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Husky Men's Basketball

The latest news and analysis on Husky men's hoops.

May 3, 2010 at 6:25 PM

Lorenzo Romar: “We still have one scholarship left”

Just finished transcribing Lorenzo Romar’s 30-minute press conference from this afternoon when the Washington coach touched on a variety of issues, including the newest Husky Terrence Ross.
It’s very long. Still, you can read between the lines a few times and other times you don’t have to wonder at all about Romar’s feelings when it comes to recruiting ethics or his recruiting style.
He couldn’t talk about Terrence Jones, the UW recruit who committed and has not signed a letter of intent, but Romar made a few cryptic comments that suggest Washington is still in the running for Jones.
(Does Ross compare to a former player?) “Probably a more athletic Tre Simmons. That would be the closest that I can say of anyone we’ve coached here.”
(How long have you recruited Ross?) “Ninth grade.”
(Was he a priority since you first saw him?) “He became more of a focus this year because he had committed to Maryland and he de-committed from Maryland and opened up his recruitment and at that point we began recruiting him.”
(Before he committed to Maryland, were you recruiting him?) “Oh yeah. Early on, coach (Jim) Shaw had done a nice job of getting on top of the guys down there.”
(What have your emotions been like the past 72 hours?) “Fired up that we got Terrence Ross. Just ecstatic. So emotionally with Terrence Ross, really excited.”
(Did you watch him play when he was back east?) “Just on film. Had seen him prior to that. Knew his game. When you watched him on film, you could see that this was the same guy that we recruited earlier, just bigger and better at this point.”
(What has he done since the last film you saw?) “Well he’s gotten stronger for sure. He’s been able to develop more of a mid-range game as opposed to just being a stand-still shooter. He’s become a better rebounder. I keep saying he’s listed as 6-5, 180, but he’s 6-5½ barefoot so 6-6 and 197 is what he is. He’s got a little bigger since the time he was a sophomore.”
(How does he compare to C.J. Wilcox?) “C.J. is probably – in some ways they are similar – but C.J. probably has quicker feet. But Terrence Ross is probably the better athlete and C.J. is a good athlete. C.J. may have the edge on him a little bit as a shooter, but it’s pretty close. One of the things that was very important to us was to become a better three-point shooting team, a better outside shooting team. And Terrence Ross definitely provides that. But again not just limited to standing around shooting threes, he’s active. He goes to the boards. You got to box him out. I think he’ll be a tremendous defensive player. It helps us. You look at a C.J. or Scott Suggs, guys with size that can shoot the ball. You add Terrence Ross and now you put together a team that resembles some of these other teams that we played. You’re a lot more difficult to guard because you can’t just concentrate on one guy.”
(Will Ross do some of the things Quincy Pondexter did last year?) “They’re such different players. They’re entirely different players. Quincy was a good offensive rebounder I could see Terrence Ross doing that and getting offensive boards. I think Quincy is a slasher that allows his outside game to compliment his ability to slash. And Terrence Ross is a shooter is a shooter that compliments his shooting with his ability to slash. So they’re just really different.”
(Will Ross be here this summer?) “Yeah. They usually come around July 13. That’s when they’ll be here for summer school.”
(How difficult is it to get kids out of Oregon?) “I’d have to go back and see how many we’ve gone after. We tried to get Kyle Singler, but didn’t get him. There’s been a few. Now this makes two. We haven’t gone after like two dozen or anything like that.”
(Is Oregon becoming a more solid recruiting base?) “Some would argue, some of the old school Seattle people would say, we get a lot of attention now for this talent, but it was like that a long time ago it was just that Seattle didn’t get noticed much. Well I think the people in Oregon might say the same thing. You go back to Terrell Brandon and (Damon) Stoudamire. There was some good talent that has come out of Oregon, but there’s been a little bit more recognition the last couple of years. I don’t think Terrell Brandon was a McDonald’s All-American so maybe people didn’t notice him as much. But now you got Kevin Love and Kyle Singler these guys that are more high profile and players on a national level, think it draws a lot of attention to them. When you combine them (Washington and Oregon) the Northwest is rich in talent.”
(How does having Brandon Roy in Portland raise Washington’s profile?) “It doesn’t hurt. I was at their game the other night, their last game. From the University of Washington, Brandon Roy. That’s announced in Portland so Washington keeps getting its named called out.”
(Ross said he signed last week. Surprising?) “He had indicated that he liked Washington and what was important to him and his mom was to get down here and see it. They came to a game. The didn’t get a chance to see the school in its entirety. They didn’t a chance to meet with the academic staff and all of those things and see where you’re going to live. I know he came on his visit hoping everything would be okay. He did and it was just kind of like check that off, check that off and that’s what I thought now let’s sign. That was kind of the approach they had.”

