Washington basketball just leveled up in a big way

Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images /

Washington basketball has a team that’s ready to compete this year, and head coach Mike Hopkins is setting his team up to become a blue-blood program.

Washington basketball’s 2019 recruiting class has just upped the ante. Not just the expectations for this season, or for future recruiting classes, but for the program in general. After earning the commitments of five-star prospects Jaden McDaniels and Isaiah Stewart, and landing five-star Kentucky transfer Quade Green, this team is already primed to make a run.

The state of Washington has produced some excellent basketball talent over the years, and with McDaniels and Raequon Battle this year, Marjon Beauchamp in the class of 2020, and Paolo Banchero who leads an absolutely loaded in-state class of 2021 which currently has four top 100 prospects (including former Husky star Jaylen Nowell‘s brother Shane Nowell). We can combine that with Mike Hopkins’ pipeline to New York, and the Huskies have huge ins with two basketball powerhouse producers.

The Huskies already have some major talent on the roster, and after the departure of four highly productive seniors, and Pac-12 Player of the Year Jaylen Nowell, there are a lot of holes to fill. There’s only so much that Stewart, McDaniels, Green, Battle, and Marcus Tsohonis can do. The players who have been on the roster and know the system need to step up, because this is a big year for the program. If the Huskies can establish themselves and make a run to the Sweet 16 or Elite Eight, they’ll truly put the country on notice.

Nahziah Carter began to break out as a sophomore and assuming he gets a consistent chance to start in 2019, should continue to level up his game. Jamal Bey also began to prove himself towards the end of the season, and seems to have a consistent spot in the rotation secured. The player who is going to have a much bigger impact this season is Bryan Penn-Johnson, who broke into the rotation early on as a freshman before fracturing his leg and not seeing the floor for the rest of the season.

Those guys are carrying a huge weight this season, because they can set the tempo for something great. Mike Hopkins has arrived as a head coach, and it’s time for the country to know it.