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2019 Basketball Recruiting First Look

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Who are the UW staff targeting now that the 2018 class is mostly wrapped up?

NCAA Basketball: Pac-12 Media Day Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The end of the early signing period resulted in the Huskies adding three new players for next season’s team: PG Elijah Hardy, SF Jamal Bey, and PF/C Nate Roberts. There is still a chance that one or more of UW verbal commit F Ed Chang, C Bryan Penn Johnson, and PF J’Raan Brooks also end up signing in the Spring but otherwise the class is finished.

In my opinion, we’ve yet to see the kind of class Hopkins really wants. The 2017 class was a complete rush job given the timing of Hopkins’ hire. The 2018 class has the right body types and character but is short on truly elite pure talent. So the 2019 class will be the true test of Coach Hop and crew’s recruiting prowess as they will have more than a full year to prepare.

And they certainly are aiming high from the beginning. The 2018 class currently contains a trio of players ranked somewhere between 100 and 200 in most national recruiting rankings and could reasonably be called 3.5 star guys. The offers for the 2019 class are filled with 4 and 5 star prospects. There are still some kids who are more realistic gets than others but Hopkins will at least get to talk to the premier prospects to gauge interest now.

I’m going to arrange UW’s current offers by area of the country and sort by the approximate level of interest UW is showing within each region. A reminder, this class (pending end of year transfers of which there will almost certainly be 1-2) will be replacing 5 players: David Crisp, Matisse Thybulle, Noah Dickerson, Dominic Green, and Devenir Duruisseau.

LOCAL

P.J Fuller, PG, 6’5, 160. Garfield H.S, Seattle, Washington.

247Sports: 4 star, #41 overall; Rivals: 4 star, #61 overall; ESPN: 4 star, #43 overall

Other Offers: USC, Florida State, Tennessee, Cal, Arizona State, Texas A&M

Fuller moved to California over the summer but has reportedly moved back to Seattle due to a family health concern. He was the consensus top prospect in the state of Washington for 2019 before the move and will now become so again at Garfield. He averaged 15.4 points per game last year as part of the Nathan Hale team that won the national title with the Porters. He was a MaxPreps honorable mention Sophomore All-American last season.

Up until the scandal at USC and J’Raan Brooks’ de-commitment I would’ve said that USC is the favorite but now who knows. If the Huskies could turn Garfield into a UW feeder school then they would quickly rise to a power in the Pac-12. This year’s Garfield team will now feature Fuller, Brooks, UW verbal commit Ed Chang, and 2020 top SG target Marjon Beauchamp. Come on Coach Brandon Roy. Send some players this way.

Noah Williams, PG, 6’3, 175. O’Dea H.S, Seattle, Washington.

247Sports: 4 star, #88 overall; Rivals: NR; ESPN: NR

Other Offers: NONE

247sports is essentially the only service right now that has prospect rankings beyond the top-100 or so. And right now they have Williams as the next best player in the state of Washington. UW is his only offer right now so they’re in on the ground floor of his recruitment. We’ll see what kind of other options become available to him but I’d call him the most realistic option to be the point guard in the 2019 class.

Jaden McDaniels, SF, 6’8, 175. Federal Way H.S, Federal Way, Washington.

247Sports: 4 star, #161 overall; Rivals: 4 star, #123 overall; ESPN: NR

Other Offers: Montana

McDaniels seems like Hop’s kind of guy in that he’s very long, lean, and athletic. Just like Williams above, he hasn’t garnered any kind of national attention so there’s a chance for UW to build up a very strong bond with him before anyone else gets involved.

California

Isaiah Mobley, PF, 6’8, 200. Rancho Christian H.S, Temecula, California.

247Sports: 4 star, #32 overall; Rivals: 4 star, #29 overall; ESPN: 4 star, #41 overall

Other Offers: Stanford, USC, UCLA, Oregon, Arizona, Michigan, Arizona State

Mobley would be a tremendous pull for the Huskies if it somehow happened. The Dawgs rarely go into southern California and beat out UCLA and USC for a prospect they truly covet. And expect both programs to truly covet Mobley.

