UW men tapping into Stanford's brains
Tim Morris won't even be in the same state as the rest of his Washington teammates Thursday. But should UW get its first victory at Stanford...
Seattle Times staff reporter
Tim Morris won't even be in the same state as the rest of his Washington teammates Thursday.
But should UW get its first victory at Stanford since 1993, he could get a big assist.
Morris, a 6-foot-4 guard, played the past three seasons at Stanford before deciding to transfer, and ended up at Washington playing for coach Lorenzo Romar, his second cousin.
Per NCAA transfer rules, Morris has to sit out this season and will have one year of eligibility remaining. He won't travel to UW's games this weekend.
But as might be expected, he's spending this week telling Washington coaches and his teammates all he knows about Stanford's playbook.
"They already know that Stanford sets a whole lot of screens," Morris said. "I just know a lot of the little stuff that we tried to do at Stanford to make things work."
Later, he laughed and admitted "they might not have the same calls anymore because I know all of them."
Morris said he left Stanford simply because "this was a better fit here for my style of play," meaning he prefers an up-tempo game opposed to Stanford's deliberate half-court game.
Forgetting the past
Morris scored six points when Stanford beat Washington 76-67 in overtime at Stanford last year, but he was on the bench for the game's pivotal play — a foul by UW guard Justin Dentmon as Stanford's Chris Hernandez tried a three-pointer as time ran out.
Hernandez made all three free throws to force the overtime. That game was the centerpiece of a three-game losing streak that threatened to derail the season before the Huskies rallied to finish second in the conference. It was their 13th consecutive defeat at Stanford.
But Romar said Tuesday he doesn't plan to bring that game up this week.
"I don't know if there's any reason to," he said. "It's an entirely different year, entirely different circumstance."
Some wondered afterward if Washington, leading by three as Stanford inbounded the ball with 2.1 seconds left, shouldn't have fouled sooner to send the Cardinal to the line for just two free throws.
But Romar said he is philosophically opposed to fouling in such situations because it could result in a defeat, whereas the most a made three-pointer can do is tie. UW faced the same situation four times last season, including the Sweet 16 game when Connecticut made a three-pointer to tie the score. Romar said he hasn't changed his philosophy.
No lineup change
Romar said the team likely will go with the same starting lineup as the past two games. That means Dentmon will again be on the bench for his return to Stanford. But Romar said he thinks Dentmon is in the process of getting his game back — saying he played with more effort against Arizona State.
"As long as he's doing that, things will work back for him," Romar said. "There is no doubt in my mind that Justin Dentmon will be back playing the way he's capable of."
Romar pointed out that the Stanford game a year ago marked the apex of Dentmon's struggles last season and that he then bounced back.
"It's a different struggle this year," Romar said. "Last year, he was just learning to play at this level. This year, it's more finding his niche with this team."