Romar Named USA Basketball Developmental Coach of the Year

Dec. 14, 2006

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - University of Washington head men's basketball coach Lorenzo Romar and DePaul University (Ill.) head women's basketball coach Doug Bruno, who each led a 12-member group of elite athletes to perfect 4-0 records and gold medals at the respective 2006 FIBA Americas U18 Championships, were announced today as co-recipients of the 2006 USA Basketball Developmental Coach of the Year award.

The selections were made by the USA Basketball Executive Committee.

'I wish I could tell you it was all me, but I had two of the better coaches in the country in Paul Hewitt and Jerry Wainwright along with me,' Romar said. 'And you couldn't have asked for a better group of guys to coach. They busted their tails and did everything we asked them to do.'

'It's a great honor,' Bruno said. 'And yet it is an honor that I share with my assistants Jennifer Rizzotti and Carol Owens, the support staff and, most importantly, the players. These awards don't happen without their help.'

USA Basketball will submit Bruno and Romar to the U.S. Olympic Committee as nominees for the 2006 USOC Developmental Coach of the Year award.

'Both of these coaches showed a tremendous ability to unite, inspire and motivate their young athletes,' said USA Basketball Executive Director Jim Tooley. 'These two coaches not only secured gold medals, but also qualified the United States for the men's and women's 2007 FIBA U19 World Championships.'

USA Basketball's Development Coach of the Year award was established in 1996 to recognize a USA Basketball head coach who, during the year of the award, made significant impact on the success of individual athlete and team performance at the developmental level.

Bruno and Romar added their names to a list of award recipients that includes Kathy Delaney-Smith (2005) of Harvard University (Mass.); Jay Wright (2005) of Villanova University (Pa.); Kelvin Sampson (2004) currently at Indiana University; Jim Foster (2003) of The Ohio State University; Marsha Sharp (2002) formerly of Texas Tech University; Debbie Ryan (2001) of the University of Virginia; Geno Auriemma (2000) of the University of Connecticut; Oliver Purnell (1999) currently at Clemson University (S.C.); Jim Boeheim (1998) of Syracuse University (N.Y.); Rene Portland (1997) of Penn State University and Mike Montgomery (1996) formerly of Stanford University (Calif.).

Romar and his USA Basketball Men's U18 National Team dominated opponents by an average of 29.7 points a game and captured four straight victories at the 2006 FIBA Americas U18 Championship for Men. Romar's squad also qualified the USA for the 2007 FIBA U19 World Championship that will be contested in Vancouver, Canada.

'He was great because he was really enthusiastic and wanted to be out there coaching,' said future Blue Devil Nolan Smith (Oak Hill Academy, Va./Duke). 'He taught us that whether you are scoring or not, as long as you are doing something to help your team, you will be successful.'

Georgia Tech head mentor Paul Hewitt and DePaul University head coach Jerry Wainwright assisted Romar on the sidelines.

The USA Basketball U18 National Team included: Chris Allen (Meadowcreek H.S./Lawrenceville, Ga.); Jerryd Bayless (St. Mary's H.S./Phoenix, Ariz.); Michael Beasley (Notre Dame Prep/Frederick, Md.); Jonny Flynn (Niagara Falls H.S./Niagara Falls, N.Y.); Donte Greene (Towson Catholic H.S./Baltimore, Md.); Spencer Hawes (Washington/Seattle, Wash.); Taylor King (Mater Dei H.S./Huntington Beach, Calif.); Stanley Robinson (Connecticut/Birmingham, Ala.); Kyle Singler (South Medford H.S./Medford, Ore.); Smith; DaJuan Summers (Georgetown/Baltimore, Md.); and Lance Thomas (Duke/Scotch Plains, N.J.).

The USA men first rolled over Uruguay in a 111-64 victory on June 28, then, on June 30, the Americans out-slugged Brazil 90-66. Matched against Canada in the medal round semifinals, six U.S. players scored in double digits and the USA earned a 92-66 victory. In the championship game on July 2, the USA men erased a two-point first quarter deficit to easily capture the gold medal with a 104-82 victory over Argentina.

Beasley led the team in scoring and rebounding, averaging 13.8 ppg. and 8.3 rpg., followed by Hawes, who tallied 12.5 ppg. and 7.5 rpg. King added 12.0 ppg., and Bayless and Singler each contributed 11.0 ppg.

Seven U.S. players broke into the tournament's top-ten rankings in eight different categories. Bayless ranked first in free-throw percentage with a perfect 13-13 tally from the charity stripe, and Beasley ranked fifth in rebounding. Flynn ranked third in free throw percentage (.882), fifth in assists (5.3 apg) and tied for eighth in free throws made (15-of-17 FTs). Hawes ranked fourth in blocked shots (1.4 bpg.), eighth in rebounding and tied for eighth in free throw percentage (.750). King ranked fourth in both 3-pointers made (10) and 3-point percentage (.476), and Singler ranked fourth in steals (2.3 spg.). Smith tied for eighth in free-throws made (15) and free throw percentage (.750) and listed 10th in assists (3.5 apg.).

The USA dominated the tournament's team statistics, ranking No.1 in 13 of the 19 categories, including scoring offense (99.2 ppg.), scoring defense (69.5 ppg.), rebounding margin (+19.7 rpg.), assists (20.5 apg.), steals (12 spg.), turnover margin (+3.50) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.19).

The 2006 squad contributed 10 new entries to the USA U18 Championship record book, including shooting 73.1 percent as a team from the free throw line to set the USA U18 Championship record.

Meanwhile in Colorado Springs, Colo., Bruno guided the USA Basketball Women's U18 National Team to a 4-0 record and the gold medal at the 2006 FIBA Americas U18 Championship for Women. The USA dominated the competition by an average margin of 40.2 ppg., and the team's first-place finish qualified the USA for the 2007 FIBA U19 World Championship that will be held in Bratislava, Slovakia.

The USA began the tournament with a 121-56 win over Paraguay on June 28, and handed Brazil a 75-48 loss in the second match-up. The U.S. squad then rolled over Argentina 81-47 on July 1 in the semifinals to advance to the gold medal game. The Americans outmatched Canada early and cruised to an easy 87-52 gold medal victory on July 2.

Text courtesy of USA Basketball

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