asking him a question he hoped no one had asked, but Locker joked that it was a question everyone asked. Softy told Locker to sell him on why - if Softy was a GM - picking him would be the right pick. Locker said he'll bring good character to the locker room, is a good team guy, and wants to win. Plays for the love of the game.

To finish, Softy asked what was next on Jake's calendar, and Locker said he's just got some individual workouts with teams before doing his Pro Day workout at #UW March 30th.

Posted by Scott Eklund
4:00 am

Monday Morning Links

-- Here's a video interview Jake Locker had with the NFL Total Access crew.

-- Locker had a solid day at the NFL Combine on Sunday. NFLDraftScout.com's Rob Rang says Locker really helped himself with his performance.

-- Matt Maiocco, Comcast Sports Net's NFL Insider, talked about Locker's day and rated him third among the quarterbacks that worked out.

-- Georgia WR A.J. Green, in the running for the top wideout available in the Draft, gave a favorable review of Locker's performance as well.

-- Here's video of Husky S Nate Williams' meeting with the press Sunday.

-- It wasn't a good night for the Husky basketball team as Washington State defeated UW at Hec Ed 80-69.

-- Here are some quotes from Husky coaches and players as well as Dawgman.com's photo gallery from the game.

Posted by Scott Eklund
5:13 am

Sunday Morning Links

-- ESPN's Kevin Seifert has three questions with Locker.

-- Locker's future is analyzed by CBS Sports.

-- A video interview with Locker by NewYorkJets.com.

-- Locker isn't the only Husky at the Combine and the Seattle Times' Danny O'Neil spoke with Mason Foster and posted this Q&A on his blog.

-- Ted Miller, ESPN's Pac 12 blogger, took a look at explosive plays in the passing game and how teams fared both offensively and defensively. Miller also gives some thoughts on where the conference's programs ended up.

Posted by Scott Eklund
12:55 PM

Keivarae Russell

Keivarae Russell Podcast On Saturday's Radio Show, the Dawgman guys (Kim Grinolds, Scott Eklund and Chris Fetters) had a chance to catch up with Mariner (Everett) RB Keivarae Russell, one of the top 2012 football prospects in the state of Washington, as well as Husky basketball assistant Jim Shaw.

Here is the link for Saturday's podcasts.

Posted by Chris Fetters
6:45 PM

Roko Gucake update

Thomas Vincent, a QB prospect from King's HS, will be walking-on at Washington. There's another prospect from King's - from the class of 2012 - that is also looking seriously at the Huskies. Who is he?

Roko Gucake, a 6-foot-2, 225-pound defensive end from King's High School, visited Washington Friday morning. He spoke with UW safeties coach Jeff Mills, and the Huskies asked Gucake if he wanted to come and check out their AM conditioning session. Above is a pic taken during his unofficial visit to UW, and below is his junior highlight film. Gucake grew up playing rugby, and is considered a raw talent by his head coach, Jim Shapiro.

Gucake recently attended the Oregon State-Oregon basketball game, and got a chance to talk to Oregon's coaches. Expect Gucake to be in a similar situation to that of 2011 UW signee Jarett Finau. Finau's recruitment really didn't skyrocket until he got out and went to the summer college camps.

Posted by Scott Panitz
6:30 PM

UW basketball players Friday Media Quotes

Dawgman.com spoke with Isaiah Thomas, Justin Holiday, Matthew Bryan-Amaning and Aziz N'Diaye as the Huskies prepare to host the Washington State Cougars Sunday at Alaska Airlines Arena. Here's what each of them had to say.

Isaiah Thomas:
On taking offense to the way the Cougars handled their victory in Pullman and whether that lingers in the minds of the team:
"It's lingering in mine. Hopefully it's lingering in a few other players on the team. After that game I just watched how they did that, they felt that that was the right thing to do I guess. I remember it so it's something that's on my shoulder and hopefully we get it corrected this time."

On thinking the door to the PAC 10 lead is open after Arizona lost to USC on Thursday:
"A little bit. I mean, anything could happen; that LA trip is a hard one to get two wins out of, especially at UCLA, UCLA is playing good right now, so who knows what's going to happen Saturday. Anything can happen this week and next week and hopefully it happens in our favor."

On the Dawg Pack staying in their seats if they win on Sunday:
"They will. Beating any team in the regular season, unless it's the number one team in the country, I don't feel like you should storm the court. We've only stormed the court one time and that was after we won the PAC 10 championship so I know they won't even think about storming the court if we win."

