Despite sustained success on the court, Washington basketball is kind of an in-between program. It's not quite elite, but certainly not mediocre, though head coach Lorenzo Romar has struggled to get the Huskies over-the-hump and past the Sweet Sixteen. But does the head coaching job at Washington fit alongside some of the top coaching gigs in the country?
Rush the Court examined a few of the top jobs in the country, and though Washington didn't make the top-20, it was listed as an honorable mention. Compared to the rest of the Pac-12, the Washington job checks-in as third-best behind UCLA and Arizona. SeaTown Sports examined why Washington was a top-tier job in the Pac-12, but not quite elite in the college landscape.
However, what does UCLA and Arizona have that Washington does not have? National championships, final four appearances, and a rich legacy that extends further than the past ten years. Moreover, the Huskies are now lacking elite facilities to compete for recruits against programs like Kentucky, Kansas, North Carolina, Duke, and now Oregon.
Location also plays a role, according to SeaTown Sports' Kevin Cacabelos. But it's a double-edged sword. The talent-rich basketball culture of Seattle helps Washington in recruiting, but the limited exposure on a national-scale serves as a hindrance. It's easy to forget basketball in the Northwest exists when few games are televised and many take place after the East Coast is in bed.
But with the new television deal, Washington, Washington State and the rest of the Northwest programs should see a significant increase in exposure both on a regional and national scale. Would the exposure and revenue lead to increased successes on the court and a breakthrough in the NCAA Tournament? And would that be enough to push Washington into the upper-echelons of college basketball?