Washington’s leading scorer didn’t practice on Friday, but coach Lorenzo Romar thinks senior point guard Andrew Andrews will still be able to play at Arizona State on Saturday.
Andrews appeared to sprain his right ankle late in the first half of the Huskies’ 99-67 loss at No. 18 Arizona on Thursday night. He finished the game, but was hobbling some afterward, and Romar held him out of practice on Friday.
“He’ll be ready to go tomorrow,” Romar said.
Andrews finished Thursday’s game with nine points, his first non-double-digit scoring output in his last 27 games.
Here are some additional quotes from Romar after Friday’s practice.
(On Andrews’ status) “He sat out. He walked through some stuff. But we wanted to keep him off it. He’ll be ready to go tomorrow.”
(How did you think the team responded today?) “We want to save their legs for tomorrow, but we did a lot of technical stuff, lots of film, but mentally, you can tell our guys were focused today. Our guys obviously didn’t seem very cocky today, but on the flip side, we didn’t seem depressed, either. I think we understood we got it handed to us last night, and we’ve got to bounce back. Come down here, go back home with a split – we can still save a successful trip.”
(What lessons do you want them to take from the Arizona game?) “Just what we’ve done in the past is for 40 minutes, pretty much try to play hard. Last night was the first time that – we got distracted. Whether you call it the road or whatever it was, we got distracted, and we just began to break down in every conceivable aspect on the defensive end.”
(Did you make a conscious decision not to press Arizona as much?) “That was one of the things that we were supposed to pick up, but in the second half, a couple things happened. Without getting into how beat our press, they had a different alignment than normal, and we didn’t adjust to it. We kept talking and talking about it, but we hadn’t practiced it as much and it was hard for our guys to adjust on the fly because we kept forgetting. But in the second half, we didn’t make enough baskets to get into picking up full-court, and just overall, our transition defense was really, really bad. If you heard me talk before about the little things, especially when you go on the road, where you know your team right now is a little distracted, for instance, there’s a designated guy that’s supposed to take the ball out. All of a sudden he’s not taking it out. He forgets. If he’s forgetting that, we’re forgetting other things like that. That’s what began to happen more, and more, and more last night. But our defensive transition was very poor.”
(Is this team at its best in a frenetic game?) “I would think so. At this stage in this team’s development, I would say that was probably accurate. And what we keep telling our team, and this is what I meant when I said the statement – unless we get better, the other wins were fool’s gold. They weren’t fool’s gold – we won those games. Regardless of if we were down 22 or whatever happened, overtime, we still had to take those games and we did it. So we played good enough to win, but in order to continue to win at that level, we have to get better, or else what we did was fool’s gold. So we’re not at that point yet to where it’s not at a frenetic pace, so we do have to move the ball back and forth, we do have to continue to sustain our mental focus the entire time. Those are the things we have to get better at that totally exposed us last night against a team that was very, very hungry, on a mission, won 47 (in a row) at home. Felt very comfortable out there. The question was asked, do you feel like maybe you guys weren’t ready to go? No. they got up on us 8-2, after that we ended up taking the lead. We were up three or four with just a few minutes left in the half. I thought our guys did a fantastic job in the first half, but then the second half is when we began to falter, whether it was foul trouble, whatever it was, we just weren’t right in the second half.”
(Was that the most zone defense you’ve played?) “Yes.”
(How did you think that went?) “I thought our guys did a good job in the zone. They (Arizona) got to where they were hitting shots, and it didn’t matter what we were in. But I thought in the first half especially, the zone sustained us a little bit with the foul trouble.”
(Does that make you more willing to use it in the future?) “Oh, yeah. Definitely. Our guys got game reps in it.”
(Surprised to see Arizona run some zone defense?) “They never do it. We were a little bit surprised that they did it. We came down the first time, turned it over, the second time, hit a 3. We were fine against it, we just didn’t anticipate them going zone.”
(Is there something in the scouting report on you guys that says teams should play zone?) “With the exception of Arizona, that’s the first time people that don’t zone, zoned us. I always say teams that zone, zoned. ‘You guys are going to get zoned a lot.’ You’re right – if the next five teams we play play zone all the time, we will get zoned. But if the next five teams play man, we’re probably still going to get man. That’s what’s been the case. But last night was a little different. But I don’t know – I thought our guys were running pretty good offense last night, too. You could look at it as OK, that was their scout, but maybe they felt in order to guard us and slow us down, they needed to go zone, which I think would be a compliment to our guys.”
(What do you see from ASU?) “Dangerous. They’re very scrappy. Tra Holder has the ball in his hands, he creates quite a bit. He’s very aggressive. He’s an assassin. And they’re very quick and very athletic.”
(Is it different not seeing Herb Sendek over there?) “It’s different. But before Herb was Rob Evans, so probably the biggest, when I say ‘now that’s different’ is when Lute (Olson) was not coaching on the Arizona sideline, because since we’ve been here, and before we were here, Lute was there. But Herb was there a long time, no doubt about it. But this is now the third coach since we’ve been here.”
(More on Andrews) “We held him out. If we played a game, he probably would have been hobbling, but he probably would have been able to go. But he wouldn’t have been 100 percent. Another 24 hours, he’ll be a lot better.”
(Did Arizona do anything differently to slow him down?) “That was our lowest, in terms of going to the foul line, and Andrew only went to the foul line four times. So he wasn’t getting fouled like he normally is. And they were really, really packing it in. Really packing it in on him. and they had the big bodies around the rim, which made it a little more difficult. But then we couldn’t make shots and didn’t open it up for anyone. I think it was the first game in a long time he hasn’t made a 3. They did a good job of just packing it in there.”
(On taking lessons from bouncing back after the Gonzaga loss) “...This will be another one of those firsts for us in league, trying to still get the split, bouncing back after the first loss. And they just totally, totally took it to us in the second half. To be able to recover from that and come out and be ready to go, it’s going to be a challenge for us. But our guys have answered the bell a lot of times.”
Christian Caple can be reached at email@example.com. Twitter: @ChristianCaple