LoRo: Media Day

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Courtesy of the Seattle Times

by Craig Yamada

I had the distinct pleasure of listening in on Romar’s Meet The Press day today. With the season just a month away, I know you are all on pins and needles about the outlook of this year’s squad. Most of what Romar spoke about is nothing new to us, but others were rather eye opening. Take a look on what Romar had to say:

On the off-season: “It was a long and prosperous summer for us. [Our guys] worked hard this off season to prepare for this upcoming year. We have a challenging schedule this year.”

On his returning players: “2006 was the last time we have had this many returners and experience.”

On choosing his starting five: “[The line up has yet to be finalized]. The way that Matthew, Isaiah, and Justin finished last year, you would think those three would have the edge as starters. It all depends on how they practice. The problem is there are so many lineups we could go with. We could go big, we could go small. So many different looks we can have. The players will have to determine what the line up will look like.”

On rotating 12 players: “We can’t use a 12 man rotation during games. That can’t happen. I’m not going to give a number. Just not sure.”

On using so many lineups in 2009: “The plan is to never change the lineup that many times. That only happens when guys don’t step up. By the end of the year, we always play our best basketball. We are trying to start Game1 with the lineup [we want to finish with at the end of the season]. When someone steps up, you don’t have this issue. We hope to find a team that is going to gel earlier because of our experience.”

On Aziz: “I think we are bigger this year. With Aziz, it makes us bigger. Aziz can finish around the rim. He’s a guy that can score on the low block. He’s that guy in the middle that rebound and intimidates. His main contribution right now is providing a defense presence in the middle for us.”

On finding his go-to players: “The cream always rises to the top ALL THE TIME. Someone will emerge because we give our guys freedom. It kind of work itself out.”

On this year’s team speed: “Every year we try and play the same way. We try every year to play fast. We have the combination of the most size and quickness. 2005 was our quickest team. We may look faster this year, but we are taller also.”

On IT only going left and improving: “You realize that is saying that Shaq only dunks right?  Isaiah is working on his midrange game, his consistency, and seeing the floor. He’s an underappreciated ball player. He has won 25+ games each year with him as a starter. He definitely matured over the year when you compare his play against Georgetown and his last conference game. [He had] better shot selection and was getting players involved. “

On Gaddy: “I used a comparison of Gary Payton his first year in the NBA to Abdul. High expectations, very talented point guard. I expect him this year to be an improved player this year. He’s quicker, a little faster, and he’s more aggressive. Defensively he knows what we’re doing. That is straight maturation. Abdul is gonna be fine.”

On having the best perimeter he has ever coached: “The best perimeter we have ever had was Tre Simmons, Nate Robinson, Brandon Roy and Will Conroy. That remains to be seen this year, but there are candidates.”

On Holiday: “He is playing with a lot of confidence. I don’t know how aware we are of how high a basketball IQ he has. He sounded like a coach when he talked to the [team his freshman year]. He understands what winning is all about. He spent a lot of time working on his shot this year. He overcame a sports hernia and now he has his legs under him when he shoots. Without a summer of being hurt, we will see a very productive Justin Holiday this season.”

On Injuries: “No major injuries to report. Venoy had a tweaked hamstring and should be ready this week. Simmons had arthroscopic surgery four weeks ago. He’s right around the corner from coming back.”

All in all a positive outlook for this year’s team. 24 days away from our first exhibition game. Thanks for coming.