On the day the Washington men’s basketball team officially welcomed three newcomers, the Huskies also received a surprise commitment from Langston Wilson, one of the nation’s top junior-college prospect.
The 6-foot-9 and 200-pound junior is rated the No. 1 junior college power forward, the No. 2 junior college prospect and a four-star prospect, according to 247Sports.com.
“An exceptional leaper with length,” 247Sports recruiting analyst Jerry Meyer reportedly said while evaluating Wilson. “Runs the floor extremely well. The lefty is tough to defend in the paint when attacking the rim. Keeps the defense honest as a three-point shooter. Dangerous offensive rebounder. Has room to improve as a ballhandler and passer. Versatile defender. Has a lot of upside but must gain weight and get stronger.”
Before a two-year stint at Georgia Highlands College in Rome, Georgia, Wilson an Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, native, sat out his 2018 season due to a suspected case of Marfan syndrome, an inherited genetic heart disorder that affected his father.
After receiving medical clearance to play, Wilson averaged 10.1 points, 7.6 rebounds and 1.2 blocks while shooting 54% from the floor in 32 games as a freshman during the 2019-20 season.
As a sophomore, Wilson averaged 9.6 points, 7.7 rebounds and 1.9 blocks in addition to shooting 58% from the field.
Last October, Wilson committed to Alabama after narrowing his list to 10 suitors, which included Oregon, Memphis, Texas A&M, South Carolina, Mississippi, Penn State, Maryland, Iona and Cal State Bakersfield.
In April, Wilson received a release from the national letter of intent he signed with the Crimson Tide and reopened his recruitment.
Weeks ago, speculation rose that the top contenders for Wilson were North Carolina State, Texas, West Virginia, Missouri, Maryland and Oklahoma.
Seemingly, Washington was a late suitor, and the Huskies could certainly use help on the front line after losing six players (Erik Stevenson, Marcus Tsohonis, Nate Pryor, J’Raan Brooks, RaeQuan Battle and Hameir Wright) to transfer.
UW’s newest additions include Terrell Brown Jr., Emmitt Matthews Jr. and Samuel Ariyibi.
“This is a group of guys that strive to be excellent in all areas of their life, which is going to be a great addition to our program,” UW coach Mike Hopkins said in a statement released by the school. “They’re committed to winning, getting better and impacting those around them on and off the court. Their sense of family and community is what we’re looking for in a student-athlete and these three fit the bill perfectly.”
Hopkins also stressed the importance of landing transfers Brown and Matthews who have ties to the area.
Brown, a former Garfield High standout who helped the Bulldogs to back-to-back Class 3A state championships in 2014-15, played one season at Shoreline CC before a two-year stint at Seattle University.
Last season, the 6-1 point guard averaged 7.3 points, 3.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists while shooting 36.8 percent on three-pointers at Arizona.
“Terrell brings an incredible level of leadership, toughness, professionalism and experience to our program,” Hopkins said. “He’s a proven winner with a talented skill set that will have a positive impact for us on the court. Not only has he shown that he can score at the highest level, but he’s showcased his ability to manage a floor effectively with his impressive assist to turnover ratio.
“Terrell is all about putting in the work and he’s earned everything in his life with a chip on his shoulder. He fits the culture of our university, our basketball program and our city perfectly.”
Matthews starred at Tacoma’s Wilson High where he was the Class 3A all-state player 2018. The past three seasons, 6-7 forward started 67 of 92 games at West Virginia where he averaged 6.4 points and 3.5 rebounds.
“Emmitt, another proven winner, has produced at the highest level against the top competition in the country and is just the ultimate professional,” Hopkins said. “He’s a long, athletic, experienced wing that is an unbelievable defensive player which will impact us right away. His potential offensively is limitless and he’s going influence the game in all areas on both ends of the court. Not only is his rebounding and production elite, he’s got an incredible motor to go along with his outstanding skill set.”
Ariyibi, a 19-year-old Nigerian, is a 6-8 forward with a 6-11 wingspan who is a product of the NBA Africa Academy. He was the MVP of the 2019 Basketball without Borders Tournament in Senegal and is Hopkins’ first international recruit.
The Huskies, which finished 5-21 overall and 11th in the Pac-12 at 4-16 last season, is also bringing in four-star recruit Jackson Grant, a McDonald’s All-American from Olympia High.
Washington appears to have 10 players slated for the 2021-22 roster, which is three shy of the NCAA limit.
- Brooks is transferring to UC San Diego.
- Former Garfield High standout Tari Eason, who had been linked to UW after transferring from Cincinnati, is headed to LSU.