VIDEO: Lorenzo Romar Saturday Briefing - Utah

Washington Head Coach Lorenzo Romar held court Saturday morning, fielding questions from the press ahead of the Huskies' Sunday night showdown with Utah.

On Utah-WSU - “Utah played really well. Utah played with a little bit of renewed energy, it appeared. Utah is well, well-coach. Larry does a great job, him and his staff, and they have a system, they have a foundation. They are so well drilled in it that they don’t have to change a lot. I don’t think they look at, they dropped a couple so now they’ve got to change the entire system…they’re not going to do that. It’s been too effective for them. So they did what they do; they play very good defense, they take care of the basketball, they play together, they share the basketball and Poeltl was just big-time down in the paint. They’ve got players that can play around him, they made baskets.”

Do they rely on Poeltl the same way Colorado relies on Scott? - “Similar that way, and rightly so. Those are two of the better big guys in the country.”

Are they as tough defensively as they’ve been in the past, like when Delon Wright was leading the charge? - “To me, when you say tough, disciplined, and then Delon Wright - I don’t know if Delon Wright made them disciplined. Delon Wright was the guy that could make the defensive play. He’s a guy that could put out fires. A little like Malik Dime for us, although they are different positions. The defense can get broken down and Malik Dime can cover it up. A guy like Matisse Thybulle, they can cover up mistakes for others. Delon Wright was quite a bit like that. But whenever we’ve faced Utah they’ve always been solid defensively, and they’re not easy to score on.”

Who has impressed you of their newcomers? - “(Lorenzo) Bonam. He’s very impressive. Their guard.”

Is Devenir stil progressing? - “Yes, progressing very well. There’s a good chance he could be available for this next game.”

What did you do against Poeltl in the second half of last year’s game (3 points)? - “That particular game, we decided that if he went out and got 20 points against us, we were going to live with that. But we were going to try and limit the others’ production. The second half he just didn’t score as much. That’s what I remember in that game.”

Is Jordan Loveridge doing anything different than last year? - “He’s making more shots. He’s shooting the ball really well right now.”

On Marquese Chriss using a sports psychologist - “It’s something that hadn’t been checked over the years, something maybe he didn’t see. He’d get distracted here and there, but it’s okay. Here, once he started playing he saw that maybe he needed to pay more attention to it. So he did, and went out and did something about it, got some help and he’s been a lot better. He may react to a certain situation, an adverse situation but then he comes right back quickly. Whereas before it maybe would take him a longer time to get back dialed in. Now he’s a lot quicker, he’s back with you.”

Does it help with his foul trouble? - “Sure it does. One of the sayings we say is, you’ve got to turn the page. And it’s not just Marquese; it’s a lot of players. There’s so many players that struggle with that. They make a mistake, they get down on themselves, and now they’ve made three mistakes on the next possession because they’re still thinking about that one. Guys dwell on that so much. It’s a problem for a lot of kids, not just on our team but other teams. You can watch it. It’s really good when you can find someone that’s just tough-minded, and as badly as they want to do the right thing they go on to the next play.”

On guarding against ‘cool jackets’ with being at the top of the league - “It is, but I can guarantee you two weeks from now you could ask me that same question about whatever situation we’re in. It’s critical, period. Today’s practice is critical, and that’s not coach-speak. That’s not just what I’m supposed to say. We come out and practice here like we’ve arrived, and yesterday we practiced - great practice. We come out here and we just go through the motions, we’ve messed up. It’s critical, every time we step on the floor our attitude, our approach is very critical. Win or lose tomorrow, next week we’re going to go to LA. And there’s going to be something critical there. So we have to take on that attitude, that personality that we can rest when the season is over. Right now mentally? We’ve got to be locked in and everything is critical for us.”


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