Iowa Involved with Romine

Christian Romine continues to pick up interest from college coaches. Iowa is one of the schools showing him the most attention. The junior forward talks about visiting the Hawkeyes, assistant Andrew Francis watching him live and more in this story.

The Iowa coaching staff has a knack for taking raw ability and turning it into productivity. Junior center Gabe Olaseni serves as a case in point.

The Hawkeyes are eying a high school junior that brings to mind Olaseni from his prep days. Christian Romine offers exceptional athletic ability in a 6-foot-9, 210-pound frame.

"(The Iowa coaches) have said that (Romine) reminds them of Gabe," said Mike Ciepierski, who coaches Romine with the Illinois Stars. "He has a 39-inch vertical. He can touch five inches above the box (on the backboard).

"I think Iowa is intrigued with him. (Assistant Coach Andrew Francis) came to see him. He told him he'd like to see him battle more and see a higher motor. Christine knows he needs to work on that."

Romine preps at Mahomet (IL)- Seymour High. He reports a scholarship offer from St. Francis of Pennsylvania and interest from Iowa, VCU, Illinois State, Xavier, Indiana State and Evansville.

Francis watched Romine in person on Jan. 31. Romine visited Iowa for the Minnesota game on Jan. 19.

"I loved their facilities - Carver-Hawkeye Arena," said Romine, who also has stopped at Xavier and Evansville. "I love their weight room. It was just a really nice facility.

"I got a chance to talk to coach (Fran) McCaffery with my dad for about 15-20 minutes. Then Coach Francis took me on a tour of their facilities."

Romine absorbed the discussion with McCaffery.

"He was real up front and honest," Romine said. "He said how he lets his players play. He's not going to take them out if they make one mistake. He likes to let guys play through it.

"He talked about it being a very good program. He talked about it being a good school to go to. He said you'd get a great education. It was a very good conversation with him. I really enjoyed it."

Romine projects as a power forward in college. He's dedicated to adding strength.

"That's something I work on constantly," he said. "Right now, it's a little hard to gain weight because of basketball. I lift almost every day in a conditioning program we have at our school. It pushes you and is very beneficial. I've gotten much stronger from my last high school season and through AAU to now."

Francis offered feedback to Romine after attending his game last month.

"He just told me that they like that I get up and down the floor and that fits their style," Romine said. "He just told me to keep working because they see it's there. I just need to show my athleticism and how I can get up and down the floor and a constant motor. I think that would help a ton.

"I'm still continuing to work on going 100 percent all of the time. I just need to get in better condition. I'm working on it all of the time."

Romine said he's comfortable shooting from 15-feet and in but is practicing on extending his range.

"I'm most comfortable in high school running a four-out,- one-in set," he said. "I can get to the post and go to work. I'm a guy that's better around movement; catching it on movement and attacking the basket.

"(Iowa's system) really fits into my game, getting up and down the floor; transition points; they move the ball. I like the way that they play. It fits my style."

Romine said he's looking to major in sports management in college with the goal of staying around the game of basketball.

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