On his relationship with WSU's Reggie Moore:
"AAU, high school days. We were Rotary versus Friends of Hoop, those rivalry games are kind of like these Washington State/UW games. You hate each other while you're playing but you're friends before and after the game but I'm not friends with him right now. They got us last time so if we win this one then I'll hit him up."

On not having any interaction with Moore since the last time they played:
"Nope, not at all. Gonna keep it like that."

On having CJ Wilcox in the lineup:
"He helps me out tremendously, but he helps everybody else out. I you have a guy who can shoot that well on the court, it opens it up for everybody. You have to respect him not matter if he's just a three-point shooter or not, you have to respect the value he brings to our team. It opens things up for guys like me when I'm penetrating, guys like Holiday, and then Matt [Bryan-Amaning] in there. If you double off him with CJ, that's most of the time automatic three points."
Justin Holiday:
On the WSU game lingering in his mind:
"Washington State took care of us last time. We didn't play well, we didn't do anything well against them and they did everything well, so we want to come out and show that we can be on the same court as these guys and come out and get the win."

On this game holding extra importance:
"Every game is important. So this is the next game and we want to win this game. Obviously we lost to them last time, obviously it's WAZZU, but we're not going to make this game any more special than any other game, you can't do that when you play. So this game is just as important as any other game."

On WSU storming the court after their win in Pullman:
"They can do what they want. It's over, that's what they wanted to do, but they have to come and play here. Hopefully we can get the win and show them that storming the court wasn't a good thing to do."

On containing Klay Thompson:
"I think I have to be more focused on what he's going to do, the things he like to do. Make sure I pay attention to the plays that are being run and stuff like that. Really just focusing, really just trying to make sure I stop him, which I think I can if I focus enough on it so I think I'll be able to do that."
Matthew Bryan-Amaning:
On not getting the ball a lot last time against WSU and wanting to get involved on Sunday:
"Definitely. With the game I had last time I forced a couple of shots that I shouldn't have forced up and taking the right shots, just making a lot of room on the baselines and being able to get in my comfort zone and knock down some shots that I know I can make."

On the reason he wasn't very involved the last game:
"They just did well. They wanted to take away the inside and let us beat them with perimeter shooting, I don't think we shot well that game, and when these guys are shooting well it opens a lot of the inside for me. Hopefully we can knock down a couple of shots early and establish the inside presence."

On being personally motivated by his lackluster performance last game:
"Yeah definitely. This year, one thing I've been trying to do is leave my mark on every court I've played on and, especially with each team in conference, you get to play them twice, so I get to leave my impression with WAZZU this game."

On Darnell Gant's improved play and how it has affected the other bigs:
"We all know that one thing he was trying to concentrate throughout the season was rebounding. Coach like to judge you by what you do, as a big, on the boards. Earlier in my career if I wasn't having a good game offensively, nothing would go well. But as of late I've been starting to rebound better even if I haven't had a good game offensively and I think that's what's starting to happen with Darnell. Sometimes if his shot's not falling he would get into a little bit of a slump throughout the game. But now he's starting to rebound more, consistently getting 5, 6, 7 boards so that's something that helps me and Aziz [N'Diaye] out when we're in the game."
Aziz N'Diaye:
On the Seattle U game being something he can build off of:
"Yeah I think so. I think I did something good in that game and something bad I need to work on just in film and in discussion is trying to explain to me when I should be on the floor. Avoiding being in foul trouble. If I'm not in foul trouble I think I'll be set and ready to go."

On playing when in foul trouble versus not in foul trouble:
"That's a big difference because if you're not in foul trouble you know you can help, you're not scared to go block a shot or do some stuff like that. I think avoiding foul trouble is going to help me be more on the court and rebound the basketball and help my team to win."

Posted by Chris Fetters
2:45 PM

Lorenzo Romar Friday Media Notes

Dawgman.com spoke Friday with UW Head Coach Lorenzo Romar, as well as with some players, about the upcoming rematch with Washington State at home, as well as his take on the Arizona-UCLA game played Saturday in Los Angeles. Who is he rooting for? What is he looking for in the game? What is Scott Suggs' timetable for return? How about Brendan Sherrer? He answers those questions, and more...

