Lorenzo Romar and the UW basketball staff are on a recruiting roll. They have gained two verbal commitments in the past two weeks. 6’10″ power forward Tristan Etienne and 6’6″ wing Donaven Dorsey have both pledged to continue their basketball careers at the UW after high school.
Dorsey is a 6’6” wing from Timberline High School (Lacey, Wash.). He had been receiving interest from the UW since after his freshman year of high school. After Coach Romar developed both a strong relationship with Dorsey and his family, as well as seeing everything that the UW basketball program has to offer, he decided to confirm his commitment to the UW on July 9.
Dorsey’s long arms and lanky build allow him to play multiple positions from point guard to power forward. He likes to put the ball on the floor and penetrate, but can also shoot the ball from mid range out to the three point line. On defense, Dorsey is able to guard both guards and wings due to his height and wing span. With some added strength, Dorsey will be a player who has unlimited options both offensively and defensively at the next level.
I got the chance to talk with Donaven Dorsey about the recruiting process, committing to UW and his playing style..
Erik Erickson: When did you first start getting interest from schools?
Donaven Dorsey: I first started getting interest from schools the summer after my freshman year. The first school was Washington State. UW showed interest in me early on and California recruited me pretty hard early.
EE: How about later on in your recruitment what schools showed the most interest?
DD: Later on, Gonzaga jumped on pretty hard; Oregon State jumped on. UW was always recruiting me really hard. I wouldn’t say WSU was recruiting me hard, they were just the first to show interest. USC, Creighton, Vanderbilt all showed interest, that’s about it.
EE: What was it about the UW that interested you the most?
DD: Basically it was the relationship I had with Coach Romar. From the beginning usually it’s just assistants that talk to you, and they did that, but Romar jumped in pretty early and started talking to me. Not just my relationship with Coach Romar, but my parent’s relationship with Coach Romar really just came together. Also they send a lot of people from my position to the NBA.
EE: Would you say that your relationship with Coach Romar is what made you finally want to commit to UW?
DD: I wouldn’t say it was the deciding factor but it was one of the many reasons why I wanted to commit.
EE: What were some of the other factors that made you want to commit?
DD: They just got a new strength and conditioning coach who has worked at the NBA draft combine so he knows what he is doing. That’s one of the main things I need to work on: getting stronger, quicker, faster, so I think he can really help me improve my game. Also the offense that the UW runs, they run a spread offense and they like to get out and run the break which is where I excel.
EE: Now that you have committed, have you talked to any UW players, past or present, about playing at the UW and for Coach Romar.
DD: I talked to Isaiah Thomas, Brandon Roy, Will Conroy, Spencer Hawes, and they all just said Washington is a great school to go to and Coach Romar will be able to teach me a lot, make me a better player, and make the team better by adding me.
EE: Have you talked to any of the coaches about where you are going to fit in with the team?
DD: I talked to Coach Romar and he is saying that he wants me to be a guard. Early on I will probably play the two or the three, but there could be times where I play point guard or power forward because he thinks I’m that versatile.
EE: For those who haven’t seen you play, how would you describe your game?
DD: I would describe my game as very versatile. I can play all five positions on the court. I’m a player who can score when needed but likes to get his teammates involved and do what it takes to win.
EE: Is there a player you would compare your game too?
DD: I don’t have a player I compare myself too but a lot of people like to compare my game to Brandon Roy.
EE: What parts of your game are you looking to work on the most this summer?
DD: The number one thing I’m looking to work on is defensive footwork. You have to be able to guard people and you aren’t going to play if you can’t guard. Secondly, strength and conditioning, I need to get bigger and stronger because college players are a lot stronger. Another thing is my eating habits. I’m trying to flip the script and start eating right so my body can be at full rest to perform.
EE: Last year at Timberline, you were able to make the state tournament but went two and out. Has your team set any goals for the upcoming season?
DD: The only goal we have set is to win a state championship. That’s the goal we have always had and that’s what it will always be.
EE: A week before you committed the Huskies landed another recruit Tristan Etienne, have you gotten in touch with him yet?
DD: We just played against each other last weekend and we shared a few words with each other.
EE: What would you say about his game?
DD: I really like his game. He is a big but he is real versatile and agile. He can play anywhere from the five to the three with a little work. He is a dominate player on defense, he blocks a lot of shots. He is a force in the paint and I think it will be real fun to play with him.
EE: Any final thoughts or comments for the Husky fans?
DD: I’m ready to be a Husky and I’m ready to get started and play. Go Huskies.