Oct. 14, 2009
SEATTLE - The Washington Husky men's basketball team inaugurated the 2009-10 season on Wednesday with its annual media day in the Founder's Club at Bank of America Arena.
About 50 members of the Seattle-area media attended the event, which included a 30-minute press conference with Lorenzo Romar (click here to watch) followed by individual interviews with players and assistant coaches.
It was the first time this year that the media has laid eyes on the 12 Huskies, who officially kick off their quest to repeat as Pac-10 Champions on Friday with Midnight Madness (7:45 pm ESPNU-TV). Coach Romar and the team know they have a long road ahead of them if they expect to duplicate, and even improve on, last year's performance.
"This is an entirely new year and as far as we're concerned, we're not going out their approaching anything as if something is going to be handed to us," said Romar, who was the 2009 Pac-10 Coach of the Year. "We've got to start from scratch."
One of the players expected to help keep the talent level up is McDonald's High School All-American Abdul Gaddy. After Romar wrapped up his session, a large horde immediately surrounded the freshman, who received his first initiation to what it is like to be a basketball player as a big-time college program. He handled the experience like a true vet, patiently answering every question and soaking in the moment.
"To this point, Quincy is doing a heck of a job of being the leader of this basketball team," said Romar of his lone senior. "He is leading by example and verbally. It's great that he is leading by example, but I think real leaders open their mouth too. And Quincy has done both."
Also expected to help with the leadership of the team will be All-Pac-10 second team member and conference freshman of the year, Isaiah Thomas. He too was surrounded by a rather large media contingent and met them with open arms and witty answers.
"They have all been better than I thought," Romar said of his three freshmen. "I'm really pleased with our freshmen."
If the excitement in the air felt on Wednesday is any indication of what will transpire over the next 24 paractices that lead up to the Huskies' Nov. 14 opener against Wright State, then Washington basketball fans should brace themselves for another great season.