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College basketball recruiting: Losing Washington’s 2017 class tough on Lorenzo Romar

Arizona’s new assistant had a hard time dealing with a lot of his hard work being lost in Seattle.

NCAA Basketball: Washington at Washington State James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Lorenzo Romar comes to the Arizona Wildcats with a reputation as an elite recruiter in college basketball. So when he was fired by the Washington Huskies, a class that he had put together fell apart almost immediately.

And even though he wasn’t going to have anything to do with the aftermath, it was still very difficult for him to watch that, as evidenced by him putting his head down in his hand when asked about it.

“Yeah, it was tough because it’s well known that we haven’t had a lot of success in the last...I keep saying five years because in 2012 we won the league,” Romar said. “In the last five years we weren’t as successful as we would have liked to been and we felt ‘Ok, we finally got it back’. Here we go. We’re going to be winning again and when you anticipate that you don’t see anything differently.”

“Then when it’s taken away from you, it’s tough.”

In the two weeks following Romar’s firing, UW lost the commitments of Michael Porter, Daejon Davis, and Mamoudou Diarra.

“It’s unfortunate,” Romar said of that situation. “None of those were fun conversations. I talked to all of them and tried to encourage them that they had something special going, but I tried to get a feel for what they were thinking at the time.”

Now that he’s joining an Arizona staff that is already elite at recruiting basketball talent, Romar hopes to bring his own flavor to the area.

“We’ve recruited against (Arizona), and you just hear kids talk about the Arizona program, the coaching staff, and how they go about their business. It’s really impressive,” said Romar. “So I’m coming in here with the attitude of whatever I can do to help and make sure Arizona basketball at least stays where it’s at but hopefully gets even better, I’m willing to do that.”

Part of what Romar will be asked to do is recruit the West Coast area, including Seattle.

“It’ll be a different experience there’s no doubt about that,” he said through a chuckle when thinking about recruiting in the town that he was a head coach in for so long. “It was never communicated to me by Coach Miller that we’re bringing you in because we want you to get the Seattle kids. That’s never been brought up.”

“He’s talked to me about having even more of a presence on the West Coast, and that covers a lot of ground,” continued Romar. “I think Coach Miller gives you the flexibility and ability to recruit with your own personality. I don’t feel like he’s a micromanager where you have to do it this way across the board, so I’m just going to go in and be natural. Just go out and have people see great of a program U of A is.”

Once Romar (and Arizona fans) get fully adjusted to him saying U of A instead of UW, it’ll be interesting to see what the recruiting front looks like in the immediate future for this program with him on board.