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Not everyone’s chasing after the hyped prospects


Mike Miller

Washington’s rarely hurting for talented players. The Huskies aren’t a destination spot, but Romar usually snags one or two solid local players every season to pair with guys from other areas. It’s all by design, too.

The Huskies want versatile, athletic guys who can run the floor, hit outside shots and maybe even grab a rebound or two. That’s what Romar’s been looking for.

And if those guys aren’t highly rated recruits, he doesn’t care, as he told Percy Romar in this Q&A with the Seattle Times:

“We don’t recruit based on the number of stars next to somebody’s name. That’s not how we put our recruiting classes together. C.J. Wilcox was not a five-star recruit. We have players in our program that weren’t necessarily five stars, but they end going to the NBA. They’ve been all-conference guys. They fit what we do. And I think sometimes with recruiting classes, they’re judged based on how many stars you got coming in and now what that player is going to do for your program.”

Sure, he’s landed 5-star guys like Tony Wroten, Abdul Gaddy and Quincy Pondexter, but those are players who fit within Romar’s system. Just as crucial are the Darnell Gants and Venoy Overtons. (Not to mention the plethora of 4-star recruits like Justin Holiday and Terrence Ross.)

And, reading more of Romar’s interview, it sounds as if the days of brining in the likes of Spencer Hawes – a skilled 7-footer who left after one season and is now floundering in the NBA – are over. Why chase after hyped guys if they’re not going to result in much more than a season-long headache? Romar may be overstating it a bit with ex-Huskies-turned-NBA players, but his point is taken.

You bring in guys you like, help them improve and everyone wins.

“There’s some 4- and 5-stars who end up not doing anything. They’re overhyped. We’re not recruiting on hype. We’re recruiting a guy right now. He’s not going to be a 5-star, if we get him I guarantee you he’ll play like a 5-star. Tre Simmons [shown above]. You watch him play now - he’s playing internationally - and you’d say oh he had to be a 5-star. But he wasn’t close to a 5-star. He might have been a 2-star. But he was arguably the best offensive player we’ve ever coached here. But he was not a 5-star. Do they fit what we do? That’s it’s all about.”

Washington’s no different than many program who recruit for their needs, not the occasional splash headline. Butler does it. VCU is doing it. Every smart program does it. No one would ever pass on a 5-star guy, but most good coaches have the goods to win without ‘em. (Not to mention sure things are a rarity.)

Washington’s got a little bit of everything – 5-star, 4-star, 3-star and 2-star players. Everyone has a role. Everyone’s there for a reason. You don’t need a team full of stars to win a title. You just need guys who can play.

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You also can follow me on Twitter @MikeMillerNBC.