The next couple of weeks – maybe three – will be the last hurrah for Arizona assistant head coach Lorenzo Romar. He has officially been named the new coach at Pepperdine, where he coached in the late 1990s.
He was at Washington for 15 years before arriving 11 months ago to help Sean Miller at Arizona.
“It’s been great, been great,” said Romar over the weekend when asked how the ride has been while with Arizona. “It’s a great group of guys. They accepted me totally. They made me feel part of them. I’ve learned a lot from coach Miller. I’ve been happy to be able to support whatever has been going on.”
Romar filled in for Miller for one game when Miller decided to step away for a game after an ESPN report stated he was heard talking about a $100,000 payment to player Deandre Ayton. Less than a week later Miller said the report was not true and he returned to the sidelines.
When Romar was hired, it was thought early on Romar wouldn’t be here long, given his ability to recruit/coach despite Washington’s gradual decline in recent years. Nearly 20 years later, his old school has hired him.
“We’re elated for Lorenzo,” Miller said. “We didn’t know how long he’d be here or if he’d have as good an opportunity as good as Pepperdine but it’s something he has to take. He’s done an excellent job. He’s really helped guide the ship. We’re going to miss him. But the season is not over yet.”
Romar, 59, will stay with Arizona through its ride though the NCAA Tournament.
Boise? The South? … let’s just play
When asked about going to Boise, being in the South and a fourth seed, Miller said he wasn’t surprised about it.
“Not really,” he said. “You can’t make too much of the seed or the place you are going. You have to play well. It could be the perfect set up but if you don’t play well – there is so much parity in the tournament – you will end up losing.”
Last season, Arizona was thought to have a relatively easy bracket being placed in the West, going through Salt Lake City and then San Jose, Calif., but UA fell in the Sweet 16 to Xavier. Arizona opens its chase for a national title facing No. 13 seed Buffalo on Thursday night.