Romar and company head to the desert

After splitting their first two conference games against the Los Angeles schools at home, the Huskies hit the road for the first time in Pac-10 play as they head to the desert to play the Arizona State Sun Devils (9-4, 1-1) on Thursday, January 9th, and #4 Arizona Wildcats (9-1, 2-0) on Saturday, the 11th. Huskies Head Coach Lorenzo Romar held his first weekly press conference at Bank of America Arena on Tuesday to discuss the upcoming schedule and other team related issues.

Looking at the Sun Devils:

"This is probably one of the toughest, if not the toughest road trip in the conference," said Romar of the swing through Arizona. The desert has not been too kind the Huskies. Since 1989, Washington has a 2-27 combined record on the road at Arizona State and Arizona, including 11 straight losses.

"It shows that it's a tough road trip," said Romar with a laugh when informed of the history. "That just confirms what I just said."

The Sun Devils are led by Ike Diogu, 6'8" true freshmen out of Garland, Texas who leads the team in scoring at 18.6 points per outing. "He may be the best low-post scorer in the conference," said Romar of Diogu. "The last guy that I remember as a freshmen, that was good on the post like this, was Shareef Abdur-Rahim, and he was player of the year for the conference as a freshmen."

Washington will be severely limited when it comes to bodies that can defend a player like Diogu due to the obvious lack of depth at size on their roster. "You've got to make him work for everything he gets. It sounds good in theory, but to try and do that, and everyone has tried to do that I'm sure, yet he's still averaging a whole bunch of points per game as a freshmen."

Arizona State is not just limited to a standout freshmen. Romar mentioned the senior experience and leadership of Tommy Smith and Shawn Redhage as players that can also make an impact if too much attention is focused on just Diogu.

Day-to-Day for Jeffrey:

Jeffrey Day is still academically ineligible to play with the team. However, Day has received a waiver to practice with the team for the time being and continues to wait until the UW Academics Department clears him and declares him eligible once again. Romar could not give an approximate time period as to when the Huskies expect him back, and did mention that anything was possible regarding the issue.

The Huskies have played three games without Day so far, and are 2-1 without him. Day's size was obviously missed when UCLA used their size advantage to disrupt the Huskies shooting on way to a 77-67 victory.

Size is something the Sun Devils do not lack. Arizona State has 10 players on their roster that are 6'7" and above and Romar sees that as a sign of concern and makes Day's absence even more of a factor. Arizona

Huskies on the Offense:

One of the knocks on the Huskies this season is that they have not been able to play consistently on both sides of the ball, and tend to fall in love with their three point shots. Romar is fully aware of this issue.

"I think we do a decent job of guarding whoever we play, and knowing that we're going to have lapses where we stink it up on the defensive end," stated Romar. "But with that being said, I think we're an offensive team that needs to be clicking in order for us to beat really, really good teams."

E.T. Come Home?:

The question of whether of not sophomore Charles Frederick will turn out for basketball remains just that; a question.

"I'm not sure," said Romar regarding ET's status. "I would say if we have not resolved anything by this week, he probably won't play."

Romar did mention he did have a conversation with Frederick recently, but he still could not give a guarantee that we would see the talented athlete from Florida on the court this season. If and when Frederick does come to play, it presents a question of whether or not there would be a spot for him in the rotation at guard, arguably the Huskies' deepest position.

"The way we play, we try to apply a lot of on-ball pressure, we try to use our quickness to get up in the lanes, and in opportunities where we get to press, quickness is something that's very important. We also offensively like to try to attack the basket," said Romar.

"Charles does those things. So when you say is there a need, you say we have Will Conroy, Curtis Allen, and Nate Robinson, those are all point guards. And as you have seen, we have seen all three of them play together and they are all six feet, so position doesn't matter as to what they bring to the table.

"We can't have enough guys who are intense, and play hard and who are unselfish, and who can defend. That's what he does," Romar added.

Joy After the Fall of Troy:

The Huskies have to be at a high after notching a 21-point comeback victory over USC on Saturday night. Romar was also very emotional and excited to get his first Pac-10 victory over a top-notch team like USC. Romar reminisced about the post game joy he felt on Saturday night.

"As far as sports is concerned, winning is great," Romar started out. "There's an unbelievable amount of satisfaction when you go out on the floor, and you've got lost in the game and there wasn't much on your mind than as a group, we're in a foxhole. We've got no room to think of anything else other than laying it out on the line.

"And you do that, and at time you don't realize how exhausted you are, you don't realize how tired you are, you don't realize how emotionally drained you're getting, and then, when it's all over, and you've come out on top and you finally sit down, that feeling right there is unbeliaveble. Now you can relax and reflect on what just happened. And you realize, ‘I am so exhausted, but I am so excited.'

"That's what I saw in the locker room at the end of the game."

D-Huddy Getting More Minutes:

One of the more pleasant surprises so far this season has been the development of sophomore David Hudson. The former walk-on out of Rainier Beach HS has made a name for himself recently and has quickly become a fan favorite. For the season, Hudson is 9-15 from three-point range for a remarkable 60%.

"David is kind of like our relief pitcher," said Romar of Hudson. "We talked in the summer and in the spring and talked about he was a walk-on and he didn't get to play very much, but this was a new season, and it didn't matter, and no one had a lock on any position.

"Relief pitchers sometimes go two or three days without getting in, and all of a sudden they are in there three or four inning in the mix right away. They may go a stretch where they are closing five straight games. He has a talent to shoot that ball. He can get that shot of quickly. There are situations where he is definitely going to be able to contribute."

Earlier in the season, Hudson usually only came in when the game had already been decided, but when he did come in, he raised a few eye brows with some long-range bombs and that gave Romar more and more confidence to bring him in not just for mop-up duty, but when the game is actually on the line.

"Against USC, I think David Hudson's shot before half time was as important as anything we did to win that game, because helped with momentum going into the locker room.

"It's no fluke. He can do that. He knows he can do it, and he'll tell you he can do it," said Romar with a chuckle. "He's very confident like that."


Arizona Road Trip Information:

Thursday, January 9th @ Arizona State (Fox Sports NW) 5:30pm

Saturday, January 11th @ Arizona (Fox Sports NW) 4:00pm

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