11/26 Basketball report

Nate Robinson participated in his first Husky basketball practice today. The 5-9 freshman from Rainier Beach is using the time before bowl practices begin to get some court time with his basketball teammates.

Sunday's narrow loss to Montana State did not sit well with head coach Lorenzo Romar nor the players. Today's practice was the first since the defeat and was noticeably more uptempo. After spending time working on post-entry passes every drill and scrimmage from that point involved heavy running. Full court 3 man weaves and full court five on none breaks were run to keep the tempo high.

Bad shooting has plagued this team in its three early games. Romar is emphasizing good shot selection to his players. A forced shot is rewarded with a coach in the face of the player who took it. Simple shooting drills took up 15 minutes of practice.

Mike Jensen, Jeff Day, and Nate Robinson all stood out with their jump shooting ability. Robinson quickly showed that he has the skills to contribute, but he has a lot to learn about Lorenzo Romar's system, particularly on the defensive end. Robinson spent a lot of quality time with the assistant coaches learning his position in each drill and exercise. David Hudson also spent time teaching Nate the ropes.

Head football coach Rick Neuheisel and coordinators Tim Hundley and Keith Gilbertson all stopped by practice momentarily Tuesday . Whether or not it was to keep an eye on their stud cornerback is unknown. Robinson left practice early to attend the football team banquet.

The emphasis on shooting may be paying off. In a free throw shooting drill, where misses earn you sprints, 5 Huskies went a collective ten for ten in one turn and a collective 8 for 10 in another.

As is usually the case, the Huskies ended practice playing five on five. Romar wanted his team to run on every rebound, made basket, and turnover. This team is obviously most fluid on the offensive end when they run. Half court sets seem to slow them down in games. In practices the players run through their half court sets much quicker and hit their spots faster. If the players can keep the same speed in the games which they do in the practices they will succeed at a much higher rate. Otherwise they will have to rely on the break to get their offense going. During five on fives Will Conroy earned praise from Romar for finding his big men streaking down court for layups. Anthony Washington continued to pound the glass. He gets his fair share of rebounds he shouldn't get.

Mike Jensen showed good range on his jumper. If he can hit from outside, he should be able to get that shot whenever he wants. Jensen had a scare earlier in practice when Ben Devoe's head collided hard with Jensen's right hand during a drill. But it turned out to be just a bruise. He later returned to practice after icing his hand for a few minutes.

Practice ended with one final sprint from baseline to baseline and back. The guards and small forwards were given a nine second limit while the big men were given ten. Baseline runs have typically been eleven seconds.

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