Washington wrapped up practice at the Galen Center and C.J. Wilcox’s participation was limited. Again it is a precautionary measure.
Huskies (13-10, 5-5) head coach Lorenzo Romar said he thinks the regular-season title is out of reach, but that an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament is not.
“Our goal is to try to win enough games here so we can get an at-large bid without the tournament,” Romar said. “I definitely thinks that’s possible. It’s going to be difficult, but I think that’s possible. That’s what we’re looking at regardless of what place we’re in in the league.”
A full transcript of his comments on the jump:
Did CJ Wilcox practice?) A little bit. Not the entire time. Just trying to keep everything calm. C.J.’s not hurt, it’s the beginning … if I feel like the flu is about to come on, it’s not wise for me to go on a 10-mile run that day, necessarily. I probably need to rest that day and I’ll be fine. It’s kind of like that.
Anything like last season?) His femur was cracked last year and it could have ended his career if he had kept playing before it calmed down. Nothing like that. It’s a little toe.
Can he practice and do those things?) For the next couple of weeks, this was one week, he’s just backing off his reps in practice. After that, he’ll be able to go back to practice. It just needs to calm down.
His numbers have been going down. Injury have anything to do with that?) I don’t think so. I think you’ve got to go look at the shots — Arizona and Utah did a phenomenal job defending him, to where almost every shot he took was contested. The other games, it just hasn’t gone in for him. The UCLA game he had some wide open shots, they just didn’t go down. I can’t say, boy, lately every team has taken him out of the game. It’s not accurate.
If there were fewer turnovers lately, where would you be in the standings?) We wouldn’t be tied for fifth. We’d be a lot higher up.
Was that a point of emphasis today?) Yeah. I don’t know how much it helped today, but it was an emphasis. It is our No. 1 key for the SC game, take care of the ball. We take care of the ball, we’re in pretty good position right now if we do that.
What’s different about SC since the coaching change?) They switched their philosophy. they’re still pretty good defensively. But, they’re a lot looser offensively. They take more questionable shots than they ever have. If you’re a high-scoring team, you’re going to take questionable shots. Now, they’re just playing a lot looser offensively.
And J.T. Terrell?) He could go for 40 or he could go 7-for-21. He could go for two in the first half and end up with 25. He’s very streaky and the whole key is not to let him hit that first one.
Turnovers everywhere. Any common theme with them?) We turned it over stepping on the baseline. We jumped to pass three times. Double team came on the perimeter, we held on to the ball three times. Transition we turned it over four times, now we’re up to 11. We had the ball in the post, go to make a move, they strip us, that’s 12. We charged, that’s 13. That was in transition. There is no common theme to them. Common theme is we’re just too careless. We have to value the ball more. That’s what it is. It’s not one particular area and, I challenge you to go back and look at that game, our offensive possessions when we didn’t turn it over and see what kind of shots we got. Pretty good. So, we have to take care of the ball.
Do you sub out after mistakes or tell them?) Drill work. Practice, emphasize it more … what we tried to point out today. ‘Ah, thought you were going to cut that way my fault.’ ‘I thought he was going to step up.’ ‘I should have threw it higher.’ Like we told our team, in the game, they don’t say, nope he thought he was going to throw it higher so you guys get the ball back. Doesn’t count as a turnover … Those are turnovers! It’s just kind of an attitude where, ah, get it next time. No. So, we’re trying to do a better job, I’m trying to do a better job of pointing those things out. It is a big deal.
At the same time, you don’t want your team hesitant) Absolutely. You don’t want a revolving door, either, in February, where everybody who commits a turnover is coming out. Now it’s a revolving door. No one gets in a rhythm, now it’s a worse. We have to kind of fix it on the fly.
Any silver lining the conference is beating each other?) Obviously, that helps our cause. I always bring back history. Twice we’ve been 5-5 after 10 games in conference and both times we went to the NCAA Tournament. One time we won 12 games, another time we won 11 games. We had to win the tournament to get there one time, the other time we finished second and received an automatic bid. There is still time, definitely, there is still time. The toughest part about this season right now, is once we started playing better, we’ve been so close. So close. And when you’re saying you’re so close the entire year, at the end of the year, you look back and say we just weren’t good enough. So, let’s hope we’re not saying at the end. Let’s hope we are saying, we were so close, we just knew that if this were to happen, we could turn it around. Let’s hope at the end, that’s what we’re talking about.
Regular-season title?) I don’t think we can win the regular-season title right now. I think we’re too far behind. We’re three games behind with a loss to the two that are already up top. I don’t think we can do that at this point. Mathematically, it’s possible, but beyond mathematics, I just think it’s difficult. But, we still have an opportunity to finish in the top of this league and make the NCAA Tournament.
How is important is it to get 4 seed and bye for P12 tournament?) I think it’s important. Our goal is to try to win enough games here so we can get an at-large bid without the tournament. I definitely thinks that’s possible. It’s going to be difficult, but I think that’s possible. That’s what we’re looking at regardless of what place we’re in in the league.
3-point shooting has been poor of late. Why?) I just don’t think we’ve shot the ball well as a team. It just hasn’t gone in for us from the perimeter. If we’re not shooting 3s and we’re not taking care of the ball, put a lot of pressure on our defense. Two of the last three games we got our defense back. Arizona we played good defense, UCLA we played good defense. Arizona State we fell back a little bit. We’re getting that back. We can still keep that defensive up and take care of this ball, we’re going to be a so much better team going down the stretch.
Jumpers because you didn’t throw the ball inside enough?) I would say there have been times when we’ve been a little impatient in taking quicker shots, but a lot of them are somewhat open shots. We’ve taken good shots and passed up great shots that we can get with an extra pass. Aziz and Shawn have really stepped to where they are getting more shots. Shawn takes 14 shots against Arizona State. I thought our guys did a pretty good job of getting them the ball against UCLA. Probably could have gotten it to them a little bit more. We’re making progress that way, at least.
If you’re cold from outside, prefer they go to the rim?) Make the extra pass. It’s hard to tell C.J. to make the extra pass though, when he’s wide open. If we were going 4-for-21 each game, then there’s a huge problem. I haven’t looked to see the pattern of how many 3s we’ve been taking but I don’t think it’s a real big number in terms of shooting a lot of 3s. I don’t think we’ve been doing that.
Everyone healthy other than C.J.?) Uh huh.
Any lineup or rotation changes?) No.