1. Need to start coming to play. Someone ought to pull Justin Holiday, Mathew Bryan Amaning, and Venoy Overton aside and let them know that they are playing the final games of their senior year at Washington. It shouldn’t be necessary, but those guys are out on the court sleep walking right now. Holiday is missing point blank layups, Amaning is struggling with his shot and both Overton and Holiday are getting ABUSED on the defensive end of the court. Both of those guys are just getting owned by the guy they are trying to guard. In the last two weeks, Isaiah Thomas is the only guy who has brought his game face to the arena and the problem with that is that when nobody else steps up he starts to press and starts making mistakes. Unbelievable, but the fact of the matter is that Romar needs to wake up over on the sideline and light a fire under this team because right now they seem to be content to just play out the rest of the season and go home.
2. Too many Perimeter Shots. This is kind of a segway from point #1, but it appears that UW has decided that it’s just much easier to slowly pass the ball around the perimeter until someone hucks up a 3. There is limited ball movement and dribble penetration. If UW wants to get things sorted out – they need to get the ball inside. Plain and simple.
3. Stop over committing on defense. It’s perfectly clear that the other coaches in the Pac 10 have figured out that UW is over committing on defense because they are all running a ton of back door plays right now. Rather than learn from this and keep their man in front of them, UW’s defenders (and their supposed defensive specialists) are repeatedly going for steals in the passing lane only to find that the ball was never thrown and that their man is running unmarked to the hoop where he gets a pass and scores. Get a clue – keep yourself between your man and the hoop – and force someone else to shoot a ton of 3 pointers for a change.
4. Romar needs to take his jacket off. The trademark move for Lorenzo Romar when he gets angry is to rip his coat off on the sidelines. It usually results in a technical foul. Romar needs to think about revisiting that move. I have watched a lot of Lorenzo Romar basketball teams and he seems more willing to put up with sub par effort out of this squad than any other. I don’t think he has lost his passion for coaching by any means – but its time for him to let his upperclassmen know that he isn’t going to simply accept it when they don’t show up for a game. Romar needs to take his cool jacket off and let it be known that things need to get done the right way, or you can take a seat on the bench.
5. Less grit – more basketball. Trademark UW hoops is a gritty team of athletic guys who outscrap their opponents for victories. This team isn’t doing that. On the road they have almost no grit. They aren’t outhustling anyone. What they need to do for these road games is worry less about emotion and more about basketball. Their execution and attention to detail is abhorrent and when the home crowd isn’t there to pick them up – they just fall apart. You can’t win every game with attitude. You need to play basketball sometimes too.