Washington Basketball: Final Recruit Is In, but Will This Class Be a Success?
With national letter of intent day for college basketball long since past, the Huskies picked up a final commitment on Thursday. Shawn Kemp Jr, the son of former Seattle Supersonic Shawn Kemp, will sign a financial aid agreement indicating his commitment to play basketball at the University of Washington.
Though the Huskies can be certain now that they will have a full complement of players on the roster, it is uncertain what players such as Kemp will bring to the team.
Other than point guard Tony Wroten, a dynamic 5-star recruit from Seattle, the word that best describes the rest of Romar's recruits: potential.
Hakeem Stewart, another Seattle product lacks the star power of Wroten but appears to be have the ability to contribute next year. Many freshmen have struggled with the complex defensive schemes employed by the Huskies including Terrence Ross, but Stewart will have to buck that trend to find minutes in a crowded back court.
Joining Stewart in the Husky back court is guard Andrew Andrews. Until the early departure of Isaiah Thomas, Andrews appeared headed to prep school. In addition to depth at the guard position, Andrews lack of strength makes it likely that he will red-shirt.
Jernard Jarreau, the only "big" man signed during the regular signing period, is lengthy player who some say lacks strength to truly compete down low. Though red-shirting would likely aid in his development as a low-post player and allow him time to bulk up, the lack of depth in the front court may force the Huskies to throw him into the fray immediately.
Martin Breunig and Shawn Kemp, Jr, both added to the squad after the official signing day, will have the opportunity to contribute immediately. Breunig should provide the ability to score with the circle and play defense; however, it remains to be seen whether he can be a presence on the glass. Shawn Kemp Jr. will bring raw size and athleticism, but time away from basketball may hamper his adjustment to Division-I basketball.
With the late additions of Breunig and Kemp, Lorenzo Romar has compiled a recruiting class that appears to address the teams needs at least in terms of position.
The ceiling of potential for these players may be high in the long-term, but for this first year fans should temper their expectations outside of Wroten. Stewart will have a tough time finding minutes at either of the guard spots, as will Andrews.
Each of the big men will be given the opportunity to see the floor as back ups to Gant and N'Diaye, but it will take time for them to adjust to the college game and Romar's style of defense. Additionally, Jarreau will need to find the weight room right away while Kemp will need to get into playing shape before making it "reign" at Hec Ed.
Due to the emphasis potential in this class, it will be difficult to say whether Lorenzo Romar was successful overall. Though Romar has filled positional needs, it is too early to place final judgment on whether this class will provide the extra push past the Sweet 16.
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