Most everyone I talked to expected Spencer Hawes' decision to leave UW for the NBA, so I certainly don't think it caught coach Lorenzo Romar by surprise.
Romar said that he discussed the decision with Hawes over the past weeks and days, but he asked more questions than gave answers. In the end, he said Hawes had his blessing.
Romar also seems optimistic about the coming season on the court, especially if 7-foot Joe Wolfinger remains healthy -- which he seems to be so far. Wolfinger, plus the new recruits, plus all the key players (other than Hawes) returning with more experience could equal an interesting season.
I'll write more about that in the next couple of days.
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For now, some Romar quotes from today's press conference:
OVERVIEW ON HAWES' DECISION:
"It's obviously something that did not happen overnight for Spencer. He put a lot of thought into this. He has done the proper research on this and has decided this is what he is doing and we support him wholeheartedly. We want the best for him."
ON WHETHER HE KNEW HAWES WAS A ONE-AND-DONE RECRUIT:
"I knew he would have the opportunity. Whether go or not, I didn't know."
ON PROJECTING HAWES' DRAFT POSITION:
"I'm just not sure where he's going to end up going. … I think he'll be in the lottery, though."
ON HAWES' POSSIBLE LEGACY AS A DISAPPOINTMENT:
"I think that would be sad if people just looked at it that way. I think all of our games were sold out. I think by the end of the year we were playing really good basketball. I think it was unfortunate this year that we didn't have more of a veteran team to play around Spencer. A lot of guys were going out and just trying to do this thing and learning on the fly. … It was the tale of two teams: We played much better at home than we did on the road. I think a lot of that had to do with youth."