Huskies Insider Blog

Simmons back at practice; Overton not

The University of Washington men’s basketball team practiced on campus today after opening training camp with a weekend of closed practiced in Lacey.

Coach Lorenzo Romar said he was pleased with the way his team has started its preparations for the season, which starts with a Nov. 13 visit from McNeese State.

“It was good to see guys pick things up,” he said. “Our guys played together. It was good. … It wasn’t 100 percent like we would like because we’ve got a couple of guys who have late classes on Friday. Normally we would have gotten away as soon as class was done at 1:30 or so. But it still worked out.”

Judging from early practices, Romar said he believes this is a better-shooting team than he has had in a while. He believes this team’s athleticism should allow the Huskies to be challenging defensively. And he is intrigued about complementing the returning core of last season’s 26-10 team with an outside shooter like C.J. Wilcox and an inside presence like 7-foot Aziz N’Diaye.

One thing that hasn’t come any clearer over the first days of camp is the likely starting lineup.

Even before the first practice, Romar declared three likely starters: guard Isaiah Thomas and forwards Justin Holiday and Matthew Bryan-Amaning.

However, the decision on the other two starters actually is being delayed by a team asset: versatility.

“We could go with a bigger lineup, we could go with a smaller lineup, we could go with shooters, we could go with penetrators,” Romar said. “We’ve just got to see what’s best. There are some other factors: Who are going to be the guys who are going to generate turnovers for us? Who are going to make life hard for the opponent’s offense? That’s a big factor in how we play. I think in the past we had guys who could defend, but maybe not score as well, and vice versa. I think some of our good defenders are guys now who can score also. That’s helps.”

However, rather than looking for a specific style, Romar said he is looking for a specific result.

“We always look at who has an impact on the score, and who – as a result of them being on the floor – lifts that team up to where they’re just a little better because they’re out there,” he said. “Those are the guys who get to play the most.”

FAST BREAKSSenior point guard Venoy Overton isn’t participating fully due to a hamstring injury that Romar said could slow him for a couple of more weeks. … However, true freshman Desmond Simmons (knee) has been cleared to practice.