From the moment Coach Hopkins took over, the Washington Basketball team began the season in a huge deficit in terms of prospects. The change of coaching staff in a highly competitive Pac-12 Conference allowed virtually every other team to lap the Huskies this season in terms of recruiting top talent. As recruits defected, Hopkins had to turn his attention inward, and recruit prospects and players already committing to the Washington Huskies.
As discussed previously he did keep Jaylen Nowell, and landed Michael Carter III, Nahziah Carter, and Hameir Wright for 2017. While that skewed the team’s roster to the wings, it did fill the roster with skilled and high-upside young men. And it was duct tape recruiting – enough new players and talents on the roster to allow the coach to develop players as they aimed at the recruiting class of 2018.
2018 class impressive indeed
The true test in this team’s recruiting upside lay in the class of 2018. While the class of 2017 filled the ranks, 2018 aimed in a new direction, filling team needs. And needs are easily identified. Big players to play in the post, a selfless point guard who can dish out assists, and a solid perimeter shooter. The first fill was a solid perimeter shooter in small forward Jamal Bey. The team next landed the commitment of power forward Ed Chang. Chang may be reclassifying as a 2019 recruit. The team then landed a selfless point guard in Elijah Hardy. Finally, the team added a huge post presence in landing power forward Nate Roberts.
The team scored on all urgent needs with small forward Jamal Bey, point guard Elijah Hardy, and center Nate Roberts. And that made this a huge success for the team.
But the team had more players in the pipeline. The resolution of Ed Chang and then, on Coach Mike Hopkins one-year anniversary, the team landed heavily recruited center Bryan Penn-Johnson.