Huskies coach Lorenzo Romar and senior guard Andrew Andrews represented UW at Pac-12 men’s basketball media day in San Francisco earlier today. Courtesy of ASAP Sports, here’s what they said during their time at the podium.
LORENZO ROMAR: Good morning. Obviously, like everyone here we're looking forward to this season. We have a very young group, very new group with a very enthusiastic group led by a senior point guard to my right, Andrew Andrews. So far in our practices, it's been fun to work with these guys because they're so willing and compliant up to this point.
Now we haven't played any games yet, so we'll see if that changes, but right now we're looking forward to working together.
Q. Lorenzo, the commissioner Larry Scott has said he's so impressed with the way you guys are preparing for China that he's going to come up there before you leave, and he also is hoping it becomes an annual thing, and also to take a women's game there in the near future. What does that say about the steps the conference is making and your team in particular?
LORENZO ROMAR: I think it's obviously a statement made by our conference. I think this is a trip that we're obviously not taking lightly. We must not lose sight amongst ourselves with our team that there is a basketball game that's going to be played, but then there are so many other things that are involved. Our university is really getting behind our efforts, and we're taking a class in conjunction with this trip to kind of learn the culture a little bit. Our guys have had fun with that. So we're looking forward to the trip.
Q. Larry mentioned you were taking a class. What sort of academics are involved in the class? And have you guys been taking classes this semester so far preparing for the trip?
LORENZO ROMAR: Yeah, you know what? I'm going to defer to Andrew here. I've sat in on the classes, but he's been a very vocal participant in the class, so I'll let him talk about the class.
ANDREW ANDREWS: For the class we pretty much are trying to learn a little bit of the language as we can, because culturally they appreciate it when you try to speak some of the native language over there. So we've learned some of the language, and some interesting facts much it's a tonal language, so we tried to understand the tone of the language so we understand the words they're saying correctly. They gave us a sheet to kind of practice and just say amongst each other so we can go down there and try to put them to use.
LORENZO ROMAR: I think it's going to be fun for our guys. I think it's going to be a lot more fun when they actually get there, because they are going to visit some of the sites that they kind of talk about during the class. So I think that will give it‑‑ it's already going to make it come to life a little more than if they just would have gone out there on their own.
Q. Who speaks the best Mandarin on the team so far?
LORENZO ROMAR: Probably Malik Dime. He's already bilingual. He knows more than one language, so he's kind of got the whole tone thing down. Just learning a language for him kind of comes natural.
Q. You obviously lost a lot but gained a lot with this recruiting class. How many of those guys are ready to help right away? What would it be like to implement so many young players through the rotation?
LORENZO ROMAR: I don't think there is a guy that's new to our roster that's not going to have an opportunity‑‑ and I shouldn't say an opportunity‑‑ that we don't expect not to help us. They were brought in for a reason. There were a lot of minutes available, and we think the group as a whole is going to contribute. I think they'll all contribute early.
Q. Andrew, what was it like for the team to kind of go through all the transfers and the guys maybe leaving the program a little earlier than expected? How do you handle some of that news as it comes through in the spring?
ANDREW ANDREWS: As a team, the best you can do is kind of come together. I think we lost players that we lost during the year. That's something that we try to do, even though we were short a couple guys, that we just try to come together and be a stronger team as far as our friendships with each other and developing a stronger bond than we already had. Those are the biggest things that you need to do when things aren't going the way you want.
Q. What role, if any, will the 30‑second shot clock have on the NCAA basketball this year?
LORENZO ROMAR: There are some different opinions on that, obviously. Some feel that field goal percentages will actually go down because maybe the shot selection won't be as good. I kind of think teams are going to adjust to it. For me, it kind of remains to be seen in my mind exactly how it is going to affect things. For us, we don't expect this to affect us offensively at all.
Q. Andrew, can you talk about what you've done over the summer to improve your game from last season to this season?
ANDREW ANDREWS: Overall just my decision making with the ball. Now that I'm moving to be in control of the ball a little bit more, I'm a lot smarter with the ball, making decisions and just setting people up, last year I felt more inclined to be a scorer. But this year I like to distribute a little more, get other people involved and make it easier for our team to get easy baskets.
Q. Lorenzo, how difficult has the general manager and roster construction aspect of college basketball coaching become? Looking forward, watching, planning ahead, all that stuff?
LORENZO ROMAR: It's very difficult. It's been made mention before, it's a little like free agency at the end of the year. At first you had to at times be concerned about maybe kids leaving early, with the NBA Draft, and you had to recruit accordingly when a kid came in and you knew he was of that caliber to be prepared in case you lost him.
But now with the way kids are transferring from one year to the next, you're not quite sure who you're going to have. When people ask me about our situation last year I just said, wait, let's look across the board, across the country and see what's going on. So it makes it a little more problematic now. I just hope it stops and slows down a little bit.
Q. Andrew, you say declaratively on the UW basketball website that you have one goal and that is to make the NCAA tournament. How are you going to make that happen?
ANDREW ANDREWS: Just by coming out and preparing every day. We've got to take each practice like it's a game. We've got to come out and just do what Coach installs in us on the offensive end and defensive end and just be a unit out there on the court. We can't let anything that's going on outside of our organization affect us.
So we've just got to take each day as they come. So a lot of this goes by it's a huge game. We're a young team, and you have to realize it starts before in practice. If we practice and prepare, then the game should come easy.