403 Forbidden


nginx
403 Forbidden

403 Forbidden


nginx
Follow us:
403 Forbidden

403 Forbidden


nginx

High School Sports Blog

The latest news and analysis on high-school sports around the Seattle area

November 14, 2013 at 7:18 PM

Tramaine Isabell signs with the Cougars

Tramaine Isabell poses with his family after signing his national letter of intent to play for Washington State.

Tramaine Isabell poses with his family after signing his national letter of intent to play for Washington State.

When it came time to finally making a college decision, it was actually very simple for Tramaine Isabell. Loyalty is important to the Garfield High School senior and Washington State had been with him every step of the way.

So, surrounded by his extended family, Isabell signed his national letter of intent on Thursday afternoon at the Rotary Boys & Girls Club to play college basketball for the Cougars.

“The fact that Wazzu was the first big DI team to offer me, talking to the coaches, they kind of believed in me, didn’t seem to really believe in whatever the general thought or perception of me,” Isabell said. “That’s why I committed so fast.

“I really didn’t even really think about decommitting after that. I’m big on loyalty and Wazzu was loyal to me, so I thought I should be loyal back to Ken Bone and the coaching staff.”

Isabell believes that some programs were wary of him due to a perceived lack of character. That, he says, is a misunderstanding. The way the 6-foot-1 point guard sees it is his competitiveness is one of his strongest qualities. Sometimes it can be confused with an attitude problem.

Despite interest from schools such as Providence and Creighton, the offers didn’t stick. But Washington State didn’t waver from their commitment and neither did Isabell.

In fact, the major question since Isabell verbally committed during the summer was if he would attend a year of prep school before enrolling at Washington State. At the time, junior college transfer Danny Lawhorn was supposed to be the starting point guard for the next two seasons. But Lawhorn left the program in October after being suspended indefinitely for violating team rules.

Isabell saw an opportunity to have a more immediate impact with the program and decided against prep school.

“Basically what happened, at first I was a little worried about playing time,” Isabell said. “Only because they were going to have a bunch of upperclassmen, seniors. Ken Bone basically told me, that’s not his philosophy. He’s going to put the best five of the floor, no matter the age, whatever. So I was thinking about prep school, but I go to Garfield now and I’ll be attending Washington State the following year.”

Isabell’s longtime coach with Seattle Rotary Select, Daryll Hennings, believes it can be a quick transition from high school to the Pac-12 for his latest player to sign collegiately. A lot of that has to do with the Cougars’ system.

“I think it’s a perfect fit,” Hennings said. “Usually their point guard facilitates a lot and has the ball in their hands, which is his strong suit. He makes plays. They give their guys just enough freedom to utilize their natural abilities and stay inside of what their system is. So I think it will be perfect for him. I think that’s what they learned at Lakeside last year. He’s not a cookie-cutter guy, he’s not a robot. You can’t say, I need you to run this pattern and it’s going to work. You kind of have to give him a little freedom and he usually thrives.”

*****

– Another intersting note is that Isabell is not concerned with Bone’s uncertain status at Washington State moving forward. Bone is in his fifth season at the helm of the Cougars and some thought he could be on his way out after a disappointing 2012-13 campaign. Isabell specifically named athletic director Bill Moos and president Elson Floyd when talking about Washington State’s investment in Bone.

– Isabell’s main point of contact on the Washington State staff during his recruitment was Curtis Allen, who played for Seattle Rotary before a collegiate career at Washington. Brandon Roy, also a Rotary alum, had good things to say about Bone. Roy is a close friend of Isabell’s and played at Washington when Bone was an assistant for the Huskies.

– Isabell is the latest in a long line of Seattle Rotary players to have signed to play basketball collegiately. Some of the other names include Roy, Allen, Aaron Brooks, Tre Simmons, Gary Bell Jr., Jamal Crawford, Joshua Smith, Marvin Williams, Peyton Siva, Rodney Stuckey, Terrence Williams, Tony Wroten Jr. and Will Conroy. For a more complete list, go here.

*****

Here is the complete interview with Isabell, as well as Hennings.

