It has been a while since we’ve had a basketball recruiting update outside of the commitment of Isaiah Stewart back in January because frankly all has been quiet on the western front. But the Washington State High School championships are now over which means there is a little bit of movement. The Huskies are clearly focused on the last week of the regular season and getting to (and winning in) the NCAA tournament. We’ll shift our full focus to recruiting in April but there are a few minor updates I wanted to provide with a recap of the standout performers from last week.
Class of 2019
Jaden McDaniels, SF, 6’10, 200. Federal Way H.S, Federal Way, Washington.
247Sports: 5 star, #5 overall; Rivals: 5 star, #6 overall; ESPN: 5 star, #6 overall
Other Offers: Kentucky, Arizona, San Diego State, Texas, UCLA
I know everyone interested enough in UW recruiting to click on this article is very intrigued with what the timeline is for McDaniels’ commitment. He is the last remaining target for the Class of 2019 and the Huskies will either reel him in or call it good with this recruiting class. Corey Evans of Rivals was able to talk to McDaniels last week and McDaniels said he would take about 2 weeks off once the HS season was over to regroup and then start talking to coaches again to move towards a decision.
Federal Way’s season ended on Saturday when they won the 3rd place game in the 4A division. 2 weeks following that would be day before Selection Sunday at which point 3 of his final 5 teams project to be very busy. Let’s say Kentucky (or Washington) makes it to at least the Elite Eight and McDaniels holds off until his last team is eliminated before making a decision which seems reasonable. That would mean it’s unlikely a decision comes before the calendar turns to April. The spring signing period starts on April 17th so it wouldn’t be a shocker to see him hold off until close to that date to make a decision. It also wouldn’t be that surprising if he just commits on March 24th with no heads up whatsoever. He’s as low key and uninterested in the process as it gets.
McDaniels averaged 20 points, 9.3 rebounds, 2 blocks, and 2.3 steals per game in the state tournament last week including a 26 point, 14 rebound effort against Curtis.
Class of 2020
Kendall Munson, PF, 6’8, 210. Puyallup H.S, Puyallup, Washington.
247Sports: NR; Rivals: 3 star; ESPN: NR
Other Offers: Washington State, Montana
The Huskies extended their first new offer in months this weekend to Munson who helped Puyallup break seed and finish 6th in the 4A division. Washington had the bay area road trip but both Coach Hopkins and Coach Dollar flew back up to watch the WIAA tournament on Friday night and scout. Among the players without a UW offer it’s clear that Munson made a huge impression because he reeled in an offer from the Huskies as well as Washington State and Montana who both had assistants in attendance.
Munson is a sleeper who has the chance to quickly turn heads this spring/summer. He moved to the South Sound from Chicago for middle school, played in California his first two years of high school, before moving back to Puyallup for his junior season. He tore his ACL while in California and missed all of his sophomore season without enough recovery time to make an impact during the summer AAU circuit this past year. However, he’s been great for Puyallup averaging 16.7 ppg and 8.4 rpg this season including putting up a game high 29 points with 11 rebounds against McDaniels’ Federal Way squad earlier in the year. He averaged 12 points and 11 rebounds per game in the state tournament.
Since he’s just a junior there’s still room for Munson to continue growing as a 6’8 post player. Washington has a ton of big men for next year but assuming that Stewart is a one-and-done as expected there will be a gap at the position. The Huskies will want to bring at least 1 and probably 2 post players in with that class to keep up quality depth.
State Tournament Standouts
A number of players with UW offers had good weekends in the state tournament and it shows that there is a lot of local talent for the Huskies to draw from over the next several classes.
O’Dea- The biggest target is of course Class of 2021 star Paolo Banchero who is a 5-star prospect and one of the best big men high schoolers in the country regardless of age. Both his parents were UW athletes so the Huskies have as much of a built-in advantage for a top tier prospect as you can have outside of being a coach’s son. Banchero helped lead O’Dea to the 3A state title as the #11 seed and averaged 17.5 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 3.8 blocks in 26 minutes per game to secure the championship.
Noah Williams has an offer from UW for the class of 2019 but it appears the Huskies prioritized his rotary teammate Marcus Tsohonis and with the transfer-in of Quade Green there’s no more room at the PG inn. It’ll be interesting to see where he ends up. Williams averaged 12 points, 5.8 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 2.3 steals last week. (John Christofilis has an offer from UW for the Class of 2021 as well but he missed the tournament with an injury).
