Beach's Bits - The Signees

The 2014 UW roster just got deeper next season, after the program received Letters of Intent from Timberline High wing Donaven Dorsey and Canadian big man Tristan Etienne. They'll join a veteran roster stocked with quality talent, a lineup that will be expected to compete at the upper echelon of the Pac-12.

Hailing from Lacey, Donaven Dorsey is a lanky, 6-foot-6, 200-pound combo guard who is at his best setting up defenders with his deadly crossover and attacking the basket.

"Donaven Dorsey is a very rangy, versatile wing," said Washington Head Coach Lorenzo Romar about the talented homegrown player. "He can handle the ball, he can shoot the ball, he's athletic and he's 6-foot-6 with long arms. He's a prototypical 'Husky' wing. Timberline High School is here in the area, about an hour away."

Dorsey was a relative unknown in recruiting circles, but caught the eye of the Husky coaching staff before the start of his sophomore season. The soft spoken young man has tremendous upside due to his combination of size and athleticism, and has spent considerable time running the point for the Blazers, leading his upstart team to the State Tournament last season.

Tristan Etienne is considered one of the top college prospects in Canada. Though not an explosive athlete, the 6-foot-9 Vancouver area prep star owns a polished low post game and is known as a tough, defensive-minded shot-blocker.

"Tristan is a guy who we've been recruiting for a long time, been watching him for a while," said Romar after receiving his NLI. "He's continued to develop and continued to get better. I think he's one of the top four or five prospects in the entire country of Canada. He's a good shot-blocker, he has really good hands, can step outside and knock a shot down. When you look at his frame you can just see after a year or so of really getting on the weights working with our strength coach and the different people here he has a huge upside. We're excited about that.

"We think both those guys are going to help us be a better basketball program," added Romar.

The biggest piece of Washington's 2014 recruiting period isn't a high school player at all, but rather a highly-touted transfer. Robert Upshaw committed to the Huskies in September after transferring from his hometown Fresno State Bulldogs. The muscular seven-footer was a former top-50 prep recruit who held offers from Louisville and Georgetown before deciding to stay home. Already enrolled at Washington and practicing with the team, Upshaw is a true center, the kind of player the Puget Sound rarely produces and the Huskies have struggled to land. Those around the program are already buzzing about his talent and level of commitment. Many believe he will start from day one in 2014 after sitting out a required transfer year.

In terms of how Dorsey and Etienne will fit in at Washington when they arrive next summer, they're joining a deep roster - meaning they won't be asked to contribute before they're ready.

Dorsey's path to playing time is less cluttered than Etienne's, though not by much. Washington will return several versatile guards who can serve multiple roles: Andrew Andrews, Nigel Williams-Goss, Darin Johnson and Mike Anderson are all expected back, while Jahmel Taylor and Hikeem Stewart will add to the group competing for playing time. Realistically, Dorsey will contend with Taylor and Stewart for back-up minutes on the wing during his first year with the Huskies, though his length and versatility could give him an advantage over the others.

The Huskies' front court is expected to be as deep as it's ever been with Upshaw joining the roster. Beside the seven footer will stand Shawn Kemp, Jernard Jarreau, Desmond Simmons and Gilles Dierickx - a group of sizable talent. Literally. And that depth will allow Etienne to focus on learning the system and adding muscle to his slender frame.

The adjustments the Husky coaching staff made to their recruiting strategy appear to be paying off. No longer will UW chase rainbows and simply the possibility of uber-talented players signing, only to be left holding the bag with nothing in it come mid-November. Instead, Romar has quietly assembled a roster full of quality, under-the-radar talent, and that move should pay dividends next season and beyond.


Dawgman.com Top Stories