April 28, 2004
SEATTLE - Zach Johnson, a senior from Sacramento, Calif. signed a letter of intent to attend the University of Washington next year, men's basketball coach Lorenzo Romar announced Wednesday.
The 6-foot-9, 250-pound center averaged 14.9 points and 10 rebounds per game in 2003 as a junior at Natomas High School.
Johnson was rated the No. 9 center prospect in the West by TheInsidersHoops.com despite having his high school career cut short three games into his senior season. Johnson injured his left knee in December after having a similar injury to his right knee last April.
"We are pleased to have Zach Johnson join our program," Romar exclaimed. "He has a rare combination of physical size, at 6-9 and 250 pounds, while still being extremely agile with good speed. He will red shirt his first season due to the recent knee surgery."
Johnson is the third member of Washington's 2004 basketball recruiting class that will begin working out with the team in the fall. He joins previous signees Joel Smith and Ryan Appleby.
Smith is a 6-5, 190-pound swingman from Lompoc, Calif. who signed with the Huskies on Nov. 17, 2003. He played this season at Brewster Academy in Wolfeboro, N.H.
Appleby is a 2003 graduate of Stanwood (Wash.) High School who played last season at the University of Florida. Appleby received a release from Florida on April 2 and UW received his scholarship letter on April 14. He will sit out the 2004-05 season as a red-shirt and will be eligible to play beginning in the fall of 2005.
Washington registered a 19-12 record in 2004 and participated in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in five years. The 12-6 conference record and second-place Pac-10 finish were the Huskies' best performances since 1986. The campaign was highlighted by a 75-62 upset of No. 1 Stanford and a sweep of three games over highly ranked Arizona. UW's stellar season ended with a 102-100 loss to UAB in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
2004 Washington Men's Basketball Letter of Intent Signees
* Ryan Appleby
Guard, 6-3, 165, Stanwood, Wash. (Stanwood HS / Florida)
* Zach Johnson
Center, 6-9, 250, Sacramento, Calif. (Natomas HS)
* Joel Smith
Guard/Forward, 6-5, 190, Lompoc, Calif. (Brewster Academy, Wolfeboro, N.H. / Lompoc HS)