P.J Fuller, PG/SG, 6’4, 170. Findlay Prep, Las Vegas, Nevada.
247: 4 stars, #63 overall; Rivals: 4 stars, #64 overall; ESPN: 4 stars, #67 overall.
Committed to TCU
For those that missed it over the weekend, combo guard P.J Fuller committed to the TCU Horned Frogs on Saturday night. Fuller took an official visit there the weekend before so the move can’t be called completely unexpected. He also has mentioned previously that one of TCU’s assistants is a family friend with whom he has a pre-existing relationship. But the pace of his commitment (cut down list, to taking one official, to commitment in 2 weeks) was faster than most people thought it would be. I think there are reasons for both optimism and pessimism from a UW perspective with this announcement.
We’ll start with the negative take first. P.J Fuller may be going to Findlay Prep for his senior year but he is ostensibly a Seattle recruit. When Cameron Dollar and Will Conroy joined Coach Hop’s staff it was seen as a way to bridge the connection with the local high school players to try to keep a pipeline going. Brandon Roy serving as P.J’s head coach for 2 seasons seemed like it was a big bonus as well. The staff were able to keep Jaylen Nowell’s commitment but losing Fuller on top of Porter Jr. and Brooks last year is a bad look. Especially considering that PG is the most glaring spot on the roster and Fuller looks like he at least might be able to fill it.
Now for the positive take. There are a lot of red flags with Fuller. He has transferred high schools 4 times already (Nathan Hale to Garfield to Mater Dei to Garfield to Findlay Prep). I’m sure you can justify each individual decision but for Hop who has stressed stability and building long-term I’m not sure if Fuller is a guy you can trust is going to stick around. He said no to Sam Cunliffe who was begging to come this summer but has a history that looks just like Fuller’s although with the additional evidence in college.
It also doesn’t seem like a great recipe for meeting your academic requirements. We don’t know (and probably will never know) whether Fuller would’ve been able to qualify at UW with all the moving around. Hop has had issues in his short tenure getting guys in (hello Nate Pryor and Ed Chang!) and it’s possible that UW backed off a little not wanting a 3rd case of not knowing whether someone would qualify.
There are also positional concerns with Fuller. He’s a plus plus athlete but most recruiting folks see him as a SG rather than a PG. That was true for Jaylen Nowell as well and he has learned to play some point but if UW wants a true PG in this class and already have Battle at SG then Fuller is a lot less essential. I personally don’t think that’s the case but it isn’t impossible. Fuller is also trending down in all of the recruiting rankings although clearly he’s still higher than any player that Hopkins brought in last season.
So where does Washington go from here...
Marcus Tsohonis, PG, 6’4, 170. Jefferson H.S, Portland, OR.
247: 3 stars, #303 overall; Rivals: 3 stars; ESPN: 4 stars
Other Offers: USC, Arizona State, Washington State
Tsohonis is the most recent UW offer and it appears he’ll also be taking the first official visit for the 2019 class. With Fuller off the board the two outstanding offers at PG are to Tsohonis and Noah Williams. Both are similarly ranked, within about an inch and 10 pounds of each other, and both played for the same AAU team, Seattle Rotary, this summer. That makes for some easy comparisons. Tsohonis averaged 12.2 ppg, 4.9 rpg, and 2.5 apg for Rotary while Williams averaged 8.8 ppg, 4 rpg, and 4.1 apg. Neither was a great outside shooter although Tsohonis was better there.
Tsohonis has the better offer list but if the staff presses hard for either one they should be able to land a commitment whether this weekend or later. Marcus has a listed offer from USC but with what is currently the #1 recruiting class in the country I’d personally expect them to be aiming higher. Husky fans would be thrilled if Tsohonis joined on and followed the career trajectory of another low 3-star combo guard from Portland who was a better rebounder than passer coming out of high school (Andrew Andrews).
And whether it ends up being Williams or Tsohonis or both there’s the added benefit of bringing in more members of Seattle Rotary to build up the pipeline and potentially entice the grand prize of the 2019 class: Jaden McDaniels. I don’t think that Hop and Co are specifically targeting them for that reason or that having a couple friends on the roster would be thing to sway Jaden one way or the other but it certainly couldn’t hurt.
Isaiah Stewart, C, 6’9, 245. 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.
The Huskies were the surprise addition on his final 6 from a few weeks ago. Sunday was the start of the September recruiting period which means that teams could visit with a player outside of their own campus. And Stewart was a top priority visit for all of his suitors...almost.
Thanks to Buffalo, Dayton, Duke, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan State, Purdue, Syracuse, and Villanova for coming out to campus these first two days - looking forward to a great Fall!— La Lumiere Basketball (@LaLuBasketball) September 11, 2018
Notice someone missing from that list?
At this point the eggs are pretty much entirely in the Jaden McDaniels bucket. RaeQuan Battle is a very nice piece who projects as a 3+ year starter. The Huskies should end up with at least one of the aforementioned Williams/Tsohonis duo. But that’s quite literally it. They don’t have offers out to anyone else who is considering them.
If the final class has McDaniels and Battle in it then that can be considered a huge win. A 2019 roster of Nowell, Carter, Wright, Timmins, Hardy, Bey, BPJ, Roberts plus those two and either of the PGs looks like a really good team still. However, miss out on both McDaniels and Stewart and the team takes a big step back after the current senior class graduates.
The 2019 List (in approximate order of likelihood to sign with Washington)
IN A GOOD SPOT
Marcus Tsohonis, PG, 6’4, 170. 3 star, #296 overall.
Noah Williams, PG, 6’5, 175. 3 star, #235 overall (247 composite).
STILL A CHANCE
Jaden McDaniels, SF, 6’10, 200. 5 star, #4 overall.
Isaiah Stewart, C, 6’9, 245. 5 star, #5 overall.
THE BLUTARSKY (0.0%)
Nico Mannion, PG, 6’3, 180. 5 star, #15 overall.
Joe Girard III, SG, 6’1, 178, 4 star, #116 overall.
Scottie Lewis, SF, 6’5, 184. 5 star, #10 overall.
Josh Green, SF, 6’6, 190. 5 star, #9 overall.
Wendell Moore, SF, 6’5, 210. 5 star, #24 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.
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.
You can follow me @UWDP_maxvroom for all your UW Men’s Basketball recruiting news