On Arizona's loss to USC opening things up again in the Pac-10 - There's a lot that has to happen for that to take place, and we can't lose sight of what's in front of us Sunday. We have a week and a half to take advantage of the league play that's left. We can't be distracted.

On watching the UA-UCLA game Saturday - It's going to be a really good game. Arizona doesn't want to be swept, and UCLA is playing some of their best basketball right now. They have a legit chance to win the league. Especially interested in the matchup with Derrick Williams and Josh Smith. It's hard as a coach to completely just be able to watch games as a fan. At some point the coach in you kicks in and you look at things from a more analytical standpoint. Since it's a league game you're already familiar with how both teams play, so it's a matter of watching for wrinkles in what they do, as well as the dynamics between players and coaches. Thank god for Tivo too, because you can always rewind something to confirm or disprove something you thought just happened.

On Suggs' availability - I'm hopeful that Scott will be available for the LA schools next week.

On what a WSU win can do for them - It's an opportunity for us to state our case for the NCAA tournament, and it's a chance to continue to get better as a team. Right now, if we continue to win, we've done a good enough job, especially compared to last year at this same time - where I felt we were on the outside looking in.

On what C.J. Wilcox is bringing to the team right now - He's bringing the same thing that Terrence Ross and Scott Suggs can bring to the team - a bigger guy at the beginning of games, which forces your opponent into making some choices about what they want to do with IT. If we went with Venoy (Overton) at the beginning of games, he's a better option in terms of driving and dishing to IT for open looks. He's the one that makes it the easiest for IT to square up and get good shots. But C.J. is also showing he can rebound. He got eight against ASU and six against Seattle, which was important because he didn't have a great shooting night against SU. He's definitely doing more than just shooting.

On Venoy not starting and if that's affected him - We know he wants to start, he's wanted to start ever since he got here. And if he didn't want to start, he probably shouldn't be here. We like that about him, about all the guys we have. They want to play. But we talk him through it, tell him what we're thinking about certain things, and he's always been a team player about it.

On WSU struggling of late - I think it says more about how balanced the league is right now, from top to bottom. It's better than what people give us credit for. What would be more surprising is that if every team that was supposed to win actually did win.

On zone defenses - I think we're doing a better job of handling zones as the season has progressed. It always helps to make shots. I'm more concerned about the quality of the shots; if we're getting good looks and putting up quality shots, we're doing a good job. The last time we played WSU, we just weren't patient enough. We had 24 turnovers, tried too hard to force things.

On if he expects WSU to zone - I do, but for 40 minutes? I don't know about that. If you look at teams like USC, UCLA and Arizona, they are going to play man straight-up. OSU and ASU will zone all the time. WSU did zone exclusively for a time. But by and large, man teams will play their man, and zone teams will zone.

On Matthew Bryan-Amaning and playing WSU the second time around - He just needs to play like him. That loss was more about turnovers (24) and not getting into a good offensive rhythm.

On plans for Klay Thompson - You just have to stop him. I'm not going to give away our secrets, though! But there's no question you have to pay attention to him at all times.

On the big men improving as the season has progressed - Slowly they have definitely gotten better. Gant has become a much better rebounder, and that shows he's becoming more confident. He always plays with a lot of poise; playing on the road doesn't faze him at all. And Aziz played with a ton of energy Tuesday and he needs to keep doing that. He's also really starting to understand what we're trying to do conceptually on both ends of the floor. That means he's able to play more now, and not think.

On Derrick Williams not getting to the line twice against USC - USC did a nice job of not fouling him.

On the smack talk of a rivalry game - What players talk about and what interests them isn't the same at all to what the coaches are concerned about. We're concerned about the 24 turnovers. I think when we played Kentucky, we got a little too caught up in all of that. Same with Eastern Washington my first year here when Alvin Snow was playing for them. I think we got sidetracked. The key is to understand how to handle it the right way. Nate Robinson, Bobby Jones and Quincy Pondexter were probably the top three trash-talkers I've ever coached.

On the Seattle U game helping break up a long week - This week doesn't seem as long because of Tuesday night. That last week when we had to wait until Sunday to play WSU felt like it took forever.

On Brendan Sherrer's health - He was back yesterday in full force. He had a staph infection under his arm. It was disgusting. (laughs)

Posted by Scott Eklund
4:15 PM

Nate Robinson ends up in Oklahoma City

This won't make Seattle sports fans happy.

