Remember when this class was supposed to be one of, if not the, best in the country? Washington was at one time the favorites to sign Jabari Parker, Jabari Parker and Aaron Gordon. Now, just months later, none of them will be wearing purple and gold next year. The closest will be Bird in California Gold and Yale Blue. Parker will don Duke Blue and Gordon will be wearing Cardinal Red and Navy Blue at Arizona.
The class isn’t anything close to a failure, but when expectations are sky high, they are nearly impossible to meet. To the naked eye, a class consisting of a top-50 player, two three-stars and a sharp-shooting JUCO transfer looks impressive.
Unfortunately, Lorenzo Romar was, once again, unable to nab the piece that would have sealed this class in UW history. It’s tough to lose Gordon, but this feels like every lost recruit in the past combined into one painful storm.
It is painful knowing that, without major change, Washington will always finish second. Whether it be Arizona, Kentucky, Duke or anyone else, Washington seemingly can’t compete with the “big boys” of college basketball, recruiting wise. For a while, it was nice knowing UW was always in the discussion, that they made it into a big recruit’s final five. UW is at a point where it can’t just be a hat on a table; it has to be a hat on a head.
Romar has been recruiting Gordon since his older brother, Drew, passed up Washington five years ago. He had formed a relationship with the younger Gordon that was unmatched by any coach in the country.
That apparently wasn’t enough, as Gordon spurned Romar for Sean Miller and the Wildcats.
Washington is, in no means, in a bad place right now. The Huskies still have a top-30 recruiting class, including McDonald’s All-American, Nigel Williams-Goss. They still have a core consisting of C.J. Wilcox, Andrew Andrews and Desmond Simmons. Transfers Perris Blackwell and Gilles Dierickx will make their debuts next season and are expected to contribute meaningful minutes; Blackwell is even considered a threat to start.
Gordon would have made the Huskies instant favorites for the Pac-12 title and put them in many pre-season top 25s. Without him, they are most likely a middle of the road, bubble team. Despite the losses of Aziz N’Diaye, Scott Suggs and Abdul Gaddy, the team will be improved.
They will have been immersed in the high post offense for a full season and without a true center, will be able to run and win games on heart, rather than the passionless teams of recent memory. Don’t expect a national championship or even a Pac-12 one, but expect an improved, fun team to watch in 2013-2014.