In perhaps his most revealing interview of the Summer, Seattle Times’ Percy Allen chatted with Lorenzo Romar about his upcoming trip to Europe/Africa and how that will impact the season. Romar has always been a fan of playing a deep rotation early in the season which allows him to get a good look at some of the younger players before he determines his shorter 7-8 man rotation.
Last season, as late as December 16th against UC Santa Barabara, Romar was still figuring out the front court rotations by playing Kemp Jr for 10 minutes. He did settle in on a tight seven man rotation after that but the damage was already done. I would argue that the lack of defined roles cost the Huskies a chance at getting valuable reps working together. Especially when it came to their road losses to Nevada, Duke, and Marquette.
This upcoming season may be a little different, as Romar mentioned in his interview.
"By the time we play our first game, we’ll have a pretty good idea who’s going to be in the rotation."
With their Europe/Africa trip beginning on August 25th, the Huskies will get 10 extra practices before as well as the games across the pond to develop their identity before the games start to count. This invaluable experience that slow-starting Husky teams of the past could have desperately used.
He went on to explain how his rotation-setting usually has worked in the past.
"Usually we don’t know for sure probably until December or sometime mid-December when you have more of an idea. And some years we don’t know for sure until the middle of January because you have some guys who play one way early – maybe they’re struggling – and then all of a sudden they figure it out and start playing. There they go and there our team goes. But they weren’t giving you that earlier in the year for whatever reason. So it’s hard to say this is our lineup and then all of sudden this player comes on like gangbusters and now you have to make a decision."
With the news dropping today that Mark McLaughlin will not be playing at Washington this year, these extra practices and games will be that much more important.
Extra practices? Extra in-game experience? A trip to Europe and Africa? Why doesn’t Romar do this every year? Bow Down.