Just like they did with Justin Dentmon earlier this year when the freshman point guard hit a few rough spots, the seniors for the Washington Huskies plan to have a talk this week with Jon Brockman.
The freshman power forward had a rocky entry to the NCAA tournament, going scoreless in 37 minutes against Utah State and Illinois while taking just two shots and grabbing six rebounds.
"We certainly want him to be more productive," Huskies coach Lorenzo Romar said, "but I don't think it's anything to point to and say, 'What's wrong with Jon Brockman?' "
But some of UW's seniors want to make sure.
"Jon's been a little nervous, and you could tell he's a little anxious and a little bit afraid to do certain things," said senior forward Jamaal Williams. "But we are going to talk with him and get him on the same page and have him contribute to us. Him playing well would be a big part of us making a run."
Senior Brandon Roy added that he thinks Brockman is feeling the kind of pressure to help carry the team that juniors and seniors often encounter.
"That's something we will try to take off him a lot this week," Roy said. "He's just got to go out there and have fun with it. ... We are going to need him a whole lot against the big guys against Connecticut."
Asked if the pressure of the NCAA tournament might have gotten to him, Brockman said, "A little bit. I didn't really feel too much. I don't know what it was. It wasn't like I was 0 for 10. I was 0 for 1 [in each game] and I was in foul trouble [against Illinois]. I didn't play as well as I should have, but at the same time, there was a little more pressure than usual."
Brockman picked up three fouls in the first half against Illinois and also suffered a nasty cut underneath his upper lip when he was elbowed by Shaun Pruitt in the opening minutes of the game. The cut required stitches, though Brockman said he didn't think it impacted his play.
He started the second half but still seemed tentative. At one point, he drove the baseline for what his teammates assumed was a shot at the basket — several got in position to rebound. Instead, he threw a pass to Bobby Jones that was picked off by Illinois. He came out of the game shortly afterward, sitting on the bench the last 15 minutes as UW rallied to win.
"I've been replaying that play over and over again in my mind," Brockman said. "Actually, I had a baseline dunk and I don't know why I didn't do it. I thought Dee Brown was going to collapse and Bobby had a three, so I was trying to get it to Bobby. It didn't work out. I need to go up strong to go to the hole and get fouled."
• The Huskies will leave for Washington, D.C., today after holding one last practice on campus. The school is on spring break, so missing classes isn't an issue. Romar also said he wanted the team to have a chance to see some of the sights in the nation's capitol, as well as get acclimated to the time change.
• The UW-UConn game will start at 9:57 p.m. EST. But as Romar said, "That will be a 7 p.m. game here, so that's our time zone."