clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Basketball Recruiting Update: Favorites Emerge

New, 35 comments

UW is increasingly good shape with its three primary targets

NCAA Basketball: Cal St. Fullerton at Washington Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Marcus Zegarowski

PG; Tilton High School, NH; 6’1”, 165

Scout: 2 stars; 247 Sports: 3 stars; ESPN: 4 stars

The Husky’s top target at point guard cut down his list on Tuesday and it’s obviously a good sign to see the purple W among the logos. The Dawgs have been a serious contender for Zegarowski for a long time and this only solidifies that status. The Final 4 is mostly as expected however there was a curveball thrown in. The other 3 schools focused on Marcus that didn’t make the cut were Arizona State, Penn State, and Pitt. He had visited both ASU and Pitt so they are likely discouraged to drop off the table here. The real twist though is Ohio State. Pretty much no outlet even had it reported that Zegarowski held an offer from OSU let alone that they were among his top choices. Obviously, OSU just underwent a coaching change which makes it unclear how well they’ll be able to recruit but they are certainly the biggest name in the fray.

Zegarowski said that distance from home isn’t a factor which should be evident since he considered schools in every part of the country. Speaking to Rivals, Marcus said about UW that “Coach (Mike) Hopkins recruited my brother [former NBA Rookie of the Year Michael Carter-Williams] to Syracuse when he was coaching there, so there's already a family familiarity with him. Washington was my first unofficial visit, and it was just a great campus and atmosphere. They're just telling me that I can come in right away and have the ball in my hands and help rebuild the program."

If UW is able to secure a commitment from Marcus it would mark the 3rd prospect heading from Northeast to Northwest in the last 4 months. Creighton is likely the favorite at this point but UW is still heavily in the mix. Zegarowski liked several pro-Creighton comments on the announcement of the cut down list including that of a current Creighton commit telling Marcus to join him. He said he’d like to make a commitment within the next few weeks so UW shouldn’t be kept in suspense too long and will have a chance to make alternate arrangements with Elijah Hardy or Xavier Johnson if things don’t work out.

And point guard has become just as important as center on the 2018 wish list because I’m officially willing to say it’s unlikely that Nate Pryor ever suits up for the Dawgs. The 2017 Husky roster is posted on the UW website and Pryor is not on it. Maybe he can fix some academic issues before the start of the year but I’d list him as doubtful. That means that whoever the Huskies nab as their 2018 point guard will be the backup point guard behind Crisp immediately and be asked to be the guy for their sophomore year which vibes with Zegarowski’s comments.

Bryan Penn-Johnson

C; Coronado High School, NV; 7’0”, 215

Scout: 4 stars, #95 overall; 247 Sports: 4 stars, #72 overall; ESPN: 4 stars

This is your regularly scheduled Bryan Penn-Johnson update. BPJ’s recruitment has featured some twists and turns over the last two months but the one constant has been UW’s presence. Utah and LSU have both completely dropped out as some of the national programs have jumped in but UW and Coach Hop are still fighting the good fight and doing it well. Corey Evans at Rivals got the chance to speak with Bryan last week and there were some very interesting comments.

Bryan was asked the schools in contention and listed, “Kansas, Wichita State, and Washington; again, Washington has been there the whole time. Those three schools but also Arizona, UCLA and Kentucky has also been starting to talk to me a little bit.” It has been a persistent theme of his interviews that he specifically calls out either that UW was calling first or that they are calling him the most frequently. If loyalty is a driver for him then the Huskies are in a great spot. He also spoke more in-depth about UW, Kansas, Wichita State, and Arizona and again sounded very enthusiastic about Washington.

“I love the coaching staff and I love coach Hop (Mike Hopkins). Just the energy that they bring to not just their games but to my games and their practices. Everything that they do, they do with such passion and energy. It is fun to just see them and be around them. They never ever sell Washington’s past success but everything that coach Hopkins talks about is more of what he had at Syracuse than about Washington. He is more about, okay, we know what the school has, but what can I push through and accomplish.”

