Romar preaching patience, consistency

Washington Head Coach Lorenzo Romar met with the press Wednesday ahead of UW's game with Cal State-Fullerton Thursday night at Alaska Airlines Arena. Romar talked about getting more defensive consistency after their opening loss to Yale.

What do you expect to see from Fullerton? - “Fullerton will be different than any - exhibition or Yale - they’ll be entirely different. They spread you but they are the quickest, most athletic team we’ve played in our young season at this point. They have multiple shooters, multiple drivers. They get their hands on a lot of balls when they’re on defense. So it’ll be a different challenge for us in this game.”

How much of defense at this point in the season is trying to work the scout for each game, and how much is it just making sure they have the fundamental aspects down pat? - “I think defensively it’s more doing it more consistently. We’ll go through stretches where we’re stellar, we’re flawless. We’ll go through other stretches where we are negligent. One thing about defense: you can be perfect, literally perfect, all five guys, for 25 seconds on the clock. One mistake by one person and at the end it can look like you played no defense at all. You could play, like we did against Yale, you do a good job getting stops but a true stop means you get the rebound and you secure the ball. And we didn’t do that. There were a number of times where we did a good job defensively but then we didn’t come up with the ball or we missed a box-out and then it just starts to add up. So just more consistent defense with all five guys I think is what would make a huge difference right now on the defensive end. So yes, the process right now is getting us all on the same page, every position, for the entire possession.”

What were the issues on the glass? - “At times they were quicker to the ball. At times we were negligent in terms of looking to find someone to box out. And their offense did a good job of spreading us so we were in different positions. Sometimes when you’re out of position or rotation, you have to be more diligent in seeking out a body. And we weren’t seeking out, hunting bodies when the shot would go up as much as we should have.”

Is there a number you’d like to hold opponents to? - “Field goal percentage? Or number of points? We want teams to be under 41 percent. We would like a team to score under 72 (points) because we feel like we can score 80. We want them under 72. We feel if we can get them under 41 percent, that’s helpful. In the Western game they shot 40 percent but we turned it over enough so they were able to score on our turnovers.”

Is it too early to tweak the defense at this point? - “Yes. That’s something we talked about as a staff. Way too early to scrap what we’re doing at this point. 

“Here’s what I keep going back to saying - it would be the entire game where every time down we’re just lost. At that point there’d need to be some changes. We go through stretches…we went through stretches the second half where all of a sudden, I think they turned it over once in the first half. The second half there was a stretch where they turned it over six times. So it’s not that we don’t know what to do. We have to do it more consistently. Before we decide we’re going to tweak anything I think we need to work on just being more consistent with what we’re doing. Whether that’s certain lineups or matchup, whatever it is - we’ve got to get better at that first.”

So does that mean putting more defensive-minded players on the floor? - “We’ve done that but we don’t have eight of those guys. We’re building. It’s a process. You try and have as many on the floor as possible. But some other guys have to continue to come along and grow and cut down on the mistakes.”

Is November typically a trial-and-error month? - “We don’t want it to be. We start two sophomores, two freshmen. Malik Dime started his second year playing in our system although he’s a senior. We didn’t want it to be that. It’ll be interesting to talk after tomorrow’s game.”

Can you point to other years where it looked bad in the beginning? - “Oh yeah. People probably get tired of me referring to past years but I know specifically. I remember being down 29 points before on the road. I remember being down 22 at home in a particular year. Same year later on we got together and went to the NCAA Tournament. I remember 2011, maybe it was, we went through a stretch where defensively looked a little how it just looked. And that was in January. And we got back to the drawing board and I think it was Cal we were up 30 at home against Cal. I even remember coach Montgomery after the game. He didn’t say good game or anything like that. He just said, I guess you had some good practices. Because he had seen what had taken place, our games right before we played. We got it together and ended up being a tournament team and did well.”

How has the team responded since the loss? - “I thought the right way. Alright. We get it. We need to get better. What do we need to do to get better. We’re willing to do it.” Top Stories