Romar says Trier makes a good team better

Washington's Head Men's Basketball Coach Lorenzo Romar discussed freshman star Markelle Fultz, former assistant/current Seattle University head coach Cameron Dollar, and Arizona guard Allonzo Trier prior to Washington's matchup with the Wildcats on Sunday.

What went wrong/right on Wednesday against Arizona State? “I thought that we in the zone did a really nice job in the first half for the most part. I didn’t think our defense was terrible. We had some blow-byes late in the game that kind of tainted our effort so to speak. Aside from that, the thing that didn’t go well was we didn’t make shots in the first half. We shot 30% in the first half. We couldn’t convert layups. We couldn’t convert wide-open threes. We couldn’t convert a lot of things. We also turned the ball over too many times. Four travels in the first half. Just unforced turnovers.”

Why the zone against ASU? “We knew they were small. Actually if they were big we would have started out in man. They started out small so we didn’t think that we could do good enough of a job when they went with our starters so we went zone. We’ve been playing more zone than we have in other years this year, so it’s kind of a game to game thing.”

On perimeter defense “It hasn’t been very good. Our defense hasn’t very good. It’s been better the past few weeks, but Utah it was a zero, but aside from the Utah game I think it’s been better than it was earlier in the year.”

On Markelle Fultz’s performance towards the end of that game? “He offensively took over. No doubt about that. Markelle (Fultz) had two points with two and a half minutes left in the first half. He scored 26 points in 22 minutes basically. He just got to he basket, hit shots. The other thing about Markelle is he had nine assists. If it were a night where we were just making our shots at a normal rate he would have had 15 or 16 assists. We missed a lot of wide open shots with him delivering the basketball. He probably would have had 28 (points) and 15 (assists) or something like that. He played excpetionally well.”

Is Markelle Fultz having the best statistical season for any Husky ever? “Statistically, when you look at not just the scoring - I think the most anyone has ever averaged is 20 for us. I want to say Brandon (Roy) and Andrew (Andrews). Andrew was pretty good because he had six rebounds. Markelle has six or seven rebounds a game. He’s second in the league in assists. He’s third or fourth in steals. I don’t think there’s any question arose the board statistically that he’s having the best year of anybody we’ve had.”

Do you pay attention to what Brandon Dollar has done at Seattle U? “Oh yeah. Very much. All the time.”

On Seattle U and Brandon Dollar “The fact that when he took the job they could not go to the NCAA tournament. I believe it was three years or four because they could go out - I don’t know the exact (number of years). For three or four years they recruited players saying that you won’t be able to go to the tournament; we’re not eligible. I don’t know how you recruit that. So just the last couple years he’s been able to say you’re going to have the opportunity to participate in the NCAA tournament. I just think that climb, what they had to do in that transition from D2 to D1, he’s done a great job.”

What did Cameron Dollar bring to the program when he was your assistant? “He was very fiery. He was always a winner. Always a winner. Brilliant in terms of his intelligence and understanding of the game. He knew me very well. He knew me very well. He knew our system very well.”

Have you had an assistant since then that you felt was the same level as Cameron Dollar? “We never had a player before or after Job Brockman that was the same, but Brandon Roy was a better player. We’ve never had a player that was the same as Isaiah Thomas, but other guys were good. Nobodies been the same as Cameron. Cameron was unique. We’ve had other good assistants, but Cameron is different, just like other assistants are different. Just like players are different.”

How has Sean Miller kept Arizona playing so well? “I think Sean (Miller) is a fantastic coach. At Arizona you go to their games and there are 14000-plus screaming and the environment is just great over there. He has a senior in Kadeem Allen that I think is having a terrific, probably all-conference year. We all know what Lauri (Markannen) has been able to do at 7’0. (Susan) Ristic is a senior that I think is a very, very under rated low post scorer. He gets that ball around the basket, he gets it off and you can pretty much count it a bucket. Cartwright is a senior guard that’s been there. He’s helped them win a lot of games. Now you add Kobi Simmons and Rawle Alkins into that group. You have enough to keep it together and continue to get better.”

What has Allonzo Trier provided for Arizona? “Arizona, before Allonzo (Trier), because they played such good defense - they protect the basket. They have great size. They have a lot of components of a good defensive team. Sometimes they would have scoring droughts. I think Allonzo puts an end to all that. He’s such a gifted scorer. As good as they are, they’re about to get better.”


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