Lorenzo Romar is not done recruiting for the 2012 class quite yet, but he has only one open scholarship that he may be holding out for another recruit in the 2013 class. Romar has many of the top recruits looking at Washington for this coming class of recruits and many think this could be his best recruiting class ever.
Best recruiting class ever is a big claim, but looking at the recruits looking at UW, it is easy why that title is bandied about. There are four five-star recruits currently considering Washington. All these recruits are considered top-15 within the recruiting world. This does not in any way mean that all three are going to come, in all likelihood there will be one, maybe two who land on the shores of Montlake.
So who might you be cheering for in two seasons?*
*Or not cheering, maybe you don't cheer and you sit in your recliner all comfy-like. I don't know if you are a cheerer or a sitter.
The consensus top recruit in the country is small forward Jabari Parker out of Chicago, Illinois. He has been lauded as the best high school basketball player since LeBron James. Parker probably has the talent to play in the NBA right now and be a contributor on a playoff-caliber team. He is that good.
Romar has wiggled his way into the recruiting battle for Parker, but holding your breath for this recruit is not recommended. You probably won't live. If you don't live then you can't read things I write. I like it when you read things I write. It makes me happy inside. I like being all happy inside. Don't make me not happy inside!
If you are still conscious and not purple, Rivals lists that Parker is considering 14 schools including national powerhouses North Carolina, Duke, Michigan State and of course Kentucky. Two schools I would personally list as dark horses are two Utah-based schools, Brigham Young University and University of Utah. Parker is of Mormon faith, and as I can attest from my recent visit to the state, you cannot drive five minutes without passing three or four different Ladder-day Saints churches.
Parker's devotion to his faith is so strong that he may delay his entry into the NBA in order to do his Mission. That would delay his NBA career by a minimum of a year, maybe two.
The highest-rated recruit not named Jabari Parker who Romar has his eye on is Aaron Gordon, a power forward out of San Jose, California. Gordon is an exceptional athlete and excellent defender. He is viewed as a high-motor player who will compete on every possession, fighting for loose balls and rebounds every chance he gets. He has a jump-shot that reaches mid-range with the possibility to develop a three-point shot throughout the course of his career. He has a strong frame, which aids him in rebounding, where he is among the very elite.
The only weaknesses Scout lists on Gordon are his lack of three-point range and his ability to shoot off the dribble, although the latter is improving according to ESPN. ESPN also says that he attempts to start the fast break on his own a little bit too often instead of out-letting the ball to his point guard. This is likely due to the fact that he has exceptional dribbling ability for a power forward and has point forward passing abilities. That means one of his weaknesses is due to a strength.
Gordon lists Washington as the favorite, and it is widely assumed that he will end up picking Washington as his school of choice.
More recruits after the jump.
Another top recruit considering Washington is another Jabari, Jabari Bird. Bird is a California lean, but there are other schools in the mix as well, including Arizona, Colorado, Oregon and Romar's Huskies. It is certain Bird stays in-conference, but he could end up at any of the five schools, California is just the favorite.
Bird is listed by some recruiting services as a shooting guard and others as a small forward. Looking at his scouting reports he is very similar to former Husky Terrence Ross. He has prototypical length for the off-guard slot, listed at 6-6. His vertical is strong, as he turns in awe-inspiring dunks every once in a while. He has the natural talent thanks to his length and quick hands to be a superior defender should he put his mind to it (Ross had the talent to be a devastating defender, just was inconsistent on that end of the floor). Bird has explosive ability to get to the rim, combined with a jumper that extends out to 22 feet. He is also an exceptional rebounder for his position.
He is not perfect, as he has a tendency to put up ill-advised jump shots at times and struggles keeping hold of the ball when he has a defender get into him. To me he looks like a Terrence Ross clone, especially with his somewhat thin frame.
Romar has his hands on* yet another top-15 recruit, this one by the name of Isaac Hamilton. Hamilton is a very polished scoring guard who can be near-unstoppable when his jump shot is falling.
*In a non-Sandusky way.
Hamilton has a very diversified offensive skillset. He is good at slashing to the rim but his jumper can be a bit streaky. He is an adept passer with the ability to be a point guard in a pinch, although he is still developing that skill.
To find weaknesses one really has to dig deep in his game. His jumper can get streaky, if he turns the ball over he does not always sprint back, his athleticism is not what one would expect from a top-15 recruit and he needs to work on off-ball movement. These are all nit-picky faults however, as he is one of the most polished players available in the class of 2013.
He is a very, very highly recruited player and in an interview with ballislife.com (an online magazine) in February he listed over ten, maybe fifteen schools that are all recruiting him. Curiously he did not list Washington which could mean nothing, or could mean that he really does not consider Washington a threat to land his services.
This could be a very star-studded recruiting class for Romar and the Huskies. He is in on four of the top 15 recruits, and while Gordon is almost a given, it is very possible that he lands another of his top four.
This is not the whole recruiting class for 2013, just the four highest-rated recruits currently on Romar's list. Other possible recruits include local point guard Zach LaVine and California guard Elliot Pitts. Both are four-star recruits.
One eye to keep an eye on is Marcus Lee, another four-star power forward out of California. He shares a travel team with the eloquent Nigel Williams-Goss who will be whispering words of wisdom in Lee's ear.
More coming on the four-star recruits soon So keep a look out!