Romar on last Sunday's 87-85 win over the Trojans: 'It was somewhat magical in the way it happened. When you experience something like that I think you grow up a notch.'
In the days before their previous Pullman visit, the Huskies were a wreck – both mentally and physically.
They lost seven straight games. They booted Robert Upshaw – arguably their best player – off the team for violating a team rule. They were beset by injuries that reduced the rotation and they conducted a couple of player-only meetings “trying to get together and trying to figure this whole thing out,” said Andrew Andrews, a co-captain last season.
The vibe around Montlake is totally different this year before Saturday’s Pac-12 road opener at Washington State.
The Huskies (10-4, 2-0 Pac-12) are riding high after two drama-filled upset victories over USC (an 87-85 comeback win) and then-No. 25 UCLA (a 96-93 double overtime thriller).
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The lessons learned in those victories may help a young Washington team that starts four freshmen and includes eight newcomers.
“We understand what can be accomplished when we play with that type of intensity and that type of togetherness,” coach Lorenzo Romar said. “During that comeback, no one really cared who was getting the credit for anything. There weren’t a whole lot of distractions. We were all in the fox hole together. I think our guys saw that.
“It was somewhat magical in the way it happened. When you experience something like that I think you grow up a notch. And I think our guys did that. In both games actually.”
During Thursday’s press conference, Romar also touched on Washington athletic director Scott Woodward who is set to leave for the same position at Texas A&M.
“Scott has been great here,” Romar said while not confirming or denying the reports. “Scott has done a lot here with our athletic department. Obviously, there has been some trust there with Scott. We just have to wait and see.”
Romar has had three ADs during his 14-year tenure at UW, including Barbara Hedges who hired him in 2002 and Todd Turner (2004-08).
In 2010, Woodward signed Romar to a 10-year contract extension that pays the basketball coach $1.7 million annually.