November 9th, 2011 seems like a long time away, but Washington Huskies Head Coach Lorenzo Romar and his assistant coaches have some serious recruiting to do in order to sign a name or two on the first day of the early signing period for the class of 2012.
Pac-12 rivals Arizona and UCLA both already have signed two players each from the class of 2012. Grant Jerrett and Gabe York have committed to Arizona, while Jordan Adams and Dominic Artis have committed to UCLA. All four players are ranked in the ESPNU 100 rankings.
Washington on the other hand, has yet to gain a commitment from this year's class.
There's definitely no reason to panic —Romar didn't land any players until September last year — but right now, recruiting and finding players that fit this program is the coaching staff's main priority.
Here's what the roster is looking like for the 2012-13 season:
Andrew Andrews (Redshirt)- Guard
Martin Breunig- Forward
Jernard Jarreau- Forward
Shawn Kemp Jr.- Forward
Desmond Simmons (Redshirt)- Forward
Hikeem Stewart- Guard
Alex Wegner (Walk-on)- Forward*
Tony Wroten Jr.- Guard
Terrence Ross- Guard
C.J. Wilcox- Guard
Abdul Gaddy- Guard
Aziz N'Diaye- Center
Assuming absolutely no one transfers or leaves early for the NBA, at this time next year the Huskies will have 11 of their 13 scholarship spots filled. However, assuming no one leaves early and no one transfers is foolish.
Abdul Gaddy, Terrence Ross and Tony Wroten Jr. are all candidates to bolt for the NBA. If Terrence Ross plays to his full potential this upcoming season, there is no way he still is playing for the Huskies come this time next year. Wroten is also a one-and-done talent, though it'll be interesting to see if he can showcase those skills with Abdul Gaddy playing in front of him. Gaddy is another player on this roster who has the size and skill set of an NBA point guard.
Never rule out a player transferring either, because of the depth on this roster, some players might feel like they aren't showcasing their skills enough and playing to their full potential in their role on the team.
Realistically, the Huskies will probably be looking to fill three to four scholarship spots from the class of 2012.
Washington will need to reload on guard depth and find a true post in this upcoming recruiting class.
By 2013, Gaddy will have graduated and Wroten Jr. will also likely have departed for the NBA, leaving redshirt sophomore Andrew Andrews and junior Hikeem Stewart at the position.
The Huskies only have two shooting guards on the roster for 2012, and maybe only one if Ross leaves early.
Lastly, after N'Diaye graduates, the only players taller than 6'7" will be Breunig, Jarreau and Kemp Jr. Though I haven't seen any of these players play in a Pac-12 basketball game yet, none of them have given me the impression so far that their main strengths are their rebounding and low-post defense.
Ideally, the Huskies should bring in at least one guard and a big forward/center prospect.
Here are the players from the class of 2012 that UW has extended scholarship offers to:
Anrio Adams--6'2", 160lbs, (Seattle, WA)
Jaylen Beckham--6'0", 160lbs, St. Benedict Prep (Newark, NJ)
Demarquise Johnson--6'5", 185lbs, Westwind Academy (Phoenix, AZ)
Jordan Tebbutt--6'5", 195lbs, Tualatin HS (Tualatin, OR)
Rosco Allen--6'9", 205lbs, Bishop Gorman HS (Las Vegas, NV)
Zach Banner--6'9", 295lbs, Lakes HS (Lakewood, WA)
T.J. Bell--6'7", 195lbs, Charleston HS (Charleston, IL)
Anthony Bennett--6'7", 230lbs, Findlay Prep (Henderson, NV)
Zena Edosomowan--6'8", 215lbs, Harvward Westlake (North Hollywood, CA)
Kisima Jagne--6'5", 235lbs, Chandler HS (Chandler, AZ)
Richard Peters--6'9", 260lbs, Westwind Academy (Phoneix, AZ)
Grant Verhoeven--6'7", 195lbs, Central Valley Christian (Visalia, CA)
Marcel White--6'5", 240lbs, Lake Wales HS (Lake Wales, FL)
Based on their needs and who they have extended offers to, I believe the Huskies should look to secure commitments from Beckham, Bennett and Adams.
Beckham's main strengths are his overall speed and quickness according to this ESPN scouting report. Beckham also has offers from Alabama, DePaul, Seton Hall, and Texas A&M.
The 6'0" point guard is the type of player that would succeed in UW's up-tempo style because he can penetrate and also get up and down the court fast.
Anthony Bennett is the highest rated recruit that is considering Washington out of the 13 players from 2012 that have offers from UW. Scout.com currently has him rated as the No. 2 power forward in the nation with a five-star rating. Bennett's rebounding ability and raw strength are his strong points according to his Scout profile.
The Huskies would benefit from Bennett's physicality, especially after the departure of N'Diaye. Romar will have a tough time landing Bennett with UConn, Florida, Kentucky, Missouri, Ohio St., Oregon, Pittsburgh, UNLV and West Virginia all in his top ten.
Lastly, local prospect Anrio Adams could fill that shooting guard role the Huskies will need to fill. Adams is a very athletic and lanky shooting guard with long arms. He can penetrate and finish at the rim but also has a developing shot that can hit from three-point distance.
Scout.com lists Adams as having high interest in Arizona, Baylor, UConn and Texas.
It's important to note that at this point, everything is speculation because Romar and his coaching staff have no idea what the team's exact and specific needs will be because they haven't seen any of their five incoming freshman and redshirt freshmen Desmond Simmons play in any games yet.
Moreover, they don't know who will go to the NBA after this season. The Huskies could end up losing anywhere from zero to three players to the league (Gaddy, Ross, Wroten are all NBA prospects).
I haven't even mentioned that UW is on the lists of three five-star recruits from the Class of 2013 including the consensus No. 1 recruit, Jabari Parker. Should UW really spend energy recruiting guys from 2012 when they could get a head start on players from 2013?
With all of this uncertainty in play, I'm betting Romar and his staff are just working on recruiting prototypical UW players: guys who are athletic and comfortable in transition. Beckham, Bennett and Adams all fit this criteria and are the best available players at the positions that I suspect will need to be filled by the start of the 2012-13 season.
There are so many buts and ifs in this piece, but that's the world of college basketball recruiting. I can already hear the arguments in the heads of die-hard UW basketball fans who disagree with the three players I listed.
Let the fun begin.