The Washington Huskies received some desperately needed good news yesterday when Class of 2022 guard Koren Johnson announced that he has verbally committed to be a Dawg.
For those somewhat confused about how this came to be, Johnson had originally committed to San Diego State last month after naming a final 3 of UW, Arizona, and SDSU. However, Johnson stepped back from that commitment just before the start of the early signing period and re-opened his recruitment. It didn’t take too long for him to reverse course and end up back home.
The 6’2 combo guard started his high school career at Garfield in Seattle but transferred this summer out of state to basketball prep school Wasatch Academy in Utah. That hasn’t been an encouraging sign in the past for UW to wind up with those players but it appears to have worked out in Johnson’s case. Another example, PJ Fuller, wound up in purple and green eventually as well boa the transfer portal.
Koren is rated by the 247 Sports Composite as the #119 player in the country and a 4-star recruit. In 247’s own ratings though he’s even higher at 84th overall. He was the top rated player in the state of Washington before the high school move which put him under Utah.
Playing for Seattle Rotary on the EYBL this summer, Johnson averaged 13.6 points and 4.6 assists per game on 38.8% 3-pt shooting. At the prep level Johnson only played 7 games in the abbreviated 2020-21 season but averaged 28 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists per game playing under Brandon Roy at Garfield. The year before that he helped lead Garfield to a 3A state championship alongside now LSU Tiger Tari Eason.
Johnson becomes the 3rd commit in the class of 2022 for Washington alongside 3-stars PG Keyon Menifield Jr. and SF Tyler Linhardt (both of whom have signed their NLIs already). Menifield and Johnson are both highly accomplished scorers who can also distribute when they need to and ideally with their heights wouldn’t play at the same time for defensive reasons but could certainly co-exist on offense. Washington will be losing their starting guard duo of Daejon Davis and Terrell Brown Jr. after this season and so additional reinforcements at the guard spot were sorely needed.
The extra year of eligibility has left the roster situation fluid as both Jamal Bey and Emmitt Matthews Jr. could choose to return for a 5th year but will likely each have their degree done and could instead choose to attempt pro careers (though likely not in the NBA unless they have a tremendous leap in the next few months). Former walk-on Reagan Lundeen was placed on scholarship last week but as a senior I’m sure the expectation is that he will graduate and that spot will also open. That would give UW 3 commits for 3 spots and any further departures would be supplemented through the transfer portal.
Here are highlights of Johnson as a sophomore taking down Eastside Catholic with 23 points going up against now Gonzaga Bulldog Nolan Hickman.
And some highlights of Koren wearing #2 playing for Dream Vision in a tournament this past Spring.