ARIZONA BASKETBALL

Arizona associate coach Lorenzo Romar tight lipped in presser

Feb 25, 2018, 10:18 AM | Updated: 6:16 pm

Arizona associate head coach Lorenzo Romar, who filled in for head coach Sean Miller amid the latter’s alleged involvement in a pay-for-play scandal, revealed little about Miller’s status following Arizona’s 98-93 loss to Oregon on Saturday.

Romar was tight lipped regarding the accusations and whether or not he expected to take over head coaching duties for the rest of the season.

“I don’t know, I can’t answer that. I can’t answer that one and when I say ‘I can’t’ it’s because I don’t know,” Romar said.

Romar was asked to step in for Miller after reports surfaced that Miller was caught on FBI wiretaps discussing payments up to $100,000 to ensure the commitment of star center Deandre Ayton.

Miller and the university issued a joint statement announcing it would be in the “best interest of the school” for Romar to coach the game.

“We dealt with this the way we dealt with it tonight, and we’ll move on and see what happens,” Romar said.

Romar did mention that Miller spoke with the team before the game at the beginning of the interview. Regarding the approach that the program will take moving forward Romar didn’t mention long term plans.

He was also very complimentary of the player at the center of the accusations. Ayton scored 28 points to go with 18 rebounds and four blocks on Saturday.

“I thought he did a great job and handled it in a very mature fashion,” Romar said. “If you look at his play tonight, it seem like he handled it pretty well.”

Romar was questioned toward the end of the interview about his own personal involvement in the recruitment of Markelle Fultz.

“I would have a whole lot to say but I don’t think its appropriate for me to talk about that right now at this point,” Romar said.

With the loss, Arizona’s lead in the Pac-12 standings shrinks to just a half game over USC. The Pac-12 tournament is less than two weeks away and will take place in Las Vegas.

Although the NCAA has said that it will leave availability of Miller and Ayton up to the university, some analysts have speculated if punishments regarding the accusations will carry into the 2018 postseason, possible either the Pac-12 tournament or NCAA tournament.

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