Washington enjoying local renaissance
Washington has had a lot of success under head coach Lorenzo Romar, who has led to the Huskies to one of their best stretches of basketball in school history.
With three Sweet 16s, two Final 32 appearances and a first round loss, Washington has been to the NCAA tournament six of Romar's 12 years in Seattle, still making a postseason tournament in three of those other six seasons.
The key to Romar's success has been local talent. Washington's best basketball has come when players such as Nate Robinson, Brandon Roy, Spencer Hawes, Jon Brockman, Isaiah Thomas, Terrence Ross and Tony Wroten have taken the floor.
What do all those players have in common? They're all from the Seattle area, a region that flat out hasn't produced talent lately the way it did in Romar's early years at UW.
Due to Seattle's dry spell as much as anything, Romar has missed the NCAA tournament in three straight seasons, putting a little more pressure on him than he's had throughout his all in all very successful tenure with the Huskies.
The good news for Romar and the UW fan base? Seattle is back producing talent again, and the Huskies are taking advantage. Dejounte Murray (pictured, above), a Top 50 shooting guard from the area, has already committed to Washington, as has Top 100 combo guard David Crisp. On Monday, Washington offered Matisse Thybulle, a local wing whose versatility and upside should make him a big contributor at UW. Washington has also landed Top 50 power forward Marquese Chriss, from Sacramento (Calif.), and still isn't done in 2015.
This is a recruiting class that could resurge Washington's program, and more help could be coming, as the 2016 and 2017 talent pool in the area may be even better than 2015.
The last few years of Washington basketball haven't met Lorenzo Romar's early standards, but it looks like the Huskies could be competing for NCAA tournament bids again sooner than later.
Interesting few weeks
The end of June into the beginning of July is always one of the more interesting times in recruiting. It is often when prospects have a choice to make. Are they going to go with the school that has recruited them the longest? Or will they play out July in an attempt to land either a dream offer from a high-major school or play their way up a level from where their recruitment currently resides?
College coaches all around the country are pushing for unofficial (or official) visits in order to secure commitments from kids before other coaches get a chance to see them in July and the flood gates could possibly open.
Some kids decide at this point in time to either pull the trigger and commit to the school that has been on them the longest and recruiting them the hardest, or they decide it is in their best interest to see what else is out there — assuming they play well.
There are risks associated with each plan, as you can play poorly and lose the offers you do have if you wait, or you could play really well and maybe not get an opportunity you would have had if you were an uncommitted prospect. No matter what a prospect and his family choose to do, this is always an interesting few weeks in the recruiting cycle.
— Brian Snow
Creighton adds under the radar big man
Creighton added a 2015 recruit on Tuesday. Justin Patton, of Omaha (Neb.) North, committed to Greg McDermott and the Bluejays, according to a source close to the situation.
Patton, who plays with the OSU Crusaders during the spring and summer, grew six inches in the last year and now stands 6-foot-10.
Patton averaged 11.8 points, 7.9 rebounds and 2.5 blocks a game as a junior.
— Evan Daniels
Sanity finally, sort of, prevails
The transfer wire lit up even before the conclusion of the 2013-14 season, with hundreds of players at Division I programs coast to coast deciding to cast their lot with a different institution. May in particular became frenetic to the point of absurdity, with multiple decisions getting announced seemingly on a daily basis and visits getting covered as if they were high school recruitments.
And why not? No longer are transfers cut from the cloth of the unwashed and unwanted; these days, some excellent players simply opt for a change in scenery and, frequently, greater exposure as they eye a professional career.
Rodney Hood, for example, left Mississippi State after a successful 2011-12 season and, after sitting out last year, enjoyed a fine 2013-14 campaign at Duke and now is a potential lottery pick in the upcoming NBA draft.
And with so many players transferring each spring and early summer, college coaches must scramble to find replacements. And all that opportunity to playing time creates … more incentive for players to transfer.
But now, most of the action has settled. Rosters generally are beginning to set in and, with any luck, everyone can accurately begin to forecast the 2014-15 season.
— Rob Harrington
Evan Daniels, Brian Snow, Josh Gershon and Rob Harrington contributed to this report