Last night, with the 28th overall pick, the Los Angeles Clippers selected C.J. Wilcox, shooting guard from the University of Washington. That makes 7 first round draft picks – and 10 draft picks overall – in the Lorenzo Romar era.
Someone with MUCH more time on their hands than myself can go around the ranks of college basketball and see where that ranks among the other head coaches out there right now. I’m sure he’s a step or two behind Calipari and the like, but he HAS to be in the top ten of active college basketball coaches, right?
Here’s the breakdown (remember, Romar has been with us since 2002):
- Nate Rob – 2005, first round (21st overall)
- Brandon Roy – 2006, first round (6th overall)
- Bobby Jones – 2006, second round (37th overall)
- Spencer Hawes – 2007, first round (10th overall)
- Jon Brockman – 2009, second round (38th overall)
- Quincy Pondexter – 2010, first round (26th overall)
- Isaiah Thomas – 2011, second round (60th overall)
- Terrence Ross – 2012, first round (8th overall)
- Tony Wroten – 2012, first round (25th overall)
- C.J. Wilcox – 2014, first round (28th overall)
Anybody else remember Bobby Jones getting drafted? Yeah, neither did I.
A lot of special players on that list. A lot of potential that, for whatever reason, wasn’t fully realized. Nevertheless, a good number of them are still in the league, and putting up productive careers. I.T. has been a rock for the Kings. T-Ross has showed flashes of greatness up in Toronto. Q-Pon is a valued contributor for the Grizzlies. Tony Wroten has dramatically improved his shooting touch, to go along with all of his other, more impressive qualities he featured in college. Hawes is a solid big man who has yet to really find a home in the league. And, of course, Nate Rob is the guy who won’t say die.
Lorenzo Romar has been living life on the hot seat the last couple years. His gift is his curse: he helped Husky fans grow accustomed to contending for Pac-10/12 championships and reaching the NCAA Tournament on an almost-yearly basis. We didn’t have NEARLY the kind of success we’ve had recently, prior to Romar … you have to go back to the mid 80s, and then back again to the God damned 40’s & 50’s! Now that we’re three seasons removed from the Tourney, the same guy who elevated the program is seeing himself torn down by the fans and in the press.
And yet, he can sit here and point to the fact that he has had ten players drafted into The League. And a few more undrafted guys have had cups of coffee. On an almost-yearly basis, we’ve seen another Husky infiltrate the league. And, if they manage to stay healthy, the Romar kids generally produce at a high level, while remaining hard working and incredibly easy to coach. Lorenzo Romar’s basketball legacy is out there, doing great things, and C.J. Wilcox continues the trend.
Wilcox is the greatest shooter we’ve ever seen. It’s just too bad we couldn’t get a team around him that was competitive. When I saw that he was drafted by the Clippers, I couldn’t have been happier. For starters, because he’s not playing for OKC. But, more importantly, because he’s on a good team that’s still on the rise, with a good head coach, and now a good owner who will hopefully do what it takes to win. It’ll be nice to hear sporadic great things about Wilcox when he does well in the years ahead. Here’s to hoping he’s the piece that pushes the Clippers over the top.