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The Arizona State men’s basketball program is in desperate need of a bounce-back season in 2022. With the departure of forward Jalen Graham to Arkansas, coach Bobby Hurley and his staff have been scouring the transfer market, and Nevada transfer Warren Washington appears to be the replacement.
Washington announced his commitment Tuesday morning on social media. The Wolfpack transfer comes in at 7-feet tall. He is the tallest Sun Devil in recent memory.
“You showed your love and support through all the highs and lows,” Washington penned to Wolfpack fans when he first announced his decision to transfer. “With all of that being said, I will be entering the transfer portal as a graduate transfer with two years of eligibility left. This has been a difficult decision, but I believe it is the best one for my future. Reno will always have a special place in my heart. Thank you for everything!”
Washington averaged 10.5 points and 6.6 rebounds per game last season as the Nevada starting center. He’s now the second former Nevada player to transfer to ASU this offseason. Washington joins former teammate Desmond Cambridge Jr., whose commitment was announced on March 31.
As the season inches closer, it will be interesting to see how Hurley crafts his new starting five, with more size with which to work. Washington doesn’t appear to be the Sun devils’ only target. ASU is linked with two other big men. Tennessee transfer Brandon Huntley-Hatfield and Utah grad transfer Dusan Mahorcic are the other potential targets.
CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein reported that Huntley-Hatfield is set to visit a handful of schools over the next couple of weeks. His visit to Tempe is last on the list; slated for April 29-May 1.
The 6-feet-10 power forward would slide perfectly into ASU’s rotation. The former five-star recruit is still just 18 years old with already one year of Power Five basketball experience under his belt.
When Huntley-Hatfield first decided to attend UT, he said a lot of the decision was based on attending a program with a coach that was accustomed to developing big men. For his one season as a Volunteer, Huntley-Hatfield was coached by Rick Barnes.
“The players he’s had in the past before he was at Tennessee, I feel like the players that he had are kinda like me,” Huntley-Hatfield explained in a Tennessee basketball video back in February.
With that said, ASU fans should hope that the transfer isn’t looking for the same quality from Hurley. While the Sun Devils have sent a couple players to the NBA over the last few years, they don’t mirror the former Volunteer much, if at all.
Hurley is a former guard himself, which explains why the Sun Devils’ offense thrives off fast-paced, guard-centric play. However, Huntley-Hatfield could solve a lot of problems for ASU if he decided to sport the maroon and gold.
In theory, the upside for such a young player could be astronomical for Hurley and company. While he only averaged 3.9 points and three boards a game, he played about 12 minutes a game.
While ASU makes its pitch to Huntley-Hatfield in the coming weeks, the program’s earlier order of business is Mahorcic. The 6-feet-10 forward played his best game last season against ASU, putting up 12 points and eight rebounds in 21 minutes.
NYT Sports’ contributor Adam Zagoria reported that Mahorcic is on official visit at ASU from April 19-20.
While the next week or two could see the Sun Devils adding even more size to the team, it would be a pipe dream to assume both of these transfers make the move to ASU. With Washington’s commitment on Tuesday, both Huntley-Hatfield and Mahorcic can expect to see competition at the power forward and center spot.
Hurley’s roster also features rising senior forward Alonzo Gaffney and the expected return of rising junior forward Marcus Bagley. Bagley is the most talented player on the roster, regardless of who transfers.
In an offseason that has already seen three newcomers enter the program, the potential for Hurley’s offense in 2022 is off the charts. He’s never had this much size on the roster with the return of several guards. A commitment from Huntley-Hatfield or Mahorcic would only boost the stock of a team in need of a rejuvenating season.
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