Not much new from coach Romar and Abdul Gaddy here in San Francisco at Pac-12 media day. They were last on the stage after winning the conference title last season:
Transcript of their comments:
COACH ROMAR: It’s a fun time of year, early practices. We’ve had one exhibition game up to this point, and the season starts next week. Here we are at Pac-12 Media Day. There seems to be a buzz around here about the Pac-12 and where it’s headed.
So we’re really excited, excited to be able to bring Abdul Gaddy here in his senior year. The time has gone by pretty quickly so far, because I think we’re enjoying ourselves.
THE MODERATOR: We’ll open it up for questions.
Q. I recently read that no team has won more in any facility than you guys have at Hec Edmundson Pavillion. Talk a little bit about that home court advantage for your team.
COACH ROMAR: Well, that’s partly like that because I think Hec Edmundson Pavilion was there when Abraham Lincoln was President. It’s been there a long time. But it is also a fun place to play. It’s very intimate. With the renovation back in 2000, I think it’s made it a fun place to watch a game. It’s definitely fun for our guys to play in it, but it’s been around a long time. There have been some fun times in that building.
Q. How do you use Jernard Jarreau best? He looks like a matchup nightmare.
COACH ROMAR: Well, Jernard is pretty versatile. Jernard was a 6-3 freshman guard in high school. He grew seven inches and came to college. He’s put on 20 pounds. He was 193 pounds or something when we, when he first came to the University of Washington, and he’s put on some weight. He’s become stronger. Now he’s 6-10 with the same skill set that he had as a freshman when he was 6-3.
He’s been working to where he’s becoming more consistent in terms of shooting the basketball from the perimeter. He’s also been working on scoring down on the block, so he definitely has the potential to become that.
But we have seen his development over the course of a year, actually the last two years, and we’re pleased and excited to have him in our program.
Q. Sean Miller was up here talking about how tough it is going up to Hec Edmundson Pavillion 0-3 there. How tough it is with the wars that you’ve been through with the Arizona team since he’s been there. Can you talk a little bit about that rivalry?
COACH ROMAR: Whether it’s a rivalry or not, I know the last few games that we’ve played them, if I’m a fan, I want to go to that game. Most of them have been won at the buzzer with very little time left. They have been hard fought battles. We’ve fought each other tooth and nail. One was in a conference, tournament championship game.
We’ve gone to their place; there’s been a whiteout the last two years, and the environment there has been electric. There have been some fun games that have been played between the two of us and our guys have a lot of respect for the Arizona program. Whenever we play against them, we know that we’re going to be up against a very, very good opponent.
Q. Abdul, what kind of expectations do you have for yourself this year being your senior year?
ABDUL GADDY: I think the main expectation for me is to be the best leader I can be. I’ve learned from past guys mainly Isiah [Thomas] and Quincy [Pondexter]. I’ve learned from those guys, and then I talked to past guys like Jon Brockman and Brandon Roy.
Being a senior, you kind of just know everything on defense and offensive, and you’re the coach on the floor. I think I just want to be the best leader as possible in practice, off the court and on the court, in games, everything.
Q. I was just wondering for both of you, it seems like Washington’s had some pretty big personalities ome through the program. Do you expect the chemistry and leadership to be different this time around?
ABDUL GADDY: In a sense, yeah. We have great team chemistry this year. It’s one of our strengths, and I think that’s going to really help us offensively and defensively. We get along with each other so well, and we don’t really have that dominant personality, that one guy that’s the face of the team. The team is the face of the team.
COACH ROMAR: I look at our team, and when you look at our co-captains to begin with– Abdul is one of them. This year he will be a four-year starter. He has played in championship games, has played in on the road, been in some tough environments. Scott Suggs is a fifth year senior, and he’s also a co-captain. C.J. Wilcox is a fourth year junior who has also been in the mix and has played in a lot of different situations.
I think those guys are going to do and have already begun to do a great job in terms of leadership, because they know exactly what to expect. We often joke about it after the fact that they can almost predict what I’m going to say to them after a certain situation in practice the next day or at halftime of a game. They can tell our players in advance, the younger players, ‘This is what you’re going to have to expect,’ because they know what we want from them at such a high level. I think that can do nothing but help our team when someone knows the program that well and has bought into what we’re trying to do.