The Minnesota Golden Gophers lost some guards this past season and the depth chart was looking a little light in the backcourt. They however got a huge boost on Sunday morning when highly touted New York City point guard Isaiah Washington pledged to the Big Ten school.
Washington, who is one of the fastest point guards in the country, pledged to the Golden Gophers over interest from Seton Hall, Butler, and others.
During June, Washington made an unofficial visit to the school, and ever since then Minnesota has been considered one of the leaders, if not the leader in his recruitment. Then in July his stock continued to soar, and Washington moved to No. 65 in the class of 2017 rankings.
Playing for New Heights and with St. Raymond’s High School, Washington has proven himself against top competition on the AAU circuit as well as in the high school game. He has gone against top point guards time and again, and has continued to either get them best of them or show he belongs.
The first thing that Washington brings is tremendous speed. Baseline to baseline he is one of the fastest players in the country with the basketball. He is more than capable of breaking down a defense with his ability to get to the rim, and once in the lane he has a good idea of what to do.
Over the course of the summer Washington averaged 12.9 points and 5.1 assists per game for New Heights, and while he wasn’t a great shooter from beyond the three point arc, he is someone you have to respect from there.
Along with his ability to score and his speed, Washington also is a good passer. While he is prone to a few turnovers per game, Washington can make things happen with the ball and he helps his teammates get easy buckets.
While his physical skills are nice, Washington is also a big time competitor. He is a kid who absolutely hates to lose and he plays with a tremendous motor and a lot of toughness all the time. While he physically isn’t very big, he is a pit bull on the defensive end and does whatever it takes for his team to win.
He will need to continue to refine his decision making and his long range shooting, but there is no doubt he will be a very good player in his time in college, and Minnesota was able to land a top priority which is huge for Pitino and his staff while building this roster.