Huskies Insider Blog

Quoting Lorenzo Romar before UW plays California

As he usually does, Washington coach Lorenzo Romar met with reporters this afternoon to preview Saturday's game against California. Here's most of what he had to say ...

(Any psychological factor when playing a team that beat you decisively the first time?) “Different game, different time. We’ve been in positions like this on both ends, where we have beaten a team pretty convincingly and the next time it’s a different story, and vice versa. So psychologically, every team takes it different. Some can take a team for granted, because you won by such a large margin. Some feel like we’re highly motivated and we’re not going to let that happen again. Maybe some soft, weak-minded teams might think this is a team we just can’t beat. I don’t think there’s any single way teams take it. I think it’s different.”

(Any read on where your team falls on that?) “I don’t think we fall into any of them, because our concern is we’ve got another game. We can’t … ‘OK, how much did this team beat us by?’ If you ask our players, they may feel the need to answer your question, to give you an answer, but I don’t think deep down that’s what we’re thinking. I think we’re thinking ok, we have another game and we can be competitive with any team in this league if we play right.”

(On Cal coach Mike Montgomery) “Coach (is like) ‘this is who I am, this is what we do and we’re going to do it at a high level,’ and he doesn’t change a whole lot. However, I think he made some adjustments after he spent his time in the NBA. I think when he came back he was maybe a little looser and not in a bad way at all. I don’t mean loose to where there was all of a sudden a lack of discipline or a lack of accountability. I don’t mean that at all. I think he probably was not as regimented but still a very, very sound tactician and fundamental coach. I’ve told him before, I thought Jerome Randle was a guy that before Coach Montgomery went to the NBA, he may have dealt with him differently. But after the NBA, he dealt with Jerome Randle, and I thought he did a marvelous job. Jerome Randle ended up being a very good player – player of the year in this conference. Coach Montgomery recruited me when he was an assistant at Montana. So I’ve known him for quite a while.

(Any positives from first game at Cal?) “No one got hurt. That would probably be it. It wasn’t a very positive night for the Huskies.”

(On Cal’s length bothering them) “For whatever reason, that night we were avoiding contact, we weren’t as aggressive for whatever reason. I don’t think Cal’s front line is any bigger than Stanford’s front line or Arizona’s front line or Jordan Bachynski at ArizonaState. For whatever reason, we didn’t attack like we usually attack. Give them a lot of credit. I thought David Kravish was very aggressive on the defensive end. I haven’t checked in a while but if I remember, I thought he had four blocked shots in that game. Him and Richard Solomon just seemed to be all over the place.”

(On whether any lineup changes are coming, and if he might play same lineup that started second half) “No, but that will be true in terms of that lineup being on the floor. You can’t do that if you don’t have Desmond Simmons. You can’t do it if Shawn’s (Kemp) not able. But because those guys are now healthy, you’d have seen that lineup earlier in the year if we could have afforded to do it. We didn’t have the able bodies and the guys weren’t at full strength yet to be able to do that. But we’re able to do that quite a bit more now.”

(On playing two point guards at once) “I think it helps with us taking care of the basketball. I think you have two guys that can make plays for themselves and others. You watch some teams, they don’t have very many guys that can make plays for others. They can make plays for themselves. And I think when you’re like that, you’re limited offensively. Even a guy like Perris Blackwell, he’ll score, but he’ll make plays for others, too. You double him, he’ll make you pay. He’ll find the open man. Perris a couple games ago had three assists, no turnovers, just finding the open man. But when you have two point guards out there, like Andrew (Andrews), Andrew’s a point guard and so is Nigel (Williams-Goss), then you have two guys that can do both of those things. Mike Anderson in some ways is like that also. He makes plays for others.”

(On Mike Anderson playing the perimeter) “I’m sure he felt like he was released from a holding place or something, because I really believe Mike’s going to give you everything he has without complaint. You’re battling someone 6-8, 6-9, even 6-10, maybe 20, 30 pounds heavier than you, game in and game out, over a period of time that can wear you down. It can wear down anyone. He’s not been doing that as much. He’s been practicing on the perimeter more, so he’s feeling a lot more comfortable and a lot fresher because he doesn’t have to bang down there as much with those guys. He’ll go back and do it if he has to do it. Being out on the perimeter, he’s just a fish that was thrown back into the water now. He’s just free to go. I think that’s how he feels.”

(On Anderson making a couple 3s against Stanford) “Early nonconference, he was shooting about 40 percent from 3, and before he got here he was a fine 3-point shooter. That had not been the Mike Anderson, prior to the Stanford game, that we had seen from the perimeter. So that’s more like what he can do. He’s a good enough 3-point shooter to keep you honest. That’s what he is. He hadn’t shown that, but playing inside, still trying to adjust to an entirely different position in our offensive scheme is a lot to ask, along with that shooting could have been just not having the legs after battling so much inside.”

