Coach's Corner

What a wonderful job Lorenzo Romar is doing with Husky basketball. They seem to get better each game and as the end of the season draws closer, they are looking like a tournament team. Which tournament I'm unsure of, but it takes baby steps before you can run.

After a rocky start in Pac-10 play, it's amazing they are above .500 right now. What a turnaround, sparked by that huge three-pointer by Nate Robinson against Oregon State on the road. This squad is certainly exciting and there hasn't been a Husky player who ignites the crowd like Nate-Rob since the last two sport sensation, Reggie Rogers, who played both hoops and football in the mid-80s.

Robinson is special and his dunks are becoming incredible. He is the most exciting thing to happen to Husky sports in decades. His dismount from a dunk against the Ducks that featured a half twist in the tuck position was another of his many high wire acts.

Just like Rogers did for Husky crowds years ago but Nate is about a foot shorter than and twice as quick as Reggie was.

I'm so excited about Robinson, which is why I want to speculate about his return to Husky football.

I, for one, believe he can only enhance his professional marketability by going back to doing both sports. His status is already reaching legendary proportions, and if he were to turn out for football he would likely wind up in the Husky Hall of Fame. He is now appearing on Sportcenter with regularity and I envision Gilbs using him more offensively if he were to return.

Robinson won't commit yet to whether or not he's coming back to football, but getting Keauntea Bankhead in the fold didn't hurt Gilby's chances at getting him to return to the gridiron.

I would suggest approaching him with the possibility of going both ways, to be used on kickoffs with ET and as an inside receiver who can be used on options, reverses, and screens. On defense, simply use him as a passing down specialist, or a nickel back playing man to man coverage.

The main thing is to use him all over the field in specialty situations but to get him the ball. It would be a waste just to use him on defense because you want to put the ball in his hands as many times as you can get it there. He is a play maker and would absolutely ignite Husky Stadium every time he touched the ball.

Getting the ball into the hands of your playmakers isn't rocket science.

I also think that before he leaves the UW, he should turn out for track at least one year to letter in three sports. That would ensure legend status. Many people forget he was a state contender and record holder in the High Hurdles. Three sport lettermen are rare, and it would only improve his reputation and earning power.

Oh, I know we're not supposed to mention professional futures and potential for "amateur" athletes. We learned that from Billy Joe Hobert's plight.

But did you know that had Hobert not included reference to his future in a contract (that was subsequently destroyed and voided by his lender), the legality of his loans wouldn't even have been an issue? Hobert never broke any rules with his loan arrangement, but rather was actually busted for a contract that had already voided. OK, I'm far enough off topic now.

Nate will really break a lot of hearts if he doesn't return to football. He is, shall we say, electrifying.

So was Reggie Rogers and he has been ripped off by never being honored for being the great Husky player that he was. Reggie belongs in the Husky Hall of Fame and should be recognized at half time of a game for his great contribution to both Husky football and basketball. Not only did Reggie participate in both sports, he was all conference in both sports. He was a high draft choice in football and one of the greatest athletes ever to play both sports at the UW. He turned on the crowd with his rim rattling power dunks, just like Nate does now. He was a fun guy to his teammates and great kid to coach.

Unfortunately he got into some trouble off the field and because of it was subsequently blackballed by the Husky Athletic Administration for years.

If Gilbs can convince Nate to return, he becomes the second most important recruit of this past class. He may become the first if professional baseball makes a run at Matt Tuiasosopo.

Nate will own this town for the rest of his life. He will be like Joe Jarzynka was - the crowd favorite. He will be a legend. He will always enjoy that special status that all only Husky "Greats" enjoy. He will be recognized like Emtman and Moon and Detlef and Houbregs. He has that spark that can cause an explosion. He is one of a kind.

Meanwhile he and his teammates are trying desperately to prove Marv Harshman was right in predicting that Lorenzo would become a great coach for the Huskies. The team is very competitive yet is still extremely young. With a sophomore-dominated lineup (Jensen, Roy, Jones, Washington, and Robinson are all sophs), they have become the giant killers in this conference and are not afraid of anyone. They are a brash-scrambling-never give in group of young men who are bringing back the excitement to Husky basketball. They are filling seats and busting their rear ends night after night. They are shaking the cobwebs out of Hec Ed Pavilion (Sorry, it will always be Hec Ed to me). I grew up here and went to watch Bruno Boin and Doug Smart and coaches like Tex Winters and Marv Harshman. Now Coach Romar has the place rocking again and to watch the fundamentals start to emerge in his team makes you realize what a wonderful coach he himself had in Coach Harshman.

It is as though Husky Basketball has finally returned to the past and with it the Huskies have forged into the future. I am so happy for Lorenzo but also happy for Harsh. His legend lives on through one of his favorite players. I know how proud he is right now. I know he should never have been forced out like Mike Lude and Don James were. They were all victims of a Husky administration of that time who never stood behind their legends. They were the best basketball, best AD, and best Football coach in modern Husky history. They were all victims of the same jealous and vindictive administration. Nobody backed them.

But now Husky basketball shows signs of returning to the days of yesteryear. And now if we can just get Nate to help the football program do the same thing . . .

Come on Nate, hear our plea. Top Stories