The past week we reviewed the Washington men’s basketball season, offered a six-point plan on how to fix the problems and took a close look at coach Mike Hopkins’ future

Following Husky women’s coach Jody Wynn’s firing, we provided analysis on the events that led to her downfall while columnist Matt Calkins offered insight into both programs.  

Today, we wrap up our UW hoops season review with your questions. So, take it away folks. 

How hot is Mike Hopkins’ seat right now?

As we detailed in Part III, Hopkins is expected to return next season due in part to the four years and $12 million remaining on his contract. 

However, the Huskies are 20-38 the past two years and just 9-29 in the Pac-12, including 12th and 11th-place finishes. 

Not sure if the UW athletic department would be able to swallow Hopkins’ buyout next year, which reduces to a $9M buyout. On the other hand, there aren’t many coaches who can survive three straight losing seasons without a postseason appearance. 

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Washington’s Quade Green pulls his jersey over his face after being unable to hit either of his two final shots which would have at the least gotten the game with Oregon to overtime.  Washington lost 74-71.  The Oregon Ducks played the Washington Huskies in Pac-12 Men’s basketball Saturday, December 12, 2020 at Alaska Airlines Arena in Seattle, WA. 215899

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How aggressively did the coaches from the UW women’s team recruit the top talent in Washington? Seemed to miss out on a lot of talent in the last 4 years.

This was truly baffling during Wynn’s tenure and it’s one of the reasons why she’s no longer the UW women’s basketball coach. 

To be fair, Wynn deserves a pass for her first recruiting class, considering she took the job April 14, 2017 and had just a few months to assemble an incoming freshman class. 

But over the next three years, Washington state produced six prospects included on ESPNW’s top 100 nationally ranked list and the Huskies whiffed on all of them. 

It’s one thing to lose Central Valley High’s Lexie Hull to perennial Pac-12 title contender Stanford, but Wynn’s inability to land local five-star recruits — Garfield High’s Dalayah Daniels (California) and Kentridge High’s Jordyn Jenkins (USC) — illustrated a disconnect with the hometown high school coaches. 

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University of Washington coach Jody Wynn monitors a tough situation in the first half against UCLA, Sunday, Feb. 7, 2021 in Seattle.  (Ken Lambert / The Seattle Times)
University of Washington coach Jody Wynn monitors a tough situation in the first half against UCLA, Sunday, Feb. 7, 2021 in Seattle. (Ken Lambert / The Seattle Times)

Why fire Wynn at all given women outperformed the men this year, have gradually improved each year, and had a good class coming in? If nothing else, doesn’t it show Hop was not fired (after back to back terrible seasons and lack of positive outlook) only because of $$ buyout?

Let me go on record and say, I don’t understand letting go of Wynn at this time, which is a sentiment shared by a few folks I spoke with around the Pac-12. 

Wynn had the daunting task of rebuilding a UW team devoid of front-line talent in the best women’s basketball conference in the country. The wins were incrementally improving during her first three years and this season the Huskies were one of the Pac-12 teams hit hardest by the coronavirus. 

Plus, Wynn assembled one of the best recruiting classes in Husky history and there’s no guarantee the next Washington coach will be able to retain those prospects. 

“Candidates for the Husky women’s coaching job?”

Well, the early wish list is led by UC Davis coach Jennifer Gross, the four-time Big West coach of the year, Gonzaga’s Lisa Fortier, who has led the Bulldogs to a 178-46 record and five NCAA tournaments during her seven-year tenure, and Oregon associate head coach Mark Campbell, a Mt. Vernon, Wash. native. 

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Another possibility might include Amaka Agugua-Hamilton, who spent the previous six years at Michigan State, before guiding Missouri State to a 26-4 record and a Missouri Valley Conference regular-season title during her first year as a head coach. 

“If Quade Green wants to come back do you think it’s good for Washington basketball next season?”

First off, I don’t see Green returning next season, but if he wants to play one more season at Washington, then the Huskies would be silly to not make him feel welcome. 

You’re right, sometimes Green shoots when he should pass, but I think he was overcompensating last season due to an absence of abundance talent around him. 

Remember how Green played during his first year at Washington? He was the fourth offensive option and a pass-first-playmaker who distributed the ball to Isaiah Stewart, Jaden McDaniels and Nahziah Carter.  

Green averaged 5.3 assists and had at least six assists in eight of 14 games before becoming academically ineligible. 

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He also shot an incredible 51.4% on field goals and 44.7% on three-pointers while averaging 11.6 points. 

The Huskies would surely want that Quade Green rather than the 2020-21 version who shot 42.8% from the floor and 31.3% behind the arc while averaging 15.4 points and 3.6 assists and leading the Pac-12 with 3.6 turnovers. 

Washington guard Quade Green (55) drives around California forward Andre Kelly (22) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021, in Seattle. Washington won 62-51. (Ted S. Warren / The Associated Press)
Washington guard Quade Green (55) drives around California forward Andre Kelly (22) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021, in Seattle. Washington won 62-51. (Ted S. Warren / The Associated Press)

Do you think the subpar year with Isaiah Stewart, Jaden McDaniels, etc. will have a lasting effect with Hopkins recruiting top tier talent again?

I don’t see how it helps. I wrote at the time when Stewart signed with Washington that he was not going to be a traditional one-and-done star because his legacy would endure far beyond his freshman year at UW. 

Hopkins invested so much into Stewart and it was imperative that both of them thrived in a relationship that didn’t make a lot of sense considering Stewart’s stature and he traveled 3,000 miles to play in Seattle. 

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In reality, Stewart’s stock took a hit in part due to his tenure at Washington. 

Before his Montlake arrival, Stewart was the No. 2 ranked recruit in the nation and a projected top-5 pick in the 2020 NBA draft. However, he slipped to No. 16 in the draft and didn’t appear to make any appreciable gains during his 32-game UW tenure. 

Surely, NBA prospect Paolo Banchero took notice of Stewart’s development and it likely played a role in his decision to spurn his hometown team where his parents played for Washington. 

And the Huskies’ misadventures with McDaniels, a top-10 recruit and projected lottery pick before the season, resulted in him being benched late in the season and ultimately falling to 28th in the draft. 

Paolo Banchero had 19 points for O’Dea iin its seifinal win over Rainier Beach on March 6, 2020 at the Tacoma Dome.  (Dean Rutz / The Seattle Times)
Paolo Banchero had 19 points for O’Dea iin its seifinal win over Rainier Beach on March 6, 2020 at the Tacoma Dome. (Dean Rutz / The Seattle Times)

How much is the reliance on the zone a hindrance in recruiting. I can see a lot of coaches telling prospects the NBA wants to see “man” skills.”

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I used to share a similar opinion, but Hopkins can always point to Matisse Thybulle, the 2019 Naismith defensive player of the year who set a Pac-12 steals record in large part due to Washington’s 2-3 zone. 

The Huskies were also able to land Stewart, McDaniels and incoming four-star recruit Jackson Grant, a McDonald’s All-American — and each were aware of UW’s reliance on the zone. 

How active in the Transfer portal will UW be and what positions will they be targeting by priority?

This is difficult to know considering the Husky women are looking for a new coach and Hopkins doesn’t have full understanding of who will be on the roster next season. 

Seemingly, the UW men will be very active and early reports have the Huskies linked to 6-foot-8 freshman forward Tari Eason, who is leaving Cincinnati. 

In a farewell address to Bearcat fans on his Twitter account, the former Garfield High standout talked about a desire to play closer to home, which potentially bodes well for Washington.