Onyeka Okongwu, PF, 6’8, 234. Chino Hills H.S, Chino Hills, California.

247Sports: 4 star, #25 overall; Rivals: 4 star, #25 overall; ESPN: 5 star, #16 overall

Other Offers: UCLA, USC, Kansas, Oregon, Miami, Utah, Arizona State

The LaVar Ball take over of Chino Hills was swift and relatively bloodless. Until I see otherwise, I expect all high major prospects to come out of Chino Hills to go to UCLA. Okongwu’s former* (edit) teammate 5-star LaMelo Ball is already committed there. Although there’s a chance Ball may not be eligible to play in college by the time they graduate high school because of the shoe deals.

Northeast

Khalif Battle, SG, 6’4, 180. Gill St. Bernard School, Metuchen, New Jersey.

247Sports: 4 star, #79 overall; Rivals: 4 star, #67 overall; ESPN: NR

Other Offers: Syracuse, Villanova, Miami, UConn, Seton Hall

This is likely going to be the 2nd big recruiting Battle (see what I did there?) between Hopkins and his former mentor after Hop won out on Nate Roberts. Current Syracuse sophomore guard Tyus Battle is Khalif’s older brother. Hopkins was Tyus’s primary recruiter so there are obvious ties between Khalif and both Hopkins and Syracuse. One thing to note though is that Draft Express lists Tyus as a 1st round draft pick this season. If he chooses to leave early it takes away the lure for Khalif of playing with his brother and instead becomes a question of relationships with the coaching staff and presumably distance from home. Early reports are that UW may be in front right now but there’s a long ways to go. This will be a fun one to watch play out.

Isaiah Stewart, PF, 6’8, 243. La Lumiere, School, Rochester, New York.

247Sports: 4 star, #30 overall; Rivals: 4 star, #39 overall; ESPN: 4 star, #26 overall

Other Offers: Syracuse, Duke, Texas, Indiana, Florida, Florida State, Notre Dame, Virginia

Stewart is a premium national recruit and every school in the country would gladly have him. The only reason to think that Hopkins can pull this one out as well is that there is the added bonus that Stewart played on the same AAU team as Nahziah Carter. That’s no indication that the two are good friends or that they want to play with one another again but every little linkage helps to get your foot in the door. If Carter absolutely loves Seattle and says he doesn’t mind the distance it adds credibility to Hop’s recruiting pitch.

Joseph Girard III, PG, 6’1, 170. Glenn Falls H.S, Glenn Falls, New York.

247Sports: 3 star, #192 overall; Rivals: 3 star, #141 overall; ESPN: NR

Other Offers: Penn State, Boston College, BYU, St. John’s, Saint Louis

Girard also played on the same AAU team with Stewart and Carter so he has the same connections. He’s rated in about the same range as most of the prospects in the UW 2018 class so if they decide they have no shot at P.J Fuller then Girard becomes a realistic option for the class’s point guard. He was a MaxPreps Sophomore 2nd team All-American averaging 35.8(!!!) points per game.

Bryan Antoine, SG, 6’4, 175. Ramey School, Tinton Falls, New Jersey.

247Sports: 5 star, #7 overall; Rivals: 5 star, #7 overall; ESPN: 5 star, #12 overall

Other Offers: Villanova, Duke, Kentucky, Florida, Kansas, Arizona

Antoine has offers from basically every program in the country. Outside of Hopkins having coached near where he goes to school there isn’t any obvious tie between them. This is a pipe dream offer. He was a MaxPreps 2nd Team Sophomore All-American averaging 20+ points per game.

East of the Rockies

Wendell Moore, SF, 6’5, 210. Cox Mill H.S, Concord, North Carolina.

