Updated: Jul 9, 2021
Yesterday UNC successfully landed Marquette transfer Dawson Garcia, and they followed that with their first five-star player of the Hubert Davis Era, as Jalen Washington has officially committed to the Tar Heels. The Gary, Indiana product had numerous interests from Big 10 schools, including Michigan State, Penn State, and of course the home state Indiana Hoosiers, but ultimately decided to play his college ball in Chapel Hill. His commitment comes a little more than a month after his official visit to UNC, and roughly two months after Hubert Davis got involved in his recruitment. Washington joins a class that already consists of combo guard Seth Trimble, and the fellow big man Will Shaver. With Washington joining this class he immediately becomes the headliner for Hubert Davis’ first class since becoming the head coach.
UNC has worked tirelessly to repair the depth in the frontcourt through the transfer portal this off-season. Carolina has brought in Brady Manek and the aforementioned Garcia, to play with Armando Bacot this upcoming season, but the depth is in question after 2021-22. Manek is super senior, using his extra year granted by the NCAA, so his college career will be over once the season concludes. Both Bacot and Garica went through the NBA Draft process so there’s no telling how long they’ll be in Chapel Hill moving forward. With Bacot already landing an endorsement deal, and Garcia likely to land one as well, there might not be as much to turn pro too quickly. Nonetheless, Davis and his staff aren’t going to get stuck in a situation like UNC was in just a few months, where talent and depth were sparse.
Washington is a 6-9, 210 pound center from Indiana, and it's no wonder why Sean May was his recruiter as May himself came to UNC from the Hoosier State. He may lack the overall size you want in a center, but he’s a modern big man that space the floor, and knockdown outside shots. According to 247Sports Composite, Washington is the No. 21 overall player in the 2022 class, while being the No. 4 Center, and No. 1 player from Indiana. In his junior season, he averaged 12.8 points per game, to go along with 5.8 rebounds. He has excelled on the travel ball circuit, setting himself up to have a monster senior season, before joining the Tar Heels.
Here is Brian Snow, a recruiting analyst from 247Sports, scouting report of Washington:
“Has an ideal combination of size, length, skill, and athleticism at the forward position. Has a huge wingspan and great hands, A new age power forward with tremendous upside. Can make shots from three, score down low or create off the dribble, A do-it-all player. A tremendous rebounder and someone who should be able to defend all over the court. He has to continue to get stronger and more consistent with his motor, but the physical tools and skills are there for him to be an elite prospect.”
UNC now has three members signed to their 2022 class, and are awaiting the decisions of others specifically, five-star point guard Jaden Bradley, which would put this class over the top. While there’s currently no timetable for his commitment, Davis and his staff have answered the questions about their ability to recruit, in a resounding fashion.
Make sure to stay tuned to the Heel Tough Blog for the latest Carolina Basketball recruiting news.
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