The University of Washington's Men's Basketball team has had a long slow spiral down the drain. Their loss to UCLA by 41 points cements them as a truly bad team. Not only have the Huskies become a bad team they have also lost relevance (I know I for one don't bother to watch games anymore). In years past people would talk about the Husky men at work and at bars. Sports radio would do whole hours on the team. The team used matter to the sports scene in Seattle. Those days are gone.
All of this is especially sad considering the team continues to have top level recruits pass through the program on their way to the NBA. We have had the opportunity to watch future stars in the making lose more college games than they win. In 2016 the team had two NBA first round draft picks in Dejounte Murray and Marquese Chriss and they were still unable to make the NCAA tournament. The 2017 feature Markelle Fultz, the consensus projected number one pick in the upcoming NBA draft, yet the team is the worst they have been in years.
When all the players that has suited up and played for the Huskies recently is considered it becomes obvious that talent is not the issue. Instead the blame falls on the coaching staff and their inability to get these premier players to mesh together as a team. Ultimately that blame falls completely on head coach Lorenzo Romar, who has been a constant on the team throughout their decline. It is time for the university athletic department to cut bait and let Romar go.
Many will defend Romar because of his early success with the program. Others will defend him because of his stellar personal character and leadership. Both of these reasons seemed valid a few years into this downward trend, but after five straight years, and soon to be six, without an appearance in the NCAA tournament they have lost their weight.
The other commonly cited reason I hear to keep Romar in charge is ability to continuously recruit top tier high school talent. After all he has managed to bring NBA prospects previously mentioned to UW. Those are the kind of player that usually goes to Duke, UNC, Kentucky, or UCLA. More proof of his prowess is next seasons incoming class that feature Michael Porter, probably the best high school player in the country. Romar recruits players to UW like he is running a blue blood program.
The allure of having Porter in Purple and Gold is enough for many fans to want to risk keep Romar as the head coach for one more year. The see the potential for greatest that a player of Porter's ilk presents. The thing is Romar has recruited players like this before and has failed to find success with them. There is nothing to make us believe that Romar will find some secret formula over the off season to suddenly find success with uber talented freshmen. In fact his track record suggests the exact opposite.
Recruiting all these amazing players is pointless if they don't win games. These players stay only one season (I don’t think they should even have to do one season in the NCAA) and then jump to the NBA and its riches. So, the fans develop little to no report with them because our time with these guys is so short. Any attachment we might develop is further squashed by the lack of victories. There are just no marquee moments to look back upon. No event ties them to the school history. Romar's talent at getting 17 year old to commit to a year at UW is rendered moot by the results on the hardwood floor or Hec Ed pavilion.
The losing for the men's basketball team has grown tiresome. The fans, myself included, have stopped watching games. The most surefire way to fix this problem is to let Lorenzo Romar go. The Huskies need a new coach that can actually turn a collection of individually talented basketball players into a competitive team and win games. Romar's past on court successes, strong moral fiber, and recruiting coups do not justify the continued losing.