December 15, 2009

Turner hopes to be third scoring option

With more than half of the Huskies' offense coming from just two players, coach Lorenzo Romar is looking for a third option to put the ball in the hoop.

The Huskies' fourth-leading scorer, Elston Turner, hopes he can fill that void.

"I see myself as being a third option," he said. "In the Georgetown game particularly, I didn't shoot the ball that well, and I can't have those types of games. A team like Georgetown is going to key into Quincy (Pondexter) and Isaiah (Thomas) if nobody else can score."

Turner was 0-4 in 15 minutes as part of a supporting cast that was 9-29 from the field in the 74-66 loss Saturday, while the Hoyas exhibited the kind of spread scoring the Huskies hope to develop this season, with four players in double digits. The problem is not enough ball movement and not enough players looking to shoot, which is not a new problem for the Dawgs in the preseason, as Romar said.

"This is the exact - the exact - issue that we had against Portland in the first game, and Kansas two games later," he said. "But we were able to fix it before and I don't see it being an issue."

The solution, as Romar so eloquently put it, is to show them their misgivings on tape.

"You know, you can tell somebody their hair is really messed up, but then when they go look in the mirror, they say, 'Wow. I didn't really know it was that bad.' It's kind of one of those deals," he said.

Turner agrees, citing the need to look for a shot more and keep the offense moving, which will open up Quincy Pondexter and Isaiah Thomas more as well. He also noted that it is harder to get started when teams are already queuing in on those two.

While Romar is concerned with the lopsided scoring of his rotation, he offered the perfect scenario of having a pair of main scorers with a capable supporting cast.

"We got to continue to still play, but the best scorers are going to score," he said. "I go back to 2006. Brandon Roy averaged 20 points and Jamal Williams averaged 14 or 15 points per game. Bobby Jones was right at 11 and after that we dropped off at eight or nine."

Pondexter leads the Huskies with 22.1 points per contest and Thomas is at 20.4 of the 83.8 team average, but they are the only two in double digits, with the next best scorer being Matthew Bryan-Amaning at 8.4 and Turner at 6.1.

"That's the trick, to have everyone be real aggressive," he said. "It's a matter of everyone moving and sharing the basketball."
And who does Romar see filling that scoring hole?

"It could be any one of three or four guys, but we definitely (need it)," he said. "When you look at Matthew, he is shooting over 50 percent - I know there are some chippy's that he's missed that would put him over 60 percent - he could be a guy that could be a third scorer."

Interstingly enough, Romar also noted both Tyreese Breshers and Clarence Trent - two players that average no more than 12 minutes per game - as potential background scorers based on their field goal percentages alone. Bresheers has made 55 percent of his shots, while Trent is shooting at a 61.5 percent clip.

"We need more guys on the perimeter to shoot around 45 to 50 percent too," he said.
As was Georgetown's stat line on Saturday, Romar said that he wants a number of scorers.
"The ideal is to have four or five guys in double figures," he said. "When you got two guys average 20, there would not be a problem if there were three averaging nine because all that adds up."

If Turner is going to turn into that threat, he hopes it begins against Portland, a team that he would like to avenge a 2008 loss to.

"Since this summer a lot of the guys were saying that we can't wait to play Portland because they had a little something to say after (last year's game)," Turner said. "And we know a lot of the guys on the team. Luke Sikma and I are pretty good friends."

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