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August 19, 2007 at 9:20 AM

Answering a few questions

Some good off-season discussion on here that I’ll try to address:
— On comparing UW’s Class of 2008 to WSU’s and Gonzaga’s. I wish I had the ability to see all of these players in person, but I don’t, so any analysis I would give you would just be cribbing that of people who do see them. Just going by the stars each recruit is given on Scout.com, you’d put Gonzaga’s and UW’s classes ahead of WSU’s.
But then, that would almost always be the case and we saw last year that WSU went 4-0 against those two teams. It’s always more about making sense to what your program needs. I know the concern out there is that the Huskies will need another big guy or two down the road, especially depending on whatever happens to Joe Wolfinger.
I will say that UW coach Lornenzo Romar doesn’t seem that concerned about the makeup of his team. He spent a portion of his Friday meeting with the press talking about how the Sweet 16 teams of 2005-06 often had what were basically four guards on the floor — Brandon Roy, Nate Robinson. Will Conroy, Bobby Jones, Tre Simmons, etc. I would think that UW would try to get a big man or two with whatever it does next in recruiting, but it’s not as if the Huskies are barren in the front court with Jon Brockman, Matthew Bryan-Amaning, etc..
— As for the discussion on the coaches of those three schools, all the arguments stated here have some merit. Romar seems to be getting the reputation out there of just a recruiter who rolls the ball out. I think that’s a little unfair considering he took over a program that had three straight losing seasons and within a year led it to one that had three straight NCAA Tournament appearances. The end result is what matters most and his record speaks pretty loudly.
That said, you’d have to give the overall edge to Few since he’s done it the longest with the most turnover in personnel. Romar himself has told me on a number of occassions that that is the best way to judge a program — consistency over time. That’s the next step for the Huskies, and while they faltered a bit last season, I think they are on the right track in that regard. But until the Huskies get back to the tournament with a totally different crew, that will be the one thing left undone by Romar here and the one thing separating him from coaches like Few. Leaving Pepperdine and Saint Louis after three years each also gives somewhat Romar of an incomplete mark in that regard at those schools, as well, though he was on the right track at each place. Remember that at Saint Louis, he had signed Ryan Hollins before leaving, with Hollins then getting out of his LOI to go to UCLA instead.
I see the argument often that Romar didn’t recruit well for his style last year. The only player that can really be referring to is Spencer Hawes since I don’t know who else doesn’t fit their style. And I don’t know how anyone can say they shouldn’t have recruited Hawes. Obviously, the Hawes Era, such as it was, didn’t go the way anyone planned. And I don’t think there’s any question it altered the style of the team’s play a bit, and as the results indicate, not for the better. But how could they have not gone after Hawes,a Parade All-American attending high school about 30 feet away? It’s ridiculous to even think that. And the recruits since since then all seem great fits for what you would regard as the Husky style under Romar.
Bennett has obviously done an amazing job at WSU but the trick for him now will be to continue it once this current group of seniors leaves. It’s unrealistic to expect the Cougars to remain among the top three or so in the Pac-10 on a yearly basis. But getting to a point of at least contending for a post-season berth every year could be done there. It will be much more accurate to judge Bennett against those two — and especially Few, who has the longer one-school track record — in a few more years.

Comments | Topics: UCLA

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