It makes sense that Hopkins isn’t trying to sell UW’s history or success because, let’s face it, there’s no possible way he can compete with Kansas, Arizona, UCLA, and Kentucky (or sadly even Wichita State recently) with that spiel. Rivals says that Washington is likely in the lead right now and that’s probably accurate but expect a number of twists and turns to continue before BPJ makes a decision at the end of December.

Nate Roberts

PF; Brewster Academy, NH; 6’10”, 220

Scout: 4 stars; 247 Sports: 3 stars; ESPN: 4 stars

Washington made the cut for Roberts two weeks ago and now we have a better idea of his timeline. Usually it’s best to be the last voice heard before a decision but the Huskies will get his first official visit. If he absolutely loved it and decided to cancel the rest of his visits to commit then that might work out but otherwise this is a mild disadvantage.

Edit: Xavier Johnson

PG; Bishop O’Connell High School, VA; 6’3”, 170

Scout: 3 stars

Xavier Johnson has cut down his list to the 6 schools listed above and UW made the cut. Right now Johnson is one of the 2 backup plans to Zegarowski at the PG position. This news helps the outlook that UW will be able to come away with at least one of their primary targets at point guard

THE LIST

(in approximate order of likelihood to commit to UW)

  • Nate Roberts

PF; Brewster Academy, NH; 6’10”, 220

Scout: 4 stars; 247 Sports: 3 stars; ESPN: 4 stars

Others in Final 5: Syracuse, UConn, Wake Forest, Nebraska

Highlights

  • Bryan Penn-Johnson

C; Coronado High School, NV; 7’0”, 215

Scout: 4 stars, #98 overall; 247 Sports: 4 stars, #73 overall; ESPN: 4 stars

Other Offers: Arizona, Kansas, Wichita State, UCLA, Oregon, Louisville, Florida State

Highlights

  • Marcus Zegarowski

PG; Tilton High School, NH; 6’1”, 165

Scout: 2 stars; 247 Sports: 3 stars; ESPN: 4 stars

Others in Final 4: Minnesota, Ohio State, Creighton

Highlights

  • Nic Lynch

C; Seattle Prep High School, WA; 6’10”, 255

Scout: 3 stars; ESPN: 2 stars

Other Offers: Wazzu, Columbia, Toledo

Highlights

  • Xavier Johnson

PG; Bishop O’Connell High School, VA; 6’3”, 170

Scout: 3 stars

Others in Final 6: South Florida, Georgetown, Creighton, Nebraska, Georgia Tech

Highlights

  • Elijah Hardy

PG; Bishop O’Dowd High School, CA; 6’1”, 165

Scout: 4 stars; 247 Sports: 4 stars; ESPN: 4 stars

Other Offers: USC, Cal, Nevada

Highlights

  • Kamaka Hepa

PF; Jefferson High School, OR; 6’9”, 215

Scout: 4 stars, #36 overall; 247 Sports: 4 stars, #37 overall; ESPN: 4 stars; #48 Overall

Other Offers: Gonzaga, Texas, USC, Oregon, Arizona

Highlights

  • George Conditt

C; Corliss High School, IL; 6’10”, 200

Scout: 3 stars; 247 Sports: 3 stars

Other Offers: Arizona State, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa State, VCU

Highlights

  • Majur Majak

C; Village Christian Schools, CA; 7’1”, 205

Scout: 3 stars; 247 Sports: 3 stars; ESPN: 3 stars

Other Offers: Connecticut, Nevada, Seton Hall, San Diego State

Highlights

  • K.J Hymes

C; St. Mary’s High School, AZ; 6’10”, 215

Scout: 3 stars; 247 Sports: 3 stars; ESPN: 3 stars

Other Offers: BYU, Colorado, USC, Virginia, Oklahoma

Highlights

  • Jamal Bey

SF; Bishop Gorman High School, NV; 6’6”, 195

Scout: 3 stars; 247 Sports: 3 stars; ESPN: 3 stars

Other Offers: Arizona State, USC, Utah, UNLV

Highlights

***

Follow me for all the UW basketball recruiting updates at @UWDP_maxvroom