As we talked about in an earlier post, no surprises on signing day. Washington received letters of intent from Jahmel Taylor and Mike Anderson, who had verbally committed.
Neither are expected to be stars. But, they do provide is depth.
Washington now has a cadre of guards and wing players — especially if C.J. Wilcox comes back — that it didn’t have last year. This, as much as anything, should help Washington get into transition more next season, a year after playing at the slowest pace of any season at Washington under Romar.
“The teams that we’ve had in years past, when we’ve had that depth, we’ve been able to do a good job on the defensive end and get out and run a lot more and push the ball a lot more,” Romar said. “I think with the depth that we have now, that’s going to take us a long ways toward being able to play more up-tempo again.”
The entire press conference is above. There were a bevy of topics discussed Wednesday. Let’s get to some of them:
Though he signed during the early period, Romar discussed what he saw and how he first met the big fish of this recruiting class
“Last summer, almost every event, he was MVP. It wasn’t because he was spectacular out there. It was because he willed his team to victory. Nothing surprises me with Nigel. In terms of heights that he’s been able to take his teams to, that doesn’t surprise me. He has an enormous, enormous will to win. That’s a gift … lot of kids don’t have that. He’s special that way.”
As for how he met Williams-Goss:
“I was at a Trail Blazers game, someone told me, the kid behind you is the No. 1 seventh-grader in the country. We happened to be in a suite that night. I think they mentioned, if you said ‘hi’ to him, he would really appreciate that. I remember saying hello, and I remember his mother being there. I remember, “Nigel,” that was a different name. I thought, that’s pretty good. Young man is pretty good, No. 1 with the seventh-graders.
“So, I go on about my business. A year later, I hear, this is the same Nigel Williams-Goss. My assistants were talking — we had the elite camp — about him coming to camp. We didn’t have any eighth-graders in camp. But, we decided, because of his skill set, he could probably hold his own, so we allowed him to come to camp.
“He was here. That’s when we began to develop a relationship. He transferred the next year to Findlay (Prep in Henderson, Nev.). We stayed in touch. He committed to UNLV after being down there and Lon Kruger left, went to Oklahoma, at that point, Nigel decommitted and let us know he was interested. Thank goodness he’s here.”
One very interesting thing Romar added, voluntarily, at the end of the press conference about his highly-touted incoming point guard:
“He’s a McDonlad’s All-American, player of the year candidate and all that. But, I caution you about putting too much expectations on him early. You watch him play and you don’t see him dunking over the top of people and you don’t see him throwing behind-the-back no-look passes and all that. ‘He’s not that good.’ You see people reacting that way. I think you just have to continue to watch him play, see how he affects the game.”
“Darin is physical, athletic, shoots the ball. Darin, he has as much upside of any of the guys we signed. Darin has kind of been a late bloomer. Opposite of Nigel, he didn’t get all the accolades early. Darin didn’t really come on the scene until last summer and he just keeps getting better and better and better. We’re excited to have him. He has a real scorer’s mentality.”
“A really, really feisty winner. Was the California 4-A state player of the year and his team also won a state championship. A dedicated, passionate basketball player. A really good character kid. He’s a 5-11 guard. He was a shooting guard for a long period. He’s trying to make the transition to playing the 1. He can play both. He can pressure the ball and works really hard.”
“Plays multiple positions on the perimeter. Good ball-handler. Good penetrator. Really dedicated player that is a really good rebounder form the guard position.”
On how they found and picked Anderson out of Moberly Area Community College in Kirksville, MO:
“(Coach Shaw) was given a tip that this is a kid that played kind of our style. We looked at a couple others, then he went down and saw him … a little bit like the Goldilocks deal. One was too this, one was too that, that one was just right.”
One other name we’ll talk about in this post is Mike Moser.
The power forward is transferring from UNLV and has been linked to Washington, Oregon and Arizona. The main question about Arizona and Moser is where he would fit in as part of an already loaded frontcourt. A spot may have opened for him Wednesday night.
Arizona announced that freshman power forward Grant Jerrett will enter the NBA draft.
The move is being panned by most in Arizona. As for Moser, it opens up a possible slot for him with the Wildcats.
Adam Zagoria, who works in New York City, tweeted earlier Wednesday that Moser will be visiting Washington this weekend.
— Adam Zagoria (@AdamZagoria) April 18, 2013
Jeff Goodman of CBS Sports said Washington appeared the leader for Moser, but that Oregon is in the mix now.
Washington was in there strong with UNLV transfer Mike Moser. Now Oregon has closed the gap, source told CBSSports.
— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanCBS) April 18, 2013
Now, we have a developing scenario with Arizona.
So, there is still recruiting drama to carry out. Also, don’t forget to include transfer Perris Blackwell, who will have a large influence next season, in the mix with this new group.