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Basketball Recruiting Update: Looking at the 2 Newest Dawgs and Other Notes

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Going in-depth on Elijah Hardy, Jonah Geron, Bryan Penn-Johnson and more

NCAA Basketball: Syracuse at Pittsburgh Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Huskies Add a Pair for 2018 Class

Elijah Hardy

PG; Bishop O’Dowd High School, CA; 6’2”, 165

Scout: 4 stars #119 Overall; 247 Sports: 3 stars #132 Overall; ESPN: 4 stars

Jonah Geron

SG; San Joaquin Memorial High School, CA; 6’6”, 170

Other Offers: Montana State, Cal State Northridge

The biggest news from the weekend was the addition of Elijah Hardy to the 2018 recruiting class. The two absolute must-haves in this class were a point guard and a center and one of those two can now be crossed off the list. Kim Grinolds at Dawgman.com spoke with Elijah Hardy about his decision and you can check out that interview right here.

The lefty from Oakland will likely be asked to come in right away and be the backup to David Crisp and then take over the keys to the car in his sophomore year when Crisp graduates. However, the Dawgs will also almost certainly take another point guard in 2019 as well. They currently have 3 offers out to: P.J Fuller (formerly WA, now CA), Noah Williams (WA), and Joseph Girard III (NY). Fuller is one of the top guards on the West Coast and a possible 5-star recruit and if he ends up being the guy then he’d probably leapfrog Hardy on the depth chart. But his move to California this year puts USC in the driver’s seat and one of the other two appears more likely.

Hardy is more of a project than Marcus Zegarowski would have been but he has the athleticism and vision necessary to make an impact on both ends of the floor. The big difference between the two is their shooting. According to Josh Gershon at Scout, Hardy shot just 24% from beyond the arc on the Adidas gauntlet. The way basketball is played today you can’t have a point guard who can’t shoot. It just kills your spacing. If Hopkins gives Hardy one piece of advice it should be to put his extra hours between now and next year in at the gym just practicing jumpers.

It’s getting ahead of ourselves a little bit, but here’s a projected 2-deep for the 2018 season right now:

PG- David Crisp (Sr.), Elijah Hardy (Fr.)

SG- Jaylen Nowell (So.), Carlos Johnson (Jr.)

SF- Matisse Thybulle (Sr.), Nahz Carter (So.)

PF- Noah Dickerson (Sr.), Hameir Wright (So.)

C- Sam Timmins (Jr.), ??? (Fr.)

Depending on who fills that center spot, that has the chance to be a pretty darn good team.

The other addition to the team came from SG Jonah Geron. You’ve likely never heard of Geron before and that’s because he isn’t being added as a scholarship player but as a preferred walk on. He comes from the same high school that Husky great Quincy Pondeter attended. Geron had offers from Montana State and Cal State Northridge but the academics of the UW had a greater pull then the opportunity to be a regular contributor at a smaller school. Because he wasn’t a heavily recruited player, there isn’t a ton of information out there but it sounds like he’s a knock down shooter with size who just doesn’t have the athleticism to play defense at the D-I level. This is the kind of player though who will help in practice and has the chance to earn a scholarship down the road if one unexpectedly opens up after a few years in the weight room. You can check out his highlight reel here.

Julian Strawther- Class of 2020

SG; Liberty High School, NV; 6’6”, 175

Scout: 4 stars, #24 Overall; 247 Sports: 4 stars, #46 Overall; ESPN: 5 stars, #12 Overall

Other Offers: Florida, Florida State, UCLA, Arizona, USC, Gonzaga, UConn, UNLV, Cal

It’s a little early to look at the 2020 recruiting class but one of the top players in that group, Julian Strawther, took an unofficial visit to the UW this weekend and took in the UW-Montana football game. This summer, Strawther worked out with the mentioned-in-the-paragraph-above Quincy Pondexter. The Las Vegas Review Journal recently profiled Strawther. Pondexter is quoted as saying “Julian is like a little brother to me.” The Dawgs are certainly hoping that in addition to helping him improve as a player, he’s also whispering some positive thoughts about the UW into his ear. That same article notes that the three schools he thinks are recruiting him the hardest are UW, UConn, and UNLV. However, he picked up offers yesterday from Gonzaga and Virginia Tech and will only continue to gain more hype. There are years left to his recruitment but Coach Hop has Strawther’s name circled as perhaps the biggest recruiting win that’s realistic over the next several years.

Bryan Penn-Johnson

C; Wasatch Academy, UT; 7’0”, 215

Scout: 4 stars, #97 overall; 247 Sports: 4 stars, #83 overall; ESPN: 4 stars, #86 Overall

It appears that Wasatch Academy has had a number of coaches coming to check in with the program over the last week and the Huskies were among them. Bryan Penn-Johnson isn’t the only player with D-I aspirations on that team but he’s the only one that the Huskies have offered to this point. Oregon State, Cal, Butler, Depaul, and Baylor were all there at some point in the last several days. Depaul seems to have been trying to convince the national media they’re a player for BPJ but I’m not even remotely buying it. He made an unofficial visit there and I saw multiple outlets reporting that Depaul was visiting him yesterday but it feels like they’re just trying to float their name out there. He’s never brought them up in an interview and I still think it’s going to come down to UW and a handful of blue bloods.

Now that the point guard situation is handled it appears there’s only one more opening in the class and it will go to a Center. Kamaka Hepa profiles more as a stretch 4 than a true center and I find it tough to imagine the Dawgs turning down a talent of his caliber. But it seems he’s about 74% Texas, 25% Gonzaga, and 1% UW so I don’t think they’ll have to face what would be a nice problem to have. We have an offer out to Majur Majok but I’ve never seen a single source talking about mutual interest between them so that seems like he’s a backup to the backup to the backup plan.

The intriguing question will be what happens if Nate Roberts wants to commit? I see the Huskies only taking 3 guys. That would require 2 players to transfer out at the end of the year with Dominic Green, Bitumba Baruti, and Devenir Duruisseau being the most likely in my mind. If all 3 want to transfer then there’s no issue. The Dawgs take Roberts and then if BPJ commits they take him as well and if not then they give the last spot to Lynch. If they take only one more though then it’s a bigger problem. BPJ is going to make a decision after Roberts. I don’t think the staff can risk missing out on both Roberts and BPJ. I think they would take Roberts and then either force someone out if BPJ wants in as well or there’s no problem if he chooses to go to Kansas or Arizona. However, I think Roberts is going to Syracuse. So my prediction for the last spot at the moment is 60% BPJ, 30% Lynch, 10% Roberts.

THE LIST

(in approximate order of likelihood to commit to UW)

  • Bryan Penn-Johnson

C; Wasatch Academy, UT; 7’0”, 215

Scout: 4 stars, #97 overall; 247 Sports: 4 stars, #83 overall; ESPN: 4 stars, #86 Overall

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

Highlights

  • Nic Lynch

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

Scout: 3 stars; ESPN: 2 stars

Other Offers: Wazzu, Columbia, Toledo

Highlights

  • Nate Roberts

PF; Brewster Academy, NH; 6’10”, 220

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

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

Highlights

EDIT- 9/13

  • 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

I initially took Bey off the list thinking UW was done on wings but that may not be the case. The UW staff visited Bey in the last 24 hours and he is planning on taking an official visit to UW on 11/4. For more thoughts check the comments below.

  • 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, Oklahoma, Oregon State

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

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