UW signs 2, but questions remain

Staff writerApril 18, 2013 

SEATTLE — Inside, then outside. Have it. Don’t have it.

Washington men’s basketball coach Lorenzo Romar went from office to office trying to get the paperwork in order. When he was done, the Huskies had signed commitments from the two recruits they expect to officially join the team this spring.

Washington received signed letters of intent from point guard Jahmel Taylor and wing Mike Anderson on Wednesday, the first day of the spring signing period. Each had given prior oral commitments to the school.

Taylor is a 5-foot-11 point guard from Pacific Hills High School, in West Hollywood, Calif.

“Jahmel Taylor is a really hard-nosed guard,” Romar said. “He is a winner. His team won the

state championship and he was player of the year for his division.

“He is a guy that just impacts the final score of the game with a lot of toughness. He is also a great shooter.”

The 6-5 Anderson is one of the few junior college transfers for Washington under Romar. He has two years of eligibility remaining after coming to the Huskies from Moberly Area Community College in Missouri.

“Good ballhandler, good penetrator,” Romar said. “Is a really good rebounder from the guard position.”

Taylor averaged 22.7 points a game last season. Williams put up 17.2 points and 10.0 rebounds, plus shot a crisp 52.6 percent from the field.

Adding those two brings the Huskies to 12 scholarship players and leaves one scholarship available.

But, questions remain.

Washington is waiting for redshirt junior C.J. Wilcox, last year’s leading scorer, to decided if he is staying with the Huskies for his senior season or heading to the NBA draft. He has until April 28 to decide.

Romar said Wilcox will be making an informed and measured decision, as opposed to a rash one that many prospects make. Wilcox is projected by many to be drafted in the middle of the second round.

Romar also is the only conduit between Wilcox and the NBA because of NCAA rules. Romar is caught in a tricky position of providing Wilcox with the most accurate information possible while worrying about what next year’s roster will look like.

If Wilcox returns, he will give Washington a cadre of guards it had in the past but was lacking last season.

“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.”

Last season, Washington played at its slowest pace since Romar took over the program in 2002.

Another element in question is power forward Mike Moser of UNLV. Multiple reports have said Moser is likely to transfer to Washington.

Moser, 6-8, 210 pounds, averaged 7.1 points and 6.1 rebounds last season in reduced minutes for the Runnin’ Rebels when he played behind likely lottery pick Anthony Bennett.

The prior season, Moser averaged 14 points and 10.5 rebounds and was considered a solid NBA prospect. It’s anticipated Moser will graduate early, which would make him immediately eligible to play at whichever school he transfers to.

todd.dybas@ thenewstribune.com

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