Huskies coach Lorenzo Romar said Tuesday that senior guard Andrew Andrews’ knee is “fine” and that he should be “good to go” for UW’s 8 p.m. Wednesday game at Oregon State.
Andrews, who played Saturday with a strained medial-collateral ligament in his knee, practiced on Monday and is apparently feeling better.
That and more from Romar’s Tuesday media availability ...
(On importance of beating Stanford despite not shooting well) “It was huge. We always talk about being able to pull a game out if the ball is not going in the basket because of the other things that you’re doing on the floor, and we did a lot of good things which allowed us to win that game. But you eventually have to put the ball in the basket.”
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(On what stood out about defense vs. Stanford) “I thought we were very cohesive. I thought we were very together. Guys were active. I thought we played 40 minutes of defense, which is something we’ve been wanting to do. We’ve been doing a lot better job. I think in the last six games – I looked at it – if you take away the Utah game, I think we’re holding teams to 38 percent, almost 39 percent from the field in five out of six games. In those six games we’ve been forcing 17 turnovers a game. I think it’s showing that our defense is getting a lot better. you’re playing over a five-game period and you’re holding teams to under 39 percent, that’s pretty good. So we have to continue to build on that at this late point in the season.”
(On playing a team for the first time this late in the season) “That is interesting, yeah. I don’t remember before, since we’ve gone to the Pac-12 format with the alignment the way it is, that we’ve gone this long before we played every team. It is a little different.”
(On OSU being tough at home) “At home, Oregon State, like a number of teams in this league, is so much more difficult to play against. It’s a much bigger challenge when you go there. they have a great atmosphere there and they’re playing with a lot of confidence in that building.”
(On OSU’s defense) “They have a number of different defenses in their defensive package, but they play that zone quite a bit. That seems like their bread and butter. They try to slow you up, three-quarter press or sometimes a full-court press, but for the most part, they are pretty effective in that zone.”
(On having someone like Dejounte Murray to attack zone defenses) “Very helpful, and not only him, if you look in the second half – well, Dejounte all game long – but David Crisp also penetrated. Andrew Andrews penetrated the zone. And then you have those guys – Noah Dickerson should receive the basketball more in the teeth of the zone. We didn’t do a good enough job getting him the ball in there, but him and then Marquese Chriss and Malik Dime in the back, it gives us some weapons, it gives us some guys that can really attack individually in their way, and just continue to put it together and using all those in attacking the zone I think worked very well for us in the second half against Stanford. And it needs to work very well for us as we continue.”
(On how OSU’s zone is different from Stanford’s) “They don’t play with as much size in the front, and they match up a little bit more than Stanford does. So it’ll be different.”
(On what has impacted shooting -- tired legs?) “It could be. This late in the season, and I think there’s a point to where you can have tired legs and that’s not necessarily a freshman wall or a wall. You just go through those periods. Yesterday, with the exception of working on zone offense a little bit, we did no contact in practice. we just did a lot of shooting, passing drills, things of that nature. We’re just trying to see if we can get our guys even fresher. I think we come out, we play pretty fresh, but we’re taking these couple of days to try to get their legs back a little bit, maybe. Maybe that has something to do with it, because we get quite a few open looks.
(On how to get more shots to go in) “I want to say we need to get even more open shots. I think you go back and look at the film, there wasn’t anyone within 10 feet of the shooter, several times. Guys aren’t trying to miss. Sometimes just the legs aren’t there. I think our concentration is fine. It’s just something that we’ve gone through the last few games that I know we’re a better shooting team than we have shown the last few games. Earlier, there are games that we won, and I think we pointed this out last week, or talked to some of you about it – we won a couple games down the stretch, but we hit shots. If we didn’t hit those shots, we wouldn’t have won those games. And a few games here that we’ve dropped, if we would have hit shots late, we’d have won these games. So it’s just a matter of getting back to doing that.”
