Lorenzo Romar Tuesday Quotes

SEATTLE - Washington Head Coach Lorenzo Romar had his weekly media session Tuesday, where he was asked about the recent Oregon road trip, the upcoming Arizona home swing, as well as departing seniors Darnell Gant and Brendan Sherrer, as well as his team's chances for getting that coveted Pac-12 regular season title.

On the importance of the Arizona Series - "Everybody is fighting for their lives right now; there's a different challenge for everyone. Our challenge is to try and remain in first place and win a conference championship. I'd say it's pretty critical."

On the Pac-12 only being a one-bid league - "Right now…control what you can control. That's how I see it, and right now we're in a situation where we can help control our future if we do what we're supposed to do. Beyond that, I don't know what's going to happen."

On rehashing the Oregon trip and coming closer as a team - "Hopefully. The Oregon game…things went south for us so badly that, five years from now and no matter how successful we'll be - what about that Oregon game? What was wrong with that one? That was just one of those games…we had won five in a row before the Oregon game, so our season is not based on the Oregon game. We had won 8 out of 10 prior to that, and we had a huge setback in that game. But in terms of coming together, I thought we were coming together - but had a big setback against a good team on the road, so I thought we bounced back against Oregon State and did a good job there.

"That's why we didn't watch film, didn't do anything, didn't talk about that Oregon game afterwards, because that was one night - and we're not going to base everything off of one night. That's how I feel about it."

On scratching and clawing for everything against Oregon State - "Hopefully we'll do that every game. Hopefully Thursday night we'll scratch and claw for everything we get as well. I would hope that's how we would play. We haven't always done that. Even in victories we haven't always done that. It's true that we shot 34 percent and were able to win that game; it means we did scratch and claw and do other things to preserve a victory. But I would hope that would be our standard way of playing - scratching and clawing for everything we get."

On what went well and what didn't go well against Arizona State the first time - "I remember us going 1-8 from the three-point line, but still penetrated and attacked their zone. That was a positive that way…another one where we had to scrap and scrape for everything we got. Finding a way to get it done on the road; that was our second road win - I believe."

On this being his best coaching job since he's been to UW - "I don't know 'best'. I would say that we've fought through some adversity. With Scott being out from Day One and we played three games against Cal, Stanford and Washington State without C.J…C.J.' s still not 100 percent and Tony's hasn't always been 100 percent. That's happened to other teams, yet we've still found a way to be tied for first. Sometimes it can go the other way; those things happen and you end up in the bottom half of the league.

"There has been adversity, but outside of the off-the-court distractions last year - this is probably the most adversity, in terms of injuries, that we've faced."

On him being a lot more active in-game than ever before - "I'd say we've had to be a lot more patient this year. We had to realize that some things were going to take a little longer; we realized that the first weekend of practice. Certain things we had done in the past, we weren't there yet and it was going to take a little longer. We've had to teach more, show more film to help this team get it. Myself and the other coaches have really been dialed in; the players have been really receptive, understanding that there's things we need to learn and pick up. The veterans have been very helpful in trying to teach the younger players the lay of the land, so to speak.

"So it's been a group effort for everybody to pitch in and build each other up."

On being on the edge of that breakthrough - "Here's what I know: We haven't shot the ball very well; C.J. has been rusty, so he hasn't shot it as well as he can; Scott hasn't been here; we've been inconsistent shooting the ball from outside. We've scored points in the paint in a different way; we've gotten offensive rebound baskets, we've penetrated and gotten baskets in the paint. We haven't had much in transition that way. Those are all areas that usually we're nails; usually we can count on those things happening. We've been playing, and those things haven't really happened yet.

"So, if we're sitting here 3-10, it's a disaster. But at 10-3, knowing that at any time C.J. is coming back, Terrence is going to be more consistent - he's been a consistent scorer, but I think he's a better offensive player than what he's been showing…all of a sudden if we start to click a little more offensively then we can be where we want to be. Because defensively, if you look at our numbers in the league, I think they've been the best maybe since we've been here. So we're doing a good job that way. But that offensive side has to kick in…and I think that could happen."

On ASU with Trent Lockett - "They are an entirely different team. They have a guy with the ball in his hands right now that is their best all-around player, one of the top players in our conference with size and athleticism. Yeah, it makes them a different team from the last time we played them."

On being a better zone team now than man-to-man? - "I wouldn't say so. I'd say we're better equipped to play zone now than in the past, and we're playing zone better now than we have in the past. But I don't know if we're better in the zone than in man-to-man. For a change of pace, we're fine with it. But if you looked at all our possessions all year, you'd see we're still a man-to-man team."

On defenses putting Aziz and Tony at the FT line, and if that changes rotations going forward - "It doesn't. Tony has actually been shooting his free throws better. Both those guys, regardless of the scout, they just normally get to the line quite a bit. Tony's so aggressive he's always going to get to the line. Maybe they are fouling him more, but there have been some games where that wasn't in the scout and he still went to the line 14 times because of how aggressive he is. I don't think that changes our rotation."

On anyone as good as Wroten in rebounding their own miss - "No. No. I've only seen one - Moses Malone - is the only one. But Tony - quick jumper, anticipates it well. He's really good at it."

On Wroten finding new ways to impact the game - "I would say Tony picks his spots better, offensively and defensively. Early on, he'd try to go for a steal almost every possession. Now he kind of picks his spots; he lays low at times and waits for the right time to go get the ball. I think for him, less has been more for him. And I think that's one of the reasons he's such an improved player this year, and that comes with maturity and growth - learning when you can and can't do something."

