As recruiting is nearing the finish line with national signing day well within sight, it means that two recruiting sagas involving two of the top players in the country will end for Lorenzo Romar at the Washington basketball program.
Terrence Jones and Josh Smith should both know who they will suit up for in the next few weeks as both are in the final stages of their recruiting processes. Jones will finish his recruitment after trips to Kentucky and UCLA, Smith likely after an unofficial visit with the Husky team next week.
When looking at the two players it is impossible to say that either one would be bad for the Huskies, but to me Terrence Jones would be the best fit for the Husky program as opposed to the big man Josh Smith.
Going off my initial judgements with both guys I just get a strong sense that Jones is a special player. By special player I see someone who will be an absolute superstar for the Huskies, the Pac-1o, and College Basketball. Someone who could help lead the Huskies to a national title and fit in perfectly with the fast paced offensive system Romar has installed since his arrival at Washington in 2002.
Smith would be a major get for Romar and the Huskies without a doubt, its just that Jones seems like someone who could be the guy. It might be that I am scared off from local big men who will command the ball after the lone disappointing season of Spencer Hawes in 2006, but I just get much more excited with the idea of adding Jones as opposed to Smith.
Adding Smith means probably slowing down the offense to better compliment his talents. This could either be a home run for the team or a struggle like we saw with Hawes in his season as a Husky. Jones is someone who will come in immediately and probably be inserted as a the starting small forward the second he steps on campus. Joining a lineup with fast break titans like Abdul Gaddy and Isaiah Thomas would only make Romar’s system more dangerous. Just look at the possible starting five with Jones on the roster…
PG: Abdul Gaddy, Sophomore SG: Isaiah Thomas, Junior SF: Terrence Jones, Freshman PF: Darnell Gant, Junior C: Matthew Bryan-Amaning, Senior
With this lineup you would have the dynamic guards with Gaddy and Thomas to compliment Jones’ style of play, the defensive play of Gant, and the likely improved play of a senior MBA. Jones can hit it from outside, bring the ball up and create his own shot, has tremendous passing ability, great handles for someone his size, and drive to the hoop very well for someone his size (think of the mis-matches!). He would be somewhat of another version of the “point-forward” that became popular with a local guy like Terrence Williams at Louisville. Having three players in the starting lineup with elite guard abilities should be fatal for any team facing Washington.
Now That Smith Has Picked UCLA
Now that the first shoe has dropped and Smith has finally announced UCLA as his destination, the ’10 class hinges on Jones and if he decides to be a Husky.
It looks like Jones could be a spring guy, which could work in favor or completely against them considering the schools Washington is going against.
If Washington wins the Pac-10 and shows to Jones that playing in an offense with Gaddy and Thomas is the most beneficial for him he will be a Husky. An obvious starting spot opens up with the departure of Pondexter, it makes sense.
But should one of the other schools, specifically Kentucky, deliver on those high expectations and fail to bring in another top recruit (say C.J. Leslie), the Wildcats could be the top contenders.
The 2010 class is now down to one player, and we’ll see how much Romar’s recruiting prowess can change the future of the class. It has to be believed that Romar is confident enough seeing that Jones is the only other player he has recruited agressivley besides Smith.
Hopefully he knows something Husky fans don’t.