(On cutting down practice times) “I think there’s a balance, because if that’s all you do, then maybe you get out of rhythm in terms of actually playing the game, going up and down. We played a lot of games. Close to 30 now. So we understand what getting up and down means. But I think you have to do a little bit of both. You probably take a day to get up and down a little more. But earlier, the practices were two and a half hours. Now they’re about an hour and 15 minutes. Even if we get up and down, we’ve just cut way back so we maintain that freshness.”
(On practice emphasis) “And shooting. Shooting the basketball. The thing is, sometimes, the fact that you – when you sit in film, you need to pay attention. When we’re working on the drills, and you go up and half-heartedly go up for a shot, we’re going to be on you, because you’re not going hard. So there’s a level of concentration that you have to have whenever we meet as a team, that throughout the course of the year drains you mentally a little bit, too. So sometimes we don’t do a whole lot just so their minds can be freed up a little more, because sometimes that can drag you down. I remember playing 82 games in the NBA, and when that season ended, whenever it ended, you just felt like the weight was lifted off your mind, because for so long you were so dialed in, for such a long period of time. I think that can get to young players, too.”
(On whether Malik Dime has played differently since being in the starting lineup) “No, nothing different, but we’re happy with what he’s doing. He’s playing good basketball right now. One of the things Malik’s reaelly improved on, and remember he started playing basketball later, but once he started playing, he was such a good shot-blocker (that) everyone told him, ‘you just hang around the rim, get you a cot, do whatever you need to do, but don’t leave this area, because you’re such a good shot-blocker.’ The way we’re playing defense, he’s all over the floor guarding different positions in the switching, and he’s learning not only to guard the ball, but to rotate better in our defense, so that has been very, very helpful for us and our defense.”
(On this being a chance to improve their tournament profile) “There’s no question, but again, with three games left …”
(They’re all big) “Goodness gracious, yeah, they are. Each one. The next one after that – They’re all big.”
(On whether him and his staff sit down and look at NCAA tournament projections) “I think, really, I think that’s probably more (sports information director) Ashley’s job, because I’m that guy that as a sports fanatic, I used to do that for NBA teams or college teams. When I was in high school, I’d try to figure it all out. That was before I was coaching the team. That’s way too much to be worried about. I think what we were talking about earlier, how to keep guys fresh right now, and what to work on in practice, what’s the next thing we need to move on, attacking zone – that’s probably more a concern I have.”
(On talking to the team about NCAA tournament projections) “I’ve thought about that quite a bit, and again, we talk big picture every now and then. We’ll refer back to the big picture. But I think we’ve been pretty consistent talking about the task at hand that day, the next day. And I think our team is pretty confident, but sometimes, and I’ve seen this with teams before, ‘fellas, this next game, do you understand what this means? Do you understand what it means if we lose this game? Do you understand what it means if we win this game? I mean, the whole world is hinging on this!’ … ‘Really, Coach?’ You don’t want to create that either. Hey, we need to be concerned about what we’ve been concerned about all year. The guys are going to hear that enough. Their families, their friends, the social media, ESPN. They’re bombarded with, well, if you win this one, and if they win that one, and if this happens – they hear that enough. From us, we try to limit it to, this is what we have to do to be the best we can be, and if we come out and we’re the best we can be, we can control our destiny. That’s the message we try to set forth for them.”
(On having a Wednesday-Sunday road trip) “Well, we actually will go to Oregon State, we’ll go to Corvallis and we’ll come back after the game. So it’s a little different. I like that we’re able to do this, so it seems like two separate games as opposed to a two-game road trip.”
(On Oregon State having more offensive weapons this season) “Tres Tinkle, Wayne’s son is maybe one of the more underappreciated freshmen in this league. I hear a lot of talk about our guys, our freshmen here, Jaylen Brown, Tyler Dorsey, Allonzo Trier. But Tinkle is really, really good. He’s going to be a star in this league. The other coach’s son, Stephen Thompson Jr., he’s a good player, and then Bruce is over a 50 percent 3-point shooter. Eubanks really blocks shots, he’s really athletic. They have such a different makeup with this group, and they have more shooters than they had last year, and that’s all being directed by Gary Payton, so they have some capable guys who can make baskets.”