On being able to handle the rigors of three games in three nights for the Pac-12 Tourney - "When that time gets here in a few weeks, hopefully our health will be a lot better, which will allow us to be just fine. With Shawn Kemp's emergence, and Austin there - our front line, with Desmond and Darnell and if need be Martin - our depth is fine to handle three days. When C.J. gets back fully and he can play, our depth in the back court will be fine as well. I think we'll be able to handle that, provided no one else goes down."

On C.J.'s health - "Initially he'd be sore for a couple days afterward, but now it's right after the game and the next day he's fine. So he's improving, no doubt. So it's been 2-3 weeks since he's been back, and he's improving that much? By the time the Pac-12 Tournament gets here, that'll be 3-4 more weeks. We imagine he'll be a lot better off than he is today, and today he's a lot better off than he was a few weeks ago."

On C.J. being able to practice yet - "All he can do right now is take more shots on his own in practice. He's still not allowed to practice with us. The next week? Maybe there will be a little bit more. Next week I believe is when he'll have another x-ray; they'll be able to see how much the bone has healed from this point on. If there's considerable healing, he'll be able to do a lot more. So we're at the mercy of those results right now, and the pain. Those are the two indicators to let us know how much he can do."

On Darnell's first practice as a freshman, knowing he wasn't ready - "I remember after a few weeks of that, him saying that he was thinking about redshirting. What I remember more was asking if he was going to make the mile. 'Ah coach! What we did in high school, I can do anything when it comes to conditioning!' But he had a rough conditioning period. He had a tough time. That was more of a wake-up call than even the first day of practice; how much work was going to be involved at this level."

On where he's come since arriving at UW - "Darnell Gant is a great example of what college can do for you. He's already graduated; the diploma is there. But there's another kind of education that you get in school, in terms of meeting deadlines, socially growing up, meeting different people and different cultures - the whole college experience. Darnell has benefitted from college immensely.

"That other guy was a young adolescent that came here; now he's much more of an adult than he was before. It's been great to see him blossom these last five years that he's been in school. It's been a joy to see that. Still has a great heart; he came with a great heart and is going to leave with a great heart - but just has matured so much."

On it getting close to 'must-win' time - "If we're talking about getting to the NCAA Tournament and winning this conference, every game is crucial. We have to be our best from here on out; we can't have a setback. We can't have a game like we had at Oregon from here on out. We have to be at our best."

On what you have to do to guard against playing like they did at Oregon - "It seems like we're in this situation every year, so we should know what to do. We just have to constantly remind our guys; we have to constantly remind them how important the next practice is, how important the next drill is. One little setback could possibly keep us from reaching our goals at this point. We just have to keep working hard.

"Practices are much shorter now than they were in October, November, and even December - but the content and approach needs to be as intense as it's been all year."

On if it would surprise him to see another Oregon-like game - "Oregon? I just kind of put that out of my mind…like a nightmare. That could just never happen. Don't mention that again (laughs). I would hope that we'd understand what's at stake. In the past, I can think of one year where that happened, and that was when we were the No. 1 seed in 2005. That was a veteran team with returning All-Conference guys. Around this time we went to Oregon State - who I don't think was as good as this current Oregon team is - and just got blitzed by 17 there. That happened. But we bounced back. And hopefully that's what this team does."

On how many times do you throw out the film, like Oregon? - "About three times this year! (laughs) I would say there may have been one other. Colorado may have been one. Saint Louis, that was our first road game against a very good team, and at that point in time, we just weren't ready for that yet, this team looking back on it. We may have done it with South Dakota (State)…but I know for sure this one. The way we had been playing - not for a half, but overall - that wasn't our team that night. So I can't focus on something that happened that wasn't really us."

On 3-4 things they've improved on since the beginning of the year - "We've better defensively, we're better at sharing the basketball, we've better at executing. And we're better at playing on the road."

On Brendan Sherrer - "What stands out with Brendan to you guys? Human Victory Cigar, yeah. But he was in the Dawg Pack! Across the country, how many guys were in the student's section painting their faces cheering, and now he's been on the team for three years. I'm telling you - and it may sound like a contradiction because it hasn't happened - but I'd feel fine with him in the game. I think he'd hold his own. There are players ahead of him right now, but I think he'd hold his own. Brendan comes out every day and pushes guys. He's physically tough, and you'd never know that he started out in the Dawg Pack. And I think that's a phenomenal story.

"He's going to eventually become a Dentist. He went to school to get an education; I don't think he came to Washington to play on the basketball team. This whole thing for him as been a bonus. It's been a bonus for us and it's been a bonus for me to have him as a part of our group."

On if he'll start Brendan on Saturday - "I was asked this last night, and I'm going to say it again - I don't want anyone to be able to gameplan for Brendan Sherrer if he's in the starting lineup. I don't want anyone to be able to take away his weaknesses, so I don't know yet."

On Terrence Ross and being more consistent with his laid-back personality - "There are games where it didn't work out for him and he wasn't shooting it well and it wasn't his night - but for the most part, he's been the guy down the stretch that's been scoring for us. That question got asked a lot of Brandon Roy his senior year in the pre-season because he would defer a lot to his teammates, but when the game was on the line he would take over.

"So he's unassuming at times; he does the spectacular dunks but he's not a yeller or screamer. He's not a big chest-bumper, but he's gotten a lot done this year. In league play he's third in rebounding for a guard, which is pretty impressive to see all that he's accomplished. If you looked last year at the defender that he was versus now, he's become a heckuva defender - but Terrence isn't a 'look at me'-type of guy when he goes out and plays. I think a lot of people lose sight at what he's accomplished this year, especially in conference."

On Ross' capabilities and his teammates knowing he could go for 30-10 every night - "Not to compare him to these guys, but the great scorers in the NBA - the Dwyane Wades, the Kevin Durants - I'm sure you could say the same thing about them…if they really wanted to they could go for 35 a night. But I think the really good teams have more than just one guy that gets all the points."

Dawgman.com Top Stories