March 3, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Washington Huskies head coach Lorenzo Romar walks off the court at the end of the game against the UCLA Bruins at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena. UCLA won 75-69. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE

Husky Basketball: The Recruiting Road

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Coach Romar tweeted on Monday “Switching gears from a great foreign tour to hitting the road recruiting. About to comb the country. The wheels are about to go up.” The wheels touched down from the Huskies’ overseas tour, only to go up once again. Ah, the daily life of a D-1 coach!

As the Dawgs were growing on and off the court overseas, stateside the news was not as positive as one of UW’s coveted 2013 recruits, Jabari Bird, committed to Cal. Bird, a highly skilled wing, was on UW’s short list and has subsequently mentioned he will try to recruit forward Aaron Gordon (San Jose, CA) to join him.

Does Bird’s decision diminish the Huskies’ chances at landing Gordon? I don’t think so. I remain bullish on Gordon landing with the Dawgs. I was not so confident with Bird, given his familial ties to Cal – his dad played there in the mid-70’s. Gordon’s summer mixtape is making the rounds on the internet and once again highlights why he’s the 5th overall recruit (Rivals), in a stacked class.

Romar appears to still have his eye on Isaac Hamilton, a 6’5” shooting guard from Los Angeles. But, does Hamilton have his eye on UW? That is the question, since UW is among the schools he plans on visiting. Hamilton’s already made “unofficial” visits to UCLA and USC. Things may change, however, as September can be the month in which such visits are firmed up and coaches can make in-home visits, watch practice, etc.

July 13, 2012;Alexandria, VA USA;USA West guard Nigel Williams-Goss (8) shoots a lay-up over USA Midwest forward Bobby Portis (14) during the Nike Global Challenge at Episcopal High School. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-US PRESSWIRE

Aside from Hamilton, though, the Huskies have been watching several other talented guards, such as Tyree Robinson (San Diego, CA) and Darin Johnson (Sacramento, CA). Both are right around 6’4”, athletic and can employ a plethora of moves – eurostep, step-back, various cross-overs, etc – to find their shot. Robinson and Johnson are both rated as 4 star prospects by Scout. It’s well publicized that Tyree Robinson wants to play alongside his twin brother, Tyrell, and that both want to play basketball and football. Perhaps, UW stands more than a fighter’s chance given recent success stories of athletes like Austin Seferian-Jenkins. However, maintaining competitiveness in both sports at the D-1 level, is, of course, a feat in and of itself.

UW’s first 2013 commit, point guard Nigel Williams-Goss (Findlay Prep, NV), has stated on a few occasions that he would put on his recruiting hat in an attempt to draw fellow 2013 recruits, such as Gordon, to Washington. Williams-Goss is a nice “arrow in the quiver” if you’re a Husky fan, for that reason alone, not to mention his on-the-court prowess.

As the fall sets in and the season gets rolling, Romar and his staff have their work cut out for them as they simultaneously attempt to secure top level recruits, and improve as a team. This year’s veteran squad, though not as deep as past teams, is still very solid and will surprise some. And, despite losing out on Bird, the 2013 class is robust and Romar has already landed Williams-Goss, who may just turn out to be the Huskies’ recruiting x-factor.

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