Washington Huskies Basketball Needs Coaching Overhaul

Jan 21, 2017; Seattle, WA, USA; Washington Huskies head coach Lorenzo Romar claps during the first half against the Utah Utes at Alaska Airlines Arena at Hec Edmundson Pavilion. Utah won 94-72. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 21, 2017; Seattle, WA, USA; Washington Huskies head coach Lorenzo Romar claps during the first half against the Utah Utes at Alaska Airlines Arena at Hec Edmundson Pavilion. Utah won 94-72. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports /

The University Of Washington Huskies Basketball Program Needs To Overhaul The Men’s Team’s Coaching Staff By Season’s End

The University of Washington Huskies Basketball team is sitting at 9 wins and 10 losses. While that is no cause for torches and pitchforks, it is cause for concern. You see, this team boasts the top-rated prospect projected for the 2017 NBA Draft in guard Markelle Fultz.

In fact, when you consider the constant stream of players from the University of Washington into the NBA, you have to guess the team is a regular invite to the NCAA tournament.

Right now, that is not the case.  On one hand, the team recruits gifted players who land in the NBA and perform well.  On the other hand, the Washington Huskies basketball program is devolving more and more into a conduit to push players from high school into the arms of the NBA.

Shouldn’t this team perform competitively against NCAA teams?


The truth of the matter is that the Huskies have not appeared in the NCAA Tournament since 2011. The drought will likely continue this year.

The last team to the NCAA Tournament finished with 23 wins and just 10 losses.  In 2012, the team finished 21-10 and ended up in the NIT. Since that time, the team has slowly descended, despite continuing to attract excellent talent.


The current University of Washington Mens Basketball Coaching Staff are as follows:

  • Lorenzo Romar, Head Coach
  • Raphael Chillious Associate Head Coach
  • Will Conroy Assistant Coach
  • Michael Porter Assistant Coach
  • Brad Jackson Special Assistant to the Head Coach
  • Tiffani Lambie Director of Basketball Operations
  • Jake Wisness Director of Video Operations
  • Daniel Shapiro Director of Basketball Athletic Performance
  • Pabail S. Sidhu Director of Basketball Strategies
  • Trevor Wade Assistant Director of Basketball Operations

While the staff has done a remarkable job of continuing to attract marquis talent, the level of basketball talent has not impacted the fortune of the Huskies season.

Realistic Changes To Be Made

Despite his name showing up each year around this time as an NCAA basketball coach with his job on the line, Lorenzo Romar continues on a “steady as she goes” track.  While he struggles to coach a winning team on the court, he certainly wins in recruiting rankings each year.

That’s tough to ignore.

And so, the trick will be to sever the responsibilities in such a way that Lorenzo Romar can continue the fine work he does attracting players, but empower a more results-oriented coach or coaching staff to improve the team’s fundamentals quickly and permanently.

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And here are some ideas how to do that:

Basketball Analytics

The fastest way to change the course of a basketball team is to embrace all the technological trappings and use them to the team’s advantage. To do so, the team should give strong consideration to an enhanced Basketball Analytics department of athletics, with particular attention to the basketball program.

Enhancing the analytics resources on the team does not change the coaches one iota, but it gives them far more data to consider, and address.  If the Huskies fail to defend the three-point shot in a close loss, analytics will do more than point it out. As a matter of face, analytics will define the specific defensive assignments which failed, and also give the “best guesstimate” defense to run in it’s place.

Analytics is the highlighter to statistical data. On one hand, it forces the team to focus on the fundamentals in practice. On the other hand, it tracks trends, both positive and negative, and give summarized feedback to allow a head coach to act decisively.

That seems to be what this team needs.

Change Coaching Responsibilities

Perhaps the challenge among the coaching staff is the turf battles that occur in every beauracracy. Perhaps the grey area of overlap includes team fundamentals: defense, spacing, passing, pace. Perhaps the coaches are more focused upon individuality in their players than in the aggregate performance of the team.

If so, that needs to change.

Coaching responsibilities must be clearly designated, must align with team goals, must be measurable, must empower, and must have consequences.

Retool Coaching Staff

Ultimately, if neither option generate positive change, then the team must consider where changes need to be made, and make them.  If the basketball analytics has been implemented, that will tell the team where the deficiencies are occurring.

If the coaching staff has clearly defined responsibilities, then the team will know where the changes need to be made.

Next: Can Washington Huskies WBB Find Third Standout?

In the end, the 2016-2017 Washington Huskies, complete with top ranked NBA prospect Markelle Fultz, will likely not be invited to the NCAA Tournament this year.