The newest members of the Washington men's basketball team's 2013 recruiting class address two areas where the Huskies are deficient: scoring and depth on the perimeter.
The newest members of the Washington men’s basketball team’s 2013 recruiting class address two areas where the Huskies are deficient: scoring and depth on the perimeter.
Jahmel Taylor and Mike Anderson, who are expected to sign with UW, could provide a much-needed boost to a sagging offense that averaged just 67.9 points last season, the lowest during Lorenzo Romar’s 11-year coaching tenure.
Wednesday is the first day of the spring signing period, which ends May 15.
Taylor and Anderson are late bloomers who parlayed individual and team success into a Division I scholarship.
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Taylor, a 5-foot-11, 160-pound point guard from Los Angeles, averaged 22.7 points while leading Pacific Hills High to a state championship.
“He can score the basketball,” said his coach, Ivan Barahona. “He worked really hard on running the team. This was new to him to become the point guard and running the team, but he excelled at it.
“He’s still getting better at it, but his gift is scoring. He’s a great shooter. He attacks the rim very well. He gets to the free-throw line.”
Anderson is also adept at scoring and winning. The 6-5, 200-pound wing averaged 16.9 points, 9.8 rebounds and 1.5 assists this season while shooting 54.3 percent from the field and 44 percent on three-pointers.
Anderson led Moberly Area Community College in Missouri to a 24-9 record and the NJCAA region finals. He had 29 points and 14 rebounds in the championship game.
“He’s a big-time rebounder and a versatile player who can score inside and outside,” said Jerry Mullen, who runs a recruiting service that scouts junior-college players. “He really shot it good this year. That’s what jumped out more than anything.
“If you can shoot it like that, then you can score at any level, whether that’s junior college or Division I.”
Taylor and Anderson join a Washington class that includes touted guards Nigel Williams-Goss and Darin Johnson, who signed last November.
Taylor plans to sign either Wednesday or Sunday at the New Congregational Missionary Baptist Church in L.A., where his father, Kelly Taylor, is the pastor.
“I’m feeling great,” Taylor said. “I’m very excited about the opportunity I have at Washington. I’m eager to play for a great coach, a great system and great program. I feel I can make a big contribution to the team. I hope the school is proud of me being able to attend and hopefully I can produce.”
Taylor declined offers from Fresno State, Long Beach State and UC Santa Barbara.
He’ll make his first trip to Seattle in May to visit Washington and play in the West Coast All-Star Classic May 11 at the ShoWare Center in Kent.
“Committing to Washington, I kind of went on faith,” Taylor said. “I take my visit next month, but talking to coach Romar made me feel at home. I really felt comfortable with him.”
Anderson bounced between four schools since leaving Weaver High in Hartford, Conn., in 2009. He played one year at a prep school in Tampa, Fla., and redshirted at Iowa Western Community College. He spent the 2011-12 season at Lincoln Trail Community College in Robinson, Ill., before transferring to Moberly.
“My stock started to rise after the first semester,” Anderson said. “I had good stats and we were winning. From there (UW assistant Jim Shaw) heard about me. He said he wanted me the first day he saw me. We built a relationship, which led me to coach Romar.”
Anderson also drew interest from South Florida, West Virginia, San Francisco, Middle Tennessee State and Southern Mississippi.
Anderson and Taylor would give UW 12 players on scholarship, with one available. There could be another opening if junior guard C.J. Wilcox leaves early to enter the NBA draft.
Wilcox won the MVP award at the team’s postseason banquet. Aziz N’Diaye was named best defensive player and hardest worker, and took the Harshman Award for the top rebounder. Desmond Simmons was named the top hustler and scholar-athlete.
Percy Allen: 206-464-2278 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @percyallen