Honored son Nate Robinson, who was a standout for the Huskies during his time at UW from 2003 to 2005, has been traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder, also known as the former Seattle Supersonics.

Robinson and center Kendrick Perkins were traded by Boston to the Thunder for undersized power forward Jeff Green and center Nenad Krstic.

Robinson was a hit with the Celtics during their playoff run last June, hitting on 41% of his shots and averaging 6.5 points per game.

This season, Robinson was averaging 7.1 points per game and 18 minutes of playing time, so it is thought the front office deemed him expendable.

Posted by Scott Eklund
8:22 AM

Marques Tuiasosopo (K. Grinolds/Dawgman.com)

Thursday Morning News Links

-- Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times has a write-up on Tuiasosopo leaving for UCLA.

-- Here's the story I published today on Husky-signee Corey Waller, a player who hasn't spoken to anyone about his commitment to Washington back in November.

-- ESPN's Ted Miller has a story on the most explosive teams in the Pac 10.

-- A columnist in the UW Daily gives his thoughts on why adding two teams will weaken the Pac (10) 12.

-- Finally, here is the full spring schedule full spring schedule for the Huskies. Worth noting is that all practices are open to the public although no specific times have been announced for the practices...

Tuesday, March 29
Thursday, March 31
Saturday, April 2
Tuesday, April 5
Thursday, April 7
Saturday, April 9
Tuesday, April 12
Thursday, April 14
Saturday, April 16
Tuesday, April 19
Thursday, April 21
Saturday, April 23
Tuesday, April 26
Thursday, April 28
Saturday April 30 (Spring Game)

Talk about it: Here

Posted by Scott Eklund
6:30 AM

Isaiah Stanback (K.Grinolds/Dawgman.com)

Wednesday Morning News Links

-- Danny O'Neil from the Seattle Times posted this story on the re-signing of Roy Lewis and Isaiah Stanback.

-- Sports Illustrated posted a blurb on their website talking about how Jake Locker has been working with former Jets QB Ken O'Brien for the past month in preparation for the Combine which starts today (February 23rd) and lasts through March 1st.

-- The National Football Post takes a look at the top QB prospects who will be at the Combine.

-- Here is the link to the story from last night's basketball game, a 95-74 win by the Huskies over Seattle U.

-- Here are the quotes from Lorenzo Romar and a few of the players following the win.

-- Here is Kim Grinolds' photo gallery from the game.

-- Lastly, Allen Wallace, Scout.com's National Recruiting analyst, has an article on one of the top offensive line prospects on the west coast who plans to be at UW this weekend for Junior Day.

Talk about it: Here

Posted by Scott Eklund
12:20 PM

Jake Locker (Kim Grinolds/Dawgman.com)

Tuesday Afternoon News Links

-- The Seattle Times' Bob Condotta posted some research by a reader on where Jake fits in with other great Husky quarterbacks.

-- Here's an update I posted this morning on San Clemente QB Travis Wilson .

-- In college football related news here's a story on some coaches who need a big spring.

-- The Seattle Times' Percy Allen posted two stories that might interest some Husky basketball fans. First here's a story on Venoy Overton and his thoughts on coming off the bench and another one giving a preview of tonight's opponent, Seattle University.

Talk about it: Here

Posted by Scott Panitz
10:00 PM

Lorenzo Romar (Kim Grinolds/Dawgman.com)

Lorenzo Romar Monday Press Conference Quotes

On his feelings about playing or coaching against Coach Dollar:

"I'd prefer not to.  You're trying to beat down your friend.  ‘What're you doing, we're boys, what're you doing,' you know.  But we wouldn't have it any other way.  We used to play one-on-one when I was an assistant and he was at UCLA and we weren't doing each other any favors then.  Same now that he's coaching.  They pull for us, we pull for them.  Except for when we play."

On whether there are any hard feelings from last year's blowout win:

"No.  Not at all. We know each other too well."

On how he views Seattle U and where he envisions their program going:

"I look at Seattle U as a program, they were Division II three years ago, four years ago, that's taken on a new challenge and they're working on taking on that new challenge and trying to put everything together.  What I see Seattle U potentially being is where they were before.  They've had first-round [NBA] draft choices play for them and I remember them beating us when we played here.  So I just see them as having the potential of getting to that level and they're in the infant stages of getting it back to that level so it just takes time."

