Romar talks about signees

It was as if Washington Head Basketball Coach Lorenzo Romar got to trade in all the frequent-flyer mileage accumulated through recruiting trips for one last special visit to the land where dreams come true. With five signees finished and one more left to go, Romar and his staff put the bow on Washington's finest hoops recruiting class ever, just adding more fuel to a program already cruising at Mach Two.

"The best class I was ever a part of was when I was at UCLA when we got J.R. Henderson, Toby Bailey, omm'A Givens and Kris Johnson," Romar said Wednesday. "Those guys went on to play in the NBA and helped win a championship. This class rivals that class on paper. But on paper, omm'A Givens was the only McDonald's All-American out of those four, let he was one of two that didn't make it to the pros. And I would say that this class is just as impressive, if not more, and definitely the best that I've had as a head coach.

"The timing of it is very special. It just so happens that we had a very good year last year and we got a lot of players coming back. It shows that maybe we've got a chance to continue to grow with this recruiting class."

Here is what Romar said about each of the players that have sent in letters of intent as of Wednesday afternoon, the first day of the early signing period for men's basketball:

Jon Brockman:
"He is an energy guy. He's 6-8 and close to 250 guys and he gets a kick out of kicking people. He enjoys banging and hitting, and he's not out of control with it. He's not a dirty player. He's just as physical as you would want to get. He plays that way and he understands that it's one of the things that makes him a good player. There are so many big guys nowadays that want to play the one or two or do things like that. He is a banging forward and he'll be the first one to tell you that. He is also skilled. He's a good passer, he can really run. He's athletic and he has a gift to just make you want to play hard for him. There won't be many dull practices with him around. If I was good at predictions, I would take a stab at this one - in four years of ninety practices a year, I would predict that there might be one practice where he doesn't bring it. There might be times when the ball isn't going in or he's turning the ball over or he's getting scored on, but there's not many where he isn't always bringing it. Whoever he's playing against for the next four years, you better bring your lunchpail because he's bringing his and working two shifts. That's just how he is."

"There was a lot of talk about Jon and Martell at the end because they were our last two guys, but even without them we have a good class. But Jon helps you get over the top. He's good and a great student, a great person. He has a great attitude. Taking basketball out of it for a second, he's going to be successful. He's got the whole package. He's a great basketball player, and coaches voted him as the best player in the West, but the package he brings outside of basketball that he brings back to basketball is unbelievable."

Comparison to Mark Madsen: "In some ways that's a good comparison, but in some ways he's like a Ben Wallace to me without a 'fro. I think that's his favorite player. Mark isn't a great scorer. He's a banger, he's a great guy. He has an infectious personality and is going to be successful. But Jon is a better scorer. He knows he's a banger and likes to mix it up in the paint, but he can take the ball from half court and go in and make a play as well. You can put him out on the wing or high post and make a play. I don't know if Mark was that versatile."

Artem Wallace: "He's different than Jon, but similar in that they are both big and strong. Artem plays at a different pace than Jon. He has more moves in the low post on the block. Look at Nate Robinson and Brandon Roy, what's the difference? With Nate, it's go,go,go. Same with Jon. Artem is not as energetic as Jon, but not many are. They will have a presence (down low), no question."

Martell Webster: "We've talked openly about that (NBA). Jon would like to play four years of college, that's what he wants to do. Martell is not in a rush. If he's in college three years, two years, he's not going to hit the panic button. But when that day comes and he knows that he's ready, he'll go. When that is going to be, how soon? Who knows. We would love to have Martell, and I think he would love to be at the university. I don't think there's any question of that. He is talented, and after this year is over, we'll see what happens. But we are assuming that he's going to be here and I think he's assuming that he is going to be here. We know guys who say all the right things in the past, but in the back of their heads they are thinking that if they get a chance they are gone. Marvin Williams probably could have been a lottery pick last year. He didn't go, and he always said that he wanted to go to college. And at this point, I believe that Martell wants to come to the University of Washington."

Justin Dentmon: "He's a guy we're really excited about. He's a floor leader. He has a great feel for when to push tempo and when to not push tempo. He led his team to the state semifinals and I believe they played Sean Livingston's team. He shot close to 60 percent from the 3-point line for four games in the tournament. And that was with guys hanging all over him, pulling his shorts down and threatening to beat him up after the game, all kinds of stuff. They were all over him, and he did a heck of a job. That's a lot of competition in that tournament. And we watched him over the summer and every team he's on, they keep on winning. His team, the Illinois Warriors, won the Peach Jam this summer."

"Coach (Jim) Shaw did a tremendous job with Justin Dentmon. When you talk about this recruiting class, it's like the big manhunt is done and I'm the Chief of Police is addressing the media. There were some detectives back there risking their lives getting these guys caught. And now the big Chief of Police comes in to answer questions. Our assistants did a phenomenal job with this recruiting class. There were cases where we thought we might not get certain players and our guys were just relentless."

Roburt Sallie: "He's in the Tre Simmons mode as far as being a scorer. He doesn't shoot it as good as Tre, Tre is just a pure shooter. But he scores it. He's 6-4 or 6-5 and might be the biggest sleeper of the bunch. Not a lot of people were aware of him, but he can really get going and score points in bunches. He played with Zach Johnson in the AAU leagues and Coach Dollar and that AAU coach have a good relationship and they talk. He was telling him about him, here and there and we started calling him. We finally saw him and by then he had committed to us. It was too late. But you watch him play and other coaches are saying, 'Hey, you know this guy?' Some big schools were ready to go after him and we're fortunate to have him." Top Stories