VIDEO: Washington Head Coach Lorenzo Romar Post-Game - Seattle Pacific

Washington Head Coach Lorenzo Romar addressed the press after the Huskies defeated Seattle Pacific 98-80 Thursday night at Alaska Airlines Arena. Here's what Coach Romar had to say about his team's effort and who stood out.

Opening statement “I’ll say it was tough. We didn’t accomplish it. We didn’t get 10 new guys to play mistake free basketball. We weren’t able to do it tonight. We had a lot of mistakes. But I loved their effort. I loved our guys’ effort and I loved our guys’ unselfishness a lot of times. We were able to sustain our defensive effort for longer periods than I thought we would be tonight. Seattle Pacific is such a great team to play because they run their offense very efficiently. They try to be patient. They make you guard them. We got a lot of reps guarding against a very efficient offense. I thought our guys did a pretty good job overall. We gave up a lot of backdoors in the first half, something we talked about, went over. But it took us a little time to see exactly what it looks like when someone else is running it other than us. So in the second half we did a much better job of defending it. Seattle Pacific is going to win a lot of games.”

 

On the most glaring mistakes other than the backdoor cuts SPU got “When you say backdoor, the way we defend giving up backdoors is not the issue if we have good coverage. We call it a ‘blow-by.’ A blow-by if I’m on the ball, the guy just drives right by me. There are blow-byes with backdoors too. When we’re denying and the guy takes four steps and we don’t know where he went, that’s a blow-by. If a guy backdoors and we’re there but he’s got a step on us, we should have help on the weak side. And that’s what we didn’t have tonight. It wasn’t the backdoors per say, it was just our bad coverage. The coverage was much better in the second half. Those were the mistakes. Offensively, we did not sustain offense very much at all tonightin terms of getting ball reversal from one side to the next. That’s something that’s going to take some time, because we’re stressing pushing the basketball and that doesn’t always mean shoot a contested shot early. It means try to gain an advantage before the other team sets up their defense. If the advantage is not gained, we have to reverse the ball. We didn’t do that. And then obviously we turned the ball over too many times. We did a poor job of boxing out and rebounding. That’s the one area I did not like our effort, on the offensive glass. We should be a much better rebounding team than we were tonight on the offensive glass. Things that we can work on.”

 

On if the balanced attack of six double-digit scorers is what he expected “Ideally, we would love for our teams to have five guys average double figures. That’s what we would love, so six is even better. But there are some things we did tonight that we haven’t done in several years: almost score 100 points, get 10 steals. We forced turnovers maybe, but not just pure steals. We were in the lane and they lead to points. There were quite a few turnovers. We had 19 points off fast break points, 32 points off of their turnovers. That’s pretty good. With that you’re going to give up some easy baskets from time to time, but we like the trade off.”

 

On the fouls and getting adjusted to the new rules “Yeah. Before the new rule was in we would get in foul trouble, teams would shoot a lot of fouls, because we play aggressive defense. But I think if we can get better at picking angles when we’re closing out on the ball handlers to keep them in front, what happens sometimes is we were reacting late; we had a bad angle so they got a step on us so we had to nudge. You’re first reaction is to protect yourself. That happened too many times. That’s something we need to continue to work on. We’re probably going to commit fouls, but they can’t just be as many as they were tonight.”

 

On if he expects the emphasis on hand-checking to be as strict as it was tonightthroughout season “The officials talk about maintaining that level on the call, but I know a couple years ago when they first put it in by the end of the year they weren’t calling it as much. They have vowed to stick with it this time.”

 

On if there was anything he told his guys to help them respond to foul trouble “No. You know what, I thought Devenir Duruisseau came in and gave us a level of physicality. You won’t see it in the box scores, but I think he was there during that time and a couple guys hit some big shots. Andrew Andrews hit a couple shots during that period and we slowly just began to regain that lead and stretch it out a little. I thought Andrew did a really good job for us tonight, five assists and one turnover. I thought he did a good job leading this group.”