On the protocol when playing across town at Key-Arena:

"We'll treat our locker room like it's the hotel.  We'll leave from here.  We'll have a shootaround.  We'll have our pregame meal here and treat it just like a road game, but the campus will be more of our hotel."

On the importance of getting the number 2 seed in the PAC 10 Tournament:

"It makes a difference.  My philosophy always is once you get to tournament play of any kind, whatever is thrown your way is thrown your way, you have to deal with it.  Whatever seed you are, whatever opponent you play you have to deal with it, you can't look back.  However, if you're a two seed as opposed to a three, you're playing an opponent that's played a game already and who knows, that's an overtime game, the game goes down to the wire, guys played a lot of minutes, maybe they're not as fresh.  But they also get the jitters out the first game too."

On his sense of where his team will fall in terms of an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament:

"I think we've done a lot.  But I also talked with our team, just making sure we come ready to play each game.  And I know it is time to start talking about that but I do think we're in a position where we take care of our own business, we'll be fine.  We can't stumble right now.  I don't know if that means one game, two games, I just know we have four games that we don't leave Seattle and we need to try to take advantage of that."

On whether the winning streak of last year is of value to the team this year:

"I don't think there's any question we can draw from that because many guys on this team went through that and remember each game was so monumental and you couldn't look past, you literally couldn't look past, the current game because you couldn't afford to give it away.  So, I think our guys understand that and that experience helps."

On what needs to be improved upon from the Arizona game:

"Things we need to do a better job of are some of our defensive rotations.  We got out-rebounded in that game but I think some of that, some of that, has to do with Aziz [N'Diaye] playing only 9 minutes.  Since Aziz has been starting we haven't been outrebounded that much, I think one time, and I think he makes a difference in that regard.  But at the same time on our rotations, sometimes they got rebounds because we didn't rotate well, so we have to do a better job of that. And we need to be sharper offensively.  I thought 54 percent [shooting], 20 assists, 11 turnovers, I thought we were very good offensively, but we need to be sharper.

On whether the Arizona game being on national TV and that it's being hailed as a great game plays in the mind of the NCAA selection committee:
"I think so.  I think when you watch that game...that was a great college basketball game.  I think when you watch those two teams playing out there, it has to cross your mind that they're going to be very competitive in post-season play.  It's one thing to read about it, but to actually see it, I think that will impress people more."

On Scott Suggs' injury and availability:

"Maybe there's a chance for LA.  He'll be out this week.  We won't know anything else until next week.  It didn't sound like there were any tests needed. Let's just say if there was a sprained ankle, it just takes time to heal.  This is something that, no one anticipates something's torn or anything like that.  It's just a sprain and it takes time to get back right."

On CJ Wilcox's play last weekend:

"It was really good.  He did a lot of things: 8 rebounds against Arizona State, he shot the ball well, he defended, he played with energy, he did a lot of things.  It's good to see that after him being out and kind of losing his rhythm a little bit, so it's good to see him rebound from that experience."

On the interchangeability of CJ Wilcox and Terrance Ross:

"I think they complement each other.  I think they're different in some ways.  Terrance is more physical: he can go inside more than CJ can go inside, but yet still has a dangerous perimeter presence.  So I think they're different but very complementary."

Posted by Scott Eklund
7:15 AM

Monday Morning News Links

-- The Seattle Times' Katherine Long has a big write-up on the coming changes to Husky Stadium.

-- Here's an update I posted on one of the quarterbacks the Huskies are looking to sign in the 2012 recruiting class -- Jake Rodrigues.

-- The Husky softball team got three wins in the San Diego Classic over the weekend.

-- The Seattle Times' Percy Allen explains why it's important to finish second in the Pac 10.

Talk about it: Here

Posted by Kim Grinolds
8:30 PM

Puyallup OL Josh Garnett

Garnett gets invite to US Army All-American Game

Dawgman.com has been able to confirm that Puyallup OL Josh Garnett, one of the top offensive linemen on the west coast, has been invited to play in the US Army All-American Game next January.

The talented lineman has ten offers to his name -- Washington, Washington State, Cal, Stanford, Notre Dame, Boise State, Michigan, Oregon, USC and UCLA -- and more are close to offering the talented two-way lineman.

Talk about it: Here

Posted by Scott Eklund
12:15 PM

Puyallup OL Josh Garnett

Saturday Show Podcasts

Grinolds and Eklund had a full show on Saturday, talking to 2012 Puyallup OL Josh Garnett, Husky CB coach Demetrice Martin and former Husky and current San Diego Chargers LB Donald Butler.

