Huskies coach Lorenzo Romar met with reporters earlier this afternoon. He said senior forward Shawn Kemp Jr. is "probably questionable" for UW's first-round game against Stanford on Wednesday (8:40 p.m., Pac-12 Networks).
Romar also addressed the graduate transfer phenomenon, talked about Stanford and gave his thoughts on the league's end-of-season awards.
(On watching Utah game film) “We were disciplined defensively, very disciplined. I mentioned that after the game. One guy moved, the next guy followed with him. We were all moving in unison. You need to play together defensively just as much as you need to play together offensively, and it might be even more important to play together defensively. You can sometimes out-talent people on the offensive end. Individual guys can just make plays and you don’t get many assists, but defensively, you have to work together, and I thought we did that. When I watched the film, you can see that was very evident.”
(On Shawn Kemp Jr.’s calf strain) “He’s getting a little better. I thought yesterday he turned the corner a little bit. At least he’s walking now and without a limp. Once you get there, things can start to get better quickly.”
(On managing minutes from day one to day two at the Pac-12 tourney) “I don’t think you can look to wait until the next day. That’s not to say how many guys are going to play, it’s just that if you lose, you’re done. Your season’s over. So we can’t hold something back and say, ‘well, we’ve got to wait ‘til tomorrow.’ We’ve got to put it all out there on Wednesday night.”
(Does scout change based on Kemp playing or not?) “Pretty much whatever we do, it’ll be the same whether Shawn plays or not. We won’t have to change because of Shawn.”
(Is Kemp questionable? Doubtful?) “… Well, questionable. I keep saying I’ll know more, but it’s the truth. … I think he’s moved to where he’s probably questionable.”
(What’s the risk in just seeing if he can go?) “There’s no risk to Shawn at all. No risk at all. He can maybe tweak it again but nothing dramatic is going to happen to him physically. It’s a matter of how much Shawn can tolerate, but also understand he literally has not ran for two weeks. One day. The day when he strained his calf was the day he did some conditioning. But aside from that, since we were at Washington State, he’s not done anything. So I would imagine at 100 percent, he will not be able to go for long, long stretches.”
(On Gilles Dierickx holding up after playing big minutes) “It helped, I think, that we were in the zone. The fact that we weren’t playing man to man, he didn’t have to do a whole lot of running around – I think that helped him. So 34 minutes against Colorado, then 31 minutes against Utah. I thought he did a nice job.”
(What went wrong in two losses to Stanford?) “The things we did not do right is we did not take care of the basketball. Thirteen turnovers is not a whole lot, but they resulted in 19 points for Stanford last game. And then the first game, the one we were up with a minute to go, 40 seconds to go, that was 27 points off turnovers. So that’s something we have to do a better job of. I thought we did a good job defensively the first time we played them, and not a very good job the second time.”
(Any difference in Andrew Andrews’ game over the past few weeks?) “I think Andrew has just been getting lost in the game. He’s been a rock. And it’s good to see that. This is his third year of playing college basketball. You can see the experience out there on the floor really showing when he’s out there playing. I think he understands how to impact the game in a positive way, and he’s been shooting the ball extremely well. He’s just really matured. It’s been really good to see.”
(Is there an inherent concern when a fourth-year junior plays well that he might transfer for his fifth year?) “It depends who it is, but again, the end of the year is free agency. Whether guys are going to leave early and go to the NBA, or they’re going to consider transferring, or they’re going to consider, ‘I’m going to play somewhere else my fifth year.’ It’s a lot like free agency at the end of the year. In some cases, it’s hard to prepare for the future because sometimes you don’t know who’s going to be around. But I think that’s just the landscape now.”
(Do you anticipate having to recruit Andrews to stay?) “You never know what goes on in guys’ minds, but I don’t think so. Andrew’s never given me any indication that he’s going to do that.”
(On Jernard Jarreau’s game against Utah) “Jernard was really dialed in, and played with purpose in that game. You could just see right off the bat how he was moving in the zone. How he was running the floor. When he stepped in to shoot the basketball, he stepped in every time as if he knew he was going to make the shot. He stepped in with a lot of confidence. He was just really locked in, dialed in, and you talk about maybe the rust is coming off - -maybe that was the case. I can say this about a few people, but we don’t win that game without Jernard. The Washington State game was another one we wouldn’t have won without Jernard. He made his biggest impact on the offensive end this time – the biggest impact he’s ever made on the offensive end."
(On Jarreau still adjusting to his body) “He’s still at times gangly. That’s still the case. But the main thing with Jernard is, you look at him and say boy, he’s been around a lot. But how much basketball mileage has he gotten since he’s been here? Not as much as you might think. He played his freshman year, but he wasn’t a starter his freshman year. And as a lot of freshmen go through, just kind of finding his way. And last year was his sophomore year and he got hurt. Then this year he comes back and he misses 10 games or so. He has not had one complete year since his freshman year where he works out in the spring, the summer, and now plays a full season. Hopefully that’ll be next year. But as a result, he’s still finding his way a little bit.”
(On Nigel Williams-Goss being named second-team all-conference) “I’m happy for Nigel. Andrew I thought maybe could have snuck his way in there with something, but he didn’t get anything. Nigel, when you look at what he was able to do in conference play and this year, I thought he had a fantastic year. He’s definitely deserving of what he got, at a minimum.”
(Surprised Joseph Young won Player of the Year?) “Not at all. That one didn’t surprise me.”
(Why not?) “Joseph Young I thought was a high-scoring support guy in some ways. Just didn’t seem like it was his team in the past. He put points on the board all the time, but this year, he played with a certain edge, a certain fire that really I thought led that team. He didn’t just score. It was an attitude he played with – a no-nonsense, no-lose attitude. You talk about a guy that hit big shot after big shot and just carried the team at times with his ability to make baskets, that’s Joseph Young. I think he’s very deserving of being Player of the Year.”
(On Nate Robinson signing a 10-day contract with the Clippers) “So we’ve got Nate, we’ve got Spencer (Hawes), we’ve got C.J. (Wilcox), and then Jamal’s (Crawford) from Seattle. That’s something. I was really excited for him. I had been talking to Nate prior to that. I know he went down there and met with the team, sat down to interview. He was pretty pumped up to go down there to L.A. and be with those guys. It would be exciting to watch them anyway, but now they’ve added – as far as we’re concerned, selfishly – another reason to watch them.”