Selection Sunday has officially turned into a broken record: Because after a fifth straight Huskies absence in the NCAA Tournament, it’s now the third straight year that I’ve raised the polarizing question of Lorenzo Romar.
And while it’s not my place to say whether he should be fired, it’s far past time for each side to see the other’s point of view.
To those who say “Give him one more year” – didn’t you say the same thing last year and the year before that? To those who say “He’s got a great recruiting class,” didn’t you say the same thing last year also? College basketball’s bottom-line standard is tournament appearances, and it’s now been five years without the Huskies there. Is that truly acceptable?
I’m sorry, but look all the amazing NBA talent from our area – the hotbed of hoops that Seattle has become - and tell me that it’s adequate that there’s not a single Division I program within a four-hour drive of here in the tournament? That’s just not right.
And to those who say “Fire Romar” – find me a better spokesman, a better advocate or better representative for the school and region as a whole. That would be tough to do. And didn’t the Huskies show a ton of promise this season? Weren’t they exciting to watch? Won’t they be a sure-fire tournament team next year if Dejounte Murray and Marquese Chriss stay along with the new class coming in?
Coach Romar is still a guy who had his program in the Tournament five out of seven years with three trips to the Sweet 16.
Listen, I see both sides. And if you think I should stick to my own business, I’ve been on record for two years, calling for Stanford’s Johnny Dawkins to be fired. Their effort is pathetic and embarrassing, and I’ve had more than enough.
With Romar, I’m trying to be as level-headed and non-biased as I can. But every year I bring this topic up it becomes more difficult to defend him against the bottom line. There were seven - seven! - Pac-12 teams selected for the tournament this year and UW wasn’t one of them. We should’ve been on Montlake today, celebrating the athletes and not bemoaning a second-rate tournament berth in the NIT.
Either way, the pressure is certainly on. This has to be the last straw. If the Dawgs don’t make the NCAA Tournament next year, what excuses will be left? The most strong-willed supporters might have a tough time defending their guy.
Let’s hope that won’t be the case.