Rainier Beach- Banchero is the big fish for 2021 but the 6’6 Beauchamp is the 5-star Seattle player in the 2020 class although he’s more of a top-25 range rather than top-5. He struggled shooting at times (38.6%) carrying the scoring load for Beach en route to a 5th place finish. The final per game averages were 22 points and 6.7 rebounds in 29 minutes. Beauchamp has been at a ton of UW games recently and is at the very least intrigued with the idea of staying home although Arizona is very much in the mix (pending Sean Miller keeping his job which is no guarantee).
Marysville-Pilchuck- UW 4-star signed commit RaeQuan Battle led MP to a 4th place finish as their primary scoring option. He’s normally a lights out shooter but had some issues with his outside shot including a 1 for 10 game from 3-pt range. But he still averaged 22.7 points, 8.7 rebounds, and 2 blocks while showing off some athletic dunks.
Eastside Catholic- Similar to Banchero, the Huskies have a ton of things going for them with EC’s best player for the 2021 class. That is because you might recognize SG Shane Nowell’s last name. Jaylen’s younger brother is also a stud on the court and averaged 17.7 points, 6 rebounds, and 3.3 steals per game for the #1 seed despite shooting just 10% from 3-pt range in only 10 attempts and playing just 24 minutes per game.
Ingraham- The target on Ingraham is 2020 post player Mitchell Saxen who has potential to be a dominant rim protector. He averaged 15.3 points, 9 rebounds, and 3 blocks per game while shooting 37.5% from 3-pt range at the WIAA tourney. If he can keep up that kind of shooting with his shot blocking ability it gives you the perfect stretch 5 that can unlock a modern offense and defense to its full potential. Washington is his only power conference offer so if they decide to make Saxen a priority there’s a good shot they get his signature.
EDIT: Upcoming Official Visits
The Huskies are expecting a pair of official visitors for their senior night game against Oregon on Saturday March 9th. Julian Strawther who is a 6’7 4-star wing from Las Vegas will be in attendance as will 6’1 3-star PG Lamont Butler Jr.
Strawther has been coached in AAU by Husky great Quincy Pondexter and the two have a great relationship. This will be Strawther’s 5th official visit after already checking out Florida, Florida State, Marquette, and Gonzaga. This could end up being a recruiting battle between the Dawgs and Zags which doesn’t happen as often as you might think given their relative proximity. Both schools mainly stick to their side of the cascades and given how many international prospects/transfers the Zags go after there isn’t all that much overlap. Washington is in a good spot here as the environment for this game should be the best in years but I would consider UW no better than co-favorites at the moment until we here from Strawther about the visit.
Butler listed the Huskies as an early favorite but as more schools have offered he has taken a step back from that and as of last month said he didn’t have a cutdown list or a favorite as he would still like to add more offers. Washington and Colorado are the only power conference schools to offer and he has visited the Buffs plus St. Mary’s and Harvard already.
The 2020 List (in approximate order of likelihood to sign with Washington)
IN A GOOD SPOT
MarJon Beauchamp, SF, 6’6, 175. 5 star, #22 overall.
Lamont Butler, PG, 6’1, 175. 3 star, #214 overall.
Mitchell Saxen, C, 6’10, 210. 3 star, #186 overall.
Noah Taitz, SG, 6’3, 175. 4 star, #151 overall.
Kendall Munson, PF, 6’8, 210. NR.
STILL A CHANCE
Isaiah Cottrell, PF, 6’8, 200. 4 star, #56 overall.
Julian Strawther, SF, 6’6, 220. 4 star, #37 overall.
Daishen Nix, PG, 6’5, 205. 5 star, #14 overall.
L.J Cryer, PG, 6’1, 180. 4 star, #66 overall.
THE BLUTARSKY (0.0%)
Johnny Juzang, SF, 6’6, 200. 4 star, #21 overall.
Joshua Christopher, SF, 6’4, 200. 5 star, #17 overall.
Jalen Green, SG, 6’5, 170. 5 star, #2 overall.
Evan Mobley, 6’11, 200. 5 star, #1 overall.
You can follow me @UWDP_maxvroom for all your UW Men’s Basketball recruiting news