May 3, 2010
SEATTLE -- Husky head coach Lorenzo Romar met with the media on Monday to discuss the signing of Terrence Ross and in doing so could not hide his excitement in how good not only his latest signee could be, but how good his team could be next year. In not so many words, he feels like his team is better now at this point compared to the exact same time last season.
"This team is potentially better," said Romar when comparing the 2010-11 version of the Huskies to last season's team that won the Pac-10 Tournament and made it to the NCAA Sweet 16. "I think this will potentially be an exciting team if it can come together. I think we have a lot of pieces."
Where Ross fits in with the team next year is yet to be determined, but Romar thinks he will make an immediate impact. The Husky headman compares the Jefferson HS (Portland, Ore.) product to Tre Simmons, only more athletic. He also says that his skills are very comparable to current redshirt-freshman C.J. Wilcox, with Wilcox possessing quicker feet and holding the slight shooting edge and Ross perhaps being more explosive athletically. Either way, Romar is happy to have the 6-foot-5 wing in his stable.
"One of the things that was very important to us [in recruiting] was to become a better outside shooting team and Terrence Ross definitely provides that," said Romar. "He's not just limited to standing around and shooting threes. He's active. He goes to the boards and you've got to box him out. I think he'll be a tremendous defensive player. You look at a C.J. and Scott Suggs -- guys with size that can shoot the ball -- and add Terrence Ross, we're a team that is a lot more difficult to guard because you can't just concentrate on one guy."
The Huskies will definitely have some serious depth on the outside. Add Isaiah Thomas, Venoy Overton, Abdul Gaddy, Justin Holiday and the aforementioned threesome together and you have a dearth of players under 6-foot-7 that can shoot and cause nightmares for opposing backcourts.
With such a large gathering of perimeter players, there could be an intense battle for playing time. In the past, Romar has stated he would ideally like to use an eight- to nine-man rotation. It may be hard to do that next year, but the Husky coach is okay with those prospects.
"This is our third generation of Huskies, if you will," said Romar. "It's taken us this long to get our team kind of the way we want to have it. Now, I think we have shooters, we have size, we have quickness, we have playmakers, we have athletes that can go out and defend, we have a group of veterans. Across the board, it's starting to shape more like what we want it to be shaped like."
Isaiah Thomas update:
Coach Romar reported that Isaiah Thomas is recovering nicely from surgery on his great toe on his right foot. He is no longer requiring the aid of crutches and is walking with a boot. It is expected he will be in the full-swing of things during summer workouts.
Coach Romar announced that Justin Holiday and Isaiah Thomas have been elected as team captains by their teammates. Typically, Romar allows the players to select the captains, with the recent exception being Quincy Pondexter, who was an obvious choice to the coaches as the leader.
Romar Chimes In On One-and-Done Players:
In an ideal world, coach Romar stated that high schoolers would be allowed to jump straight to the NBA if they chose, but if they decided to go to college would have to stay for at least two years. Major League Baseball has a similar rule that generally has Division I players draft eligible after their junior seasons (it does take age into consideration for sophomores), but that is the model he would prefer for the NCAA and NBA to follow.