Nov. 9, 2005
As expected, the Huskies men's basketball team received letters of intent from four players on Wednesday, Nov. 9 - National Letter of Intent day. It marked the first time that head coach Lorenzo Romar could publicly talk about the players who are expected to be on the UW campus starting in the fall of 2006.
Following is an abbreviated transcript of Coach Romar's comments:
"We are excited that all four letters have come in from the four guys that now we can say that we've signed and not just committed to us. Adrian Oliver from Modesto, Calif., Quincy Pondexter from Fresno, Calif., Phil Nelson from Kaizer, Ore. and Spencer Hawes from right here in Seattle, Wash. They are all official and when we combine this year's recruiting class with last year's class, we feel very confident that our program is on solid footing. We feel that we have established a foundation for the future to go out and continue to be successful here at the University of Washington."
On where this class ranks among the ones that Romar has recruited:
"Regardless of where we have been, it ranks right up there at the top. I wouldn't say that it's the best, but I can't say that there's another one that's better. The thing that stands out about this class is that you can have a great class, but everyone might not be ready to contribute right away. This class is as close as any class in having guys that can come in right away, contribute and make an impact on the program."
On how confident he was about getting Hawes:
"When a guy goes to North Carolina the weekend that they're having the ring ceremony from the previous year's championship team and the excitement is at an all-time high, I would say that you're a little concerned. ...What a compliment it is to Spencer Hawes, that the national champions really considered him a priority. That's a great compliment to who he is not only as a player, but also as a person. At the same time, I think it's awesome that he felt like staying here and being a part of our program was the best thing that he could have done."
On the high expectations placed on Hawes:
"He's pretty good. One thing you love about Spencer is that he doesn't shy away from those expectations. He kind of feels like `bring it on.' Not in an arrogant way at all, but he knows that to play with the big boys, he has to bring it. We talked a lot about Jon Brockman and how rarely those kind of guys come along and bring to the table what he brings. He has tenacity as a big guy inside. He knows what he is and he's going to go do it. Spencer is maybe the toughest type of player that you can get because he is a seven-footer that can play. We don't have to wait for him to be able to play or learn how to play. Today, right now, he can play. Those guys are in the NBA right now and very rarely do you get them out of high school to play for you in college, so he is a rare, rare student athlete that you're able to get on your team."
On Phil Nelson:
"I'm not exaggerating, he really has range out to about 25 feet. And what we tell kids at camp is that your range is an outside shot that you make the same amount of times as a 17-footer. And I don't want to make it sound like he's a one-dimensional player because at 6-foot-8, he's also a very good passer. ...And there are some shooters who make four-in-a-row and then don't know what to do. He'll hit 40-in-a-row if he gets the opportunity. He's the kind of guy that will just keep shooting it and he will keep shooting it whether he makes it or doesn't make it. That's the mentality he has."
On Quincy Pondexter:
"Right now, people say he's one of the top-30 in the country. The Best in the West just came out as voted by the coaches and they had his as the fifth-best prospect on the west coast. I will say that he is that now, but he is just starting to tap into his potential. He has a great upside. Jim Harrick used to say that potential means you haven't done anything yet. In his case, he has done some things. He is a really good basketball player, but he has so much with what he could get better, so I think that's scary. He's a big-time athlete who can really run the floor extremely well and plays hard. He'll be a guy who not only scores a bunch of points for us, but we'll also be totally comfortable with him guarding a team's best player on offense. He's that type of basketball player."
On Adrian Oliver:
"Adrian probably gets mentioned the least out of the four, but won't get mentioned the least when he gets here and maybe by the end of this year he won't. Adrian can really shoot the three. He can really handle the basketball. He has a really high basketball IQ like we always talk about Brandon Roy having a high basketball IQ. And he's a serious competitor. He rebounds the ball extremely well as a guard. He will no doubt make an impact with us as a freshman."
On the character of a class:
"I think it's very important to have character in your program. Character gets you through the low times. If you have a high level of character I think it helps overall in every area. It overflows into the streets and classrooms away from the basketball floor. It is important to us. There have been guys we've stopped recruiting because they were questionable that way."
On who Hawes reminds him of as a player:
"I think when you look at players that are out there, Tim Duncan is the one that comes to my mind. Tim Duncan can step outside and hit the shot. You can pass to him at the top of the key and he can hit a guy for a backdoor pass and recognize it, but not force it if it's not there. You can throw him on the post, double-team him and he's not going to get flustered, he'll find the open guy. He can run the floor. Spencer's versatility and completeness is what reminds me of Tim Duncan."
On signing top recruits making it easier to sign future top recruits:
"It definitely makes a difference. It made a difference with Martell Webster and Jon Brockman and the other guys that we have. Our recruiting class was good last year and Martell and Jon were the more notable ones and it made a difference with Spencer."