After three straight years without an NCAA tournament appearance, Lorenzo Romar is drawing some buzz in the basketball world with the verbal commitments of four 4-star players for the class of 2015.
Each players brings a unique skill set and each will probably be key contributors as soon as they step on the floor for the UW. Let's take at what each commit brings to the table and how they can fit in with the Huskies.
Guard, 6-foot-5, 175 pounds, Rainier Beach H.S.
Murray was the most notable and probably the biggest get for Lorenzo Romar in the class of 2015. Murray is the next of many great players to come out of Rainier Beach, and is the highest rated in-state player to stay home since Tony Wroten.
"Baby Boy" started picking up Pac-12 offers before his junior season but gained national attention after averaging a near triple-double and helping lead Rainier Beach to a third straight state title and a 29-1 record.
Former Beach guard Jamal Crawford has taken Murray under his wing, and the two are strikingly similar in both body type and play style. Murray is long and athletic enough to finish in the paint and possesses a solid jump shot out to the NBA three.
Murray could be a starter as soon as steps on campus in Seattle and has the potential to make a big impact for the Huskies early on in his career on both the offensive and defensive ends. As the high school season begins expect to see Murray create more buzz for himself and rise higher in the national rankings.
Murray is clearly still very skinny, but will obviously put on some pounds once he gets on a weight-training program at the UW.
Here is some highlights from Murray's 43 point performance at the Seattle Pro-Am this summer, playing with the likes of Chris Paul, Spencer Hawes, Matt Barnes, Wroten and Crawford.
Guard, 6-foot-1, 180 poounds, Brewster Academy (New Hampshire)
Crisp is a former teammate of Murray who is playing his fifth year of high school ball at Brewster Academy, a prep school in New Hampshire. Crisp was a member of the class of 2014, but was young for his grade and wanted to take the extra year to catch up to his peers age-wise.
Many may compare Crisp to former UW great Isaiah Thomas since they both are left handed and can fill it up. Crisp is extremely athletic but I don't think he can score in the paint like IT could. If I had to pick a ceiling comparison for Crisp, I would say former Arizona great Salim Stoudamire.
Crisp can earn early minutes in his career because he may step on campus as the team's best three-point shooter. He showed multiple times last year at Beach that he can knock down the outside shot and was their go-to outside threat. Another year at prep school definitely won't hurt Crisp, as he will improve on a lot of his skills and be ready to contribute during his freshman year.
Just a side note, ESPN list Crisp a 6-foot-1, but I would say he is closer to 5-foot-10.
Forward, 6-foot-6, 175 pounds, Eastside Catholic H.S. (Sammamish)
From his sophomore to his junior year, Thybulle has developed and blown up more than any other prospect in the state of Washington. He has already cracked Scout's top 100 and don't be surprised to see him shoot up more rankings this high school season.
Thybulle is long and bouncy and will probably play a small forward/power forward hybrid role with the Huskies. His jump shooting is average and will need to improve, but he is able to make up for it with his finishing ability and athleticism.
The best way for him to earn minutes as a freshman may be on the defensive end. I believe Thybulle will be able to guard three positions in college and even if his offensive game struggles, he could be a defensive stopper early in his career.
If I had to make a comparison I would say Thybulle is similar to former UCLA forward Tyler Honeycutt.
Thybulle and Eastside Catholic finished runner up to Rainier Beach in the 3A state finals last year and the two teams will compete for the title again this season.
Forward, 6-foot-8, 200 pounds, Pleasant Grove H.S. (Elk Grove, Calif.)
Much like Thybulle, Chriss is a hybrid forward, but I believe as he develops, will spend more time in the post with the Huskies. Chriss is known for his finishing ability, especially his dunking, and is known to hit the occasional jump shot.
Chriss has soft hands and has great timing when it comes to shot blocking and rebounding. His basketball I.Q. allows him to find the open scoring opportunity and clean up the garbage in the post.
If he ends up playing small forward, Chriss could draw comparisons to Colorado's Xavier Johnson. If he puts on some weight and plays more in the post, Chriss may remind Husky fans of former ASU great Jeff Pendergraph.
Chriss may be viewed as a "project" but could be a spark of energy off the bench during his freshman campaign for the Huskies. I think his biggest question mark, like most freshman, will be how he translates on the defensive end. If he isn't a liability defensively, his versatility could allow him to see a lot of playing time early in his career.
Chriss has said publicly that he models his game after Sacramento Kings forward Rudy Gay.
At this point Husky fans have to be excited with what Lorenzo Romar has done with the with the class of 2015. All the verbals look to be key contributors as soon as they step on campus.
The recruiting class still isn't done though. First the recruits have to sign their LOI's, and second, Romar will still be out on the recuiting trail. JUCO big man Malik Dime visited the UW for the Stanford game, and looks to be the next target on Romar's list. If the Huskies sign another player, I expect it to be a big man, especially with the news of Tristan Etienne leaving the program Monday.
Finally, here is a scholarship chart for the Huskies.