Basketball Recruiting Roundup
When you look at the colleges bringing in the best basketball recruiting classes for the Class of 2005, the usual suspects like North Carolina, Duke, Kansas and Louisville are all there.
But a somewhat unexpected school has joined those elite programs at the top of the recruiting race thanks to a pair of big-time commitments in the past two weeks. And that school is the University of Washington.
The Huskies have had a solid program in recent years, but they aren't exactly a hoop dynasty, However, thanks to recent commitments from Top 25 national recruits Martell Webster of Seattle Prep (Wash.) and Jon Brockman of Snohomish (Wash.), UW quickly moves into elite company in the Class of 2005 by tapping into the great talent in the state of Washington.
Brockman, a 6-foot-7, 246-pound senior power forward, committed to Washington last Tuesday over Duke and UCLA. Rated the No. 24 recruit in the Class of 2005 by SchoolSports.com, Brockman is a hard-nosed competitor who simply outworks opponents.
His tough, relentless style puts him in position to make plays on both ends of the court, while his strength and aggressiveness allow him to be a solid post presence. He averaged 22.2 points and 13 rebounds per game as a junior.
But as big as Brockman's commitment was for the Huskies, Webster's announcement a couple days later might have been even bigger.
The 6-foot-6, 236-pound swingman is rated the No. 7 recruit in the Class of 2005 by SchoolSports.com and might be even higher if not for missing most of his junior season with foot and ankle injuries. He averaged 20 points and 10 rebounds per game as a sophomore.
Webster, who had previously said he would likely wait until the spring to make a decision, had also been looking at powerhouses North Carolina and Arizona but decided to stay close to home for college.
Of course, if he bounces back with a strong senior season, Webster could also be a straight-to-NBA possibility.
Webster, however, is just looking forward to getting back on the floor this year and focusing on his senior season with his college decision out of the way.
"I want to be the best I can be this year," Webster recently told SchoolSports. "I want to be unstoppable. I feel like I have to send a message to my opponents every time I step out on the court."
And with commitments from a pair of likely McDonald's All-Americans, the University of Washington is also sending a message to its opponents that the Huskies will be a force to be reckoned with.
More Recruiting News:
The long, strange recruiting trip of Leeds (Ala.) power forward Joey Cameron took another turn earlier this week when the 6-foot-9, 240-pound senior committed to Auburn. Cameron, who is rated the No. 73 recruit in the Class of 2005 by SchoolSports.com, first committed to Clemson last year, then committed to Tennessee this past summer before finally settling on Auburn this week. Perhaps the third time will be a charm for Cameron. …
South Oak Cliff (Texas) senior power forward Kevin Rogers pledged to Baylor late last month over Illinois, Texas A&M and SMU. The 6-foot-7, 223-pounder is rated the No. 34 recruit in the Class of 2005 and averaged 14 points, eight rebounds and two blocks per game last season. …
Deer Valley (Ariz.) shooting guard Joey Shaw committed to Indiana over Arizona State, Texas, Oregon State and Nevada earlier this week. The 6-foot-6, 170-pound senior is rated the No. 99 recruit in the Class of 2005 and is a skinny wing player with a deadly outside shot. …
Denton Ryan (Texas) point guard Austin Jackson committed to Georgia Tech over Illinois last week. Jackson, a 6-foot-2, 180-pound senior who is rated the No. 80 recruit in the Class of 2005, is also one of the nation's best high school baseball prospects and could be a first-round pick in next year's MLB Draft. Jackson, however, has no plans to give up either sport and could play both college hoops and minor league baseball after high school. …
Mount Zion Academy (N.C.) senior center Shawn Taggart pledged to Iowa State late last month over St. John's, Florida State and Virginia Tech. The skinny 6-foot-11, 210-pound big man is rated the No. 72 recruit in the Class of 2005 and is an extremely active and athletic post player. …
White Station (Tenn.) point guard J.P. Prince committed to Arizona over Vanderbilt last week. The 6-foot-5, 183-pound senior is rated the No. 65 recruit in the Class of 2005. His cousin is Detroit Pistons forward Tayshaun Prince.