While we wait for the transfer portal situation to shake out, the coaching staff continues to focus on the future and today secured a commitment from 2022 recruit Tyler Linhardt. He picked the Huskies over offers from Washington State, Boise State, and Eastern Washington.
247 Sports has Linhardt ranked as the #158 player in the country for the class of 2022 and the 2nd ranked player in the state of Washington. He’s listed at 6’7 and 210 pounds right now but his profile has not been updated in a year since things shut down and it’s possible he has grown an extra inch since that point. At least one highlight video has him listed at 6’8. Linhardt averaged 21.8 points, 12.3 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game as a sophomore, leading King’s to a 1A state title while also being named the tournament’s most valuable player.
The expectation should be that Linhardt will come in and be a similar player to Cole Bajema except with a little more weight that could potentially help him rebound more effectively. He can definitely shoot the 3 well but is much more effective with his feet set finishing after drive and kick penetration. He has an adequate handle for a player his size but it’s going to need to improve quite a bit if he wants to do any ball handling at the Pac-12 level.
If the Mike Hopkins is still the coach in 2022 then it would seem that defensively Linhardt has the size to be a 3/4 in the Husky zone occupying one of the corner spots. The level of competition at King’s is definitely a tier below what players in the 3A or 4A metro see and so the stats have to be taken with a grain of salt. But still, 12 rebounds per game is 12 rebounds per game and you would think Linhardt has to be at least average in that regard for his size to put up those stats. I could easily see a situation where Linhardt is a bit of a tweener playing a man defensive scheme where he isn’t quite big enough to guard opposing 4’s but not athletic enough to contain opposing 3’s. But the hope is he’s a good enough shooter on offense that he presents more mismatches on the offensive end than opponents can take advantage of on the defensive side.
Linhardt comes from the same high school as Gonzaga star Corey Kispert and you can be sure that Washington didn’t want to make the same mistake twice letting a 6’7 shooter from King’s escape Seattle. Compared to Kispert, Linhardt is bigger and not quite as highly rated by the recruiting services but given the lack of exposure that players on the West Coast have gotten over the last year it’s tough to know how much he might have improved in that time.
Normally I would show what the Husky roster looks like for 2022 given Linhardt’s addition but with the likelihood that the Dawgs have 3+ players still to come in the transfer portal it’s somewhat of a pointless exercise right now. However, Washington should at least have 3 players in the 6’7-6’8 range on the roster with Cole Bajema, Linhardt, and 2021 recruit Samuel Ariyibi. It wouldn’t be crazy to think of a lineup in 2023 where they play the 2/3/4 spots and allow the Huskies to have a solid size advantage at the wing spots.