Now that Aaron Gordon has crushed our hopes and dreams, we have to move on. Kidding, but Lorenzo Romar does have one more scholarship to use this year. We had hoped it would be put to use on Gordon or Zach LaVine, but both players are happily committed to other Pac-12 teams.
There are a few options for the last scholarship. None of them will be as flashy as signing another top-50 player, but there are still useful and talented players available.
Saving the scholarship for future seasons is unlikely, as Romar recently said he expected to sign “a couple” more players. Presumably, Mike Anderson is one and if he wasn’t counting on Gordon or LaVine, there will be one more player added to Romar’s Class of 2013.
The most likely option for Romar is to sign a second JUCO player, a post player preferably. With JUCO recruiting, there isn’t much publicity or predictions, but many of the top 2013 recruits are still undecided according to jucorecruiting.com. We all know the surprising nature of junior college transfers, as the Mike Anderson signing practically came out of nowhere. If Romar can pick up an impact, post JUCO transfer, this class will be in very good shape.
Before you start doubting a class with two JUCO players, the Pac-12 Tourney champion, Oregon, built its team with junior college players. Final 4 team Wichita State also has strong JUCO ties.
If Romar decides that one JUCO player is enough, there are still a couple high school players interested in Washington. A pair of Virginia power forwards have recently been linked to Romar and the Huskies. Lennard Freeman, out of Oak Hill Academy, is the last player listed as “considering” Washington on ESPN’s Recruiting Nation page. However, late last year, he said he is considering reclassifying to the Class of 2014 because of how young he is.
Whether he is a Class of 2013 or 2014 recruit, don’t get your hopes up for Freeman, as he seems to be interested in mainly east coast schools. If Washington could snag him, he would fill a void down low, though.
The second Virginia forward is Junior Etou. You will be hard pressed to find a connection to Washington anywhere, but a recent ESPN.com article said that UW and Xavier were very high on his list.
Soon, it’ll be time for Etou to proclaim a fit in college. Wootten indicated Washington and Xavier were in good shape. “He was pleasantly surprised by Washington,” Wootten said. The Huskies sent an assistant to see him multiple times this year.
Etou is rated as 3-stars by all three recruiting services. ESPN ranks him as the No. 32 power forward in the country, while Rivals is slightly higher on him, ranking him No. 28.
Etou stands 6’8” and is an excellent rebounder. He is mega-athletic and still a fairly raw player, as he wasn’t introduced to basketball until he was a teenager. He averaged a double-double during his senior year in high school, scoring 15.8 points and collecting 11.8 rebounds per game.
If Romar isn’t able to get a post player, there is a new guard on the market. Anrio Adams, from Rainier Beach HS, announced his intent to transfer from Kansas. It is expected that he will transfer to a program closer to home and that UW is high on his list.
Before he committed to the Jayhawks, he was considered a 4-star prospect, but got stuck near the bottom of the rotation in Lawrence. After averaging just 3.5 minutes per game, he is looking to transfer to a program that will offer more opportunity and bring him closer to home. There are a plethora of schools that offer those opportunities in the northwest, so the Huskies will still have to fight for his services.
Adams is incredibly talented, but needs an environment where he is comfortable and can thrive. He can help Romar push the pace, like he is known for. Adding a talent like Adams would help the program tremendously, but would leave the Huskies short of talent in the frontcourt.
If Romar thinks he can depend on the frontcourt he has now, then signing Adams is his best option, as he is likely the most talented player he can bring in this spring.