Until recently, the University of Washington basketball program was never a major destination school for Division I transfers. Sure, grade school and high school recruits, but never four-year bums.
This practically changed overnight for the Huskies and coach Mike Hopkins as the program faced golden opportunities, the nagging pandemic and an unsettling mass exodus.
Suddenly, Alaska Airlines Arena looked like a Greyhound bus terminal with players arriving from Kentucky, Wichita State, Michigan, West Virginia, Arizona, Stanford, and TCU.
Led by high-scoring guard Terrell Brown, the UW now opens every game with transfers filling three of the five starting positions and more coming off the bench.
Given this new roster trend in Montlake, we look at 10 transfers who arrived at the UW looking for a fresh start and either made it work for them or just played their suitability with a modest splash.
Ironically, the most prominent man on the list, a great man from three decades ago, had a Hopkins connection at his previous stop.
10 NOTEWORTHY YOUR TRANSFERS
1. Richard Manning, Syracuse
Born in California, the 6-foot-11 center averaged 16.8 and 17.9 points per game in his two seasons for the Huskies and coach Lynn Nance, winning them the All-Pac-10 in 1992-93. first team honors. However, the UW didn’t take full advantage of him in the lineup, finishing only 13-14 and 12-17 during Manning’s stay. He left Syracuse after two seasons as a submarine to return to the west coast. As a sophomore for Orange in 1989-90, he was teammates with a freshman guard named Mike Hopkins; Manning averaged 3.1 ppg over 31 games that season, Hopkins 2.9 over 20 games. The big man later spent two seasons in the NBA before moving abroad.
2. Doug Wrenn, Connecticut
Once a rural recruit who could have signed with anyone, the 6-foot-6 forward lasted a season in the Big East at UConn, where he ran into a bit of trouble and returned home to the Huskies. He competed in Bob Bender’s schedule, averaged 19.5 ppg, and was named a first-team All-Pac-10 for a team of 11-18 in 2001-02. After a coaching change to Lorenzo Romar, he averaged 12.4 ppg for a 10-17 team the following year, but Romar didn’t let him use his final season as a Huskies alongside Brandon Roy, Nate Robinson and Will Controy, as he was afraid he wasn’t a team player. Wrenn later competed abroad and just last year graduated from the UW.
3. Quade Green, Kentucky
This point guard’s transfer from SEC powerhouse coached by John Calipari had Husky fans over-excited, but the team results from his stay in Seattle were hugely disappointing. Green did not qualify academically for an 11-4 UW team in 2019-20 and his departure sent the Huskies into a tailspin, finishing 15-17. Last year, he led the team with a score of 15.4 per game, but the Hopkins team hit a low of 5-21, the second-worst record in school history. The Philadelphia native did not return for one final season and now plays pro basketball in Maine.
4. Terrell Brown Jr., Arizona
The Huskies will only have this Seattle native for one season and he currently leads the Pac-12 in scoring 21.4 ppg for a 9-7 team. The 6-foot-3 guard previously played for Seattle U, where he averaged 20.7 points in 2019-20, and in Arizona, where he scored 7.3 ppg last year. If only he had an effective big man to share the floor with while playing in his hometown, imagine what the UW could do.
5. Jamal Williams, New Mexico
A starter alongside the great Brandon Roy, the 6-foot-7 forward averaged 13.4 ppg for a 26-7 UW team that reached the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament to lose in overtime to UConn. The California native played both an indoor and outdoor game, was awarded the All-Pac-10 Honorable Mention, and later played abroad for several years.
6. Phil Zevenbergen, Seattle Pacific
This Seattle-area athlete came from a rowing family, but he showed his household could also produce a high-level basketball player, joining the UW after stops at Division II Seattle Pacific University and Edmonds Community College. The 6-foot-10 power forward played two seasons at Montlake, averaging 15.9 ppg and 8.9 rpg as a senior in 1986-87 and was named first-team All-Pac-10. After a short time in the NBA for the San Antonio Spurs, he spent several seasons abroad.
7. Emmitt Matthews Jr., West Virginia
He is a bright, confident 6-foot-7 forward from Tacoma, who originally committed to UConn but didn’t go there due to a coaching change, eventually signing with West Virginia, where he spent three seasons. He’s gone from being an extra grumpy coach in Bob Huggins to the UW’s smiley Hopkins. For the Huskies, he is one of the team leaders, averaging a productive 11.6 ppg and 4.8 rpg, with another season at his disposal if he wants to.
8. Ryan Appleby, Florida
A well-known 3-point shooter from Stanwood, Washington, spent a year with the Gators and coach Billy Donovan before transferring to the UW. He averaged 7.9, 10.5 and 11.2 ppg for his three Husky teams, and started the last two seasons as a guard in 2006-07 and 2007-08 for Romar teams that played 19-14 and 16 -17 ended. Appleby played briefly in the CBA.
9. Erik Stevenson, State of Wichita
The 6-foot-tall security guard from Lacey, Washington, moved home after a few seasons at Kansas school and it didn’t work out for him or the Huskies, who suffered from that 5-21 disaster. As a full-time starter, he averaged 9.3 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.1 assists for Hopkins, but his shot was poor and couldn’t wait to move on. He now plays in the SEC for South Carolina and has an average of 10.8 ppg, but still only gets 28.2 percent of his 3-point attempts.
10. Jason Hamilton, State of San Diego
A point guard from Renton, Washington, Hamilton played for a season and a half for the Aztecs and was named WAC Freshman of the Year. Returning home, he started for 9-18 and 16-12 UW teams in 1994-95 and 1995-96, racking up 123 and 103 assists. He still holds the Husky record for 9 steals in a game. Later, Hamilton became a UW assistant coach to Bob Bender and has served as a team radio announcer for nearly two decades.
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