Washington freshman Terrence Ross has no problem launching shots.
And UW coach Lorenzo Romar has no problem with that.
“We’re not necessarily trying to get him a conscience ” Romar said Tuesday. “When guys are scorers, I don’t like to say a whole lot to them. He’s talented. He can score in bunches. I don’t care what year he is.”
Ross, a freshman from Portland’s Jefferson High School, justified Romar’s faith with a memorable Pacific-10 Conference debut last week, when he came off the bench to score a team-high 18 points in Washington’s 73-67 overtime win at Southern California.
“The only time I can remember a freshman doing that in his first road (Pac-10) game was Isaiah Thomas (at UW), when I think even then he assisted or scored on 15 of our first 17 points,” Romar said. “And Terrence did that as a freshman: He hit three 3s (3-pointers) in the first half when we were kind of out of sorts a bit. But he helped us that way; and then we maintained our composure and, after those first 10 minutes, settled down, and that’s when we outplayed them.”
Romar said he not only was impressed by Ross’ scoring, but also his poise while being treated as a go-to guy in an important game in a hostile gym.
“I think it speaks volumes as to what kind of a player he’s going to be,” Romar said. “He didn’t panic; he didn’t just throw something up at the rim. He took and made good shots down there. We went to him and he responded.”
After playing 26 minutes against the Trojans, Ross’ time was sliced by almost two-thirds a couple of days later at UCLA.
Romar said that was because of mistakes on defense, so senior Justin Holiday got key minutes instead.
However, Ross again made the most of his green light on offense, with seven points in nine minutes.
Romar said Ross remains a top option in the instant-offense reserve role that at other times has featured C.J. Wilcox or Scott Suggs. He indicated Ross will get more chances this week when Oregon visits Thursday and Oregon State on Saturday.
Ross said he values Romar’s faith, and will strive to keep it.
“A lot of guys tell me that their freshman or sophomore years they didn’t have the green light, so I’m just privileged to have a great opportunity to do that,” Ross said. “I mean, I don’t want to take advantage of it too much and get it taken away. It’s definitely something I like having.”
Washington’s sweep of the Los Angeles schools seems to have made quite an impression on opposing coaches, judging from comments made during their weekly Pac-10 conference call.
USC coach Kevin O’Neill: “We played at Nebraska; we played at Kansas, at Tennessee, Texas at home. I thought (the Huskies) were maybe the deepest, most talented team we played.
“They’re doing all the things you need to do to be successful, and have a chance to play for a championship at the end of the year.”
UCLA coach Ben Howland: “Washington can beat anybody in the country on a given day. You’ve got to recognize that Washington has a very, very good team.”
Wilcox (hip) is questionable for the Oregon game. The Society of St. Vincent de Paul will hold a blanket drive at Hec Edmundson Pavilion before the Oregon game Thursday and the Oregon State game Saturday. Blankets and cash donations will be accepted at the area or at any St. Vincent de Paul store.
Don Ruiz, 253-597-8808 firstname.lastname@example.org blog.thenewstribune.com/uwsports