Lorenzo Romar: ‘We’re definitely disappointed’
Washington coach Lorenzo Romar joined Bob & Groz on Monday and reflected on the Huskies’ season, their loss to North Carolina and more. Here are a few quotes:
On how tough this year was: “It’s had it’s ups and downs, that’s for sure. Some things that you just couldn’t control, that’s what makes it really tough. But I give our guys a lot of credit. By the end of the year I thought we were playing out best basketball. We won a conference tournament championship and won our first NCAA Tournament game and played well enough to beat a seventh-ranked North Carolina team in kind of a road game, but we didn’t quite get it done. But by the end of the year I though that we had righted the ship and we had done a pretty good job.”
On whether he thinks the Huskies underachieved based on their level of talent: Well, we’re definitely disappointed. We dropped some games that we thought maybe we should have won. We didn’t expect Tyreese Breshers not to be with us, we didn’t expect Abdul Gaddy not to be with us. We brought Abdul Gaddy on, into this program, knowing that he would be a great calming effect guy for this program. And he was doing that this year and we went down. Those things happen. There’s nothing we could do about that. But still, there were opportunities that we had that we didn’t take advantage of. So yeah, there was some disappointing times. But I thought there was also some great victories, primarily at the end of the year, doing what we did in the Pac-10 tournament.”
On why Isaiah Thomas didn’t have the ball on either of Washington’s last two possessions against North Carolina: “Well, when the ball was rebounded off the missed foul shot, Venoy Overton was the first guy that we passed to. And the first thought in my mind as the defense was spread out and North Carolina was getting back was Venoy going from end to end last year at UCLA, going all the way to the basket, putting us up one with about three seconds to go. We ended up losing that game, but I knew that while the defense wasn’t organized he had the capabilities to do that. And sure enough, he got to the basket. He didn’t finish, but that’s what happened.
“And then we were trying to get the ball to Isaiah on the in-bounds play, but it didn’t work out that way. But we were trying to go that way.”
Thomas scored 12 points — nearly five below his season average and his lowest total in the last three games — on 5 of 15 shooting.
On how North Carolina contained Thomas: “Well, I think Dexter Strickland is a good defender, No. 1. For two, they’ve got a 6-11 defensive player of the year under the rim in John Henson , and then another 7-footer in Tyler Zeller down there. So you just can’t into the lane against that team. There’s a reason why the guy was defensive player of the year. With that still being said, Isaiah had a number of open looks that just didn’t go down for him. He still had eight assists. If he makes a couple more shots, I think we would have seen that he would have had an even bigger game. Sometimes, if every shot you take someone’s down your throat contesting it (and) it doesn’t go down, well then you have to give total credit to the defense. I’m going to give some credit to their defense, but at the same time, Isaiah had some looks in the lane that were pretty good looks that just didn’t go down for him. But the length of North Carolina I think affected a lot of us. Thank goodness we were able to knock down some shots from the perimeter, unlike in some past games where we weren’t.”
Down three points with about three seconds left, Venoy Overton’s half-court heave fell short and went out of bounds off a defender’s hands with what replays showed was just over a second left on the clock. Washington was given the ball with only a half second remaining, and Thomas’ hurried shot from the corner didn’t draw iron.
Here is what Romar said about the time discrepancy:
“Well, the first thing I mentioned to the officials was that there seems to be more time on the clock, is the first thing I said to him. He says, ‘No, that’s accurate.’ I said, ‘Well you have to at least check the monitor. At least do that — check it, review it.’ He said, ‘They’ve already assured us it’s already been checked’ as he was walking toward the endline, trying to get the ball in bounds…
“You rant and rave and get a technical. I don’t think that would have helped at that point. So you didn’t want to go there. We talked to him twice about it during that time and were still trying to get the ball inbounded too, now, and he doesn’t appear that he’s hesitant at all. It’s, ‘No, we’ve already checked it. It’s already been done. Let’s go. Let’s play.’
“It just made for a tough situation. I still say, at that point, we’re down three. It wasn’t like we were up and we lost the game. We were already down. And we were up 26-15 in the first half. We were up five with about six minutes to go. We put ourselves in a tough position when it came down to it. We pleaded with them, we talked, but they weren’t budging.”
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