Andrews will join Huskies in 2012

Before Andrew Andrews ever steps one foot on the University of Washington campus, he will have already followed a legacy started by players like Isaiah Thomas, Matthew Bryan-Amaning, Clarence Trent, Joel Smith, Harvey Perry and Joe Wolfinger. The 6-foot-2, 175-pound point guard from Benson Tech in Portland, Ore. verbally committed to play basketball at Washington Sunday night, but with a twist.

The 2011 prospect will delay his enrollment in college by attending a prep school before college.

"They have a lot of guards right now," Andrews told Dawgman.com late Monday night. "We both agreed that the best thing for me will be to go to prep school and then wait a year to reclassify and then come back as a freshman. That way I don't start my clock and it actually allows me to come in and play a little bit sooner than I would have."

Andrews added that he'd ideally like to play at a prep school in Arizona, but will go east if he needs to. The likely destination in Arizona would be Westwind Prep.

Andrew Andrews joins Thomas as the only prospects to verbally commit to Washington before their prep school stints. Thomas, now entering his junior season with the Huskies, played two years at South Kent Prep in Connecticut before coming back home. In the case of Andrews, it's not about academics; it's about letting the numbers crunch so he comes in after players like Thomas, Venoy Overton and Scott Suggs have graduated.

Rainier Beach guard Hikeem Stewart verbally committed to UW for the 2011 season, and Garfield guard Tony Wroten could announce for the Huskies next month.

"Portland is known for point guards," Benson Head Coach Troy Berry told Dawgman.com Monday. "(Damon) Stoudamire, Terrell Brandon, Aaron Miles…(Andrews) is just following a long line of point guards from this area."

Andrews, when he does enroll for the 2012 season, would likely join another Portland point guard - Antoine Hosley - who has walked-on for the 2010-11 season. Hosley, who prepped at Jefferson High, joins teammate Terrence Ross in attending UW.

Despite the fact that Andrews averaged around 25 points per game for the Techmen as a junior, he was still under the national recruiting radar. "It happens in the Northwest," Barry said. "Guys like Dan Dickau, Derek Raivio, Blake Stepp…they weren't highly ranked either."

But this summer he started making a name for himself in the AAU circuit, playing for Portland ICP. "That was my role at Benson, being the scorer of the team and the main option for the team…also the same for my AAU team (Portland ICP)," added Andrews. "But before that I had to be a pure point guard. I'm very versatile. I can change from being a scoring point guard to being a pure point guard and getting people involved in the game. If I have to I can score the ball, but most of the time I look to pass. I like to see other peoples' success before mine, because that's what a point guard is supposed to be.

"And I love to win."

Over the past couple of months, Washington started showing interest in Andrews. He was able to check out UW for the first time August 19th during their summer hoops camp. "I thought it was really nice," he said. "I was really only on the basketball side of it; I didn't really get a tour. But the whole gymnasium was really nice."

Things started to really ramp up the past week or so, when Andrews knew the Huskies were the right fit for him, regardless of when he could enroll. "We sat down at a home visit (Sunday) and fleshed out all the details," Andrews said. His visit was with UW Head Coach Lorenzo Romar and Assistant Coach Jim Shaw.

"I've been leaning toward them, me and my Mom. So when they came, that's what I was going to do."

"Once you sit down with coach Romar, who wouldn't want to play for him?" said Berry, who has known Romar for 20 years.

Andrews narrowed his final choice to Washington, Washington State and Portland before deciding. He claimed offers from UW, WSU, USD, USF, Portland State, Portland, Santa Clara, Northern Arizona, Nebraska and Montana.

"Their style of play fits the way I play," he said, matter-of-factly.

"He's got a real high motor and a real passion for the game," Berry said of Andrews. "He understands and conceptualizes things that the guys he's playing with don't get. He's ahead of them in understanding the game, and he's very competitive.

"He can shoot the ball and extend defenses. He's doing more dribble penetration now, so he's more of a multi-dimensional player. Once he realizes how good a defender he can be, he'll become even more of a threat."

Despite an attempt to transfer to Jefferson over the summer, Andrews will finish his high school career at Benson Tech, the school he started at.


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