Lorenzo Romar is out at Washington.
First reported by ESPN's Jeff Goodman, this is one of the craziest pieces of college basketball news of the season. In some respects it makes a ton of sense. Romar's Huskies haven't made the NCAA Tournament since 2011, despite consistently bringing in highly-touted NBA prospects. This year was no different.
Actually, this year was different — it was worse. Romar and the Huskies had Markelle Fultz, a superstar projected to be either the first or second overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, and still finished 9-22. This trend looked like it would continue too. Romar had the No. 5 recruiting class in the country according to Rivals, No. 4 according to 247Sports, and No. 3 according to ESPN, with three 4-star players signed plus the crown jewel of the class: No. 1 overall recruit Michael Porter Jr.
Expected to be a mass exodus at @UW_MBB. Three starters and three incoming recruits say they're thinking about transferring. Wow.
— Percy Allen (@percyallen) March 15, 2017
According to the Seattle Times, UW players were given less than an hour notice before they had to attend an emergency meeting Wednesday afternoon at Alaska Airlines Arena, where they were told the news. UW signees and a few current players have already indicated they don't want to stick around for a regime change.
Michael Porter Jr.'s younger brother Jontay Porter tweeted this shortly after the news was announced:
What could've been…
— Jontay Porter (@JontayPorter) March 15, 2017
The only player guaranteed to leave is Porter, but a mass exodus seems likely from the rest as well. So here's the list of the Top 100 recruits the Huskies signed before Romar was fired, and the teams they were considering before Washington. Where will the UW basketball recruits go? Let's talk it out.
4-Star PG, No. 99 Overall Recruit
Possibilities: Kansas, Wake Forest, Cincinnati, Miami, Virginia Tech
Blake Harris might had the most competitive and uncertain recruiting process of any UW-signee. He reportedly had offers from Ole Miss, Miami, Iowa State, Florida State, Clemson, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, and Cincinnati — and that's not even half of the teams that made an offer.
The Chapel Hill, North Carolina native is a true point guard: an excellent passer who knows how to create with the ball in his hands and loves the no-look pass. He'll be able to run the floor with just about any team in the country, and has offers from pretty much all of them anyway. [divider]
4-Star SG, No. 54 Overall Recruit
Possibilities: Washington, Oregon
Home-grown star Jaylen Nowell only made one official visit — to UW, after he already committed to Romar and the Huskies. Oregon is the only other team that offered. ESPN called Nowell a "prototypical wing-type with ideal length (long arms) and a bevy of athleticism." He's going to be a serious get for whoever lands him. What team that will be is pretty much anybody's guess.
Of the group, he might be the most likely to stay with Washington, given how little activity he's seen from other teams.
4-Star SG, No. 44 Overall Recruit
Nowell's teammate at Garfield High School in Seattle, Daejon Davis verbally committed to UW way back in August of 2015 but then decommitted in April of 2016. The Seattle-native was courted by several northwest basketball powerhouses after that before ultimately re-committing to UW and the Huskies two days before national signing day.
At the time, word was that Davis had narrowed his choices down to Oregon, Stanford, Gonzaga, and Washington. He made official visits to each school in that order.
As of now Gonzaga and Oregon seem like the two front-runners. Both are high seeds in the NCAA Tournament, both are close to home, and both will give Davis an opportunity to play immediately. [divider]
Michael Porter Jr.
5-Star SF No. 1 Overall Recruit
This was an interesting case, as there wasn't really all that much fanfare over Porter's decision because it happened so early. He verbally committed to UW back in July, a couple months after Romar hired his dad Michael Porter Sr. to be one his assistant coaches. Since then he has played for Nathan Hale High School under head coach Brandon Roy (UW legend Brandon Roy). He won a Washington State 3A Basketball Championship in emphatic fashion, finishing his high school career with an alley-oop dunk off the backboard to himself in the title game.
Loved this coaching staff and couldn't wait to start something special next year…this hurts.
— Michael Porter Jr. (@TheMPJ1) March 15, 2017
Porter signed a National Letter of Intent with UW back on November 9, so he can't visit other schools just yet. But the NCAA has rules about this that release recruits when a coach is fired or leaves. So if not Washington, where will he land?
He had offers from Indiana, Oklahoma, Virginia, and Missouri, but the only other school with a real chance at Porter was Missouri. The Tigers just signed former Cal coach Cuonzo Martin and could pull Porter back to the state where he grew up and spent his first three high school seasons.
Porter didn't make any official visits, but he did make an unofficial visit to Kansas in 2015.
Missouri seems like the it has to be the spot though. His dad was an assistant for the Mizzou women's basketball team for three years, Porter Jr. grew up there, and they just made a big coaching hire.