Nov. 11, 2000
SEATTLE - Eighth-year coach Bob Bender's Washington men's basketball team received its final letter of intent commitments on Friday, completing a five-man group that has been ranked among the best recruiting classes in the nation by several analysts.
The signing class includes junior college standout Josh Barnard and four prominent high school recruits. Heading the list of prep players is Kentwood's Mike Jensen who was rated by Pac-West Hoops as the top power forward in the West.
A trio of players from high schools in Seattle signed with the Huskies. Those three are Jeffrey Day, from state Class AAA champion Seattle Prep, Chief Sealth's Erroll Knight, one of the nation's finest scoring guards, and Anthony Washington, a rising power forward prospect from Garfield.
"We accomplished what we wanted to do in a very big way," Bender said of the group of recruits. "We are very proud of the fact they are all from right here in state. Every single player is a Washington player and that is our priority. The majority of our roster is made up of Washington kids."
A 6-8 forward, Jensen averaged 14.4 points and 10.5 rebounds last year to lead Kentwood High School to a 21-9 record and seventh-place finish at the state Class 4A tournament. Selected among the nation's top 100 players in by nearly every scouting service, Jensen was listed No. 66 by The Sporting News.
The 6-6 Knight is also a consensus top-100 pick after averaging 16 points and eight rebounds last season. He was rated the No. 2 shooting guard in the West by Pac-West Hoops and the No. 59 player overall in the country.
Day, a 6-9 center/forward, registered 13-point, 8-rebound averages last season for state champion Seattle Prep. He was the West's No. 17 ranked power forward in the Pac-West Hoops listings.
Washington is an athletic 6-9 forward who emerged on the recruiting scene with stellar performances during the spring and summer camp sessions. He played as a reserve on a senior-laden Garfield High School squad last season, averaging five rebounds per game. Washington was the ninth-rated power forward in the West by Pac-West Hoops and rated the No. 100 player nationally by The Sporting News.
A 6-6 guard, Barnard averaged 15.1 point, 5.4 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game last year at Tacoma Community College. He converted a school-record 49-percent of his shots from 3-point range, helping the Titans to a 30-4 record and fourth-place finish at the Northwest Community College tournament. Barnard played his prep basketball at Bethel High School in Tacoma.
"We identified early the kids in that class and really concentrated our efforts to make the commitment to them and make them understand how important they were as a whole group," Bender explained. "We certainly had to recruit them individually based on their needs, but we really emphasized how they could be the greatest class that we have ever had the opportunity to recruit and that coming in together would put them in position to be one of the top classes in the nation. They all are very, very talented, but collectively they're very special."
The Huskies do not have any remaining scholarships to offer during the spring letter of intent period that runs from April 11 through May 15.
2000 Washington Men's Basketball Recruiting Class Profiles
Guard, 6-6, 210 Tacoma, Wash. (Bethel HS / Tacoma Community College)
* Averaged 15.1 points, 5.4 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game last season at Tacoma Community College.
* Converted a school-record 49-percent of his 3-point shots in 2000.
* Helped the Titans to a 30-4 record and a fourth-place finish at the Northwest Community College tournament.
* A first-team All-NWAACC West Region selection.
* Played as a prepster at Tacoma's Bethel High School.
* Selected Washington over several schools, including Oregon State, Gonzaga, Eastern Washington, Santa Clara and Loyola-Marymount.
UW Coach Bob Bender on Josh Barnard
"Josh Barnard is a pure 3-point shooter, the purest 3-point shooter that we have had on our roster. He has great range and shoots with flawless fundamentals. The added bonus is that he has played a number of positions so we would have no problem putting the ball in his hands. He creates his own shot because he gets to the basket and is athletic enough to get in the lane and get over the top of people."
Guard, 6-9, 215 Seattle, Wash. (Seattle Prep HS)
* Averaged 13 points and eight rebounds per game as a junior at Seattle Prep.
* Helped lead the Panthers to the 2000 Washington state Class AAA state championship.
* Seattle Prep finished the 2000 regular season with a 19-1 record.
