Washington's time with the media has passed. The only real news was non-news, as coach Lorenzo Romar said that he has decided on his starting lineup for the NCAA tournament opener against Georgia ... but was keeping it to himself.
After the press conference, the Huskies went out to the court for their public practice session before a couple of hundred citizens of Charlotte, but very nearly no one wearing purple.
The highlight of that session was the Huskies taking turns on taking half-court buzzer-beaters. Each player got several tries, but the only ones to his were Scott Suggs and Desmond Simmons.
Some other notes from today's media day:
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Heavy travel Charlotte is 2,802 miles from Seattle, meaning the Huskies traveled farther for their opening game than any other team in the NCAA field.
However, coach Lorenzo Romar says they have no one to blame but themselves.
“Usually I'm thinking during out season, if we take care of our business we don't have to worry about that," Romar said. "But we've been inconsistent this year and as a result we've flown across the country 2,800 miles. Maybe if we’d done a little better job during our season we wouldn’t have had to go so far,” he said. “So, we kind of made our bed in that regard.”
Distant viewGeorgia is a Southeastern Conference school playing tonight in a bordering Atlantic Coast Conference state. Thompkins was asked what kind of reputation Pacific-10 Conference basketball has down here in the South.
“We really don’t get that much games from the Pac-10,” he said, shocking no one familiar with the Pac-10 TV package. “But the ones that we do catch, we notice that they’re really fast-paced, and everybody is getting up and down and scoring points. And we appreciate (that style of play). They’re a tough league.”
Low on purple, heavy on blueThere isn’t much purple on the streets of downtown Charlotte this week. But there’s plenty of blue, as both Duke and North Carolina start their NCAA tournaments here.
“We’re just embracing it,” said Duke’s Nolan Smith. “You have two rival schools right down the road and two great programs with two great coaches, and whenever you can bring us both so close together, you know, it’s great for basketball, and I think the fan base down here in Charlotte for both of us is going to be tremendous.”
Duke plays Hampton around 12:15 Friday. North Carolina meets Long Island around 4:15.
The UNC-LIU winner will face the Washington-Georgia winner on Sunday.
‘Miracle’ neededNo. 1 seeded Duke opens its tournament run this afternoon against No. 16 Hampton.Hampton coach Edward Joyner Jr. said at media day Thursday that he will remind his players that even the most unlikely upsets are possible by showing them film of Hampton’s 2001 upset of No. 2 seed Iowa State … and a lot more.
“Trust me, they’re going to see it … along with ‘Miracle,’ ‘Rudy,’ and anything else you can find,” Joyner said. “If you’ve got any suggestions you can give it to me, but they will see it (Thursday night) along with anything else we can get to pump them up to try to come out and get a ballgame.”