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UW Basketball: Suggs Start Against Cal Neither Permanent Nor Something To Read Into

It might have been easy for some people around the web to speculate about why Washington Huskies coach Lorenzo Romar decided to change his starting lineup in Sunday's win against Cal.

Yet he explained to media that the decision to insert Scott Suggs into the lineup and bring Venoy Overton off the bench again was purely strategic.

"Isaiah can hold his own against anyone," said Romar in yesterday's media session. "But in terms of matchups we felt with Jorge Gutierrez, who's an outstanding defender, is usually matched up against Isaiah. And we felt if we went with a bigger lineup, maybe he would defend someone else. And if he didn't, maybe we could take advantage of the person he didn't defend."

Morevoer, the team's depth could mean that it could be a while before Romar decides on a consistent replacement for sophomore Abdul Gaddy, who was lost for the season with a knee injury.

"Who's starting? Who's the sixth man? I don't know," said Romar when pressed further on the matter. "Everybody's in the mix at this point. We have nine scholarship guys that are playing right now. That's not like we have 13. So at nine everyone's in the mix. Certain games are going to call for different substitutions, maybe different starters, depending on what the case is. So, I don't mind - we can answer that every week. I really don't mind. But the answer is not going to change a whole lot because we have different guys that we can go to."

Of course we could speculate about who would be best in that fifth starting spot - Suggs, Venoy Overton, Terrence Ross, and CJ Wilcox have all played well enough at times to fill the spot. But as Romar said, it's still way too early and throughout the season just when one guy seems to step up and look ready for a spot, someone else manages to shine.

"You look back say three weeks ago, four weeks ago, it's probably someone who you said, ‘That's the guy right there,'" said Romar. "Two weeks later, ‘No, no, it's this other guy. So it literally could be any one of them. And I think every one of them have been in that position where you might think that would be the guy, at one time or another, since our first game.

"That's why it's good to haave that because they're all capable."

Overton was great this season as a defensive sparkplug off the bench before Gaddy went out for the season with a knee injury, so there's a pretty strong argument to continue using him as the sixth man. Ross exploded against the Oregon teams, Romar commended Suggs for his defense early, and C.J. Wilcox was excellent at times during non-conference play before hitting something of a slump.

So for now, the carousel will probably continue until someone clearly stands out above the others or shows the versatility to be successful in multiple scenarios.

"There comes a point where you probably go with a guy that fits most scenarios," said Romar when asked about whether there was some point that he'd have to commit to a consistent lineup, such as the Pac-10 or NCAA tournament. "Not maybe the guy that only fits this particular team, but a guy that kinda can hold his own against any different scenario."