Romar Press Conference Notes

The No. 16 ranked Washington Huskies head to southern California this weekend to face No. 13 Georgetown, their first top-25 opponent of the season, as a part of the John R. Wooden Classic. The Huskies (6-1) plan on forcing the undefeated Hoyas (7-0) to match their speed to set the rhythm of the game.

Breaking through Georgetown's solid defense to score at the rim will be the biggest struggle for the Huskies Saturday, said Head Coach Lorenzo Romar Tuesday at his weekly press briefing. Georgetown is a big team, lead by one of the best big men in the country, Greg Monroe. Monroe had 24 points and 15 rebounds Tuesday night as the Hoyas defeated Butler 72-65.

"The thing with Monroe is he's so versatile," Romar said. "At 6-foot-11 he can put the ball on the floor and make plays for himself and make plays for others."

Romar also noted the versatility of the Hoyas' offense which boasts a contingency of highly capable scorers, posing a threat to Washington's defense that allowed a season-high 80 points against Texas Tech last week during regulation. Right now Georgetown has four scorers averaging double-figures (Monroe, Chris Wright, Austin Freeman and Jason Clark). They have two more in Julian Vaughn and Hollis Thompson that are averaging more than five points a game.

"You have to be really, really be sound in all of your defensive principles," Romar said. "When you've got multiple scorers such as Georgetown, you've got to play sound defense, because if you don't, any breakdowns will be taken advantage of."

Romar promised after last weekend's games that the rotation would be shortened to allow for better cohesion and playmaking on the floor. While the top spots may have been solidified, not all is set in stone since every member of the team has made a case for significant playing time in one game or another to this point. The eight-to-eleven spots are the toughest to assign, and if it weren't for freshman guard C.J. Wilcox redshirting, Romar said all twelve of his scholarship players would be given serious consideration.

"Probably most of it has been determined, but at the same time, with three more days of practice, someone could make a case here at the last minute so we'll probably wait until Saturday," Romar said regarding his rotation.

Elston Turner has emerged as the Huskies' fifth starter in the last two games, and the coaching staff is pleased with how he's handled the opportunity.

"He's done a good job," Romar said of Turner. "He's been aggressive on the offensive end but at the same time he's put forth a good effort on the defensive end. If the defensive effort wasn't there he probably wouldn't be in the starting lineup but he's been able to be functional in the defensive end."

Saturday's game in Anaheim will be a chance for a young Washington team to prove their ability to perform under the pressure of playing a top-ranked opponent away from home. Senior Quincy Pondexter, who equates Georgetown with such high-profile programs like Duke and North Carolina, promises to remind his teammates to play like it's just any other game.

"I think we're really going to have to let them know this whole entire week that it is just a basketball game," Pondexter said. "They lose just how we lose, they win just how we win, they bleed, they run up and down the court, they make shots, it's just basketball.

"It's not too complicated."


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