Here is the link for Saturday's podcasts.

Posted by Scott Eklund
3:30 PM

Husky CB coach Demetrice Martin

Dawgman.com Radio Show lineup for 2/19/2011

Joining Scott and Kim on the air will be Puyallup OL Josh Garnett, Husky assistant coach Demetrice Martin and former Husky and current San Diego Chargers LB Donald Butler.

Tune in during our show from 9 am to 11 am. You can either go to 950 AM KJR or you can go here to stream the show.

Posted by Scott Eklund
10:30 AM

Pac 12 Commissioner Larry Scott (AP)

Thursday Morning News Links

-- The Mercury News' Jon Wilner takes a look at the up-coming Pac 12 TV Contract negotiations.

-- Here are two stories that I published this morning on three prospects that have been offered by UW -- LB Butch Pauu and Punahou DE/TE DeForest Buckner and DE/TE Luke Kaumatule.

-- Scout.com's Brandon Huffman also posted a couple articles on two offensive linemen from California who have offers from UW -- Max Tuerk and Kyle Murphy.

-- ESPN's Ted Miller breaks down What to watch in the Pac-12 North this spring .

Posted by Scott Eklund
3:35 PM

O'Dea OL Sam Flor

Husky recruiting updates

Scout.com's Brandon Huffman updated two 2012 prospects with UW offers.

WR Richard Smith and DL Aziz Shittu

Jake Worthen, also of Scout.com as well as EvergreenStatePreps.com, also posted this video of O'Dea OL Sam Flor an in-state player to keep an eye on this spring.

Talk about it: Here

Posted by Chris Fetters
8:15 AM

Troy Hinds (Scout.com)

Troy Hinds, a 6-foot-5, 225-pound defensive end prospect from Davis High in Kaysville, Utah, was offered Tuesday by Washington, according to Hinds' father David.

It's a baker's dozen for Hinds, who has already been offered by Arizona, Arizona State, BYU, Colorado, Georgia Tech, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Stanford, UCLA, Utah, Washington State and Weber State.

Hinds, who is LDS, is expected to serve his two-year Mormon mission while in college.

Posted by Scott Panitz
11:55 PM

Darnell Gant (UW Media Relations)

Tuesday Press Conference Player Quotes

Isaiah Thomas:
On feeling like it's time to put the team on his back and carry the team:
"I feel like it's about that time. It's a huge week for us, especially if we want to win a Pac 10 championship outright. Got to get these two wins down there. It's that time of the season when everything has to go your way and you just have to play hard and the right way and hopefully it ends up in our favor."

On the danger of looking past ASU:
"No you can't do that. Especially if you want to win a Pac 10 championship, you can't look past anybody because anybody is capable of beating any team any given day in this league. Arizona State is a good team so that's who we have next and that's who we're looking forward to."

On answering questions about their road play:
"If we play the right way we'll get past people saying we can't win on the road. We just have to play the right way, play like we do at home, bring our own energy and play defense. And I feel like if we play defense and do the necessary things we'll be alright.

On lingering effects from being poked in the eye:
"The next day, yeah, it was hurting but now I'm alright."

On how much what they had to do last year helps with their situation this season:
"It's going to help a lot. We just have to buy in to what we want to do and put egos aside and be all about winning. This is the time of the season that will make you or break you. A couple of weeks you don't play right then you won't make the NCAA Tournament, so we have to finish the season off right and hopefully everybody's ready to do that."

On this feeling like last year:
"Probably…we need it to feel like last year to where we have that mindset to where we need to win every game. And if we have that mindset we'll be alright."

On the senior leadership:
"They're [Bryan-Amaning and Holiday] a little different. I'm the one always yelling, always in people's ear. They kind of lead by example. When they do say stuff it's because they need to say it but those type of dudes lead by example and they kind of follow what I do and they say stuff to me to get through to other teammates because that's just how they are."

On Venoy being a key to finishing the season strong:
"Yeah. If he gives us what he's doing, a little bit more, that's a plus because all season he's been on the lower end because of his injuries so we've dealt with that. But if he gives us more that he's given us that's a plus for us."

Darnell Gant:
On heading down to play ASU:
"Feeling the confidence. Just staying behind my team. We know that we're going to go down there with the greatest effort."

On feeling like their backs are against the wall:
"We definitely do [feel that]. There have been other times when our backs were against the wall and we felt like we could come off triumphant so it's kind of the same situation. People are against us but we just stay together as a family and we just pull through when things get thick."

On playing their last two games with "pissed off" in their game:
"Yeah, that's fair. The weeks before we fell short and things didn't go our way but we talk as a team and we know that we wanted to turn it around so these home games, we got those out of the way and we brought a different mentality and a different effort and it showed out there on the court."

On being humbled by watching the film of the second half against Stanford:
"Like coach said, the games in the past were showing how bad we've gotten defensively and then at the end of the Stanford game we kind of went back to that but I feel like that won't affect the next few games because we're going to continue to get better and continue to get after it on defense and just keep moving forward."

On Venoy's improved play and how it helps the team:
"That helps a lot. When he's the ring leader and he's playing defense the way he does, the way he's known to, that gets everybody fired up, that gets everybody started."

On the importance of this road-trip:
"This is a big road-trip. This is about as big as going to UCLA and USC and getting those wins down there early, when we first started. Like I said, we want to stay focused and be ready for this because they are going to come at us just like we're going to come at them."

On his health:
"I'm 100 percent."

On what road-trips are like:
"They're cool, everybody's having fun. We're having fun, but we're not having too much fun because we know, we're going on the road, it's a business trip. Most teams, they're really uptight and they don't like to have fun and they go on a serious road-trip and they have to be serious and everybody has to be focused. We don't really do that. We know we have to be focused but we kind of loosen up a little bit because if you're too focused on one thing and have your mind made up on being so serious it takes the fun out of it. And this is what we love to do: we love to play basketball and to have fun, so as long as we do that we'll be fine."

Matthew Bryan-Amaning:
On looking forward to playing against the ASU zone:
"I look forward to every game. Just the success I had last game there was a lot of man coverage in the zone so anytime I get one-on-one coverage against any type of defense I love to play against."

On how much Arizona State's one Pac 10 win being over OSU, which beat them earlier, motivates the team:
"Everything. We had the three-game slide and we, obviously, as a team we believe it shouldn't have happened. Now that is has, it's in the past, and we just have to go and try and do everything we can to win each game individually rather than look ahead to the next [game]."

On getting into the other teams' heads:
? "That's just to do with our defense getting back to how it's been in the past. When we're out pressuring our guys it brings everything out emotionally as well as physically. We're just trying to keep that intensity up because other teams don't like it. You're trying to run your sets, instead of catching the ball at the three-point line you're another 4 or 5 feet off of it. It's harder to make passes. Once everybody else is in the same zone, I think it gets everybody else going."

On sensing when they're in people's heads:
"Yeah definitely. Just being able to change a game, not doing it on the offensive end and without them getting going is just a good way to play and a way we like to play."

On Aziz's impact on the defensive mentality:
"Yeah, just blocking shots. He changes so many shots it's ridiculous. He's starting to learn now how to read the situation, whether it's the right time to go for a block or just to stand up more and affect it with just his length. And with him being able to do that and read the situation it's going to keep him out of foul trouble and with him in there, he changes so many shots; it makes us a lot better defensively."

Terrence Ross:
On their formula for winning on the road:
"Our formula is you have to be mentally tough, play like we have a chip on our shoulder and be ready for anything they throw at us."

On making sure they don't look past ASU to the big matchup with UA:
"We just have to take things step-by-step. We're focused on Arizona State since that's who we play first. We'll focus on them until the game's over and then after that game we'll put all of our attention on Arizona"

On his improvement on defense as the season has progressed:
"I know the system. Just tuning some things up. I'm working really hard, listening to the older guys about things that can help me and just being alert. And conditioning because I can think more, think better when I'm well-conditioned, not as tired."

On whether getting better on defense is more mental, more physical or more effort:
"It's all three. I just have to be ready to out-compete, outhustle and just outplay guys."

On whether he expected it would be this hard:
"I knew it was going to be hard, but I didn't know how hard it was going to be. Now I know how hard it is and what to do and what to expect."

Posted by Kim Grinolds
9:15 PM

Russell close to offer from Notre Dame

Dawgman.com spoke briefly with Keivarae Russell recently and he told us that, in addition to his offers from Stanford, Cal, Washington, Washington State and Wyoming, the Irish could be getting involved.

