Top-100 senior guard George Washington III breaks down Top 5 as he looks to commit before early signing period | Zagsblog
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Sunday / September 25.
  • Top-100 senior guard George Washington III breaks down Top 5 as he looks to commit before early signing period

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    By JACOB POLACHECK

    Since de-committing from Ohio State on September 5, class of 2023 guard George Washington III has become a key target for a number of high-major schools and he’s now starting to narrow things down.

    Washington, the No. 94 overall prospect in the On3 Consensus Rankings for 2023, said roughly 22 to 26 schools reached out in total, prompting him to get to work immediately.

    “That’s a crazy number,” he said in an interview Tuesday evening. “We knew from that point that we had to work on really being intentional with who we were talking to and who we’re giving our time to in order to focus on making a shorter list. We really worked it down a lot to get to this point.”

    The 6-foot-2, 165-pound combo guard from Chaminade Julienne (OH) Catholic High School, announced Tuesday that he has cut his list to Louisville, Michigan, Virginia, Dayton, and Wake Forest. 

    He broke down each program:

    Dayton: “I think the biggest thing is that I made it very well known that my goal is to make it to the NBA. Coach (Anthony) Grant was an NBA coach and he knows what it takes to get there. He knows what they look for. A lot of people in the basketball world know, but a lot of people on the outside don’t realize how talented they’ve been, especially in the last couple of years. They’ve really been on the come up. Right now, I feel like they’re a top team in the country. I just feel like they would be a great place. They have a lot of talent. I feel like if I went there I would be used really well. I just feel like it would be a great situation. The team could make a great run and I feel like it could be a great possible landing spot.”

    Virginia: “For one, I don’t think anyone can deny that Coach (Tony) Bennett is one of the best coaches the game has seen. He’s a hall-of-famer. He’s shown that he can produce pros and win while doing it. I’ve been on one visit there my first time going through the recruiting process. The amount of technology, the facilities that they have and the level they treat their guys is top-notch. Going in, that could be a great possible situation.”

    Louisville: “It’s just insane the staff that they’ve been able to build. (Kenny Payne) reached out to me really quick. With his experience in the league, Nolan Smith’s experience, Milt Wagner and Danny Manning, that entire group has NBA level players, NBA level coaches and it’s one of the most historic programs in the country. They have tradition there. It’s just crazy. Of course, I’m really close to Kaleb Glenn. It’s an amazing opportunity.”

    Wake Forest: “We talked to their coach on Zoom and really got acclimated. I’ve watched them play. I watched Alondes (Williams) when he was there. We heard their pitch. We sat down and watched some more film of them. Play style wise, they would be an amazing fit for me. They play up tempo, fast pace. Coach (Steve) Forbes lets his guards play. They get up, get after it and I just feel like overall it’s a great academic school, beautiful campus and it’s a great place.”

    Michigan: “A lot of it falls down to Coach (Juwan) Howard. The craziest thing is that when I was playing AAU in Austin, I played for a team, Ray Jackson Rising Stars. Ray Jackson, who was a part of that Fab Five team coached me in AAU for a little bit when I was younger. I’ve always been a fan of the Fab Five. Coach Howard really brings that different kind of style and feel back with his coaching. He’s an NBA guy, an NBA coach and they run a pro system that’s really different from a lot of teams in the league. I feel like that’s a place I could come into and make a difference.”

    Washington said that “right now” him and his parents are planning to go on an unofficial visit this weekend, but “haven’t really gotten something completely together.”

    “There’s a school within a decent range of us, just getting out to see them, that’s what we’re focused on right now,” Washington said. “We haven’t even really settled on that very much yet.”

    Given that Washington already used one of his visits to see Ohio State, he only has four official visits remaining, making his choice of which campus to see more challenging.

    “We’re going to have to talk as a family about how we want to handle that situation,” he said. “Whether that means we cut the list down to four and then use all four or just feeling it out and maybe only taking two or three. We have to really talk about that as a family and figure out what’s best.”

    When it comes to a timeline, Washington said he’s planning to commit before the early signing period.

    “By that November date, I want to have everything put together and be committed so that I can sign in that period,” he said. “I really think that with the way this process has been going, I’m on track for that. I really do think that.”

    Having already gone through the process once, Washington said he has a better understanding of what he’s looking for in a program this time around.

    “When you’re committing to a school, you really have to look at things from every aspect. If you really want to be happy there, it has to be somewhere you see yourself fitting in socially, enjoying the campus vibes,” he siad. “Academically, it has to be a good school that even when I step away from the game of basketball, I have a degree and education that can help me be successful anywhere else I want to go to.”

    He has another set of criteria on the basketball side.

    “It’s about being somewhere that wants my talent and really needs me on their roster,” he said. “I’m really just looking for a place that can fit every single one of those. I’m getting a better and better understanding, especially the second time around, of what that really is. That’s where I’m at.”

    When Washington talked to ZAGSBLOG in June of 2021, he described his game as being similar to that of Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray.

    15 months later, Washington has a new comparison.

    “He’s not really my favorite player, but I’m like Steph Curry in the way I handle the ball and get to my spots,” he said. If I’m open from anywhere on the court, I feel comfortable enough to shoot it. Whether that’s six or seven feet behind the line, I’ve worked to where that’s kind of becoming the shot for me.

    Washington said that this year, he’s looking to potentially get to the rim and make some explosive dunks.

    “Overall, I play a pretty exciting brand of basketball,” he said. “I play with a smile on my face. I love the game. There’s a little trash talking here and there, but I’d say that’s me.”

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