Just days after former Iowa State assistant coach T.J. Otzelberger was added to Lorenzo Romar’s staff, a familiar name was also added. Raphael Chillious, who left for a season at Villanova, has rejoined Romar and the Huskies as an assistant.
After the 2011-2012 season, Chillious decided to return home to the Northeastern United States and join Jay Wright at Villanova. He was an “vital member” of a Villanova team that made the NCAA Tournament as a nine-seed. The Wildcats went 20-14 overall and 10-8 in the Big East.
“It was a different perspective playing, coaching and recruiting in the Big East. It’s very different from the Pac-12,” Chillous told GoHuskies.com. “That has given me more tools in my coaching tool box.”
As if his coaching tool box wasn’t full enough already, Chillious has apparently expanded it. Even before taking the Villanova job, he was considered a prime head coaching candidate. He was reportedly a finalist for the Loyola (Md.) coaching job earlier this offseason as well.
There’s good reason behind the interest in Chillious. He has been a part of three NCAA Tournament coaching staffs and has recruiting connections around the globe. Now he’ll be able to coach one of the guards he was integral in recruiting: Nigel Williams-Goss.
Chillious is somewhat of a guard god. He coached some of the best backcourts in UW history. Among the players under his instruction were Isaiah Thomas, Abdul Gaddy, C.J. Wilcox and Terrence Ross.
Now, he gets to work with one of the best and deepest backcourts the Huskies have had in recent memory, certainly since Chillious has been on board. Not only is there experience in Wilcox, but potential in Andrew Andrews, Darin Johnson and Williams-Goss to name a few.
He may be known as a star recruiter, but this is where Chillious will shine. Sure, he should help Romar land some recruits that they missed out on this year or before 2010, but his impact on the guards’ development will be key.
The core of the backcourt includes all underclassmen outside of Wilcox. Guards like Williams-Goss will see what Chillious can do and want to come here, while others will come to UW and display the impact Chillious has.
We all saw how Thomas took the Pac-12 by storm. A scrappy, three-star recruit turned into (should have been) Pac-12 Player of the Year and NBA starter. Sounds like something from Andrew Andrews’ horoscope. Maybe Jahmel Taylor opened that fortune cookie. Or Darin Johnson?
The only guard that has come to UW and truly failed to live up to expectations was Abdul Gaddy. The year Chillious arrived, Gaddy improved tenfold before tearing his ACL. Afterward, he showed far less drastic improvements in the year he had left under Chillious.
With Chillious, UW will not only be able to get recruits like Gaddy and Williams-Goss, but develop them, too. If this doesn’t show his impact, just look at the season without Chillious went.