Huskies sign four hoopsters

SEATTLE - Who would have known the future impact Lorenzo Romar would have on a young Scott Suggs. After all, it was a simple game of one-on-one in the driveway of the Romar's house in St. Louis. Romar, the head coach of the Saint Louis Billikens at the time, invited the Suggs' over to a family picnic at the request of a mutual friend, Herb Anderson.

What a chance meeting it would become.

"I'm not bragging, but I beat him," Romar said Wednesday when he announced the signings of four prep basketball players to letters of intent for the class of 2008. "I didn't know this until last year, but I guess he got in the car and started crying. At that point we had developed a friendship with the family. And the Dad told me that one day, if his son is good enough, he was going to call. And sure enough, he called. He said, 'I think you might want to come out to see him play. I think he's going to be good enough'. And the rest is history."

Suggs - a 6-foot-6 guard, Elston Turner - a 6-foot-5 guard, Tyreese Breshers - a 6-foot-6 forward, and former Curtis High guard Isaiah Thomas - all 5-foot-8 of him - all sent in their letters of intent during the first day of the early signing period for Division-1 basketball signees.

Romar said that they were done filling spots with this particular class.

"As always, you are always excited when someone wants to make it official," Romar said. "These four as a group are special. They all possess a cerebral feel for the game. They all know how to play the game of basketball. And they will still need to learn things at this level, but at the same time they come in with a pretty good understanding of how to play the game. They all can score.

"Collectively as a group, with last year's group, puts us in a position where we can continue to get better as a program."

"Quietly assembled, the Huskies bring in four guys who will have strong roles for many years," added Dave Telep, the Head of Basketball Recruiting for

With these past two classes, it's pretty clear that Romar is recruiting the frontcourt for physical presence and athleticism, as opposed to just sheer size. "With Joe Wolfinger being a sophomore, and Matthew (Bryan-Amaning) is 6-9 with his wingspan, Darnell Gant is 6-8, Tyreese Breshers is who he we already have it," Romar said when answering the question of size. "We don't have to recruit it, we don't think."

Here are Romar's comments on each signee:
Tyreese Breshers - "He's 6-foot-6, 6-foot-7, but has really long arms. Some people compare him to Craig Smith at Boston College and some compare him to Charles Barkley. He's big at 260 pounds, but can really get off the floor, can block shots. He plays much bigger than his height would indicate.

Elston Turner - "He's a guard that is a coach's and former college player's son who knows how to play. The type of player that never rushes things, plays at his own pace. He can play with any other four guys you want to put out on the floor. He's that type of player. He has a really nice stroke."

Scott Suggs - "He is one of those players that is already a good basketball player - has a chance to be the state player of the year in Missouri. And I don't want this taken the wrong way, because he's already very good - but his best days are ahead of him. He has so much room for improvement. He's a guard and not really a wing. Guards can handle the ball and pass the ball."

Isaiah Thomas - "He's a lot like a Damon Stoudamire. He is a guard. Nate Robinson was a guard. Dana Barros was a guard. He can get you into offense, he can provide offense - he's just really talented. Regardless of the competition or the size of the guy guarding him, I've not see him yet be in a position where he couldn't get himself out of trouble. When the whole world knows they have to stop you when you're going into the state tournament and you average 40 points a game, there's a good chance you can score."

Arguably the most intriguing prospect in the class is Thomas - who transfered out from Curtis High School in Tacoma to South Kent Prep in Connecticut two years ago. Last year he finished as MVP of their league, averaging 29 points per game. The Washington coaches encouraged Thomas to attend prep school in order to improve his academics, and according to Romar, he has.

"I looked at it as a test," he said of getting Thomas to a prep school. "The test was, 'Does he really want to come to Washington?' And when it was all said and done, if he does we have someone that was pretty loyal. And if he decided he wanted to go somewhere else, we learned that too. But the bottom line with Isaiah initially is that he needed to make some changes in himself. Number one, academically. Either he was going to cut the mustard or he wasn't, and so far he has.

"His progress has been good because he's been forced to do the right things. He's been forced to go to class, he's been forced to learn, he's been forced to study. So he is definitely making progress."

Breshers comes in with some heady praise from Romar. "He is as talented as any big guy we have," Romar said. "We don't have anyone on the team that can block shots like he can. He's got the strength of a Jon Brockman, with the explosiveness of a Quincy Pondexter."

Suggs roomed with Breshers during the Hoop Jamboree in St. Louis in the summer of 2006. "They called him Barkley," Romar said. Top Stories