A bustling offseason for the Washington men’s basketball team got a little crazier Thursday when the Huskies lost two more players — Nate Pryor and J’Raan Brooks — while adding two newcomers — Terrell Brown Jr. and Samuel Ariyibi.
Let’s start with the departures.
Brooks and Pryor are the latest to enter the NCAA transfer portal, which marks three consecutive days of UW players bolting the program. Erik Stevenson began the mass exodus Tuesday, followed by Marcus Tsohonis on Wednesday.
As of Thursday night, Washington had nearly as many players who intend to transfer than returning players (Jamal Bey, RaeQuan Battle, Cole Bajema, Nate Roberts and Riley Sorn).
The turnstile is rapidly spinning on Montlake, and a couple more players could depart a team in desperate need of an overhaul after finishing 5-21 overall and 11th in the Pac-12 at 4-16.
And it remains to be seen if seniors Quade Green and Hameir Wright will return next season, considering the NCAA granted an extra year of eligibility to 2020-21 student athletes due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
During their one season at Washington, Pryor and Brooks had difficulties cracking the rotation.
Pryor, a 6-foot-4 point guard out of West Seattle High, originally signed with Washington in April 2017 but couldn’t get into UW due to failing academics and spent a year at Elite Sports Northwest, an Issaquah-based basketball prep school.
Following two standout seasons at junior-college powerhouse North Idaho College where he averaged 17.9 points and 4.7 assists while amassing a 59-3 record, Pryor transferred to Washington last year.
With the Huskies, Pryor averaged just 4.1 points, 1.6 assists, 1.3 rebounds and 17.4 minutes in 19 games.
The high point of the season for Pryor came during the two games he started when he tallied 15 points, five assists and three steals against Colorado on Dec. 20, 2020 and had 13 points, five rebounds, four assists and two steals on Dec. 9 vs. Seattle University.
Pryor fell out of the rotation after the first eight games and didn’t get off the bench five times during a six-game stretch midway in the season.
Playing time was harder to find for Brooks.
The 6-9 junior forward, who starred at Garfield High and played one season at USC, transferred to Washington two years ago and sat out the 2019-20 season.
Last season, Brooks averaged 3.1 points and 1.6 rebounds in 14 games and made one start.
The maelstrom of defections nearly overshadowed the impending arrivals of Brown and Ariyibi.
Brown, a 6-3 senior guard and former Garfield High School standout who transferred from Seattle University to Arizona in 2020, announced Thursday on Twitter that he is returning home when he wrote: “Heart just turned purple” with an purple heart emoji.
Brown began his college career at Shoreline Community College before starring at Seattle U and averaging 17.2 points, 4.7 assists and 6.5 rebounds while starting 57 of 62 games during two seasons.
With Arizona, Brown was a reserve in 16 of 26 games while averaging 7.3 points, 3.5 assists and 3.5 rebounds.
Thursday’s slew of UW news began with Ariyibi verbally committing to the Huskies.
The 6-8 small forward from Nigeria was the MVP of the 2019 Basketball Without Borders Tournament in Senegal and most recently played in the NBA Africa Academy, which also produced Washington State freshman sensation Efe Abogidi.
Brown and Ariyibi join four-star recruit and McDonald’s All-American Jackson Grant, but it appears as if coach Mike Hopkins isn’t finished revamping the roster.
The Huskies also reportedly have been linked to a handful of transfers, including Cincinnati freshman forward Tari Eason, who played at Garfield High, and Marshall senior point guard Jarrod West.
And Hopkins will need to fill two spots on his coaching staff to replace assistant Cameron Dollar, who announced he’s leaving Washington. Assistant Dave Rice is expected to depart later this month, according to UW sources.