Mike Hopkins is benefiting greatly from Husky Homecomings.
Last year, Washington’s men’s basketball coach gladly welcomed the return of a quartet of former Seattle-area high-school stars who moved to UW and led the revival of an underdog program that ended 17-15. Hua and finished fifth in the Pac-12. last season.
Once again, the Huskies started an influx of what is expected to be a somewhat familiar 2022 transfer with the name… Noah Williams.
The former O’Dea High standout has spent the past three seasons at Washington State where he averaged 9.8 points, 3.4 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.2 steals, starting 65 of 91 games.
Williams, a 6-foot-5 junior guard, will have two years of eligibility given that the NCAA has granted players an extra year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Last week, Williams announced that he was leaving WSU via Instagram.
“First and foremost, I want to thank God for giving me the opportunity and ability to wake up every day and play a beautiful game of basketball,” Williams said. “From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank Coach (Kyle) Smith and the entire WSU Cougar family for showing me nothing but love and support for my last 3 years at Pullman.
“Many thanks to all my family, friends and teammates for the unconditional love and support you have given me since day one! Having said this, I am registering my name in the transfer portal.
Back in 2019, Williams was a four-star recruit and state No. 5 prospect behind Jaden McDaniels, Anton Watson, PJ Fuller and Raiquan Battles.
Washington’s highly touted recruit class of 2019 included McDaniels, Battelle, Isaiah Stewart and Marcus Sohonis, while Williams chose WSU where her father, Guy Williams, played for two years.
During the past three years, Williams tormented the Huskies, averaging 11.6 points and posting a 4-2 record against UW.
His most notable Apple Cup moment was during his 78-74 WSU win in 2020 when he scored 15 points and hit a game-cleaning free throw with five seconds to spare before shouting at the Alaska Airlines Arena crowd “This is my town!”
After the game, Williams said: “We had to tell them who runs the city, and Pullman runs it. Washington State, we run it.”
It was a defining moment for Williams, who established himself as a true freshman as a defensive stalwart and had a breakout sophomore season when he shot 38% at three-pointers to score 14.1 points, 3.6 rebounds. , averaged 2.7 assists and 1.6 steals and started all 27. game
There was much discussion about Williams earning All-Pac-12 honors in his junior season, beginning with the team’s suspension, possibly stemming from an alleged brawl with bouncers at the Pullman bar last September. were serving.
Williams, then 20, attempted to use a fake ID to enter Valhalla Bar and Grill and faces two quarter-degree assault charges and two misdemeanors.
The Whitman County Prosecutors’ Office recently declined to pursue misdemeanor charges and ruled that Williams must perform eight hours of community service, pay a $500 fine and be charged with entering the bar using a false identity. Good behavior should be maintained for eight months for the effort.
In court, Williams’ production returned, leading to a reduction in minutes and a smaller role. He averaged 9.5 points, 3.1 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.1 steals, while shooting 26.2% from long distance and starting 25 of 35 games last season.
Williams is the second high-profile addition to Washington, having signed four-star recruit and Garfield high guard Koren Johnson on Sunday.
The addition of Williams and Johnson would help the Huskies offset the loss of late seniors Terrell Brown Jr. and Dijon Davis.
Washington still has 2-4 open positions on the roster, depending on whether seniors Jamal Bay and Emmit Matthews Jr return for an additional year. Assuming everyone else stays, UW’s starting lineup appears to outpace Fuller, Williams, Bay, Matthews, and possibly Langston Wilson.
Weeks earlier, Hopkins acknowledged that the Huskies would be exploring relocation portals for older people and that prestigious Utah Valley center Fardaws Amack, considered one of the top transfers available, reportedly visited UW last week.
spokesperson-reviews contributed to this report.