Head Coach Lorenzo Romar and the Washington Huskies have had their fair share of talented players on their roster in the last little while, and more talent is on the way from the Class of 2016.
Both Dejounte Murray and Marquese Chriss opted for the 2016 NBA Draft following their freshmen seasons with the Huskies, and both were drafted. Chriss was a lottery selection, while Murray was a late-first round pick. Many had hoped that they would stay in school for another year, but it wasn’t the case.
The prize recruit for the Huskies in the Class of 2016 is guard Markelle Fultz. If he follows the same path as Murray and Chriss, Washington could very well produce its second straight lottery selection in the draft.
On Friday, the Huskies received more good news on the recruiting front. It was expected that Class of 2017 forward Michael Porter, Jr. would commit to Washington, given his family ties to the coaching staff, but anything was still possible.
At the 2016 Peach Jam, he was reportedly given the opportunity to announce his decision on national television, but politely declined.
Instead, he opted for a low-key announcement via his Twitter account as to where he would play his collegiate basketball in 2017-18.
Most didn’t have many doubts on whether or not Porter, Jr. would commit to Washington. The more frequent question was ‘when’ would he commit.
His father, Michael Porter, Sr., was hired as an assistant to Romar, and Romar is Porter, Jr.’s godfather. His dad and Romar played basketball together back in the 1990’s with Athletes in Action.
To top it all off, his brother, Jontay Porter, is also a Washington commit.
The 6’10”, 212-pound forward is the 4th-ranked recruit in the Class of 2017 by ESPN, but is considered by many as the most polished player in the recruiting class. He has excellent shooting range, as he can hit three pointers but also put the ball on the floor and finish above the rim.
His ability to stretch the floor will be a nightmare for opposing teams in 2017-18. Add in his length, and 7’9” wingspan, and he will be an impact player in the paint on the defensive end of the floor.
Before choosing Washington, Porter, Jr. also considered the Oklahoma Sooners, the Virginia Cavaliers, the Indiana Hoosiers, and the Missouri Tigers, where his dad was on the women’s basketball staff before joining the Huskies’ staff.
Let the speculation begin for the Huskies in 2017-18. If Fultz decides to return for a sophomore season in 2017-18, the Huskies will have one of the nation’s top teams. If he decides to be a one-and-done, like many expect him to be, then Washington could have three straight lottery projections in the NBA Draft (Chriss, Fultz, Porter, Jr.).
Regardless, the future is bright for the Washington Huskies.
– T. Bennett