* Rated the No. 17 prep power forward in the West by Pac-West Hoops.
* An honorable mention prep All-America selection by Street & Smith's magazine.
UW Coach Bob Bender on Jeffrey Day
"Jeffrey Day, as many people witnessed last year, is a player who is constantly improving. His improvement has no limits. He benefited from playing on a very successful high school team. For Jeffery, his confidence is much higher now going into his senior year than it would have been as a junior. He has a much more aggressive attitude toward the game. With his size, athleticism and that continued improvement, we will see Jeffrey's best years when he gets to Washington."
Forward, 6-8, 210 Covington, Wash. (Kentwood HS)
* Rated the No. 1 prep power forward prospect in the West by Pac-West Hoops.
* Averaged 14.4 points, 10.5 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.1 steals per game during his junior season at Kentwood High School.
* Helped Kentwood to a 21-9 record and a seventh-place finish at the 2000 state Class 4A tournament.
* Honored as the South Puget Sound League North Division Most Valuable Player.
* Ranked No. 66 nationally in The Sporting News Top 100 Recruits.
* Listed No. 78 nationally in the Hoop Scoop ratings produced by Clark Francis.
* Ranked among the top 100 recruits in the nation by several services, including Game Plan Sports Scouting Service (27th) and Rivals100.com (65th).
* An honorable mention prep All-America selection by Street & Smith's magazine.
* Selected Washington over several schools, including Kentucky and Oregon.
UW Coach Bob Bender on Mike Jensen
"Mike Jensen is a very athletic, explosive player who literally burst onto the scene in the month of July. He showed athletically that he is as good as anybody in the country. He also has a toughness that heightens his abilities."
Guard, 6-6, 200 Seattle, Wash. (Chief Sealth HS)
* Rated the No. 2 prep shooting guard in the West by Pac-West Hoops.
* Averaged 16 points, eight rebounds and three assists at Seattle's Chief Sealth High School.
* Earned first-team All-Metro League honors in 2000.
* Listed as the No. 16 shooting guard prospect in the nation by Rivals100Hoops.com, No. 59 overall.
* Ranked No. 71 nationally in The Sporting News Top 100 Recruits.
* Ranked No. 85 among high school seniors by Basketball News.
* Listed No. 86 nationally in the Hoop Scoop ratings produced by Clark Francis.
* Ranked among the top 100 recruits in the nation by several services, including Game Plan Sports Scouting Service (68th), Prep Star Recruiters Handbook (86th) and FutureStars magazine (94th).
* A high honorable mention prep All-America selection by Street & Smith's magazine.
* Was recruited by numerous schools, but finally selected Washington over Kansas.
UW Coach Bob Bender on Erroll Knight
"Erroll Knight is maybe as good an athlete as has ever worn a Washington uniform. He is a player who rose above where he might have been going into the month of July with his play in the summer at the ABCD camp through Las Vegas and Los Angeles. He can play a number of positions. With a real accelerated improvement in his skill level he is becoming a very proficient shooter out to the three and a much more competent ball-handler. Erroll probably can become as great a defensive player as ever played at Washington."
Center, 6-9, 220, Seattle, Wash. (Garfield HS)
* Rated the No. 9 prep power forward in the West by Pac-West Hoops.
* Listed No. 52 nationally by Game Plan Sports Scouting Service.
* Ranked No. 100 nationally in The Sporting News Top 100 Recruits.
* An honorable mention prep All-American selection by Street & Smith's magazine.
* Averaged three points and five rebounds in limited minutes as a junior at Garfield High School.
* Emerged as a major recruit during the spring and summer, averaging 14 points, 11 rebounds and five blocked shots during that period.
* Selected Washington after receiving recruiting interest from USC, UCLA, Oregon and UTEP.
UW Coach Bob Bender on Anthony Washington
"Anthony Washington's potential is incredible. He's a young man who didn't play a lot of minutes on a very good Garfield team and now becomes a huge factor in their hopes for a state championship. He runs the floor as well as anybody his size or even three inches smaller. Anthony is a very natural shot blocker who is extremely explosive around the basket."