Arizona Basketball

Arizona great Pete Williams discusses recruiting background with Romar, excitement over potential hire as assistant


CLICK ON the PLAY BUTTON TO LISTEN TO THE INTERVIEW WITH PETE WILLIAMS

Pete Williams, one of the best post players to suit up for Lute Olson and the Arizona Wildcats, discussed with me today the potential hire of former Washington coach Lorenzo Romar as an assistant coach with the program.

Recent audio interview with Josh Pastner: Success with Georgia Tech and reflecting on Arizona’s national title in 1997

Williams and Romar share a background with Romar trying to recruit the 6’4″ forward with long arms and tremendous leaping ability to Cerritos (Calif.) Junior College. Williams grew three more inches in junior college, arriving at Arizona in 1983 at 6’7″.

Romar, with the Golden State Warriors at the time of his first meeting with Williams, played at Cerritos and was summoned by the coaching staff to talk with Williams about coming on board there when he was a senior at Walnut (Calif.) Nogales High School.

Pete Williams with former Arizona center John Edgar, both of live two houses away from each other in Chino Hills, Calif. (Pete Williams photo)

Williams, who decided to go to Mount San Antonio Community College instead, touches on that encounter with Romar in the interview (that can be heard by clicking on play above). Romar took him to a Wendy’s — such was the recruiting experience of a community college more than 30 years ago.

I became alerted to his background with Romar through a Facebook comment he wrote.

Williams, a probation officer, also talks about the dynamics of Romar’s potential hire by Sean Miller, including recruiting and the offensive flow with Romar’s up-tempo style. He comments on the impact Olson’s relationship might have played in Romar potentially coming on board.

A historic day in the UA hoops program — the day Lute Olson and assistant Ken Burmeister (far left) signed Pete Williams in 1983 (Pete Williams photo)

We also talked about Arizona’s loss to Xavier in the Sweet 16, which dashed Williams’ travel plans to attend the Final Four in Glendale to watch the Wildcats play. He gave his viewpoint when I asked him about how frustrated he was about Arizona’s off-the-ball and interior defense exposed in the loss against the Musketeers.

Olson has mentioned that Williams is the best rebounder he coached at Arizona. In his two-year career — at the outset of Olson’s tenure in Tucson — Williams averaged 9.2 rebounds a game. He also compiled 41 blocked shots and 65 steals in 1983-84 and 1984-85.

Williams talks about Dusan Ristic’s defense and rebounding in particular and what he expects from the senior-to-be in 2017-18. He also comments on Chance Comanche’s game.

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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.

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