Huskies and Cougars Face Desert Challenges

Jan 6, 2010, 5:04 PM | Updated: Apr 5, 2011, 11:20 am

Washington Head Coach Lorenzo Romar at Tuesday’s press conference seemed to say that being “Cocky”, as Quincy Pondexter said the team was perhaps guilty of being over the past weekend, is not always a bad thing.

“The cockiest team we ever had was (2004-2005) with Will Conroy and Nate Robinson and those guys. Those guys brought it though, every minute. They brought it. They were coming at you. And I don’t know if any successful basketball player that’s not cocky. What you don’t want is someone that’s saying what they’re going to do and they don’t do it. When times get tough, the tail goes between their legs. That’s what you don’t want.”

Romar himself seems to prefer to be quietly confident, but the end result is the most important thing regardless to how you get there, cocky or humble.

“You have to have a certain belief I’m the baddest dude out here and we’re the best team out here. Or else you can’t go on the floor and be successful at a high level. So there’s nothing wrong with being cocky if you handle it the right way. I’m one to believe, (though) my all-time sports guy was Muhammad Ali, let your game do your talking for you.”

Romar also said that, “They did not do a very good job on their ball screens” against Oregon, which allowed the Duck guards to penetrate and wreak havoc in the paint on Saturday. Romar also referenced Jason Kidd and Chris Paul when also making the point that Tajuan Porter and Malcolm Armstead are just good and that UW, “Better come up with something different or they’ll be in the lane again because they are good”.

Many Husky fans have lamented the loss of Jon Brockman and are not satisfied or some even hopeful about the progress of Matthew Bryan-Amaning. Romar seemed to say that Matthew has it in him, but has just not yet been able to fulfill that potential.

“Yeah we want Matthew to step up. But again, I learned with young players like Quincy, Justin Dentmon and there were times with Jon Brockman, Nate Robinson was a sophomore and shooting 27 percent from the field at time and had a negative turnover/assists ratio. Young guys to through certain periods. You just have to continue to work and continue to get better.”

Pondexter, who really did see a major improvement in his game in his junior year, that really didn’t fully blossom until the last half of the Pac-10 slate, was named to the Mid-Season Wooden Award Watch List.

710 ESPN has been doing some very nice coverage of the Washington Hoops team. Before the weekend Kevin Calabro had the P-I’s Todd Dybas on his show giving UW’s outlook going into the past weekend.

Brock Huard and Mike Salk had local hoop legend and Fox Sports TV color analyst Francis Williams on their 710 ESPN show after the weekend. Williams still feels that Washington is his favorite to win the Pac-10, but also mentioned Cal, USC (with an asterisk) and Oregon as contenders.

Seth Davis feels that UW is over rated and listed the Dawgs in his “Teams to sell” in his “Stock report” feature on Tuesday.

Doug Haller of the Arizona Republic released his Pac-10 power rankings and had Cal at the top followed by USC, Oregon and then Washington at the #4 spot. Just last week he picked the Dawgs to win it and Oregon at #8, so take that tidbit along with this one Husky fans.

The commitment factor there in his Quiet Riot wig, but Jon Brockman’s singing was not something that I would recommend. That’s not to say that this is not good for a huge laugh though, but had Jon listened to more Jim Basnight music like I told him too, at least he may have been able to show a bit more style in his delivery of these horrible 80’s power ballads.

Cougar Corner

WSU had a number of people in the media feeling rather sorry for the way they lost the Oregon game on a technical foul. That call led to Tajuan hitting two foul shots to send the game to 2nd overtime with 3/10’s of a second on the clock because of the team running on the court after an apparent winning basket by DeAngelo Casto.

Unfortunately for WSU fans, the call was correct, as Andy Katz pointed out in his column today with the help of the NCAA’s chair of officiating John Adams and Bill McCabe, the Pac-10’s coordinator of officials who pointed out that it is clearly a rule against, “Delaying the game by preventing the ball from being promptly made live or by preventing continuous play, such as but not limited to, followers entering the playing court before the player activity has been terminated”.

Cougar Head Coach Ken Bone admitted that the call, “Hit us pretty hard”, but the Cougs won’t have long to commiserate, as they travel to Tucson to face Arizona this Friday at 5:30PM (PST). Like Pondexter, Cougar swing man Klay Thompson was named Monday to the Mid-season Wooden Award Watch List.

Marcus Capers had 10 points and 10 boards against OSU and has become a consistent all-around force for WSU. His defense will always keep him on the floor in Pullman and beyond in what looks to be a promising pro career at some level, but he is finding a decent offensive game as well. Red-shirt freshman forward James Watson also showed some encouraging moments off the bench and in the much more athletic Pac-10 he could be a better choice next to DeAngelo Casto then Nikola Dragovic and Abe Lodwick.

