“I’ve made my decision and I’m committing to the University of Minnesota and Coach Richard Pitino,” Isaiah Washington texted GI just moments ago.
What is Minnesota getting in Isaiah Washington? A 6-foot-1, 170 pound point guard from New York, New York who plays at the same high school (St. Raymond’s High School for Boys) that 1997 Final Four Gopher point guard Eric Harris graduated from in 1994.
Washington was offered a scholarship by Minnesota two years ago (September of 2014) as a young sophomore after Pitino and assistant coach Kimani Young attended an open gym to see Isaiah yet another time.
The Gopher staff watched Isaiah play with New Heights as a 15u player and have followed him closely ever since.
The Gophers weren’t just the first high major to offer Isaiah, they were also the first school overall to offer the four star point guard.
Washington has since been offered by Xavier, Georgia Tech, Texas A&M, VCU, DePaul, Providence, Rutgers, Seton Hall, New Mexico, and USF but it’s been the Gophers who have been there the most.
Scout.com ranks Washington as the 65th ranked player in the nation and 13th best among lead guards. This ranking isn’t an abnormality either, it’s the norm.
ESPN lists Washington as 82nd in the class (18th by position), 247 has Washington at 63rd nationally (14th at his position), and Rivals.com lists Washington the highest at number 62.
So across the board the consensus is that Minnesota has landed one of the elite point guards in the nation. As far as Gopher lead guards go Washington is the highest rated player brought in to Minnesota since Ariel McDonald in the early 1990s.
Landing Washington also means that Pitino has landed a top 75 recruit each of the past three seasons as Isaiah joins Amir Coffey from the 2016 class as well as Kevin Dorsey from 2015.
Scout.com had local and national analysts traveling around the country to see Washington play in the spring and summer which resulted in the following evaluation:
“2017 guard Isaiah Washington is a tough, quick and aggressive lead man that can both score it and facilitate. Washington, who stands 6-foot-1, is average athletically, but he has a quick first step, is a strong ball handler and finds ways to get by defenders and get into the paint. Once there he looks to kick to teammates, pull-up for mid-range jumpers or drop in floaters. Although Washington is able to make shots from distance, an area for improvement is gaining consistency with his three-point shot.”
The Scout.com evaluation of Washington lists “ability to create”, “passing”, and “toughness” as his strengths with “three-point shot” and “volume scorer” as areas to improve.
Basketball analysts all over the country watched Washington go toe to toe with five star talent Trevon Duval at the Elite 24 All Star game in August. At the event Washington put up 36 points in front of an excited crowd earning a spot in event history.
Washington took his official visit to Minnesota this weekend along with local three star center prospect Theo John.
Isaiah is the first player in the 2017 class to commit to Pitino’s Gophers.