 

On how encouraging it was to see his big men adapt well to foul trouble “Very encouraging. I do think with this team there are a number of guys that can play where we don’t drop off a whole lot. And that’s good. We talk about depth. I like to talk about quality depth. You could have 40 players on your team and if two of them are good and the rest aren’t, that’s not quality depth; it doesn’t matter. I think we have quality depth with this team that’s going to help us.”

 

On the four freshman starters “Dejounte Murray, ‘baby boy,’ is just a very good basketball player, so that’s a plus. Whenever you have a rally good player out there, that’s a plus. Noah Dickerson, as I’ve said, is probably our best low-post scorer and just plays a little older than his age. When you have the guy that’s going to give you the best chance to score inside in there that’s going to help you. Marquese Chriss is our best athlete and he’s very, very versatile. He’s our most versatile big guy. That helps. Matisse Thybulle I think really compliments that group because he’s the one guy that kind of plays off of them, but the constant is his defense. He didn’t score a bunch at all, but he had three steals. He’s just there. I think he really compliments those guys.”

 

On the shooting performance tonight and if that’s what he expects from them consistently “It hasn’t shown that. We shot the ball but, again, we had a lot of points off turnovers too. I hope we can continue to shoot it like we did tonight.”

 

On Dejounte Murray stuffing the stat sheet “He’s been very, very consistent with it since day one. In all of our practices combined he’s our top rebounder, along with Marquese Chriss, as a guard. He just does it. He rebounded in high school, he rebounds with this group, he reboundedtonight, and he just does it. Tonight he had some outside shots, but he can also pass the ball. He can get to the rim. He’s a pretty versatile guard.”

 

On if there’s a downside to having four freshman starters “It’s a downside today, but later it won’t be when they gain experience. The thing is they’re going to be getting valuable experience. They got it tonight, they’re going to be getting it preseason, and it’s going to do nothing but speed up their learning curve, because they’re going to be able to get valuable minutes. We have to find a way to play at a high level in spite of our young mistakes right now. We have to find a way to do it.”

 

On if having so many young players adds extra pressure to Andrew Andrews “I think what it does, it really makes Andrew (Andrews) focus. He doesn’t have a whole lost of time to think about other things. He has to get lost in that game because he’s leading all these guys. He’s our leading scorer tonight. He’s still going to do his thing. I think it really makes Andrew focus because he knows how important his leadership is with this group.”

 

On when the team leaves for China “Sunday morning.”

 

On if he’s looked at film from Texas and what he knows about that team “Other than they’re good? I haven’t watched any tape on Texas, because of Seattle Pacific. But within the next 48 hours I will devour tape on it. It’s a little different because you have to watch their personnel and watch Texas, but then VCU is the coach; Shaka Smart is now the new coach. Just watching Texas won’t give you an indication of how they’ll play at all. They’ll play completely different. By the time we tip off next week we will have watched a lot of film.”

 

On how to get ready for a defense as intense as Shaka Smart’s “Well, it will be interesting because that’s what we face everyday and that’s what they face everyday. We have to be strong with the basketball. Both teams are going to be saying the same thing; we don’t want to be the ones on our heels. We want to be the aggressors.”

 

On how he would describe Shaka Smart’s defense “It’s as if there are eight guys on the floor sometimes. That’s what it’s like. They’re all over the place. They play hard. They’re scrappy. They’re fun to watch if you’re not playing against them.”

 

On if the players have settled into roles more quickly this year than last year “Yes. I would say so. Definitely. I don’t see us still trying to figure out who’s going to be in there and who’s not. I think the guys have kind of made their cases.”

 

On if the rotation tonight will be the rotation for the whole season “I think the majority, the nucleus, those guys will be in there. You start talking about the last couple of guys and their rotation, that’s still kind of up for grabs.”


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