Husky Hoops – State of the 2010 Recruiting Class

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We’ve given a lot of coverage here to the recruitment by the Huskies of Josh Smith, the Kentwood High School senior universally ranked as one of the top centers preparing to enter the NCAA in 2010. Although I do feel he’s the biggest game-changer on the Huskies’ radar, he’s certainly not the only UW target in his class, not to mention the 2011 class, which contains plenty of potential Dawgs as well. /

Today, we’ll profile the names you’re likely to hear more about in the coming months, as they narrow down their choices, with UW hopefully being high on many of their lists. Later this week, we’ll do the same thing for the 2011 class (current high school juniors), and examine who we’re looking at for the season after next.

A few basic things to keep in mind as you salivate over the possibility of several of the players below coming to Montlake:

  • The Huskies can have 13 scholarship players per year. But, this season it looks like they’ll only use 12 of those spots, since Charles Garcia was ruled ineligible and is going to play at Seattle University instead.
  • Assuming no one leaves school early or transfers, the Huskies will lose only Quincy Pondexter after the 2009/2010 season, meaning they’ll have eleven returning players with two scholarships available. One of these has been given to Desmond Simmons, a 6’7″ forward from Richmond, California. He’s ranked as the 25th best power forward in the 2010 class by, and the 46th best small forward by ESPN. (It’s always possible, of course, that an extra recruit comes on board and the coaches gently suggest that a current player transfer to make room.)
  • Making the same assumption about no one leaving early or transferring, the Huskies will lose another three players after the 2010/2011 season (Matthew Bryan-Amaning, Venoy Overton, Justin Holiday), leaving three openings for recruiting current high school juniors.
  • And finally, recruiting info is sketchy at best. Coaches can’t discuss recruiting. Players generally prefer not to share their considerations with the media. And, information varies wildly from website to website. So, please take these as my best guesses, and don’t be surprised if someone not on one of these lists winds up playing at UW in the near future.

Okay, onto the class of 2010 recruits. These are the guys who will play their senior seasons this year, and (likely) make their verbal commitment to a school sometime between now and early spring. All of these guys have been linked to UW as possible targets. Height/weight info courtesy of ESPN. Players are listed in order of their (generally-accepted) rating with the first listing being the most highly-touted, and the last being the least prominent recruit.

recruit 1 Josh Smith copy
recruit 1 Josh Smith copy /

Center, Kentwood HS (Covington, WA)

6’10”, 270 lbs.

ESPN rank: #10 overall, #1 Center rank: #13 overall, #4 Center

The skinny: The word on Josh Smith is that Josh Smith is the only guy who can stop him. His ability as a shot-blocker and passer has been noted, and he’s strong enough to score and rebound in bunches against most defenders. The one knock I’ve heard is that Smith tends to sleepwalk through parts of games, leading some to question his desire. Watching him on video, it’s easy to see where this idea comes from. Personally, I think the fact that the game looks so effortless to him maybe isn’t such a bad thing. Just saying.

UW’s chances: Clearly the program’s top target at the moment, but the rumor for months has been that Smith would announce any day that he was going to UCLA. It’s clear to me that he will indeed be either a Bruin or a Husky. We’ve got the hometown advantage, but often the word on the street tends to be right. I’d guess we’re looking at a 40% chance of landing Smith.

recruit 2 terrence jones copy
recruit 2 terrence jones copy /

Small Forward/Power Forward, Jefferson HS (Portland, OR)

6’8″, 219 lbs.

ESPN rank: #15 overall, #3 Small Forward rank: #20 overall, #6 Power Forward

The skinny: The confusion over Jones’ position seems to be because he has a good enough perimeter game to play the three spot, but has the body and rebounding ability (even on the offensive boards) of a four. According to ESPN, he can guard all five positions, and shoots well from beyond the arc as well. Versatile is the word that people tend to inevitably use when describing Jones.

UW’s chances: Jones has said that he’s in no hurry to commit, and has offers on the table from more than half of the Pac-10, along with Kansas, Kentucky, Florida and others. He’s got a lot of in-home visits scheduled for the next few months, including one with UW. With so many schools in the mix, I’d guess we’ve got no more than a 20% chance of landing Jones.

Recruit 3 gary franklin copy
Recruit 3 gary franklin copy /

Point Guard, Mater Dei HS (Santa Ana, CA)

6’2″, 183 lbs. (ESPN says 6’2″, but I’ve seen 6’0″ in several places)

ESPN rank: #66 overall, #14 Point Guard #85 overall, #16 Point Guard

The skinny: Franklin is an odd case because scouts tend to rave about his scoring ability, and note his gorgeous jump shot and three-point range. However, I’ve heard just as much about the holes in his point guard skills. Chief among the negative points is a severe inability to drive effectively with his left hand — the result of a football injury (he broke his humerus) at age 13.

