Lorenzo Romar Part II

Bob Bender, Romar's predecessor, was considered a delegator and gave his assistants a lot of leeway in conducting team business. Romar will employ more of a balanced philosophy, taking both hands on and delegation into consideration, depending on the situation.

"On some days I'll actually get involved in the five-on-fives during practice. On others, my assistants will run almost the entire practice," said Romar.

"You will see a team that really competes and gets after it on defense, and a team that plays unselfish basketball."

He has only seven players currently working out on campus but from what he's seen, it would appear a solid foundation is in place. "We've had individual workouts and we're impressed with their talent. We're probably more talented here than we were at Saint Louis."

Washington will get senior center Marlon Shelton back from his redshirt season, and will also welcome back forwards Doug Wrenn, Mike Jensen, and Jeff Day, as well as guards CJ Massingale, Curtis Allen, Will Conroy, Josh Barnard, and hopefully Charles Frederick.

Joining these veterans will be center Anthony Washington and guard Brandon Roy from Garfield High School in Seattle, and athletic swingman Bobby Jones from Long Beach Poly High School in California.

Roy declared himself eligible for the NBA draft but he still may wind up a Husky when all is said and done.

"People have been critical of Brandon, but I'm not concerned so much about his decision to give the NBA a shot as I am about him completing his academics for his senior season," said Romar of his highest rated recruit.

"That is what I've told him, to not get distracted in finishing that because if you doesn't work out with the NBA, you won't have many options if you don't get it done in the classroom."

With the NCAA putting the rule in place where a player can declare for the NBA without losing any eligibility, it will open up the floodgates everywhere and Romar knows it. He likens it to a carnival contest.

"You pay a dollar and if you knock all the pins down you get a teddy bear, and if you don't you only lost a dollar. Well, in this case, you didn't even have to spend a dollar. There's nothing to lose."

So if Roy doesn't get drafted and passes his SAT, he'll be playing for Washington next winter?

"That's right. There's nothing to lose. How can you fault a kid for giving it a try?"

As long as he passes that SAT.

Also expected to play basketball for Romar is Rainier Beach's Nate Robinson, an electrifying 5-9 point guard that turned the Washington prep basketball scene on it's ear with his abilities to dish and to fly though the air and dunk on players a foot taller than himself.

While at UCLA, Romar cultivated his reputation for being one of the premier recruiters on the West Coast. He will hope to further cement that reputation in Seattle. "We want to keep the best players in this area here. The talent here in the northwest has really improved. There are four states that represent the Pac-10 and we think we can recruit in all four of those states (WA, OR, CA, AZ). We will emphasize California because there is so much talent there. We got one already (G Bobby Jones) and we'll see if we can get another."

Romar was talking about Ryan Hollins, a 6-11 post player from Muir High School in Pasadena. Hollins had signed a letter of intent to play at Saint Louis but has gained his release from that commitment. Washington is a heavy favorite to get Hollins because of how close he is to Romar.

One change that may show up cosmetically to the Washington Husky program could be their appearance. Romar may keep a tight leash in regards to how his team will dress, their hair styles (IE: braids and beads). It remains to be seen how far he may go, but he made no bones about his opinion.

"I think that in the off season, what guys do in terms of their appearance is their choice. When we are together as a team and are representing the University of Washington and this program collectively, I would prefer for our guys to look professional. We don't want one guy with blue sox and another guy with white sox. We're not interested in individualism and that's part of the statement our program will make. I'm a product of the John Wooden system where we try to be professional and we're part of a team. I think over time guys take pride in that."

When asked what he wanted Husky fans to know about him, he didn't hesitate for one second. "If there were just one thing I would want them to know? It would be that I try to live every day of my life trying to serve the Lord the best way I can."

When told that he sounds and looks very happy to be in Seattle, he deadpanned, "That is very perceptive," trying to suppress a laugh.

"I said that I would not leave Pepperdine unless a very good job came along. Well, in Saint Louis I said that there would only be one or two jobs that I might leave for. Now that I'm here, there is no job out there that I would leave for."

"This is it, and I don't take that for granted."

Romar hopes finish his career in Seattle, and is glad to be near his mentor once again.

"Marv Harshman saw something in me and gave me a scholarship, something me or my family never really dreamed of. He transformed a raw, wild, inner city kid into someone that is more of a conservative structured guy that can play the game at two speeds. I give him a lot of credit for me being able to play in the NBA. We've stayed in touch over the years and have remained friends. I still look at him as my coach to this day. When he calls me, I know I have to hurry up and call him back because he's my coach. I respect him a lot."

Welcome home, Lorenzo.
Link to part I of this article

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