Tramaine Isabell

On how it feels to have finally signed: It feels good. It feels real good. I mean, growing up playing AAU, this is why you play AAU. For all that, from fourth grade until now, all the hard work paid off.

On the recruiting process: The recruiting process was confusing. I had looks from various places – all the way from Providence on the east coast, Creighton. For whatever reason, not too many offers actually stuck. Most was because questioning my attitude and stuff like that. The fact that Wazzu was the first big DI team to offer me, talking to the coaches, they kind of believed in me, didn’t seem to really believe in whatever the general thought or perception of me. That’s why I committed so fast. I committed and then I played real well in Vegas against the top tier guys and ended up winning the tournament. My guess if I didn’t commit, I would have offers from whoever. I really didn’t even really think about decommitting after that. I’m big on loyalty and Wazzu was loyal to me, so I thought I should be loyal back to Ken Bone and the coaching staff.

On why people think he has a bad attitude: I’m uber competitive when it comes to basketball to ping-pong, video games … I’m competitive and I’m a perfectionist. My teammates understand that. Last year, my Lakeside team gelled so well and kind of rallied behind … my favorite player is Kobe. Some people think he has a bad attitude, but I want to win and I don’t care. If I’m playing bad, I still want to win. I’m real uber into it. Some people take it the wrong way. Washington State clearly liked it.

On his relationship with Curtis Allen: My relationship with Curtis Allen [is] great. It’s great with Coach Allen and Ken Bone. I talk to those guys quite often. Ken Bone just came up here for open gym the other day. Took my official visit on Halloween. I like those guys. I love Ken Bone, the way he coaches. I’m good friends with Brandon Roy, who was coached by Ken Bone and [he] had nothing but great things to say about him. I can’t wait.

On if there are worries with Bone’s job status: There’s no worries. That was a worry because I heard it, obviously, through the grapevine. There’s nothing better than going to the source. The AD, Mr. Moos, and the president, Mr. Floyd, are very invested into Ken Bone. From what Ken Bone told me, it doesn’t sound like he’ll be gone anytime soon.

On decision to forego prep school: Basically what happened, at first I was a little worried about playing time. Only because they were going to have a bunch of upperclassmen, seniors. Ken Bone basically told me, that’s not his philosophy. He’s going to put the best five of the floor, no matter the age, whatever. So I was thinking about prep school, but I go to Garfield now and I’ll be attending Washington State the following year.

On how big a factor Lawhorn leaving WSU had on decision: I decided not to go to prep school after Danny Lawhorn was released. I figured they got him out of JUCO, they invested something into him. He’s good. He set the record at that school in assists since Steve Francis and Sam Cassell. Steve Francis and Sam Cassell went to the same college and he set the record in assists. When he was released, they gave another spot. And then here I am.

 

Daryll Hennings

On Isabell’s decision: He was real comfortable with his decision. He never wavered at all. He thinks it’s a perfect fit for him, as far as location, type of way they play, the coaching staff is definitely the type of staff that he thinks he can thrive under.

On Isabell’s decision: I think it’s a perfect fit. Usually their point guard facilitates a lot and has the ball in their hands, which is his strong suit. He makes plays. They give their guys just enough freedom to utilize their natural abilities and stay inside of what their system is. So I think it will be perfect for him. I think that’s what they learned at Lakeside last year. He’s not a cookie-cutter guy, he’s not a robot. You can’t say, I need you to run this pattern and it’s going to work. You kind of have to give him a little freedom and he usually thrives.

On Isabell’s skill set: I think offensively, he can play anywhere like that. Defensively is going to be a transition for him, like it is for most freshmen. I love him to death, but his lack of lateral movement will limit him some. But he’s just crafty enough to where he’s able to outthink most offensive guys. He’s usually a factor … He plays the passing lanes really, really well, it’s just a matter of keeping the ball in front of him. Guys that are shifty, he has a little issue with that.

Comments | More in Boys basketball

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


403 Forbidden

403 Forbidden


nginx
403 Forbidden

403 Forbidden


nginx