Lorenzo Romar Press Conference Quotes

March 21, 2005

SEATTLE, Wash. - On benching players at the beginning of last year's UAB game: 'Not one time have I ever thought what might have been. The decision was made, there was nothing criminal that was done, it was, in the big scope of things, not something that was just crazy. We don't have a lot of rules, but rules are rules. We made the decision based on those, and I think our team, as a whole, has a lot of focus. I look at this group this year, and they are behind the same rules, and they have been pretty good about it, they have been doing a good job. This is a good group.'

On last year's incident strengthening this year's team: 'In terms of doing what we asked them to do, I think it has. Whether that is reflected in wins and losses, who knows if that is the case. You just try to run a complete program, I think our guys respect that.'

On Jamaal Williams: 'I've been following Jamaal since about the eight grade and I think that we were able to be up front with Jamaal, and I think he was up front with us, when he decided to enroll in the University of Washington. We laid out our expectations. and he has been really good. Jamaal has a great attitude, he has come out and worked for us. He is not playing thirty minutes a game, he's not the leading scorer on this team, he has been as much of a team guy as anyone on this group. I don't mean necessarily because he usually shoots it every time he gets it, I just mean we want him to score, he understands that. His attitude is that of a team player. He is doing very well in school and he'll graduate next year, he has done as much as we could ask of him.'

On Williams' Transfer: 'The first year he had talked about it, and the next year he had gone to the coach and he understood. He got it worked out, and Coach McKay and I talked about it. In terms of it being smooth in that way, I thought it was as clean as a transfer as you would want to find.'

On Louisville's Zone: 'Well, number one, nothing surprises me what Coach Pitino might do. He didn't just stumble across being a Hall of Fame coach. He will do whatever it takes to win ball games, wherever he thinks there is a weakness with the opposition, he is going to try and exploit it. If he knows what his team strengths are at that time, he is going to use those. He is adept enough and wise enough to be able to cover a wide range of offenses and defenses. It doesn't surprise me, I think they do that because they spend a lot of time on it, the more time you spend on anything the better you get at it.'

'When you have five guys, on the floor, that are in synch and in unison on the defensive end. Whatever defense you run is going to be effective. Right now, their guys are playing together, they understand their shifts, they understand their coverages in it. It is not just three guys out their that know it and two that don't. All five guys know it and feel comfortable. They are also very quick and interchangeable, the personnel in a group like that allow you to be effective in a zone.'

On controversy over number one seed: 'When you look at our RPI, which is a three, and our conference RPI, which is a two. If you look at the teams that we have beaten in the Top 50 this year, and the fact that we won our Pac-10 conference tournament and you put all of those things on paper and compare them to the rest of the field, I think you come up with a number one seed. Yeah, it took a couple of teams to lose late for us to probably get in there, I think our guys realized that. When we were finally awarded that, everybody felt great about it, then the next thing you know, according to others, well maybe it is not that good, you don't deserve it. Our guys probably felt slighted by that, maybe it has created a little bit of a chip. That is fine, that is kind of how it has always been here.'

On feeling pressure of being a number one seed in Montana game: 'That could have been it, there is a lot of talk about the Montana game, but we were up 19-4 in that game. I don't think being up 19-4 suggests there was pressure on them to perform. I think we got up and we didn't sustain that effort. If were down 19-4, then I would have to say, wow, they were probably feeling a lot of pressure. But we started out playing fantastic basketball, we just didn't sustain it for forty minutes.'

On reasons for successful season: 'I think there are a number of factors. Number one, this team is not really about who gets the credit. This team, is a team, in every sense of the word. Along with that, different guys step up and are capable of scoring in the twenties. If you look at the scores of our games, you will see that different guys stepped up and played for us. I think it is hard any team to keel in on any one or two guys, because if you take those two guys away someone else steps up and has a really good game. Also, our ability, with our quickness, to get out and pressure teams has helped us quite a bit. That is the number one reason why we are second in the nation in scoring, and why we shoot a high field goal percentage, and why we are second in the nation in team assists. I think the defense generates a lot of that offense.'

On changes in teams since Romar and Pitino last met: 'A totally different ballgame, two totally different teams. For one, we play an entirely different style than we did at St. Louis. We played much more of a deliberate style, based on our personnel, and here, we have a different personnel that allows us to play more like we would want to play. Pitino had been there one year, when played against Louisville. His team didn't totally understand what his system was all about. I think Larry O'Bannon was there when we were in St. Louis, I think he was a freshman. Now, he knows that system inside and out Ellis Myles is a fifth year senior, he knows that system inside and out, so do some others. Their play is very similar, but those guys have adapted to it so much better from when we played them last time. It is a much different situation.'

On team's playing style: 'Well, I think it is important to adapt to your personnel. This is the style we would like to play, this is the style we've always liked to play, but didn't feel we had the personnel to do it. That doesn't mean one set of personnel is better than the other, it is just different. This is our preference, to be able to play this way. Whenever you can go out as a coaching staff and do some of the things you really want to do, it definitely beats the alternative.'

On Athletes in Action: ' It does exist, Athletes in Action the ministry still exists, they do a lot of different things around the world. In terms of basketball it has slowed down a bit, based on the new rule that doesn't allow NCAA teams to play against exhibition teams.'

'As a coach I was able to make all kinds of mistakes without anyone writing about it, or anyone knowing about it. You know, you had to prepare, you had to prepare a scouting report. We had to play Louisville every year, we played Georgetown, we played some of the bigger universities year in and year out and we had to prepare for it. We had a two- week training camp, we had to go out and recruit. We did a lot of things that division one schools did. So it did really help with learning to be a coach. It forced me two sit down with a lot of coaches that I respected, and learn from them. In my older age, it also made me a better player because, if they didn't pass me the ball I would take them out.'

'It was almost like a laboratory, you could almost try experiments behind closed doors, although at that time we thought we were doing something, we didn't look at it as experiments.'

On Albuquerque's altitude: 'We are going to leave today to get acclimated to the altitude. But does it concern me now that we are leaving early? Not one bit.'

'I think if you can get there a couple of days early and run in it, it is not a factor. That is why we are doing it. Is it a concern? Yes, that is why we are going early. Is there a concern now that we are leaving early? No, because we feel we are taking care of that problem.'

On Washington and Louisville having similar styles: 'There are a lot of similarities, I think a true Louisville team may press more than we do, they have not done that as much down the stretch. They are smaller, yet they are bigger, their guards are bigger than our guards. But there are a lot of similarities.'

On coaching in the tournament: 'I think there is a certain way you have to prepare your teams. Rest is very important, emotions are very important. Knowing how to adjust to a certain style that you are playing against. Your game preparation is very important, sometimes if you prepare in the proper way you can trick a team that might be a little better than you. The little things, the rest, the what times you practice, are all things that help you in a tournament situation.'

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