On practice this week: I think pretty good. We’ve watched film, we’ve walked through things, we’ve talked about errors. Guys have seen them and are addressing them. It has to be second nature on the court.
VIDEO: Lorenzo Romar Thursday Briefing
On how to deal with young players entering conference play fro the first time: Everyone looks at that differently. Some feel like I can never say something good about the opposition because thats a sign of weakness. We talk about respecting everybody but never fearing them. I have no problem acknowledging opponents strengths. But we do good things too. We need to go out and perform to our standard.
On what stands out about UCLA: As you look across college basketball, there is usually a player that is non-factor offensively. UCLA doesn’t have one. They all can hurt you. They can expose any slip-up you make. UCLA will make you pay. That’s what impresses me most. They’re not scoring 100 a game, but they’re proficient and have weapons.
On what he’s noticed in UCLA’s losses: I don’t know. I don’t know the inner workings of their team. It seems like when they come focused they’re a much better team.
On Bryce Alford and Isaac Hamilton: They’re triple level scorers: they can shoot threes, get to the rim, and shoot mid range jumpers. They can pass too. If you pay attention to them they’ll pass it to someone else who can play off them. They’re the catalysts. They make sure your defense is occupied because of how effective they are.
On Aaron Holiday: Holiday is a crafty defender. He’s is a quick player. Everybody in the Holiday family knows how to get steals.
On stepping up for PAC-12 play: We have to do the best job we can to make sure we’re sound and worry about playing to our standard. Hopefully that standard can keep up with PAC-12 play.
On young players getting over the hump: Sometimes freshman come in and there’s not much footage on them. They look like they’re ready for the NBA. Then when there’s more footage defenses can do more to stop you. Quincy came out hot when he started here and then teams slowed him down when they got more scout on him. Then he adjusted and was great. The same thing could happen with our freshman. Hopefully it happens tomorrow.
On the quality of the PAC-12: If we were not invited to the tournament after winning the PAC-12 in 2012 because we had a lack of quality wins and RPI, I think it’s the opposite this year. We’ve played some good teams and the PAC-12 is very good. I told our team in 2012 don’t expect us to get picked because there won’t be a large number of quality wins. This year is very different.
On how pleased he’s been by other PAC-12 team’s performances: Definitely pleased. We fight like cats and dogs in conference play, but in non-conference we hope all other PAC-12 teams go undefeated. That helps our chances for March.
On young players adjusting to losing more than they’re used to: It’s different for them because some of them were on such dominant teams that it didn’t happen to them. It also is a learning experience. We cannot coast and come up on top. Non-conference games teach you a lot of lessons. I think we’ve learned a lot in the non-conference schedule.
On Malik Dime seeing an increase in playing time: Malik has been playing great and we’ve already extended his minutes. If he’s not in foul trouble or tired he’s in there a while.
On avoiding foul trouble: Yeah. We need to make sure we stay in the game. We can’t pick up the dumb fouls. We have to keep our hands off and move our feet. We can’t afford to be in foul trouble.
On officials not calling games as tight as they were earlier: I think so. I think the games are being officiated slightly differently than they were early. There have been adjustments.
On Marquese Chriss learning to avoid foul trouble: Marquese will show his hands a lot. He’s not fouling like he was early. Hopefully this won’t haunt him the rest of his career. Baron Davis used to get in foul trouble all the time and never got over that hump in college. Marquese hopefully will
On not getting distracted be negativity on social media: That’s why you practice and point out positives within your team. It’s something you go through. I know veterans who say they don’t read it. It’s something you go through. They have to deal with it. It comes with the territory.
On the learning process for the young players on the team: Once you know something you have to be held accountable for it. If you do it a couple of times and they don’t get it you repeat it until they get it. Then there comes a point when they know it and now it’s unacceptable for them to make that mistake. That’s where we’re at right now.
On Markelle Fultz: Yeah. After watching him I think he’ll make our team. It was a joy to watch. He was in such command on the basketball court. They put a different player on him to lock him down but then he went to the block and scored more. He’s one of the top 10 players in the country, and he comes out and he’s giving all his teammates the ball. He wasn’t playing to impress people. He was playing to win. There were times where he took over. But it was impressive to watch him control the game the way he did.
On if Markelle Fultz exceeded the coaching staff’s expectations: I’d say close to that. I wish you could have heard early conversation when we were projecting what he could be. We thought he could be pretty special. He plays so easily. We knew with maturation and work he’s going to be special. What most don’t realize is he can play the point guard. He hasn’t been playing that for long. But you can see that he could end up there.
On which former Husky he’s most like: He’s probably more like Brandon Roy than he is like Isaiah Thomas. I remember speaking during Brandon Roy’s senior year and saying that he could be an all-american. Sure enough we started conference and he busted out with 30. He’s more like Brandon because he wants to win more than he wants to impress people. They both can score in so many different ways. It’s a special talent.
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