Sometimes it must be pretty rough being Lorenzo Romar. He gets the lip service from top recruits in the Pacific Northwest, but recently he’s been publicly spurned by recruits like Kyle Wiltjer, Terrence Jones and Enes Kanter, all of whom chose to leave home to play for John Calipari at Kentucky.
And it doesn’t end there. Our most recent national title-winning commonwealth-based coach and Hall of Famer, Rick Pitino, has practically made a second home in Romar’s backyard, and he’s not shy about saying so.
“We have a Seattle pipeline that’s been very good to us,” Pitino told the Seattle Times’ Percy Allen last week. “It’s a fertile area with some of the best basketball at the high-school level in the country.”
Pitino snagged versatile point-forward Terrence Williams from the Seattle area back in 2005, and more recently rode Peyton Siva’s ballhandling skills to a national championship. So who’s next?
Shaqquan Aaron is the next Seattle-to-Louisville standout. The Rainier Beach High senior forward is considered a four-star prospect by the major recruiting services. Rivals ranks him 27th nationally and ESPN 53rd.
Pitino said Siva and Williams have helped bolster Louisville’s reputation in Seattle.
“The more success those guys have, the more the younger ones – the next generation – sees that and affiliates that to Louisville,” Pitino said. “They’re our greatest ambassadors. They sell the program better than I ever could.”
Romar’s roster is hardly bare of local products, but there’s no doubt his team could have been a serious national title contender in the past few seasons had he kept some of his players from upping and moving south.
Steve Prohm announced on Monday that starting center Jameel McKay will not be in the lineup on Wednesday when the Cyclones take on Texas Tech.
“He’ll practice today because I want him in practice,” Prohm said, “but game-wise, he’s suspended.”
McKay did not make the trip to Stillwater with the team on Saturday, where Iowa State beat Oklahoma State, 64-59. Prohm has not gotten into specifics regarding the cause of McKay’s suspension, but it’s reportedly an issue with the way he has been practicing. McKay is dealing with a nagging knee injury, which may play a role in the situation as well.
“My hope is he’ll be with us on Saturday,” Prohm said.
Like the Coaches Poll, Villanova found themselves No. 1 in the AP Poll during the regular season for the first time in the history of the program.
And like the Coaches Poll, there isn’t much in the way of a consensus when it comes to who is the No. 1 team, as there are six teams that received No. 1 votes in the poll this week.
The biggest shock to me?
The No. 1 team in the NBC Sports Top 25, Iowa, received just 11 first place votes and is ranked fourth in the AP Poll.
They were ranked fifth in the Coaches Poll.
Can we get Fran McCaffery the love they deserve?
Here is the rest of the AP Poll:
1. Villanova (20-3, 32 first-place votes)
2. Maryland (21-3, 13)
3. Oklahoma (19-3, 7)
4. Iowa (19-4, 11)
5. Xavier (21-2)
6. Kansas (19-4, 1)
7. Virginia (19-4, 1)
8. Michigan State (20-4)
9. North Carolina (19-4)
10. West Virginia (19-4)
11. Oregon (18-4)
12. Miami (FL) (18-4)
13. Louisville (19-4)
14. Iowa State (17-6)
15. Texas A&M (18-5)
16. SMU (20-2)
17. Arizona (19-5)
18. Purdue (19-5)
19. Dayton (19-3)
20. Providence (18-6)
21. Baylor (17-6)
22. Kentucky (17-6)
23. USC (18-5)
24. Texas (16-7)
25. Wichita State (17-6)
DROPPED OUT: No. 22 Indiana, No. 25 South Carolina
NEW ADDITIONS: No. 23 USC, No. 24 Texas