Washington Alumni Basketball

6-10 forward Tristan Etienne verbally commits to attend Washington

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While July 4th is a national holiday, very rarely are there days off in the recruiting world. On Thursday, 6-10 forward Tristan Etienne has verbally committed to attend Washington. The news was first reported by Percy Allen of the Seattle Times.

A native of Abbotsford, British Columbia, Etienne is the first commitment in the 2014 class for head coach Lorenzo Romar.

“Growing up as a kid when I started watching the NCAA, Washington was a school that I took a liking to,” Etienne told Allen. “When I realized I had a chance to go D-1, it was the school I was shooting for and the school I was dreaming about. I’m just so happy I had the opportunity to go there and play.”

Washington has just one senior in its front court rotation for the 2013-14 season, San Francisco transfer Perris Blackwell, but the Huskies can certainly use another body with Gilles Dierickx, Jernard Jarreau and Shawn Kemp Jr. rounding out the rotation.

Having that experience on the roster should help Etienne’s development once he gets to Seattle, and his grassroots coach Pasha Bains stated in Allen’s story that injuries have impacted his physical development.

“When you look down the road the next 2-3 years, he’s a kid who hasn’t been in the weight room much,” said Bains. “He’s had a couple of injuries that kind of stalled that and I see that as a good thing. These other kids have filled out already. He can probably put on 20-30 pounds as he matures. Washington likes to run and he can do that. He’s a really bright kid. He’s been a 4.0 student and he scored really well on his SAT. He’s just a really good team guy. I think Washington is lucky to have him.”

With Blackwell and C.J. Wilcox out of eligibility following the 2013-14 season, Washington has two scholarships available for the 2014-15 campaign.

Raphielle can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

Illinois’ injury woes continue as starting center needs knee surgery

George Niang,Abdel Nader,Mike Thorne, Jr.
AP Photo/Mark Wallheiser
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Illinois suffered another blow in what has already turned out to be a brutal season.

Mike Thorne is expected to miss the rest of the season after tearing his meniscus. He reportedly underwent surgery on Monday to repair the injury.

Thorne, a transfer from Charlotte, was starting at center for the Illini and doing a good job of it as well. He was averaging 13.4 points and 8.4 boards, although Illinois has started off the season 3-4.

The reason for that slow start has mainly been those injuries. Tracy Abrams is already out for the season after tearing his achilles, and the Illini training room looked like a M.A.S.H. unit. Kendrick Nunn just returned two games ago from surgery to repair a torn thumb ligament. LeRon Black is still getting back to speed after offseason knee surgery. Jaylon Tate is back after dislocating a finger. Jalen Coleman-Lands was slowed by a stress fracture.

John Groce entered this season on the hot seat, and dealing with all of these injuries certainly isn’t helping his cause.

NEW PODCAST: Recapping Feast Week

Kris Dunn
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
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We talk about a lot of stuff of the podcast today, mainly because a lot of stuff happened since we last spoke with you all.

For starters, we need to discuss the ‘realness’ of Syracuse and Xavier. Are they both truly top 15 teams, or do they just have top 15 resumes? We also dive into Chris Mack’s epic troll-job of Dayton at the Advocare Invitational final.

Other topics we touched on: Whether or not Scott is ever going to apologize to Wayne Selden, Wichita State’s tournament hopes, Texas A&M and whether we’d take Ben Simmons, Kris Dunn or Denzel Valentine today.

As always, you can subscribe to the podcast in iTunes right here. It’s the quickest way to get access on your cell phone or tablet.