The University of Washington basketball remake continued as the school on Friday officially announced the roster additions of a pair of transfers in former Arizona guard Terrell Brown, Jr., and ex-West Virginia forward Emmitt Matthews Jr., plus the signing of forward Samuel Ariyibi from the NBA Africa Academy.
Brown and Matthews are Northwest players originally from Seattle's Garfield and Tacoma's Wilson high schools.
It is hoped that this incoming trio, plus another two or three undetermined newcomers, can help restore a Husky program that bottomed out this past season with a 5-21 record.
Six scholarship players immediately left Mike Hopkins' team and entered the transfer portal, with four landing at other schools so far. Hopkins also had two assistants either leave or be asked to go.
This rapid-fire turnover has forced the UW coach to reassemble the program in a hurry, with offseason workouts beginning with just a handful of scholarship players on hand.
Enter Brown, Matthews and Ariyibi. Each becomes eligible to play right away.
“They’re committed to winning, getting better and impacting those around them on and off the court," Hopkins said in a prepared statement.
The 6-foot-1 Brown originally played at Seattle University, where he was a 20.7-point scorer and first-team All-WAC player, before transferring to Arizona, where he was a part-time starter. Overall, he's played against the Huskies four times, two at each of his past stops, and scored 5, 21, 10 and 2 in those outings.
This past season, Brown finished second nationally in assist-to-turnover ratio, handing out 90 assists while committing just 23 turnovers for a 3.91 ratio.
“Terrell brings an incredible level of leadership, toughness, professionalism and experience to our program,” Hopkins said. “He’s a proven winner with a talented skill set that will have a positive impact for us on the court."
In Matthews, the 6-foot-7 forward originally committed to play for Connecticut but received his release following a coaching change. At West Virginia for three seasons, he appeared in 92 games and started 67 for coach Bob Huggins. He will have two years of eligibility remaining at the UW.
This past season, Matthews averaged 7.7 points per game while starting 25 of 29 games for an NCAA team that was ranked as high as sixth nationally and played in the Big 12 championship game.
“He’s a long, athletic, experienced wing that is an unbelievable defensive player which will impact us right away," Hopkins said.
Ariyibi, originally from Nigeria, is a 6-foot-8 small forward with a 6-11 wingspan and Hopkins' first international recruit. He was named MVP of the 2019 Basketball without Borders Tournament in Senegal, but is largely an unknown.
“He’s an explosive wing that is ready to contribute at the highest level in collegiate basketball," Hopkins said.
The Huskies missed out on bringing another local player home when 6-foot-8 forward and Seattle native Tari Eason chose LSU over the UW rebuild.
If Hopkins continues down this path of seeking out Northwest-connected college players, others currently available in the transfer portal are former Stanford guard Daejon Davis and ex-TCU guard P.J. Fuller, both Seattle natives.
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