VIDEO: Lorenzo Romar Wednesday Briefing - Mount St. Mary's

Washington Head Basketball Coach Lorenzo Romar met with the media Wednesday, his first briefing since the Huskies returned from China 77-71 victors over Texas. He talked about the win over the Longhorns, as well as 2016 signee Markelle Fultz, and what to expect from Thursday night's opponent, Mount St. Mary's.

On China China was good, good experience for our guys. Class helped, but didn’t know how week was going to go. Other than Andrew, no one had experienced it. Helped to win the game. 

Yesterday was rough. Monday was better, but weren’t ourselves Tuesday. Hopefully get back on track tomorrow. Experienced a little jet lag.

Didn’t know if what we could take what we had practiced all the way to China, but we did. Started to get it defensively, still have a long ways to go. Don’t know if we’ll play another team that plays at the pace Texas does. Fun to play that way. 

But we’ve been trying to teach our guys to play that fast. But some jitters early in the game. Had dunks, plays we should have finished, did a better job later on. 

62 fouls - have to eliminate the fouls that have nothing to do with defending the ball. Out of position, so reaching. Concerned with those fouls. 

Hand-checks? Tuesday we asked the officials that ref our practices to call them just like they will in games.

Intent to call it this way actually was a few years ago, so there could be a lot more fouls called.

Rebounding - pleased with that, especially on the offensive glass. Any key to it? Had a mindset from day one and it clicked. Didn’t click against SPU. Helped that it was an up-and-down game and lot of spacing which allowed us opening to get offensive boards.

Most depth - Most quality depth for sure. Don’t have a huge drop-off from starters, and if the depth didn’t come in and make an impact we would have lost the Texas game. Probably the most quality depth in a long time.

Noah healthy - Once he walked off, felt good about it. No lingering effects once he walked it off.

Devenir a surprise? Always surprised when a guy doesn’t do what we thought he’d do during the recruiting process. Recruited him to be physical, could step out and make a shot, would work hard and be solid - that’s what he was. 

Could he start? Sure, has to be better than the guys he’s in competition with. 

Malik Dime surprise? No, but SPU surprised me. He’s only been playing a few years and such a good shot-blocker he’s never had to play the perimeter, but we’re asking him to do a lot of things, including denying along the perimeter. He’s still thinking about it, which handcuffs athleticism. Against Texas, he understood more, so he just reacted and played better.

Dejounte nine turnovers - Had nine turnovers, but 10 rebounds and six assists. Take good with the bad, especially early. He may never turn it over that much ever again, but expect 10 rebounds and six assists again. 

Young team - They are experiencing a lot of firsts, so they have to learn on the fly. But if can do that, make mistakes and still be successful, we’ll go that way.

Who is the best low-post defender right now? Malik in terms of protecting the rim, but in terms of positioning it’s Noah Dickerson. He’s very smart. Also best low-post scorer. Great feel for around the basket. 

For Malik, 7-5 wingspan and great timing. And he blocks with his left, which is unusual. Not sure which hand is his dominant hand. Shoots right-handed. 

Dejounte Murray being an instant-offense guy? The play where he put UW back up late wasn’t called for him, but he made that play happen with a back-cut. Instinctual. 

Fun group to coach. They want to do the right thing. Healthy respect for the traditions of the program. Almost like they are all alumni and want to get the program back to where it was. A lot grew up watching and pulling for Huskies, and that’s how they’ve approached it. Probably the most compliant team we’ve had since I’ve been here - as a group. 

Interested to see how they’ll respond after loss? We’ve had it both ways where started poorly ended well and vise-versa. Like to think they would handle it well and respond in a positive way.

What did you see from Andrew? He was very focused, maybe as focused as I’ve seen him. Lost in the game, great leadership during the game. Hit big three down the stretch. Played like a talented senior.

Markelle Fultz's LOI in - He’s a dynamic guard. Nothing he can’t do on the floor. Can pass it. Shoot it well. Fit in very well with high-pressure, length - has good speed with the ball. Very coachable. 

His recruitment? Have to point right away to Chills. May not get him if Chills is somewhere else. Got in there early, forged a great relationship with the family and trainer Keith Williams. Chills gets all the credit for that. Important that we identified him early after his 10th grade year when he was finishing up his JV season, and they never forgot that. 

Did you see him being considered that good when you first saw him? If you were to talk to him, his mom - we thought he was going to be special. When we saw him last September we had a good feeling all this was going to happen.

Mount St. Mary’s - Their HC worked with Shaka Smart, so they do a lot of things that we saw with Texas. Don’t get same caliber of athlete, so more emphasis on execution. This group does a good job of sticking with what they want to do. Picked to finish high in their league. Have already been on the road against Maryland and Ohio State, so already tested a bit. It’ll be a good test for us.


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