(What do you look for in a point guard?) “We need to be able to defend, obviously, preferably really good on the ball. I don’t like particularly, as much, a point guard that can’t score. I like a point guard to be able to score. I have no problem with a point guard going out and scoring 25, 30 points. No problem whatsoever. Some people will see a point guard score 30 points, (and say) ‘well, he must not be a point guard.’ You name the best point guards in the NBA right now, they can go get 30 points. I think when you’re very versatile as a point guard, part of that versatility is that you can score. A point guard that has the ball in his hand but can’t really make shots, it becomes a 5-on-4 situation. You don’t have to guard that guy. And if he’s a good passer his passing efficiency goes down because people are always guarding everyone else. When you can score, they’ve got to pay attention to you. They have to collapse on you. Now you can dish it. When a guy can do all of that, those are the kind that I like. Another one … (a guy who) is smart enough to grasp what you’re doing and go out and make sure it’s executed on the floor without asking you a whole lot of questions on the side. Someone that the players respect when they have the ball in their hands. A leader. I can go on and on. That’s the position I used to play.”

(On Cal’s Richard Solomon) “Solomon has matured so much this year. His ability to rebound the basketball I think is something that really helps their team. But those two in tandem, along with Kravish, those guys are pretty versatile and long. They can affect the game, no doubt. When those two are both playing well at the same time, they can present some problems like they did with us in Berkeley.”

(On Williams-Goss’ hip injury) “It’s sore, but he’s a pretty tough kid. It was getting better. It was really getting better to where it was almost a thing of the past, then he got hit in that game so then it was a little sore. He’ll be OK. He’ll just be sore.”

(Is Williams-Goss a Freshman of the Year candidate?) “I think he has to be in the discussion. What he’s done for us as a freshman, he has to be in the discussion. Again, right now we’re not in the top four in the league. I wish we were. But he’s had a great freshman year, and not too many, if any, are having a better freshman year than Nigel Williams-Goss is having.”

(He’s the most impactful freshman at UW since … Isaiah Thomas?) “It was Isaiah Thomas, yeah. We won the league that year. People forget Tony Wroten was a freshman and we won the league that year too. So Tony was an impactful freshman also.”

(What do you expect from Andrews tomorrow?) “To bounce back, and be relentless, and come out and play well.”

(How did he respond to not playing in the second half?) “He did a good job. He was cheering his teammates on in the second half. He was down in the stretch in my ear, ‘coach, we might want to take advantage of that right there.’ Outwardly, he handled it fine. I don’t think anyone who is used to playing as much and is as competitive as him is just totally fine without playing as much as usual. But he handled it the right way.”

(Can a player learn more by sitting and watching?) “Everyone’s different. It’s been my experience … I think you learn more when you sit out when the emotions are taken away. When Abdul Gaddy redshirted, when Scott Suggs sat out due to injury. Right now Jernard Jarreau, when those guys sit out, it’s amazing the things they tell you and that they see out there, and you go, ‘yeah, uh-huh – what? What’d you say? Wow!’ … They see it from a coach’s eye, more than feeling like they have to defend themselves because they’re competitive and they want to be in there and feel like they have to make an excuse or blame someone else, which is human nature for a lot of people. They don’t have to do that when they’re just sitting out and not suited up. So it’s hard sometimes to just sit there and learn. But I think those who are passionate about the game and really want to win, they can bring themselves, after they get back and the emotion has died down, they can bring themselves to learn from anything.”

(Is this what you expected from Williams-Goss?) “Oh yeah. Definitely. We were excited when Nigel decided he was going to come here, because we thought this is a kid that gets it, this is someone that doesn’t have to develop. He would come in right away and do what he was supposed to do. He’s kind of done that wherever he’s been, when he went to Findlay, he watched and learned and when it was his turn, that was it. He understood. He took that team and did a great job with them. With USA Basketball this summer, I thought that was remarkable what he did in that the first day, they weren’t sure they were going to keep him because he was one of the youngest kids there, and they already had several guards in the trials with collegiate experience, and Nigel had not played one collegiate game yet, had not participated in one collegiate practice. But he earned his way. By the time it was all said and done, I think he led them in minutes played. That’s just kind of what he does. Coaches really like him because he really impacts the final score in a positive way.”

(Was he more deferential earlier this season?) “A little bit, he was. As a freshman. But just as he became more comfortable he began to defer less and less. Nigel kind of has a personality of, ‘OK, fellas, I want to win, so I’m going to do what it takes to win, and if you’re not on board, that’s on you. But I’m going to do whatever it takes to win.’ Kind of has that attitude.”

(On why the group of Williams-Goss, C.J. Wilcox, Anderson, Simmons and Blackwell plays well together) “I thought energy and chemistry. Those five guys, I’ve seen it enough now to know there is no agenda at all. Those five guys are playing for one thing: to be the best they can be on the floor. You can have that intent sometimes, but then if things aren’t going right for you individually, you can get distracted, and you can begin to think internally, what’s not happening right for you, and now, next thing you know, you have four other guys like ‘come on, are you with us or not?’ Those five guys, when they’re playing together, they kind of feed off each other’s energy – ‘we’re going to get this done together.’ And whenever you get a group on the floor that’s like that, you’re going to be pretty productive.”

(Why not start the game with them?) “Because I think we have ... it’s not just those five guys that are like that. I think we have other guys that could be like that. It’s just that those five when they’re in there, they kind of have it going. Those five aren’t going to play 40 minutes, so I don’t think it matters.”

(On Robert Upshaw) “He’s taking care of his business, just waiting for next year.”

(Strengths of his?) “Great shot-blocker, great defender, great athlete that has one year of experience already in college.”