The Washington Huskies added the last piece to their 2017-18 roster tonight with the commitment of 6’8” SF Hameir Wright. Wright is listed in most places as a member of the 2018 recruiting class but according to ESPN’s Jeff Borzello plans to reclassify and join the program in the fall.
Wright was named the Gatorade New York Player of the Year last season after averaging 16.7 points, 9.1 rebounds, 3 assists, and 1.9 blocks per game. It was unclear whether Wright already had an offer prior to today’s unofficial visit but it apparently didn’t take much time for him to make up his mind after getting on campus for the sunniest day of the year so far. The recent commitment of fellow New York native Nahz Carter was likely a major factor for Hameir as the two were AAU teammates on Albany City Rocks.
The biggest factor of course was the connection of Coach Mike Hopkins. There were certainly a lot of doubts that Hopkins would be able to recruit his old stomping grounds of New York all the way across the country but he has already brought in 2 high level New York recruits in year one. This is obviously skipping several steps, but if Hopkins is still here in 4-5 years it will be interesting to see if he can maintain those contacts or if the focus shifts increasingly to the West Coast. Hopkins beat out his old school in Syracuse as well as Villanova and Michigan State for Wright’s commitment.
Wright immediately boosts the overall talent level of the 2017 class. His ranks in the 2018 class have to be viewed a little lower when he’s compared to the rest of the 2017 cohort but they’re quite impressive. Wright was Scout’s 89th ranked prospect, ESPN’s 80th, and 247’s 59th for 2018. The late additions of Carter and Wright to go along with Nowell really raise the ceiling for this class.
The addition of Wright for this year indicates that guard Dan Kingma likely will not have a scholarship for this upcoming season and may return to walk-on status unless we hear about a late transfer in the near future.
Most outlets have Wright listed as a small forward. If that is his primary position, it would indicate that UW will have 2 point guards, 8 wings, and 3 bigs on the roster next season. That is a dramatic imbalance. It’s unclear exactly what Wright’s wingspan is but he looks comfortable playing in the post and seems long enough to be able to play power forward against everyone but Arizona’s rotating stable of goliaths. I am hoping that Hopkins sees him as more of a small ball 4 because UW is already sorely lacking size down low.
They are not however lacking size on the perimeter. Crisp and Pryor are either at or below average for point guard but there is length everywhere on the wing. It definitely seems as if Hopkins is trying to instantly turn this into a team full of guys who are 6’5” to 6’7” with long arms to block passing lines to try to compensate for the lack of height around the basket. We’ll see how it works. The new depth chart likely looks like this:
SF- Thybulle/Green/Carter/Carter III