On Saturday evening, Danny Manning and the Wake Forest basketball program received a commitment from 2016 shooting guard, Richard Washington. Washington is a 6'5" 180 pound shooting guard, who attends Walsingham Academy School in Williamsburg, Virginia. However, he is only ranked 197th nationally by 247 Sports, which has caused some Wake Forest fans to be concerned. Should they be?
I'll start by stating that despite his lower ranking, Washington was not a backup plan. Danny Manning has made Washington a priority for some time, and he got his man. Manning has proven to have an excellent eye for talent, and I'll trust him until he proves me wrong. Keep in mind that neither Dinos Mitoglou nor Mitchell Wilbekin were highly rated coming out of high school, but Manning recognized their talent. Manning was also one of the first people to recognize the talents of Jon Isaac, Javin Montgomery-DeLaurier, Wenyen Gabriel, and Eli Wright, just to name a few.
It's obvious from watching Washington play, that he has an excellent shooting stroke from long range. He also has a very good mid-range game, and can create shots off the dribble. It's also clear from watching him that he is a very good passer for his position, and has a very good feel for the game. He's long and lanky, which will help him be a solid defender at the next level. Admittedly, he's not much of a leaper. His lack of elite athleticism is one of the reasons he is not as highly regarded by scouting services. Still, I believe at 197, that he's ridiculously underrated.
Overall, Washington can be a key contributor for the Wake Forest basketball program. Will he ever be a college star? It's doubtful, but he has the most valuable skill in basketball - a great outside shot. The NBA has essentially solved offense over the past decade, and the clear winner is the three ball. Washington has that skill, and can absolutely be a very solid starter at the college level. Wake fans should be happy about this commitment.
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