As a hoop fan in the 206, there has been little to cheer about on the pro hoops scene since Howie Shultzy swindled the city with his double talk and sold (gifted) the Sonics to OKC. The lone bright spot has been the resilient University of Washington mens program coached by Lorenzo Romar. This years team is highly competitive led by mighty mite Isaiah Thomas and much improved forward Quincy Pondexter, so it is no shock to see that they have some momentum in recruiting quality D1 players. But the recent loss of the local big man prospect Josh Smith to Pac 10 conference rival UCLA was a serious blow. The news that we were receiving serious consideration from 6' 9" Terrance Jones (Jefferson H.S. OR) was a serious consolation but not a guarantee by any stretch.
But today our chances of signing Jones and our recruiting class overall just got better. Our local paper (SEATTLE TIMES) reported with credit to scout,com that Turkish Super Prospect Enes Kanter has made a decision to enroll as the University of Washington. WOW the U-18 mvp and his tourney averages of 18pts and 16 boards may be on the Montlake campus next season. This could be the most significant class in UW history (Jones, Kanter, Desmon Simmons, Redshirt CJ Wilcox), since the Hawes/Webster class that followed the Brockman signing. If this is true Romar has pulled off a major Coup.
In my opinion this could establish UW and Romar as one of the two elite recruiting bases in the Pac 10 for years next to but slightly behind UCLA and even though Kanter and Jones have one and done potential, if Thomas returns and Gaddy matures on schedule we could be looking at a bonafide National championship CONTENDER! WOW!
I was shocked to see Kanter go to Washington over UCLA.
None the less- He will be a top 20 pick in 2011 if he does not get suspended. He can attack the basket many different ways and a big euro fan told me he has " Paul Milsap" like intensity on D and on the boards.
Yeah losing out on Smith was a big blow but as a 206 transplant in LA (310), I can understand lots of history, sun, and ladies in Westwood. But honestly Kanter was not even on the Dawg fan radar seriously. Gaddy with an improved jumper and Kanter a tall Brockman type with decent offensive game, supplemented by Thomas' relentless attacking mentality, Overton's Defense, Trent/Breshears off the pine for bench muscle, Scott Suggs outside stroke and If we add T Jones wow. Hopefully it all works out for Romar, legitimately one of the nicest guys in the NCAA coaching fraternity. I know UNC with that Mega class led by Barnes, with the WEAR brothers returning is probably the class of the dance next year but from where we were as a program before Romar (Bob Bender) this is a reason for optimism.
If Thomas and Gaddy return and with that freshman class, they could be title contenders. Thye already might be the best team in the pac right now.
We haven't even seen the best of Gaddy yet, he is not the elite athlete former teammate Avery Bradley is (Saw them live at Bellermine Prep) but his feel for the game is starting to show, he led the UW with 7 dimes last game (i know it was just San Jose State). His shooting is still a work in progress at best, but with Romar's coaching he could peak around march if his legs stay under him. If Cal continues to fall and UCLA and Oregon State undrachieve, and Arizona lost a game or two in conference the UW could be looking at a 2/3 seed. To quote Hustle and Flow, "Everybody gotta have a dream Mane"
I dont know about title contenders.