Coming off its first NCAA Tournament appearance in eight years, the Washington men’s basketball team is looking to replace up to five players who are leaving. The Huskies started that process by welcoming a new class of players to Montlake.
The Dawgs already received signed letters of intent in the early signing period from Marysville Pilchuck alum RaeQuan Battle and from the top-ranked recruit in Oregon, Marcus Tsohonis.
At the time of signing head coach Mike Hopkins was high on both additions.
“We are really really excited,” Hopkins said. “RaeQuan, I think he is one of the best shooters in the country. Just an explosive shooter, catch-and-shoot. He is an unbelievable athlete, he fits what we do, great size, winner. I just love everything about him. He is going to be a great addition. Marcus is a combination guard who plays point guard. He was player of the year last year."
He also praised the familiarity that the two had with each other.
“They played in the backcourt in AAU together so there is a great chemistry,” Hopkins said. “They had one of the most successful seasons in the history of that program. They are just winners and perfect fits for us. I am really really excited to get them on campus.”
The duo of guards will be joined by the No. 6 recruit in the country, Isaiah Stewart, who signed his letter of intent today. Stewart played at La Lumiere School in Indiana this season but is a native of Rochester, New York, where he played on the same AAU team as current Huskies Nahziah Carter and Hameir Wright. The east coast connection that Hopkins gained from his time in Syracuse likely played a significant factor in Stewart’s decision to choose to come to Washington despite offers from Duke, Kentucky, Michigan State, and others.
“We’re so happy to welcome Isaiah to the Husky family and ready to have him in purple and gold,” Hopkins said to GoHuskies.com “He is a dynamic player who has an unrelenting work ethic that fits exactly what we are trying to build here at Washington.”
The new class of players will also include Kentucky transfer, and former five-star recruit, Quade Green. Due to NCAA transfer restrictions, the Philadelphia native will not be eligible to play until conference play begins in January, at which point he will almost assuredly step into the starting point guard spot for the Huskies.
One player that did not sign with the Huskies today is Federal Way alum, Jaden McDaniels. The 6-foot-11-inch forward wrapped up his visits to his top-five schools, UW, Kentucky, SDSU, UCLA, and Texas in November, but it has been abnormally quiet on the recruiting front since then. The No. 5 recruit in the country played AAU ball with Battle and Tsohonis with Seattle Rotary. He also shared a court with Stewart at the McDonald’s All-American Game last month and will pair up with Stewart again on the 20th in the Jordan Brand Classic.
McDaniels has until May 15 to sign his letter of intent.
Reach reporter Kyle Gehler at firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @KyleGehler
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