Washington is out on the practice floor, and we just finished up talking to head coach Lorenzo Romar and a few players. A consistent theme? Brock Motum is hot and being very aggressive offensively. Notes, quotes and thoughts on the jump:
> C.J. Wilcox came out coughing and in a walking boot about 15 minutes after Romar explained he thought the wear and tear of the season may be contributing to Wilcox’s ongoing slump from behind the 3-point line. Wilcox is shooting 20.8 percent in his last 10 games from 3. His advice to Wilcox: keep shooting.
> Romar on if he thinks a team being hot or not heading into the tournament matters: “A complete start over for everybody. In 2006, we finished the season strong, we might have been undefeated in our last seven games or whatever it was and we lost in the first or second round to Oregon. Champ Oguchi went off and Oregon beat us.
“I just mentioned what happened at Saint Louis (when he was the head coach). We got beat by 44 (the last game of the year versus top-ranked Cincinnati), to play that same team again and win (which they did in the second round of the Conference USA tournament), the probability of that is slim. So, I don’t think it matters.”
> Romar said he’s seeing Washington State star Brock Motum be more aggressive in the last week or so. He also said Washington will keep the same starters — which means Shawn Kemp Jr. will open the game against Motum — despite Desmond Simmons being its best option to guard Motum.
> Simmons said his priority when guarding Motum is not to let him catch the ball. He also said he tries to beat guys to their favorite spots.
> This will be Washington’s first time playing in the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas. It will head down Tuesday for practice and shootaround, then try to kill time by watching games and having team meals/meetings leading up to the 8:30 p.m. tip Wednesday, the last game of the day. A reminder: the winner faces Oregon.
> When asked about his knowledge of the MGM Grand Arena, Romar was specific. “I know for a fact the bread pudding is off the hook.”