Huskies still struggling to come together

Dec 8, 2012, 11:45 PM | Updated: Dec 9, 2012, 12:06 pm

By Shannon Drayer

After a third non-conference loss in less than a month, Lorenzo Romar was circling the wagons.

“The main thing that we have to do is keep our guys believing and keep everyone’s head up and not believe the peripheral talk on the side,” he said after Washington’s 76-73 loss to Nevada on Saturday.

“Our focus as coaches is to make sure our team doesn’t listen to the negativity that is around. That amongst our group we believe in ourself. As we do that, guys come back and we are healthy and our roles, everyone is contributing, we will be fine.”

Romar said he didn’t believe negativity was coming from within the program but after a slow start to the season he knows it is coming from the outside, if he hasn’t heard it already.

“We have been in the position too many times where I have joked that we are ready to shut down the program and we have gone on to win the league, we have gone on to the Sweet 16, we have gone on to the NCAA Tournament,” he said.

His players have echoed that same faith that once again they can pull the season out when it matters. They have done it before as Romar mentioned. They have also missed the NCAA Tournament despite winning the conference in large part because of similar early losses. I doubt anyone on the team needs to be reminded of that.

While Romar stands behind his team and believes that they will come together soon he did not overlook the mistakes that were made Saturday night. The Huskies, who were a sprained Andrew Andrews ankle away from being complete for the first time this season with the returns of Scott Suggs and Shawn Kemp Jr., made repeated mistakes on assignments, particularly in the first half.

“The injuries had nothing to do with the blown coverages on defense,” Romar said. “They had nothing to do with some of the easy shots we missed.”

The Huskies shot just 32 percent in the first half and trailed by as many as 18 in the second. They mounted a furious comeback, erasing the deficit in eight minutes but lost the game on what Romar called two “super human” threes by Deonte Burton.

You saw what the Huskies could do, on both ends of the court, in those eight minutes. Romar needs more than eight minutes, however.

“We right now know what to do on both ends of the floor. It is a matter of us doing it with consistency,” he said.

The team is still learning the high-post offense. It is not second nature yet and when Romar talks about tuning the negativity out one of the things he may be on the watch for is talk that it is time to abandon it. While complex to learn, the high-post offense offers numerous scoring options when run correctly. Romar believes this offense will work with his team and will push forward with it.

“It’s just a matter of time and I really believe that. It is a matter of time before we come together and we are going to be an okay team,” he said.

News and notes

Andrews missed the game after stepping on a teammate’s foot in practice this week and spraining his ankle. Andrews was in a walking boot and on crutches Saturday and very well could miss Thursday’s game against Seattle University.

If the game looked different on TV that is because a professional television crew was not shooting it. Fill-ins that reportedly included a statistician and student had to take over the cameras when Local International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) members joined other members from around the Pac-12 and walked off the job in protest of what they called unfair labor practices by the Pac-12 Network.

According to Sandra England, director of broadcast for the local IATSE, their concern is the network is not paying health care or pension for the daily workers they hire in each region for the broadcasts.

“They have left us no option but to withdraw our services,” England said. “Our crews walked off at Arizona, USC, in Corvallis, Eugene. All we are asking is that they sit down and talk to us so our people can afford their health care and pension benefits. They have not responded in any way. They left us with no option but to do this which is our least favorite way to do business.”

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