It’s not quite an even swap but Husky Men’s head Basketball coach Mike Hopkins has begun the rebuilding process for the 2020-2021 season
Tuesday night Freshman forward Jaden McDaniel’s declared for the upcoming NBA draft joining former teammate Isaiah Stewart. Wednesday afternoon Hopkins announced the signing of guards Erik Stevenson and Nate Pryor .
DIFFERENT TYPE OF COACHING
For the Huskies, the effort was there but the results were not. The Huskies finished last in the Pac-12 and were knocked out of the Pac-12 Tournament after losing the tournament-opening game to Arizona. It was a foregone conclusion that McDaniel’s and Stewart would leave after one year. At 6-foot-9, 200-pound McDaniel’s is listed no.16 by ESPN on its top 100 players eligible for the draft. Despite the disappointing season, Hopkins tweeted out his appreciation.
CROWDED BACK COURT
Pryor starred at West Seattle High and played the last two seasons at North Idaho College and led the Bengals to a 59-3 record while averaging 18.0 points, 4.8 assists and 1.9 steals a game.
“Nate is a true (point guard) who is a born leader that can run a team,” Hopkins said. “He makes everyone around him better.”Mike Hopkins on Nate Pryor’s point guard skills
For Stevenson when he gets a chance to represent the Huskies next year is up in pending. The NCAA is looking into changing the current policy of transfers having to sit out a year. If the rule is changed Stevenson would be eligible to play next season.
Stevenson is former Timberline High School star who spent the last two year starring at Wichita State. The 6-foot-3, 198 sophomore started 21 games last year, averaged 11.1 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.7 turnovers in 31 games.
Stewart and McDaniel’s experiment helped Hopkins grow as a coach. Both players join a long list of lower classmen who opted for the NBA draft. Stewart is one arguably of the best freshman in Husky history. The lessons learned from last year should open the door for more pro-ready players to attend Washington.