Bone in his weekly press conference also insisted that Charlie Enquist is still in the mix. I guess it’s going to be the coach’s choice as to who will fill that spot for the time being, but the emergence of Watson was a nice development. Scout did a nice summary of what’s up with the Cougs yesterday.

The Arizona schools are really up for this weekend’s contests. ‘Cats Solomon Hill and Derrick Williams talked about Klay Thompson and the Dawgs in a video clip of Tuesday’s press conference.

Seattle U Faces the Beavers Tonight

Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times did a nice preview of the game. He quoted Cameron Dollar who said about the transition from D2 to D1, “Beating a Pac-10 school definitely helps the transition”. This is going to be a tall order for Seattle U, but if I know Cam Dollar he will have them out there playing hard tonight on FSN at 5:30PM.

Pac-10 Round Up

The Pac-10 Teleconference on Tuesday morning revealed a few interesting facts. Arizona Head Coach Sean Miller stated that reports of guard Garland Judkins transferring are, “Premature” adding, “When we release when a player goes that’s when it’s definite”. The Arizona Daily Star’s Bruce Pascoe stated in his blog that the transfer was likely and that his former AAU coach stated that his choice would be Texas San Antonio.

USC Coach Kevin O’Neill seems to be taking the self-imposed sanctions very professionally in saying, “Not doing our job would be the worst thing in this whole situation”. In my opinion these actions by the USC Athletic Department are in fact throwing his team under the bus in an attempt to protect the football program, but taking it like a pro is what I would expect from O’Neill and for that matter this team of mature aspiring pros.

Cal coach Mike Montgomery said of his injured guard Jorge Gutierrez, “He has a meniscus issue”. This AP story stated that Jorge is suffering from complications that still linger from knee surgery last spring. Jorge is an important player for Cal who started in place of Theo Robertson when he was hurt earlier in the season and is a huge part of the Bears future plans.

The Pac-10 is hurting this year according to the AP’s Andrew Bagnato who bases his opinion on the laundry list of NBA defections.

I believe, as I’ve said before that NBA talk about this year’s Pac-10 stars like Thompson, Thomas, Pondexter, Reggie Moore, Abdul Gaddy, Michael Dunigan, Armstead, Calvin Haynes, Seth Tarver, all of the seniors at Cal, Landry Fields, Jeremy Green, Malcolm Lee, all of the seniors at USC, Nic Wise and even others will drive the conference’s perception higher by March. The league is full of talent and as each team’s stars demonstrate what they have in Pac-10 play, more of these teams will develop credibility.

No matter what happens though USC will not build enough of a resume to warrant a post season invite, because of the self-imposed penalties that the University imposed on its own team this week. There is no question that something needed to be done and my hope is that this is only the beginning of a much deeper look into not only the basketball program and football program, but the relationship of professional sports agents and Nike who sponsor USC to their teams.

I believe that this is where the problem lies. If you want to know what’s really going on follow the money and besides the fact that the USC Athletic Department receives huge capital from TV contracts, that they also have to share with the Pac-10 to a large degree, there is a ton of money in the marketing of the Trojans and their players to the professional leagues and the value of those stars as marketing vehicles once they get there.

O.J. Mayo is even cavalier about it, as he blithely joked a little over a month ago about still having “USC money” somewhere when invited to the Breeders Cup by Kenny Mayne of ESPN and told to bring all of his loot.

Gary Parrish of CBS Sports also feels that the USC Basketball team being punished is a deliberate effort to protect the football program. In it he makes reference to a Land Rover, “registered to a man who the L.A. Times reported registered a company called “USC Marketing”.

Mike Decourcy of the Sporting News gives a lot more information to support that same opinion in his piece from Monday on the USC sanctions.

George Dohrmann of Sports Illustrated said in a feature on Tuesday that USC’s sanctions “Are nowhere near severe enough” and he makes a strong case for that statement, but really doesn’t touch the football program which is in definite need of correction.

Chris Chase at Rivals Dagger blog states the obvious in that USC shouldn’t ultimately be the one determining its fate.

UCLA will attempt to right its ship by starting six-foot-eight freshman Tyler Honeycutt at guard instead of six-foot-two Jerime Anderson. This move will put Malcolm Lee at the point, while Honeycutt and senior shooting specialist Mike Roll will be the other two perimeter players. This may work better for the Bruins, but my thought is that teams with quickness and solid defensive guards will really give them problems.

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Huskies and Cougars Face Desert Challenges