New Arizona Wildcats assistant coach Lorenzo Romar appeared Tuesday on CBS Radio, talking about a variety of topics, including how it was to prepare for Lauri Markkanen last season, when he was the head coach at Washington.
“What jumps out at you is when you to prepare and game-plan against him, you just say, ‘What in the world do we do with this guy?'” Romar told hosts Tiki Barber and Brandon Tierney.
“He shoots over you. And if you have someone his height guarding him or close to it, he can pick-and-pop and put the ball on the floor and drive around you. He’s one of those mismatch nightmares. And when I say shoot the ball, he can he really shoot the basketball.”
Romar was fired from Washington after 15 seasons as its head coach. Arizona coach Sean Miller hired him to replace Joe Pasternack, who left to become the head coach at UC Santa Barbara.
Romar reiterated how he is all-in with his new job and not necessarily using it as a quick springboard back to being a head coach.
“Whatever experience I have gained … in my whole basketball career as a player or coach — I want to take that and give it all to Sean Miller right now and his staff and University of Arizona basketball,” Romar said.
“Whatever that is, wherever I can help, that’s what I want to do. I’m not coming here trying to make demands or saying you have to treat me a certain way because I’ve been a head coach for 21 years. There is no in-between for me. …
“Do my job here. If that means I’m here for several years, then I’ll do my job here and continue to do my job here.”
Romar also talked about his star player at Washington last season — Markelle Fultz — defending him from knocks that he isn’t a winner, considering the Huskies won just nine games last season.
“Our team last year was kind of in-between — a year away from the team being much better — and it just so happened he was in that situation,” Romar said.
“Having coached him, the last worry that I would ever have is if he’s capable of winning. He was on the USA Basketball (18U) team last year and helped will his team to winning a gold medal.”
The hosts also asked Romar about his scouting report on UCLA point guard Lonzo Ball.
“He’s just a little different in that he doesn’t have to always beat you off the dribble to make plays and to get guys the basketball,” Romar said.
“He just sees the floor so well; he has such a high basketball IQ. He has the ability to hit you with passes when you don’t even know you’re open. … He will be able to run an offense; he will be able to get his team into offense. I don’t think he has to have the ability to just constantly beat guys off the dribble to be effective.”
Listen to the entire interview here: