Here's a recap of Lorenzo Romar's media availability earlier today. He discussed Colorado's personnel, the Huskies' defensive scheme and how it applies to defending the 3-point line, and other things.
(General impressions of Colorado) "They don’t have a lot of holes. They have good size. They have a really, really dynamic pair of guards out there on the floor. They can really score the ball. They’re potent offensively but they’re very sound defensively. They’re a well-coached team with talent. That’s a tough challenge."
(On paper they don't have great numbers, yet they're 14-2) "In spite of the numbers I think they’re good. I really do think they’re good. Spencer Dinwiddie is one of the premier guards in this country I believe. Him and Askia Booker … you can just start right there. I think Xavier (Talton) has a lot of intangibles with him. He makes a lot of big plays for them. He’s aggressive. He puts the heat on. And (Josh) Scott is a very under-appreciated post player. He’s really good. He’s really difficult to deal with. He can shoot it from the outside, he can score around the rim, either hand. One of the thing I think that helps them is their ability to get to the foul line. They shoot a lot of foul shots and they put the heat on you that way."
(Colorado's assist numbers are pretty low ...) "You can look at it and say ‘they don’t have a lot of assists, maybe they’re just selfish.’ I wouldn’t say that. I just think their scheme, I think they take advantage of their strengths, and they have some players that are hard to defend 1-on-1. and I think they create situations like that. They set a lot of ball screens and with those ball screens, those guys get a little room to maneuver and wiggle and make plays."
(Is this the biggest challenge you've faced with the new defense?) "I think it will be a big challenge for us, because they’re so aggressive. Delon Wright from Utah, with the aid of the ball screen, broke us down quite a bit in that second half, and we’re going to be facing that for 40 minutes with not just one guy, but several. So it is going to be a big challenge for us."
(How is Colorado different this season?) "I think Roberson was defensive player of the year in our league. He really protected that rim and he could take guys out of the game. I think that makes it a little different in some ways. But then in other ways, with Scott now having a year under his belt, I think he’s a better player. I think Askia Booker’s a better player, Dinwiddie. They’ve grown up in some ways, too. They lost Roberson, who’s a really good player. They’re different defensively that way because of him. But offensively, I think they’re a little more of a challenge to deal with."
(Do you like the 3-day break when you're on the road?) "No, I don’t like the 3-day break when you’re on the road. I prefer it when we’re here."
(It doesn't seem like the Pac-12 was this talented the past couple years) "But it was like that four or five years ago. I think the coaches, myself along with the rest of the coaches in our league, identified what the issue was. I thought our league was really, really good there for a while, and the NBA basically raided our league with the young talent that was in here and it took a couple years to kind of dig ourselves out of the hole. I think our league has recruited really well. We have some outstanding young talent in, and also some guys like C.J. Wilcox and Justin Cobbs and many others, the guys over at Stanford, that now are mature in this league and have grown up."
(Has hand-checking emphasis changed recruiting?) "I think we need to be aware and adjust to the new rules, but I think the way we play, we’ve made some adjustments already, we’re going to still recruit the same type of player."
(What does a current UW recruit look like?) "I don’t think it’s any different. You’re talking about the type of player we’re trying to recruit? Long-limbed, athletic, team-oriented, versatile. That’s what we’re trying to get."
(Are officials starting to call games the way they did last year?) "I think it’s balancing itself out a little bit. I don’t think it’s totally being called the way it was in the past but I do think there’s been a balance into being aware when someone’s using two hands to really bump you, and when it’s inconsequential. I think there’s a little more of a balance that way."
(Have you ever switched this much before?) "No. It’s kind of been done out of necessity due to our lack of size. When you look at the guys aside from Perris that are in the starting lineup, they’re pretty much like-sized. We’ve just kind of had to do that to survive a little bit."
(Is this a style of defense you can play in the future?) "It could be. You look at someone like Jernard Jarreau. He’s 6-foot-10, yet his versatility allows him to do the same thing. He can do the same thing Mike Anderson is doing right now. He’s just six inches taller. He can guard multiple positions. … if you’re recruiting someone with the length and athleticism, and the versatility, then you’re able to continue to do something like this if you choose to do it in the future."
(Is the new defense conducive to defending the 3-point line?) "We’ve been very fortunate in that teams are shooting like 13 percent from the 3 in conference games against us. Time will tell if that has anything to do with what we’re doing defensively. We haven’t been in as many rotation situations with this type of defense as we have been in the past. I don’t know if that has anything to do with it or not. Time will tell."
(But you're satisfied with close-outs and the way you've contested 3s recently?) "I think we’ve done a very good job that way. But again, when you’re not getting beat off the dribble as much, you don’t have to rotate as much, which cuts down the number of time you’re closing out in games. Another issue we had in transition is we weren’t organized. We were getting back in transition but we weren’t organized. We were there but we didn’t know where people were, and teams were getting transition 3s against us. Our guys have done a good job of not giving those up as much anymore, as well. So it’s a combination of things that have helped us."
(What stood out the most about the Utah game?) "Our alertness on defense. You had five guys alert at all times. Our awareness, communicating the entire time. And I thought, again, with the exception of defending the ball-screen better, I thought the entire game we did a pretty good job of executing what we wanted to do defensively.
"That team is harder to guard than it seems. They’re difficult to deal with, with their motion and their driving. They can shoot the ball. (Jordan) Loveridge is a tough cover because he can really shoot the ball at that spot. Can be a mis-match."
(Do you have to avoid trying to get in a shootout with Colorado?) "Again, they’re talking about how they want to defend us and we’re talking about how we want to defend them, and the team that does the best job I think is going to have much more chance to control the game. If we’re both defending the way we want to, I don’t know how much of a shootout it’s going to be. We love to play up-tempo and we love to run, and so do they, so if the game is that way, then it’s that way. We like to play that way. Hopefully we’re good enough to be able to play the game whatever way it’s carried out. If it’s more of a slow tempo game, then hopefully we can do tat, too. That’s what we had to do against Utah."
(So you're comfortable either way?) "If we can defend. If we can defend, we’re comfortable. But if we’re not going to defend, then we’re not comfortable, regardless."