Trip Report - Evan Fitzner

Evan Fitzner had no idea what to expect on his recent trip to Seattle and the University of Washington, but when spoke to the 6-foot-9 forward from San Diego Tuesday night, he talked glowingly about how the visit gave him a clearer picture of UW's Basketball program, as well as its tradition and support. A big part of that was watching Sunday's Alumni Game at Alaska Airlines Arena.

"My Dad (Mark) played in the Pac-12 (Stanford) so he'd been up there but it was my first time on campus," Fitzner told about his unofficial visit to Washington. "I've driven through the area once before when I was younger, but that was my first time on campus."

Fitzner gave us a rundown on his trip itinerary. "I flew in late Saturday and then got up the next morning and spent the whole day over at the school," he said. "We got there about 9. We worked out a little bit - me and two other recruits…we got to shoot around in the gym and stuff like that. That was good. We went down and talked with the strength coach and then went over and checked out some of the academic areas. Then we went back and watched the (Alumni) game.

"When the game was over, I hooked up with my Dad and we went and talked with coach (Lorenzo) Romar for a couple of hours…also with coach T.J. (Otzelberger) and watched film. We talked a lot about how they see me fitting into their playing style and where I would be. It went good, it was a really good talk."

What was Fitzner's first impression of UW and Seattle? "I noticed the people were really nice up there," he said. "Everyone I talked to were good people. It's really beautiful with the trees. It's a little bit different than San Diego but I like it. I liked it a lot."

Fitzner added that his father also enjoyed his time during the visit. "He loved it," Evan said. "He knew coach Romar a little bit before. They played with each other and against each other down in San Diego in leagues after college. But he really liked the environment, everything about the game - how so many people were there to support the team, and stuff like that."

Apparently Fitzner had gotten a scouting report on Romar prior to the Legends Game. "I was pretty impressed," he said. "I had heard a little bit from my Dad about how good of a player he was but he definitely stood out. He was knocking down shots…he's a real good player. It was fun to watch."

Fitzner was blown away by the Alumni Game, and especially the support given the UW hoops program from the community. "It was pretty unbelievable," he said. "Coach (Romar) said that he thought three thousand, maybe four thousand might show up, but I guess it was sold out. There was three thousand people trying to get in the gym too, so I was impressed with the support the city has for the basketball program and everything. That was pretty impressive. And then just seeing all the NBA guys coach Romar has developed over the last few years is pretty impressive. It was pretty cool to see. He's proven what he can do as far as player development."

So in the end of it all, did Fitzner see what he expected during his visit? "Not really. Not at all," he said. "The game, I had no idea it would be like that. So many people showed up. I didn't really know what the whole area would look like…it was beautiful up there with all the trees, really green. The campus, I didn't know what to expect. It was pretty surprising. Getting to meet all the coaches in person, everyone was good people. It was good."

He added that his Dad felt the same way about the trip, especially when they spoke on the way home. "It was good," he said. "We just talked about…it was kind of surprise for him too. He was really impressed."

Fitzner admitted he gets the 'who are you top schools?' question at least once a day, but he hasn't narrowed down his recruiting at this point, even after the UW visit. "I don't know," he said when asked if he might be getting closer to making a verbal commitment to a college. "I'm getting kind of close. I want to do it before the November signing period. I want to commit before then. I might take a few more trips just to check out a few more schools, but I don't know. I kind of have an idea in my head of schools I'm really interested in. I want to check those out."

But at the same time it's clear UW made up some serious ground in Fitzner's recruitment. "Washington is one of the schools I'm focusing in on," he said. "It was good to spend some time with other recruits. I'm looking forward to getting back up there and meeting some of the guys on the team. I think that's important in making the decision too."

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