Jon Rothstein, a college basketball insider for CBS Sports Network, is reporting that according to multiple sources former Washington assistant basketball coach Raphael Chillious is leaving a similar position at Villanova to return to Coach Lorenzo Romar’s bench.
Chillious first joined Romar’s staff in April of 2009, and in the span of time before his departure in August 2012, Husky basketball was very successful. GoHuskies.com specifically credits him with the tutoring of UW’s guards, and also mentions his assistance as important to the Pac-10 Tournament Championships in 2010 and 2011, as well as the recruiting classes in 2010 and 2011 that included Terrence Ross, Aziz N’Diaye, Desmond Simmons, Tony Wroten Jr, Shawn Kemp Jr, and Andrew Andrews, among others.
When combined with the recent hiring of assistant T.J. Otzelberger, formerly of Iowa State University, it is clear that Romar is looking to strengthen his bench, not only for player development and on-court instruction, but for recruiting, reportedly one of Otzelberger’s greatest strengths.
It’s impossible to be certain how much credit Chillious deserves for the successful run enjoyed by the program during his time as assistant coach, but I do know that he is held in high regard by many in the college basketball world, and that he has long been discussed as a future head coaching candidate. When you consider that the god-awful 2013 year occurred after Chillious departed, it seems as though his presence could go a long way towards righting the ship, developing some of the talented incoming guards, like Nigel Williams-Goss and Darin Johnson, and of course towards building up a solid 2014 class of recruits.
Rothstein is a respected voice, but he has so far been the only person I’ve seen report this move, so until it is announced officially by the university, it is not for sure. That being said, there has been pretty consistent rumblings that the Otzelberger hire wasn’t the last coaching move Romar planned to make, so this makes a lot of sense.
As soon as more info is available, I will update this post.