Recruiting Russell for Notre Dame is former UW assistant Mike Denbrock.

As a sophomore in 2009, Russell rushed 159 times for 1232 with 14 TDS and had 5 receptions for 120 and 2 TDS

Also posted 25 tackles and three interceptions from his defensive back position.

This past season, Russell notched over 2,000 yards and 25 touchdowns as a junior.

Talk about it: Here

Posted by Scott Eklund
5:40 PM

Lorenzo Romar Tuesday Press Conference Notes

Romar was asked Tuesday about UW being able to make a statement by winning these last two road games, starting Thursday at Arizona State, and he said that the only statement they've made so far is they lost three in a row. That's given them no room to look ahead for anything. They can't even take their next practice for granted. "We are not in a position to look ahead."

He added that the next two games were 'make or break' in terms of the Huskies having any chance of competing for the Pac-10 championship, but not make-or-break in terms of making the NCAA tournament. Obviously they could win the Pac-10 tournament to punch their ticket, just like they did last year.

Asked if the team had their 'swagger' back after the two wins at home against California and Stanford, Romar said they didn't necessarily have swagger, but they are definitely playing with more confidence. When you lose games to teams that are in the bottom third of the conference, like UW did to Oregon State and Oregon, it's a 'reality check'. "There's not a lot of showboating right now," he added. Instead, the reason the team has more of a smile on their faces now is because they are having fun and being rewarded for all the hard work they've put in.

"We're going to create our own fun," is the mantra Romar has been telling the players. When you play a team like California and have an assist/turnover ratio of 30/9, that's how you create your own fun. "There's more substance, more depth, to that approach."

To be able to beat teams like ASU and UA, it starts with defense. They also have to be very smart with the basketball. Those two things are absolutely critical to having any road success. Romar added that road games will 'always expose warts', and it's a credit to this UW team that they bounced back and played very well against Cal and Stanford - or in his words - "played the way they are capable of playing".

Romar was asked if he could remember any good road teams while he's been coaching, and he mentioned the 2000 Cincinnati team (with Kenyon Martin) and also one of the Final Four UCLA teams - the one that went 16-2 in the Pac.

He was asked about the last ASU game, and Romar said that the Sun Devils are going to be really tough to beat. They were only down four with a couple minutes left in the game in Seattle. They shot the ball extremely well. UW scored 88 points, and that should have been enough to score comfortably, but that was the beginning of their poor defensive efforts.

Romar also said that over the years, ASU's style has changed a little bit, especially on offense - where they might take a quicker shot than when Herb Sendek first got there. That was when they were running more of the Princeton offense, where they would be a strict half-court team. And just by the nature of the zone Sendek has always employed defensively, it creates a slower tempo.

On the ASU game not being televised, Romar said he hears it more from recruits than anything - not so much in the fact that they didn't get to see UW play, but they want to be able to tell their friends and family that if they go to UW, they are going to be seen on TV all the time. The Thursday game in Tempe will be streamed live on foxsportsarizona.com at 5:30 pm PST (6:30 AZ time).

On Venoy Overton, Romar said that the way he's playing like he has of late, he changes the dynamic of games. It's something they can't manufacture. And he still has a lot he can add to get to the point where he was playing like he was last year and the year before. Romar believes early on, VO was getting called for fouls he hadn't been called on before, and that took out some of his aggressiveness. But Overton has learned and is now getting back to his normal aggressiveness, picking his spots as to where he can attack.

Romar was also asked about IT's third Pac-10 POW honors - for his work against Cal and Stanford - and Romar said Thomas has an 'unbelievable will to win'. "He's willing to sacrifice." He added that Thomas has really bought into the idea of 'getting lost in games', meaning that he doesn't go into a game with a set idea of what he has to do - he just feels out how things are going, and then tries to give the Huskies what they need in order to win.

Romar mentioned the play against ASU at home when IT dove for a loose ball, saved it but slid into the tunnel. A lot of guys would have said that's enough, but his competitiveness drove him immediately back to the court. And then a lot of guys would have wanted the ball to shoot, but IT found Gant for an open jumper that really lit Hec Ed up.

Romar said that during the Cal game, IT gave him that look at one point, and Romar knew that he could go for 40 and 12 assists if he wanted to. He just knew it. "We didn't stop him; we just took him out of the game."

Talk about it: Here

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