247Sports: 5 star, #22 overall; Rivals: 4 star, #32 overall; ESPN: 5 star, #25 overall

Other Offers: Duke, North Carolina, Kansas, Florida State, N.C State, Ohio State, South Carolina, Maryland, Wake Forest

Moore announced at the end of October that he was trimming his list to 10 schools and the Huskies made the cut. This is a bit of a surprise considering they are the only school in the western half of the country under consideration for the product of North Carolina. The local schools will be essentially impossible to beat but it’s encouraging to see Hopkins make a list for a near 5-star player in the most basketball rich state in the country. Moore said that Washington was one of the 6 schools recruiting him the hardest with the 4 local programs plus Maryland. I’d still call Washington the longest of long shots here but at least there’s some level of reciprocal interest.

He was a MaxPreps Sophomore 1st Team All-American averaging 25 points and 9.2 rebounds for the North Carolina 3A champions.

Josh Green, SG, 6’5, 190. IMG Academy, Bradenton, Florida. (Originally Australia then Arizona)

247Sports: 4 star, #26 overall; Rivals: 4 star, #28 overall; ESPN: 4 star, #32 overall

Other Offers: UCLA, USC, Kansas, Arizona, Arizona State, Oregon, Stanford, Duke

Green moved to Arizona from Australia a few years ago although he goes to a basketball academy in Florida for high school. That at least gives UW the added benefit of being closer to where his family is right now. But that argument applies for every other Pac-12 school and unless Hop shocks the world this season, we are nowhere close to 1st in recruiting pull in the conference.

Marcedes Leech, SF, 6’6, 170. Poplar Bluff H.S, Poplar Bluff, Missouri.

247Sports: 4 star, #57 overall; Rivals: 4 star, #62 overall; ESPN: 4 star, #51 overall

Other Offers: Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, Missouri, Miami

There are no obvious ties here and no not-so-obvious ties either. It doesn’t hurt to make an offer but there certainly isn’t any reason to think he’ll be interested in Washington.

Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, PF, 6’8, 220. Bishop Miege H.S, Mission, Kansas.

247Sports: 5 star, #19 overall; Rivals: 5 star, #16 overall; ESPN: 4 star, #36 overall

Other Offers: Kansas, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Missouri, UCLA, Notre Dame

I would be stunned if Coach Hopkins could pull a 5-star recruit out of Kansas without multiple NCAA recruiting violations so it might be for the best if we don’t beat Kansas on this one. He was a MaxPreps Sophomore Honorable Mention All-American averaging 13.9 points and 8.4 rebounds per game.

The 2019 List (in approximate order of likelihood to end up at UW)

Good Chance

Noah Williams, PG, 6’3, 175. O’Dea H.S, Seattle, Washington.

Jaden McDaniels, SF, 6’8, 175. Garfield H.S, Seattle, Washington.

Khalif Battle, SG, 6’4, 180. Gill St. Bernard School, Metuchen, New Jersey.

P.J Fuller, PG, 6’5, 160. Garfield H.S, Seattle, Washington.

Dare to Dream

Joseph Girard III, PG, 6’4, 180. Glenn Falls H.S, Glenn Falls, New York.

Isaiah Stewart, PF, 6’8, 243. La Lumiere, School, Rochester, New York.

Isaiah Mobley, PF, 6’8, 200. Rancho Christian H.S, Temecula, California.

Looooong shots

Wendell Moore, SF, 6’5, 210. Cox Mill H.S, Concord, North Carolina.

Onyeka Okongwu, PF, 6’8, 234. Chino Hills H.S, Chino Hills, California.

Josh Green, SG, 6’5, 190. IMG Academy, Bradenton, Florida.

Marcedes Leech, SF, 6’6, 170. Poplar Bluff H.S, Poplar Bluff, Missouri.

Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, PF, 6’8, 220. Bishop Miege H.S, Mission, Kansas.

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