Oct. 14, 2010
SEATTLE -- Ready or not, the 2010-11 UW basketball season gets underway officially on Friday.
Around the country, some schools will be celebrating the kick off to the season with a Midnight Madness celebration. Others -- like the Huskies -- will hold a quiet practice and head out of town for a team retreat.
Coach Lorenzo Romar is open to the idea of starting a future season with a Midnight Madness, but a year after welcoming ESPN and the public to the team's first practice he is choosing the more low-key approach.
"The pattern has not been Midnight Madness," explained Romar on why he chose to start his ninth season at Washington by heading to Lacey's St. Martin's College. "The pattern has been to go away and have training camp away from here...As far as I'm concerned we're just getting back to normal business."
Of late, normal business for the Huskies has been more focused on March Madness than the Midnight variety. Washington has made four trips to the NCAA Tournament over the last six years, including three Sweet 16 appearances. A year after the Huskies lost to West Virginia in the Regional Semifinals, Romar thinks his team is ready and hungry for a deeper run in the NCAA's.
"With so many familiar faces (returning), I think our guys looked each other after that game and said 'We're going to get it right next time,'" said Romar.
Before the Huskies' trudge towards March, they gathered Thursday on the floor of Hec Edmundson Pavilion for one last drill session before the real thing starts. The team went through stretching and ironed out the practice routine -- one last chance to refresh the basics and work out the kinks.
After the workout, Matthew Bryan-Amaning, Abdul Gaddy and Romar headed to Garfield High School to see Brandon Roy and his Portland Trail Blazers hold an intrasquad scrimmage. Roy's return was two-fold -- he brought NBA hoops back to Seattle and raised money for his alma mater.
The presence of Roy and the Blazers also allowed Gaddy and MBA (and the scores of other young hoopsters in attendance) to dream of where they want to be some day in their basketball careers. Gaddy even Tweeted he and MBA were "watchin where we are headin!"
Until that day arrives, Gaddy and MBA will have to settle for the dreams that the start of the college season brings. You can bet they're hoping that it is one Mad dream.