Mar 9, 2013; Seattle, WA, USA; Washington Huskies head coach Lorenzo Romar argues for a shooting foul against the UCLA Bruins during the second half at Alaska Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Washington Huskies Basketball: Aaron Gordon Commits To Arizona


Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Remember when this class was supposed to be one of, if not the, best in the country? Washington was at one time the favorites to sign Jabari Parker, Jabari Parker and Aaron Gordon. Now, just months later, none of them will be wearing purple and gold next year. The closest will be Bird in California Gold and Yale Blue. Parker will don Duke Blue and Gordon will be wearing Cardinal Red and Navy Blue at Arizona.

The class isn’t anything close to a failure, but when expectations are sky high, they are nearly impossible to meet. To the naked eye, a class consisting of a top-50 player, two three-stars and a sharp-shooting JUCO transfer looks impressive.

Unfortunately, Lorenzo Romar was, once again, unable to nab the piece that would have sealed this class in UW history. It’s tough to lose Gordon, but this feels like every lost recruit in the past combined into one painful storm.

It is painful knowing that, without major change, Washington will always finish second. Whether it be Arizona, Kentucky, Duke or anyone else, Washington seemingly can’t compete with the “big boys” of college basketball, recruiting wise. For a while, it was nice knowing UW was always in the discussion, that they made it into a big recruit’s final five. UW is at a point where it can’t just be a hat on a table; it has to be a hat on a head.

Romar has been recruiting Gordon since his older brother, Drew, passed up Washington five years ago. He had formed a relationship with the younger Gordon that was unmatched by any coach in the country.

That apparently wasn’t enough, as Gordon spurned Romar for Sean Miller and the Wildcats.

Washington is, in no means, in a bad place right now. The Huskies still have a top-30 recruiting class, including McDonald’s All-American, Nigel Williams-Goss. They still have a core consisting of C.J. Wilcox, Andrew Andrews and Desmond Simmons. Transfers Perris Blackwell and Gilles Dierickx will make their debuts next season and are expected to contribute meaningful minutes; Blackwell is even considered a threat to start.

Gordon would have made the Huskies instant favorites for the Pac-12 title and put them in many pre-season top 25s. Without him, they are most likely a middle of the road, bubble team. Despite the losses of Aziz N’Diaye, Scott Suggs and Abdul Gaddy, the team will be improved.

They will have been immersed in the high post offense for a full season and without a true center, will be able to run and win games on heart, rather than the passionless teams of recent memory. Don’t expect a national championship or even a Pac-12 one, but expect an improved, fun team to watch in 2013-2014.

Tags: Arizona Arizona Wildcats Basketball Featured Popular Recruiting UW Recruiting Washington Washington Huskies

  • Scott

    Romar has failed to meet expectations on the recruiting front the last 3 or 4 years. Does he have an excuse for this years fiasco? Yes, with the news of the devastating death he was consumed with he does have an out, but the years before and years after it’s all on him. No matter how good of a coach he is you need consistent top talent to be a perrenial winner in Division 1 basketball and Romar hasn’t been delivering.

  • the_insider

    Scott – posters like you (or UW fans like yourself) sadden me. What do you propose we do now? Fire the best coach UW has ever had….for now and the foreseeable future? Do you really think we can get someone better?

    Romar recruits clean. That in itself will lose you some recruits. Don’t believe me? Ask Eldrige Recassner or google Charles Barkley’s views on how programs consistently get top recruits. Not saying that this is what happened with Gordon, but it has happened with others in past years (which it sounds like is your main beef). I have no problems is only getting recruits that can see through the noise to see what Romar can offer. You have to realize that recruiting is sometimes a dirty business. You just have to hope that one of these top flight big men will eventually be able to hear Romar’s message without distraction. Until then, we have to support the guys that are here. Not sure if you’ve heard but Romar did get through to some pretty good / highly rated players. We should be improved from a year ago. Go Dawgs!!

  • the_insider

    Who is Junior Etou? Dave Telep is reporting UW has a real shot with him. Someone should do a piece on this.

    • Evan Webeck

      I’ll look into him! Thanks for the tip!

  • kapapala

    For those who attacked back in the day, read this article. Very prescient nowadays.

    http://thehuskyhaul.com/2012/01/10/is-romar-the-coach-to-lead-the-huskies-to-the-next-level/

    Terrance Jones, DeMarcus Cousins, Isaac Hamilton, Jabari Parker, Jabari Bird, Aaron Gordon, Josh Smith, Drew Gordon, Drue Holiday, Anrio Adams, Dominic Artis, Marcus Lee, Angelo Chol to Norvel Pelle, and the this is just a partial list from the last few years of those who had UW in their Top 5 but went elsewhere. I know there are other 4-5 star recruits over the years I am forgetting.

  • Paul

    That was an incredibly well done synopsis. Excellent job.

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