The University of Washington men’s basketball team practiced on campus today after opening training camp with a weekend of closed practiced in Lacey.
Coach Lorenzo Romar said he was pleased with the way his team has started its preparations for the season, which starts with a Nov. 13 visit from McNeese State.
“It was good to see guys pick things up,” he said. “Our guys played together. It was good. … It wasn’t 100 percent like we would like because we’ve got a couple of guys who have late classes on Friday. Normally we would have gotten away as soon as class was done at 1:30 or so. But it still worked out.”
Judging from early practices, Romar said he believes this is a better-shooting team than he has had in a while. He believes this team’s athleticism should allow the Huskies to be challenging defensively. And he is intrigued about complementing the returning core of last season’s 26-10 team with an outside shooter like C.J. Wilcox and an inside presence like 7-foot Aziz N’Diaye.
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One thing that hasn’t come any clearer over the first days of camp is the likely starting lineup.
Even before the first practice, Romar declared three likely starters: guard Isaiah Thomas and forwards Justin Holiday and Matthew Bryan-Amaning.
However, the decision on the other two starters actually is being delayed by a team asset: versatility.
“We could go with a bigger lineup, we could go with a smaller lineup, we could go with shooters, we could go with penetrators,” Romar said. “We’ve just got to see what’s best. There are some other factors: Who are going to be the guys who are going to generate turnovers for us? Who are going to make life hard for the opponent’s offense? That’s a big factor in how we play. I think in the past we had guys who could defend, but maybe not score as well, and vice versa. I think some of our good defenders are guys now who can score also. That’s helps.”
However, rather than looking for a specific style, Romar said he is looking for a specific result.
“We always look at who has an impact on the score, and who – as a result of them being on the floor – lifts that team up to where they’re just a little better because they’re out there,” he said. “Those are the guys who get to play the most.”
FAST BREAKSSenior point guard Venoy Overton isn’t participating fully due to a hamstring injury that Romar said could slow him for a couple of more weeks. … However, true freshman Desmond Simmons (knee) has been cleared to practice.