Many of us have been saying that Bone brings in recruits out of left field and today's announcement of the signing of Andre Winston Jr. is no exception. Winston shared the state 3A player of the year award this year yet was a sleeper as a recruit. The reason why partially stems from his early commitment to James Madison University, dropping him off the radar of most schools. He signed a letter of intent during the early period, yet was granted a release in the last week. When a scholarship opened up at WSU, Ken Bone and the staff made their move on the Tacoma guard.
The scouting report on Winston is that he can run and he can score. He's listed as anywhere between 6'0 and 6'2, weighing about 160 pounds. Playing as a combo guard at Lakes, Winston put up about 21 ppg and 4 apg this year. He also broke the 3A tournament record by scoring 119 points on his way to securing the tournament MVP honor. This past weekend he lead all Washington players in the Northwest Shootout, a Washington versus Oregon all-star game, scoring 24. Joe Harris, whom you may remember, scored 21 and Patrick Simon score 8 in that same game. It seems that the staff has been looking for guys that can score and play in Bone's system. Winston seems to fit this mold. He may not be exactly what Thames was, or what we thought he could be, but he should be able to contribute to this team and fit in nicely.
The reason this is a big deal to me stems from where Winston plays and who he plays with. Winston is out of Tacoma, which has become another Northwest recruiting hotbed. Isaiah Thomas, Abdul Gaddy, and Avery Bradley (Vegas his Sr. year) all hail from Tacoma schools. Seattle and Tacoma are both areas that Bone is looking to make inroads in during his time here. Winston has also been playing for Seattle Rotary on the AAU circuit. Rotary is a talented team that has produced some stars over the years, many of which are in the NBA now. This doesn't mean Winston is NBA bound, but the fact that Bone is recruiting Seattle area AAU programs is encouraging. In order to succeed with his system, he needs to be able to lure guys from these areas to WSU.
I'll leave you with a highlight of Winston at the state tournament.
Look familiar? Winston is athletic, can score, and should be a good fit at WSU in Bone's system. Bone may or may not be done recruiting now. Last week he told Grippi he would not be bringing in players that won't be able to contribute right away and was content to hold over a scholarship if he couldn't find what he was looking for. All this tells me he thinks Winston will be able to step in right away in some form.
UPDATE: Lots of video after the jump.
Winston is #22 in white. The quality isn't great (shot from the stands), but you can get an idea of what we're working with a little better here.
1-15-2010 Lakes Lancers Boys Basketball game Highlights vs. Clover Park Warriers (CP) .mpg (via Tommyg103)
2-4-2010 Enumclaw Hornet Basketball Game Highlights at Lakes Lancers.mpg (via Tommyg103)
1-23-2010 Lakes Lancers Boys Basketball game Highlights vs Franklin Pierce.mpg (via Tommyg103)
1-29 2010 Lakes Lancers Boys Basketball Game highlights vs Bonney Lake.mpg (via Tommyg103)
1-13-2010 Lakes Lancers Boys Basketball game Highlights vs Auburn Mt. View (via Tommyg103)