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UW Basketball Recruiting Update: Targets Excel at USA Basketball Minicamp

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Can Coach Hop sign his first 5 star with Washington?

NCAA Basketball: Colorado at Washington Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

This weekend was a USA Basketball Minicamp and three 5-star prospects who are also prime Husky targets took part (two for 2019 and one for 2021). Here’s the latest information on each of them.

Class of 2019

Isaiah Stewart, C, 6’9, 249. La Lumiere School, La Porte, Indiana.

247: 5 stars, #7 overall; Rivals: 5 stars, #5 overall; ESPN: 5 stars, #4 overall.

Other Offers: Duke, Villanova, Syracuse, Michigan State, Indiana, Kentucky.

Stewart took an official visit to Washington a few weeks ago in what was his first trip to the UW campus. By all accounts things went very well. But then the day after getting back he added Kentucky to his final list of schools and went on an official visit the very next weekend. That is an unusual move in the world of recruiting and usually signals that something imminent is about to happen. Sure enough, you saw a flood of 247 Crystal Balls come in for Kentucky including from the writer who interviewed Stewart about his visit to Lexington.

At that point it seemed like the Huskies were all but dead as the already longshot. But the national guys at 247 changed their CBs back from Kentucky to Foggy as it became clear that no commitment was imminent. His quotes about Kentucky also seemed dramatically less enthusiastic than they were about Washington. He referenced that UW really made him feel special and had a family vibe. At Kentucky he noted that it was cool that the dorms were next door to the gym so he could workout whenever. A nice perk, sure, but nothing that’s going to seal your visit.

Another rush of Crystal Balls went out this weekend this time for Michigan State. However, Brian Snow at 247 put in a prediction for Washington which is the first one of its kind for Stewart. He also conveniently spoke to Stewart this weekend. I won’t directly quote his article since it is for subscribers only but once again he spoke highly of Washington.

The biggest piece of news may be that Stewart is no longer necessarily planning on officially visiting the remaining 5 schools on his list (besides UW and Kentucky). He took unofficials to each during the summer and so has at least been on each campus. If he decides to check out a school a 2nd time it’ll be an indicator that he might be doing a double check on his decision. But he also could just commit at any time. I’ve been dubious about Washington’s chances at Stewart for months despite a source in May saying that Hop was confident he had a realistic shot. I’m finally inclined to believe him. I don’t know that I’d put the odds at better than 1-in-3 but that’s miles better than the 1-in-20 I’ve had it since the beginning.

247 includes Stewart and McDaniels as standouts from this past weekend and Stewart was described by multiple outlets as being the toughest player and hardest worker of anyone there.

For those with ESPN+ here’s an article from Jonathan Givony profiling Stewart plus the two players below with scouting profiles as well as their NBA Draft stock.

Jaden McDaniels, SF/PF, 6’11, 200. Federal Way HS, Federal Way, Washington.

247: 5 stars, #4 overall; Rivals: 5 stars, #4 overall; ESPN: 5 stars, #5 overall.

Other Offers: San Diego State, Kentucky, Texas, UCLA

As noted in the links just above, Jaden McDaniels also had an impressive showing against the best high school players in the country this past weekend. He also has had the pace of his recruitment pick up dramatically although that isn’t saying much compared to this summer when he declined to say much of anything.

McDaniels is taking his first official visit this upcoming weekend to San Diego State where his brother plays for the Aztecs and is a projected late 1st round pick in the upcoming NBA Draft. In the recruiting game you generally want to be either the first official visit or the last. Although given how often Jaden has been on the UW campus it wouldn’t shock me if he doesn’t take an official to UW even if he ends up signing here.

Josh Gershon at 247 got a hold of McDaniels last week and went through each of his Final 5 schools. Again, since it’s a subscribers only article I won’t directly quote it but the comments about Washington emphasize that same feeling of home and family that Stewart described (although as opposed to Stewart that’s partly because it’s actually Jaden’s hometown school).

UCLA still seems like the odd man out among his Final 5 to me. If he wants to go to Southern California he has deeper relationships with San Diego State. And if he wants to go to a blue blood then Kentucky seems a better option with the uncertainty about Alford. (And John Calipari is in Seattle right now to do another in-home visit with Jaden.) Beyond that I think any of the 4 schools are viable at this point. As the local school I’d give the Huskies a slight bump so maybe handicap it at 35%? We’ll hopefully get a trip report from his SDSU visit with information about future visits that might give some more clarity.

Class of 2021

Paolo Banchero, PF, 6’8, 220. O’Dea HS, Seattle, Washington.

247: 5 stars, #6 overall; Rivals: 5 stars, #5 overall; ESPN: 5 stars, #5 overall.

Other Offers: USC, Alabama, Oklahoma

Banchero was consistently mentioned as one of the best performers this weekend and proved that his results on the EYBL circuit were no fluke. He’s already a well above average performer even when compared to guys 2 years older than him. Banchero doesn’t do it as an all-world athlete but rather has great fundamentals, instincts, and skills.

As mentioned previously, the Huskies have every possible built in advantage going after Banchero. The biggest obstacle to him wearing the purple and gold could be that the class of 2021 has been rumored to be a potential first one for the abolishing of the one-and-done rule. His parents are both UW sports alumni and his mom is one of the greatest stars in WBB program history. It’ll be another year before we see Banchero’s recruitment be an actual thing but as always he’ll be a name to keep an eye on during the local high school basketball season.

The 2019 List (in approximate order of likelihood to sign with Washington)

STILL A CHANCE

Jaden McDaniels, SF/PF, 6’11, 200. 5 star, #4 overall (247 composite).

Isaiah Stewart, C, 6’9, 249. 5 star, #5 overall.

Noah Williams, PG, 6’5, 175. 3 star, #235 overall.

THE BLUTARSKY (0.0%)

Joe Girard III, SG, 6’1, 178, 4 star, #116 overall.

Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, PF, 6’9, 231. 5 star, #17 overall.

The 2020 List (in approximate order of likelihood to sign with Washington)

IN A GOOD SPOT

Lamont Butler, PG, 6’1, 172. NR.

MarJon Beauchamp, SG, 6’6, 175. 5 star, #21 overall.

Mitchell Saxen, C, 6’10, 210. 3 star, #153 overall

Noah Taitz, SG, 6’3, 175. 4 star, #83 overall.

Isaiah Cottrell, PF, 6’9, 200. 4 star, #47 overall.

STILL A CHANCE

Julian Strawther, SF, 6’7. 5 star, #22 overall.

Daishen Nix, PG, 6’3, 185. 3 star, #172 overall.

PIPE DREAM

L.J Cryer, PG, 6’1, 180. 4 star, #63 overall.

THE BLUTARSKY (0.0%)

Johnny Juzang, SF, 6’6, 200. 4 star, #27 overall.

Joshua Christopher, SG, 6’4, 190. 5 star, #12 overall.

Jalen Green, SG, 6’5, 170. 5 star, #1 overall.

Evan Mobley, 6’11, 200. 5 star, #2 overall.

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