(He also talked about UW’s Sweet 16 run in the NCAA tournament. Do you think it helped?)
“No question. I don’t think we get those guys. Maybe still Terrence Ross, but definitely not Aziz (N’Diaye). No way we get Aziz if that didn’t happen. Good shot Quincy.”
(Is this class complete?)

“We still have one scholarship left.”
(Do you have too many guards?) “Could be. That was the case this past year. We had – all of our perimeter guys – were pretty good basketball players.”
(Would you like to see the high school recruiting news conferences go away?) “(Laughter) I don’t know. For those guys, sometimes it’s … If there was a press conference and you’re throwing confetti out of the sky and gold glitter everywhere and everybody is dancing, then maybe that would get out of control at that point. Some of those guys those I think it’s a pretty special day for them. They’re proud of what’s going on. It’s not always the kid’s idea. It’s not always the family’s idea. Sometimes the school says hey we want to do this for you. They have graduation parties. At events they have at graduation in high school, they’ll have everyone that’s getting a scholarship – an academic scholarship – stand up and be recognized. So when it’s done in good taste, I don’t have a problem with it.”
(Did you think you would be finished with recruiting by now?) “Yes. We have not gone this long since we’ve been here with this many options in the spring. Usually we’ve been done in the fall.”
(Does this take time away from something else?) “Not as much. You just cram it in. All of those times you say get back to me at the end of April and May, you go to wait. Still busy.”
(Is that indicative of where college basketball is or the level of recruits you’re going after?) “We’ll see. We’ll see next year if there’s some type of pattern. I just think in our case it’s just one of those years.”
(It Ross academics in good standing to where he’ll enroll next fall?) “He’ll be in summer school.”

(Is that a concern at all?)
(Summer school at UW, right?) “Yeah.”
(Is Isaiah fine?) “Yeah, he’s off his crutches. He’s walking around in a boot with a smile on his face. Haircut nice and neat.”
(In the past, you had 8-9 man rotation. Will you now switch to a 10-11 man rotation?) “Could be. You know it’s interesting. This is kind of our third generation team. The first generation is Brandon Roy and Nate Robinson and that era. The second generation is Jon Brockman, Justin Dentmon and Quincy Pondexter. Now this is going into a third era, generation or whatever you want to call it and it’s taken us this long to get our team kind of the way we want to have it. Now I think we have shooters. We have size. We have quickness. We have play-makers. We have athletes that can go out and defend. We’ve got a group of veterans so across the board it’s starting to shape more like what we want it to be shaped like. And if we continue to do this … You’ll have a couple of your guys that are your best producers will play the majority of the games. Then you have some others maybe that you’re just putting the heat on teams.”
(Who leads this third generation?)Justin Holiday and Isaiah Thomas are our team captains. I don’t think I’ve announced that to the team yet.”
(Does the team vote?) “We let the team vote unless they are way off.”
(And with these two?) “The team voted for them.”
(Ever had a vote that was way off) “No. Last year was the first time I think we did not vote. We just selected Quincy. But every other year we voted and the players usually are pretty good at who they pick. They usually have been the ones that we would pick as well.”
(Do you expect Desmond Simmons and Aziz N’Diaye to get in with no problems?) “Oh yeah.”
(Will they also get here for summer school?) “Yes. Aziz should get here earlier, but Desmond will get here in July as well.”
(Is that the norm?) “Yeah. They take a class called LEAP. That get’s them acclimated for the freshmen.”
(What type of a recruiter are you?) “I don’t know what I am?”
(Are you the hard-sell guy?) “No. Not at all. I think cultivating relationships is probably more important for me to do that. Both ways. We get to know them and they get to know us. I’m not a pound, pound hard sell guy. I’m not good at that.
“But when I look at our class, I really like our class how it shaped out and how it’s come together. My assistants have done a very good job of identifying the people that fit in with what we’re trying to do. And they’ve been relentless and they’ve been out working. We see the fruits of their labor. I think year in and year out, my assistants, they do a really good job of getting these guys in here.”
(If the class remains the same are you happy?) “I think this will be potentially an exciting team if it can come together. I think we have a lot of pieces. With one scholarship to go we’d like to add one more piece. (Laughter)”
(Is the team as good as last year’s team at this point?) “At this time last year, I think this team is better. Potentially better. But this team coming up is not as good as the team at the end of last year because this team hasn’t come together.”
(But why is it better than last year’s team at this time?) “I would say because we have older players. More seasoned players from the beginning.”

