Monday Romar Press Conference Notes

Romar met with the press a day early this week because of the A&M game tomorrow night. Again the subject of trying to shrink the rotation down, and Romar said that it's still very much an ongoing process, and the first 5-6 minutes of a game really dictate what happens from that point forward. "As the first half develops, there might be something else you need," he said.

He also used the analogy of a game being like cooking a meal - "You know you're going to need salt, but you don't know who the salt is going to be from game to game." He used the example of their game Saturday against Portland, and how Elston Turner really had a good game on the defensive end, and Scott Suggs has arguably his best game and Justin Holiday was all over the place. He brought up Clarence Trent, and said that Trent hasn't quite grasped the system yet, so that's why he's probably not playing as much. "The game will dictate sometimes who plays more or less minutes."

He also noted a great moment around the 16-minute mark of the Portland game. He said that there were four players on the floor that all had their hand up, meaning they were ready to be subbed. It also meant they were team enough to know they've given their all. "That meant they got after it," he said.

He was asked about the Texas A&M game being the last chance to get a good signature OOC game, and Romar equated it to a team with an RPI of 330 and how big that one becomes if they lost it. "Every one of these is so big, regardless of who the opponent is. And each game, different challenge."

Romar noted that the team has to get better with their perimeter shooting. "That's a weakness of ours that we have to get better at," he said. "But we have to make sure we defend. We beat USC last year and we shot 34 percent, but we guarded and we rebounded and we did the other things."

Asked for a scouting report on A&M, Romar said that he thought their two senior guards - Donald Sloan and Derrick Roland - were good as sophomores when the Huskies played them at MSG, but now as seniors they are really good. "Their perimeter is really good and they can shoot the ball and they are quick," he said. "We've got to be able to guard and defend those guys. It won't be a walk-it-up game, that's for sure - I don't think."

Romar was asked about USC's shock win over Tennessee this past weekend, and he said he was thrilled for the Trojans. "If all the teams in the league were undefeated, that would be great. It would be great for our league. It just raises up the level of play. It always makes the league better."

He was also asked about Venoy Overton's role on the team and what the junior guard has improved on, and Romar said that the Portland game was one of his better, if not his best game. "He has a tendency on the ball to look to steal it so much, he begins to play like a defensive back would play a wide receiver. Offensively I thought he was a lot more patient. He kind of let the game come to him, while still trying to be aggressive."

What about Venoy as a starter, as opposed to being the No. 1 player off the bench, a role he was so good at last year? "Brandon Roy was a sixth man, Tre Simmons was a sixth man, Jamaal Williams was a sixth man…those guys could play," Romar said. "Coming off the bench or not, he's a starter. He's done it before, so if that is the case, he'll do a fine job."

But most of the conversation was about Suggs, a player Romar has known for 9 or 10 years now. He became aware of Suggs through a childhood friend, Herb Anderson, who also knew the Suggs family. Anderson happened to be in St. Louis one Fourth of July, and wanted to know if he could invite the Suggs' over to Romar's house for an Independence Day B-B-Q. Romar said yes, and the rest is history.

They all had a great time, and when it was over Romar invited Scott to play some basketball with him using a little hoop Lorenzo had set up in the driveway. "Let me see what you've got, little man," Romar joked to the 10-year old Suggs.

"I beat him," Romar said Monday. "I'm not bragging."

Romar didn't know it at the time, but when Suggs got in his family's car to leave, he started crying. "I let this old man beat me!" He knew nothing about my background," Romar said. "He just knew I was old."

After that, Romar would leave tickets for Scott and his father for the St. Louis games. Suggs' father Ron always promised Romar that if Scott ever got to the level where he might be able to play at the high D-1 level, he would call.

"Eventually I got the call," Romar said.

Ironically enough, the two have never have played one-on-one since. If they played now? Romar laid down the gauntlet. "Right now, he'd get me," he said with a smile. "But if you give me a four-week window...give me a jump rope and about four weeks, come out here and shoot - it would be the same as when he was 10. And he might cry again, because now he got beat by an older old man."

Romar was asked about the one thing Suggs needs to do to push through and become the heralded player he was coming out of high school, and Romar had one word - Time. "You rarely hear people say he just needs more time. People are more inclined to quickly say he's overrated. In school people have different ways of learning. Scott is the type of player that he has to really be able to conceptualize in his mind what's going on. If not, it's harder for him. It's just a matter of growing and beginning to understand what we want and what this game is all about at this level.

"There will come a day hopefully where Scott Suggs scores 13 and you say, is there anything wrong with Scott tonight?"

Romar was asked about his feelings toward a player he's known for so long, and he admitted that when they are on the court together, all that simply vanishes. "I honestly totally forget about it when we're out here," he said, adding that he met Tim Morris, his cousin, when Tim was two. "I've known him almost his whole life, and trust me - he was never treated any differently."


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