It's tempting enough to imagine that Washington passed this week's tough test by knocking off Arizona on Thursday, and that the easy one comes at 1p.m. Saturdy: Arizona State, at 9-9 overall and 1-5 in league. (Here's our preview story.)
Not surprisingly, that's not the way coach Lorenzo Romar cast it at his media meeting Friday.
"We face the same challenge every year," he said. "We play an Arizona team that is a little more uptempo and primarily a man-to-man group … versus someone who plays exclusively all zone, and not just a regular zone but a very difficult zone to attack, it’s very aggressive. So it’s definitely a different type of ball game and one that with one day to prepare, it makes it a little tricky."
Of course, UW is playing a lot of zone itself this season. So Romar was asked if that regular zone-look in practice should make things easier tomorrow.
"Just a little, because our zone is nothing like theirs," he said. "Their zone is a lot different than ours. Thank goodness this isn’t our first year in the league. If we had just joined this league and you have one day to prepare for that, it’s difficult. It’s one of those type of zones where if you were to play them in the first round of the NCAA tournament, it’s something that you don’t face everyday, it’s something that could really give you problems and it’s something that could give us problems tomorrow. So we have to make sure that we’re detailed in how we want to go at it."
"I never go into an Arizona State game not being worried. You always respect every opponent that you play against: Fear none, respect them all. But Arizona State can make it a little bit complicated for you, where you’d better be organized, you better know what you’re doing going into that game or they can give you problems, they can give you fits."
Romar also said he plans to use the same starters against ASU that faced Arizona yesterday: Isaiah Thomas, Scott Suggs, Justin Holiday, Matthew Bryan-Amaning and Aziz N'Diaye.