When Washington Huskies coach Lorenzo Romar was asked about some of the things that caught his eye over the first weekend of Pac-10 play, one of the things he mentioned and discussed at length was cross-state rival Washington State's 0-2 start.
And just as Grady Clapp of SBN's CougCenter suggested at the end of his analysis after WSU's loss to USC, Romar sees no reason for WSU fans to panic at 0-2 despite high expectations during non-conference play.
"I don't think we can read into Washington State going 0-2 at all," said Romar. "Number one, they played against two really good teams, maybe the toughest road trip for them in the league. And two, they were gone 14 days, I think. Something like that - a lot of travel...I don't think we can read into them going 0-2 and now say, 'Oh they're not as good as we thought.' I don't think that's the case at all - they're very good."
Granted, Romar has class to spare and certainly no coach is going to come out and say, man they sure do suck don't they?!? But Romar was only asked what caught his eye across the league and is not one to toss around excuses for anyone.
And as described further by Clapp, Romar knows a thing or two about shaky starts.
Some Perspective - CougCenter
Last year, a Pac-10 team with a surefire NBA player and a lot of youth had a good non-conference season. They only suffered two losses before Pac-10 play. They had wins over Texas A&M and a Montana team that turned out to be NCAA tournament dynamite.
Then the Pac-10 slate started. They lost at home to Oregon, and then were swept on their first conference road trip. They started the season 1-3 and it looked as if they were going to struggle in a very winnable Pac-10 conference.
That team was your 2010 Pac-10 Tournament Champion Washington Huskies.
And perhaps a little more of Romar's wisdom will add to Clapp's call for optimism and help calm those WSU fans that are a little worried.
"It's fascinating in sports to me: if you win a couple it just seems like you've never lost; if you lose one, it seems like you've never won," said Romar when asked about how his team is handling its return to the AP's Top 25 and returning national recognition. "Guys that have been here over the years where we've had maybe slow starts - and you hear maybe we should shut down our program - at the end we're no doubt going to the Final Four. You can't get caught up on that. You have to get caught up in did we get better today?"
Of course, as Jeff Nusser wrote over at CougCenter, the Cougars could stand to perform better in order to win games in the Pac-10 and guard Faisal Aden shooting a bit less - or shooting higher percentage shots - would help quite a bit.
So we can certainly debate whether the Cougars are making forward progress, but Romar's point still stands: it's not yet time for panic.