Coach's Corner

I don't know about you, but two months of the year are particularly difficult for me to endure as a sports fanatic. February and June, as both of these months follow seasons that have just ended.

That is why recruiting stuff gets such strong play in the media at the start of February. There really is nothing else to write about. January starts with great college football and ends with the Super Bowl. It becomes a drag to get to March Madness and opening day for baseball in April. That's exactly why they have the hot stove league, spring training for both baseball and football, and the NBA playoffs to carry us over into summer.

That being said, here we are deep into February and I'm having a ball. Isn't it exciting to watch the Husky basketball team with their full court pressure, great on the ball defense, and up-tempo style basketball? These guys do a former coach proud, watching the way they dive after loose basketballs and go full out on both ends of the floor. It is refreshing and it comes at just the perfect time of the year.

Winning 8 of 10 also helps, but how they're doing it is what makes this such an exciting event to witness.

Being your resident Husky homer, I have to wonder how cool it would be if the hoopsters continued to win, did well in the Pac-10 tournament, and made it to the NCAA dance. Wouldn't that be something? This place would go nuts. Odds are against it, but who wouldn't settle for an invitation to the NIT and be really pleased if they could win two or three games in that tournament?

This team is exciting and a big reason why is that they reflect their coach's style and his detail to preparation. Romar's Huskies play everyone tough and with a little more development from their inside players, should be a force in the years to come.

What is also great is that a good portion of the team is comprised of local kids. This trend should really help Lorenzo and his staff. If they can continue to get most of the good local kids to stay home then he will prove to be the best coach since his coach, Marv Harshman, at Washington. Guys like Marcus Williams, Jon Brockman, Micah Downs, and Artem Wallace are all big guys that could really help Lorenzo early.

Speaking of good coaches, has anyone noticed what a wonderful job Ken Bone is doing as an assistant for Coach Romar? His teams at Seattle Pacific were always sound fundamentally and his game day coaching is just as intense as it was when he was the head coach for the Falcons. He impresses me to no end. A coach is only as good as his help, and certainly Romar is getting great help from his assistants.

Notice that I am not talking about Nate. That's because I think there is enough said about him already. The announcers for the NC State TV game went a little overboard in praising Nate all the time. This team is winning because they think they can. It is that simple. There are no stars. They are winning as a team. Sure Nate Robinson is the darling for the fans because he is so spectacular. I love the kid to death. Still, it is the team intensity that is most infectious. Nate is special and there is no question about that. I still think that until he becomes a true point guard that his best sport might be football. Hopefully he will go back to doing both and if he does, he'll own this town for the rest of his life.

Lorenzo's team has captured a win starved Seattle sports audience. Just watch, with 5 or 6 more wins and you will see even more people jumping on their bandwagon. Just look at the message board for hoops now. It's going crazy, and even my buddy Softy is clamoring for the Dawgman folks to come onto his show to talk HOOPS recruiting. That's a switch, let me tell you.

And it's all good.
What's next:
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 26 -- Washington at (#17) Arizona; 5:30 p.m. PST (6:30 MST) - McKale Center (14,545); Tucson, Ariz. - Fox Sports Northwest TV
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 28 -- Washington at Arizona State; 6:00 p.m. PST (7:00 MST) - Wells Fargo Arena (14,141); Tempe, Ariz. - Fox Sports Northwest TV

Montlake Musings: The current third-place position is the highest the Huskies have been in the Pac-10 standings this late in the season since the final day of the 1986-87 regular season. If the Huskies win at Arizona, they will sit in second place at the latest point in the season since the end of the 1986 campaign when UW finished as Pac-10 runner-up to Arizona….Washington has lost its last 13 games in the state of Arizona and was swept last year for the 13th time in its last 15 visits. Since 1989, UW has a 2-29 combined record at Arizona (1-14) and Arizona State (1-15). Washington lost 89-57 at Arizona State last season, its 15th loss in the last 16 visits to Tempe…..Will Conroy recorded the 23rd 100-assist season in UW history. He distributed 104 this year and 108 last year to post back-to-back 100-assist seasons…..Washington has struggled on the road against ranked teams, losing its last 24 outings. The last Husky road win over a ranked foe was an 80-78 decision over No. 14 Arizona on Feb. 1, 1996 in Tucson. Top Stories