Pac-10 Men's Basketball Media Day: Washington

Oct. 29, 2009

Washington Head Coach Lorenzo Romar 

Opening Statement 
“Our team this year has the benefit of having some players that were on our team last year that won a Pac-10 Championship and that certainly helps us.  I think we have the fastest team since 2005 when we had Nate Robinson.  I think we have some good guards and our perimeter is strong. That said, we have not done a thing.  And that is not coaches talk, that is the truth.  We have to understand the level of commitment it takes to be successful at this high of a level in the Pac-10. With Jon Brockman and Justin Dentmon gone and the analogy that I like to use is that the parents provide the light, the shelter and the food.  If they leave and you take for granted the hard work they put in to make sure that you have the food on the table and the lights on then it is tough, and we have to make sure we understand the hard work and the leadership those guys provided for us.  Our group understands that we need to come out and really, really get after it, or we will not be able to do a thing.”  

On getting to the line this year and grabbing rebounds
“I think the mark of a successful program on going is that you lose some players and you pick up and have other players step in.  It means we need to rebound the way we did before Jon Brockman was there.  Our team kind of got spoiled with Jon Brockman, we would just take off and let him get the ball for us.  We have to have more of a concerted effort to really go out and attack the glass.  We try to preach with our guys rebounding as a philosophy, so hopefully it will be more of a team thing instead of one or two guys.”

How difficult is it to have so many underclassmen playing early
“With how things are with the ability to come out early, it is hard to replace guys when you lose players who leave early.  I think you see that with USC.  Sometimes it takes you a year or longer to recover from that.  It makes it a little more difficult. I think when you recruit you have to be creative and strategic in your recruiting to make sure that doesn’t happen, but its not an easy task. The other part of that is that along with everyone saying people come out early, some take the position that if I don’t come out early maybe I am not good enough or someone is messing with my game, so guys transfer.  So not only do you have kids leaving for the NBA, you have them transferring when things don’t go their way and that sets you back as well.”

Expectations of freshman guard Abdul Gaddy and how he fits in
“He fits in really well.  He is the purest point guard on our team.  We have a host of guards on our roster, but I think Abdul is more of a point guard who can score points as well, but he is a pass-first guard and we haven’t had very many of those in our program.  He understands how to run a team   Although he wont be 18 until January, he is beyond his years in terms of maturity.  I think he will fit just fine with whoever he is playing with.“

On rebounding
“It is going to have to be gang concerted effort.  It wont surprise me if Quincy Pondexter doesn’t become our rebounding leader.  The last 10 or 11 games of the season Quincy led the team in rebounding, averaging seven or so a game, which is more rebounds than anyone in our program has averaged other than Jon Brockman.  We have a guy that sat out last year due to injury, and hasn’t played much is in the last year and a half by the name of Tyreese Breshers.  He is only 6-foot-6 and 165 pounds, but he has been good for us in rebounding.  Also Matthew Bryan-Amaning will be good for us too.  With the other guys chipping in and going to the glass, hopefully we will be okay.”  

On being picked second in the Conference
“If you are picked second, there are people that have a fairly high opinion of how you will do.  It really doesn’t matter once you start playing the game.  We know that.  It really does not mean anything In the 2006-07, we had come off of two-consecutive Sweet 16 years and three-consecutive NCAA Tournament years. In one of those years we were a No. 1 seed in the tournament and we had a really good recruiting class, and were ranked in the top 10 in the preseason and we did not make the NCAA Tournament.  After today, that is the end of the talk about us being picked second.  So we have to go out and play the game.”  

On sophomore guard Isaiah Thomas
“I think he has become more of a complete basketball player.  He is someone that in the past, before coming to college, he would not have thought much about playing defense.  That has changed now and he takes pride in it.  With his ability to score the ball, I think he is more aware of distributing the ball to the open man.  I think he is a much more well-rounded player.”


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