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Ernie Kent says Washington is lucky to have Lorenzo Romar

UPDATED: Sat., Feb. 25, 2017

Washington head coach Lorenzo Romar looks up at the scoreboard and sees a 30-point Gonzaga lead during the first half of a game at  the McCarthey Athletic Center in December. He was fired on Wednesday. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)
Washington head coach Lorenzo Romar looks up at the scoreboard and sees a 30-point Gonzaga lead during the first half of a game at the McCarthey Athletic Center in December. He was fired on Wednesday. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)

PULLMAN – Washington is poised to miss the NCAA tournament for a sixth consecutive season, and the voices urging the school to move on from 15-year head coach Lorenzo Romar are growing louder.

Ernie Kent thinks those voices should shush up and appreciate what they have.

“He is an outstanding basketball coach that has tremendous character and values,” said Kent, whose Washington State team will host Romar and the Huskies at 5:30 p.m. on Sunday. “Washington can consider themselves lucky that he is sitting over here, and has had the success that he’s had when you look at his tenure, the players and winning that’s come there.”

The decision to move on from Romar would not be an easy one for UW. He has won more games and appeared in more NCAA tournaments than any coach in school history. Furthermore, he is an alum who is believed to have turned down offers for more prestigious coaching positions to stay in Seattle.

But the Huskies have not made the NCAA tournament since their 2011 run to the Sweet 16, despite having NBA first round picks such as Terrence Ross, Tony Wroten, Dejounte Murray and Marquess Chriss on the roster, albeit as underclassmen.

This year point guard Markelle Fultz seems all but certain to be among the first two players drafted. But his superlative talents have not meant on-court success for UW (9-18, 2-13 Pac-12).

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