Isaiah Stewart, a consensus five-star, top-six prospect in the class of 2019, has verbally committed to play basketball at Washington. He announced his decision on ESPN during halftime of a Hoophall Classic game. The news comes after weeks of speculation, including a crystal ball report that heavily favored the Huskies. Here’s a video of the announcement:
Five-star center Isaiah Stewart announces he’s heading to #Washington
— Lars Hanson (@LarsHanson) January 21, 2019
In his interview with 247 sports, Stewart said Washington coach Mike Hopkins was a big factor in his decision.
“At first, I wasn’t leaning towards them, but the more Coach Hopkins and I continued to talk, he’s a guy like me and different and works hard. He wants to start his own legacy and that’s what I want to do,” Stewart said. “He’s a coach I trust to push me harder and help me accomplish my goals.”
But his commitment doesn’t stop there. Like most recruits, Stewart plans on helping his new school continue to bring in elite talent.
“I’m going after Jaden McDaniels now,” Stewart said. “We’re trying to build something out there… If we get him, man, game-changer.”
Jaden McDaniels, if you’ll remember, is the No. 5 overall player in the Rivals rankings, and another top target for the Wildcats. He’s already been offered a scholarship and taken an official visit, but the Washington native hasn’t yet committed. National analyst Corey Evans believes UK and Washington are the two most likely landing spots for McDaniels. That’d be a huge miss for Kentucky at this point.
Throughout the recruitment process, Stewart took official visits to Kentucky, Duke, Michigan State and Syracuse before ultimately picking the Huskies. Over the last week or so, KSR sources have thought Washington would most likely be Stewart’s final destination, and today’s news finally confirms that. KSR’s Jack Pilgrim will have plenty of additional information in his “Monday Insider Notes” post tomorrow afternoon.
After missing out on Vernon Carey (who is committed to Duke) and now Isaiah Stewart, John Calipari and the Cats are back in the market for a big man.