UW’s chances: ESPN lists UW as the top contender for Franklin, who pulled out of a commitment to USC. Franklin has mentioned Washington as a serious contender in a recent interview, and has stated he wants to play for a coach who plays at a fast pace. Cal, Baylor and Utah are other possible options. Although I don’t know if we’ll want another small guard next season, I sense the buzz and momentum are moving in the direction of a Husky/Franklin pairing. Depending on how things shake out with Smith and Jones, I think we’ve got a 40-50% chance of landing Franklin.

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recruit 4 jordin mayes copy /

Shooting Guard/Point Guard, Westchester HS (Los Angeles, CA)

6’3″, 175 lbs.

ESPN rank: #45 Shooting Guard #30 Point Guard

The skinny: Mayes is a combo guard said to have a good jump shot with developing point guard skills.

UW’s chances: He’s listed as a Husky target on, but not on ESPN or Rivals. I sense he’s more likely to wind up at Wazzu than the Dub, but it’s still early. I think this is remote, and we’ve got a 5% chance of landing Mayes.

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recruit 5 garrett jackson copy /

Small Forward, Westview High School (Portland, OR)

6’6″, 180 lbs.

ESPN rank: #42 Small Forward rank: #39 Small Forward

The skinny: Recent improvement on his jump shot has moved Jackson from a likely mid-major recruit to a guy being looked at by UW, Oregon, Oregon State and other big-time schools. The word is that he thrives in the transition game, which means a system like Romar’s could bring out the best in Jackson.

UW’s chances: I’m not aware that we’ve offered to Jackson at this point, nor have any of the other Pac-10 schools looking at him. But, Portland, Portland State, and several others have. My sense is that by the time UW knows whether it has a scholarship available for him, he’ll be off the board at a smaller school. I think we’ve got a 10% chance of landing Jackson.

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recruit 6 avery johnson copy /

Shooting Guard, Ocean View HS (Huntington Beach, CA)

6’3″, 190 lbs.

ESPN rank: #63 Shooting Guard rank: NR

The skinny: ESPN calls him a “blue-collar” sleeper who does “all the little things” to help a team win. He’s called a strong rebounder for his size and a decent defender, but with an iffy jumper.

UW’s chances: Arizona has offered a scholarship, but Coach Romar is friendly with Johnson’s father and he’s already made a visit to Seattle. Although ‘Zona is the front-runner, I think there’s a 20% chance of landing Johnson.

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recruit 7 kendall williams copy /

Point Guard, Los Osos HS (Rancho Cucamonga, CA)

6’2″, 170 lbs.

ESPN rank: #31 Point Guard rank: #41 Point Guard

The skinny: Called a good decision maker and on-ball defender, ESPN points out that he gets too emotionally involved in his individual match-up. (Paging Venoy Overton. . .)

UW’s chances: After pulling out of a verbal to UCLA (word is that it was mutual between the coaching staff and Williams), he’s back on the market. San Francisco, Wazzu, Stanford and Cal are the competition here. I’ve got no further insight here, but since point guard seems to be a spot we need less than others for next year, I’ll give us only a 10% chance of landing Williams.

Other class of 2010 names with loose ties to UW recruiting include:

Alex Kirk: The #7 (ESPN) or #13 ( center in his class, Kirk would be a fantastic get for the Dawgs, but there’s really nothing I can find about Kirk reciprocating Washington’s interest in him (we’ve offered him a scholarship) as of yet.

Anthony Brown: A 6’6″ small forward who visited UCLA this weekend, and is visiting Cal, ‘Zona and Stanford in the coming weeks, after which he says he’ll make a decision. A recent interview didn’t mention UW, so I’m not going to cover Brown any further for now.

Stephen Holt: A rising 6’3″ Portland point guard considering more than 10 schools with offers from four. One site says UW is among those courting him, but without more info, I think chances here are slim.

Tyler Johnson: An athletic 6’2″ shooting guard who gets down the court quickly and throws down exciting dunks, UW is listed on one site as one of seven schools he’s considering, although no known offer has been made.

Renado Parker: The 6’5″ Idaho small forward was thought to be a potential prospect, but an insightful recent report from, which spoke to Parker, found that to be untrue. More likely is that he’ll wind up at Seattle U.

So, faithful readers, who do YOU want see in a Husky uniform? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section…

Thanks for coming! See you tomorrow. Later this week: State of the 2011 Recruiting Class.