Leaning towards full four seasons
Washington had begun to open the roster to the one-and-done recruit. Much of the defections from a year ago were likely a result of Coach Hopkins interest in getting a full four-year commitment from players. And those defections took their toll on the team trying to turn the corner.
The team lost power forward Matthew Atewe from the roster. They lost the commitment of point guard Blake Harris as well as the commitment of top-prospect Michael Porter Jr. Jontay Porter, a commitment to the 2018 class, reopened his recruitment. But the tide turned at the point of Noah Dickerson’s willingness to play elsewhere. A defecting Dickerson would leave the team no scoring presence in the paint. But he would soon reconsider his decision and remain with the team. That allowed the coaching staff time to replenish the ranks.
Class of 2017
Shooting guard Jaylen Nowell did not back down from his commitment to play for UW. And by remaining, he joined point guard Michael Carter III as charter members of the class of 2017. The team went on to recruit small foward Nahziah Carter, or “Naz”. The coaches then rounded out the roster with another small forward Hameir Wright. The team even found some playing time for walk-on point guard Jason Crandall, a young man who converted seven minutes of playing time into five points, two rebounds, and one assist.
While Nowell was the most impactful freshman with a 16.0 points per game to lead the team in scoring, the team found a sneaky sniper at long-range in Naz Carter. It was Carter’s four of four shooting from downtown which help the Huskies claw back against Saint Mary’s in a loss. Of the new additions, Hopkins primarily used an eight man rotation of starters Noah Dickerson, Sam Timmins, Matisse Thybulle, Jaylen Nowell and David Crisp, with Dominic Green, Naz Carter, and Hameir Wright coming off the bench. That rotation will change next season.