Beach's Bits: This Week in Husky Basketball

It may come as a bit of a letdown considering the roll Washington Basketball has been on of late, but there’s not much in the way of breaking news for UW this week. But there’s still a few bits to chew on.

Despite indications to the contrary, it sounds like the Huskies are still recruiting 2016 Federal Way forward Jalen McDaniels. The talented senior visited San Diego State this past weekend and the Aztec coaching staff is no doubt touting their new 15-million dollar practice facility, which opened last month. His recruitment is expected to wrap up early in the school year. 

The Huskies continue to be a frontrunner for Michael Porter who is ranked the third-best prospect in the country for the class of 2017. He recently wrote this about his relationship with Coach Romar in a USAToday.com blog post: 

"I’m sure people will want to know if him being my godfather gives Washington an edge, and I’ll definitely say that it helps them. I don’t know if I would’ve looked at Washington as close if he wasn’t there, but I wouldn’t say it gives them a lead."

Romar is scheduled to visit Porter at his home in Missouri in September 14th. Porter’s younger brother Jontay, is already verbally committed to Washington for the 2018 recruiting class. 

The Huskies are also recruiting Porter's best friend Trae Young, who is a touted point guard prospect.   

"And, yes, me and my boy Trae (Young) are still planning to play together in college so we’re good there,” said Porter.

“(Romar) heard about me and Trae and he actually called Trae and offered him on the spot."

Word came down last week that guard Quevyn Winters wouldn't be returning for his senior season and will retire from competitive basketball. His departure leaves the Huskies with just two returners from last year's squad - Andrew Andrews and Donaven Dorsey. Winters, who averaged 3.4 points in 11 minutes per game, wasn't expected to start, though he would have competed for a role in the deep rotation. His departure leaves the Huskies with 11 players this coming season.

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Around the Pac-12

The Oregon Ducks earned their biggest hometown pledge since Luke Jackson with the commitment of 2016 West Linn point guard Payton Pritchard. His commitment ends a string of painful defections from local prep standouts like Kevin Love, Kyle Singler, Terrence Ross, Terrence Jones and Andrew Andrews who all chose to play out of state. 

The crafty floor general is a knock-down shooter and winner of three consecutive 5A state titles with West Linn. He will immediately compete for a starting job.  Despite the program’s recent on-court success and a fancy new arena, attendance has plunged. The Oregon brass can only hope that Pritchard’s presence helps reconnect the program to a fan base that has abandoned the program in after years of off-the-court problems. It hasn’t helped that Oregon’s football team has taken all of the spotlight away from basketball.

USC recently returned home from a successful trip to Italy, which saw them record a 3-0 record on the trip. Freshman Bennie Boatwright and junior transfer Katin Reinhardt were singled out as standouts and were reportedly blistering from three-point range.

Stanford also spent the back half of August in Italy, where they posted a 2-2 mark. The Cardinal were gutted by graduation and are banking on junior Marcus Allen and promising sophomores Reid Travis and Robert Cartwright this season. 

Freshmen Jaylen Brown led Pac-12 frontrunner Cal to a 4-1 record during a pre-season trip to Australia. The Bears boast one of the most purely talented lineups in the country, including freshman power forward Ivan Rabb, as well as returning standouts Tyrone Wallace, Jordan Mathews, and Jabari Bird.


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