Huskies coach Lorenzo Romar met with reporters for a few minutes at the MGM Grand Garden Arena to preview Wednesday’s Pac-12 tournament opener against Stanford one last time.
Here’s what he said.
(Were guys wide-eyed at all walking in here for the first time?) “When you walk into the MGM, and the lobby, there’s a giant gold lion and it has all the Pac-12 team banners up there, and right away, you could tell our guys were saying ok, this is it, this is serious business. So when we got in here, it just adds to the excitement. I would say more excited than wide-eyed.”
(On this week being similar to the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament in the Bahamas) “In terms of, you have all your teams, the format is very similar. But there’s just more at stake right now. That’s the difference.”
(On not knowing how many games they will play this week) “That’s what I mean by the stakes are so much higher. Lose or go home. In the Bahamas, you’re going to play more games. You’re guaranteed that. But you don’t have any margin for error here.”
(On shortening the team’s rotation in the tournament) “Depends on how the game goes. Sometimes a certain player is suited more for a certain team. There’s foul trouble. You just never know. A guy comes in the game and he’s light out and he’s playing well, so maybe the other guys don’t get as much of a chance because you don’t want to sit this guy down. So it’s hard to say.”
(On if he would ever consider only playing five players, like Mike Neighbors almost did) “It’s hard, the way we play, to do that. Guys would be exhausted. You just can’t continue to run and apply that type of pressure if you only play five guys.”
(On it being good to get Devenir Duruisseau and Donaven Dorsey some playing time against WSU) “It depends on what the game dictates again. Going in, we’ve been playing a certain rotation, but the game sometimes will tell you certain things as it goes on.”
(Anything else change in the last 24 hours?) “I don’t think so. Not to my knowledge. Just talking in a different location.”
(How is the health of the team?) “Good, good. Guys are fresh. There aren’t any nagging injuries. So it’s good.”
(On how Monday’s practice went) “It went well. We got up and down and got after some things and regained our focus. Thought it went well. Thought it carried over to today. We were out there for 30 minutes, but you could tell we were focused. We’re going to go over now and do a few more things, and if guys’ attitudes in a few minutes are like it was earlier and the day before … I like our demeanor.”
(On keys to defending Stanford) “There’s no doubt Rosco Allen is a first-team all-conference guy that’s playing well. Dorian Pickens can get going and really present problems, but Michael Humphrey is a guy that’s gone out and had some really big games. I think he’s a star in the making, so they have several guys that we’re going to have to make sure we focus on. The way they play, they try to make it a low possession game. Obviously, we’re going to have to contain their players. But it’s going to come down to us making shots. We’re going to get open shots, we’re going to have to make them.”
(On playing at noon) “I forget to look … to look and see how we have fared in noon games. It’s a little different situation. At home, we stay in the hotel the night before, make sure we get focused and all. We’ll see what happens. Twelve, noon, 8 at night, midnight, whatever it is, whatever opponent, when it’s tournament time, you just go. You just come and you bring it, whatever the situation is.”
(On what kind of fan turnout he expects) “Ever since we’ve been here, we’ve always traveled well. I remember we went to Maui a few years ago and we had just as many fans there as anyone. Maybe that was easy because everybody wanted to go to Hawaii, but wherever we’ve been – we went to the NCAA tournament, we were in Albuquerque, there they are. We were in Syracuse, there the fans are. So they’ve done a good job, so we wouldn’t expect anything less.”