(You didn’t recruit Ross until he de-committed from Maryland. Is that typically the way you operate? If a kid is verbally committed somewhere, you won’t interfere.)
“That is correct. If the kid were to for instance, never mind. Next question.”
(Is that practice common?) “(Laughter). Yeah. I’d say so. For a lot of schools. For a lot of situations.”
(But not always?) “Nah. It is interesting. Sometimes a kid will be committed and then something goes on 4-5 months later. The kid commits as a sophomore. Some things happen. There’s a coaching change. And he has a different perspective and he wants to open up his commitment at that time. Anyone that begins to recruit him, just like us with Terrence Ross. You make sure that the commitment is over (and) that the kid is opening up his commitment at that point.”
(Have you been that way from Day 1 as a recruiter?) “I’ve always been like that. Once they say I’m going to another school, (then) I wish you the best.”
(Have you seen the other side (the hard-sell guy) and the pros and cons of that style?) “Oh yeah. I think you do what your personality allows you to do. There are some that are hard sell. It works for them. Everybody is different the way they do it.”

(How has recruiting changed from when you first got here?)
Bobby Jones came because he said you have a vision and you’ve explained this vision to me and I want to join in the vision with you. There were many others that didn’t see the vision. I remember Marvin Williams watching us play, coming to the game and he just said it. Another year, maybe I would have been here. But at that point – Marvin didn’t stay in school for four years – and at that point our program just wasn’t going anywhere it appeared. It seemed that way and made it more difficult. … Now, the University of Washington, yeah we watched you. We watched you in the tournament. We know who Brandon Roy is. We know who Nate Robinson is. We know who Jon Brockman is. They’re asking questions about your team before you really explain to them who you are. We have more people’s than we did before we got here. The other thing that makes it tough before we got here, (people would ask recruits) so who are your schools? I’ve got School A, they were in the Final Four. I got School B, I got School C and I got Washington. Really? Washington? Now it’s more, really Washington? I saw them play. That’s okay. It’s okay to go to Washington. That really helps.”
(Has the recruiting intensity picked up for UW compared to the past?) “It’s all relative. There’s a level of athlete that maybe you can’t get in on because your program isn’t on that level, but the level that you can get on, there’s someone else going after them too. So it’s all relative. It’s just as hot. It’s a little different. Sometimes when you’re at a certain level, you have to try to get a kid to commit to you before anyone else discovers who this guy is sometimes. You know he’s good, but a lot of other people don’t know that yet.”
(Is that hard to do?) “Oh yeah. We went through it with Martell Webster, although he’s in the NBA. Martell signed with us and if he would not have played in those all-star games, he would have been here as a freshman. But we knew, once he started playing those all-star games, it was going to be difficult because the pros were going to come after him. I think it’s the same situation with some guys that you’ve identified early, then they go out and play on the circuit in July and everyone sees them. Now all of a sudden. If I told you early on a kid that’s in the ninth and 10th grade that said I’m done. I’m going to be a Husky. Then they blow up and they didn’t realize these other schools were going to come after them and sometimes it changes. Now that could still happen, but it doesn’t happen as much. They still feel we can compete with some of those other programs.”
(Is your job as a recruiter more difficult because of the one-and-done rule?) “It changes your perspective more than anything. You just have to decide is this the type of kid that’s going to come and rent out your program for a year or is he going to take ownership and really give you everything he has. With that being said, I always say this too. Every kid that we’ve come across, if they were going to be one and done, you still try to get them. But it’s like anything else. You got to make a decision. Are we going to be able to get them or not.”
(What is your opinion as one-and-dones as a policy?) “I wish it was two years or three. One and one is better than straight out of high school, though.”
(Do you think people should be able to go straight out of high school?) “I think that would be a good model. If you go right away, you go. If not, you invest in the program that you decided to invest in.”
(What happened with Enes Kanter?) “He hadn’t passed the SAT so we couldn’t get him in at that time. We knew here we go. If we couldn’t get him in at that time, the whole world was going to be after him. So I’ll just leave it at that.”

Comments | Topics: C.J. Wilcox, Scott Suggs


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