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April 4, 2012 at 9:14 AM

Mark McLaughlin commits to Washington

Washington finally secured its first incoming member to the 2012 class when well-traveled Mark McLaughlin committed to the Huskies on Tuesday night.
“It’s always been a dream of mine to play for the University of Washington,” McLaughlin said. “Since I was little, since I was about 10 I’ve always loved U-Dub and I always wanted an opportunity to play for them so it’s just a blessing that they gave me the opportunity to play for them.”
Landing the 6-6 guard from Tacoma Community College improves UW’s depth in the back court following the departures of Terrence Ross and Tony Wroten Jr., who left early to enter the NBA draft.
Washington has three scholarships to offer and McLaughlin is expected to officially join the team April 11 when the signing period begins.
He averaged 28.4 points at TCC last season and his scoring average was the highest in the nation in the community college ranks. He led the Titan’s in every statistical category except rebounds and steals.
He was named the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges Western Region MVP and led TCC to a 26-5 record and its first NWAACC championship since 2002.
McLaughlin drew interest from Oregon State, West Virginia, Gonzaga, Hawaii, Boise State and Portland State.
In 2009, rated him a three-star recruit. In 2008 gave him four stars and ESPN gave him a 92 rating.
The San Francisco native starred at Inglemoor High where earned all-Kingco 4A first-team honors in 2007 while averaging 21.3 points in 12 games as a junior.
The Huskies are the fifth Division I team in the past five years with ties to McLaughlin.
His basketball odyssey began July 2007 when he committed to Washington State before his senior year at Inglemoor. He backed away from the agreement and signed with Nevada in November.
When coach Mark Fox left for Georgia, McLaughlin got out of his letter of intent. He spent the 2008-09 season at a prep school in New Hampshire and signed with Baylor in 2009. Before the season, he left the team and transferred to Seattle University where he redshirted the 2009-10 season.
McLaughlin averaged averaging 7.2 points in 17.8 minutes and 17 games for the Redhawks in 2010-11. He appeared in just 17 games and didn’t play after Feb. 26. He sat out the Washington game, left SU after the season and went to TCC.
McLaughlin, who turns 22 April 22, has two years of eligibility remaining.
The Huskies are also recruiting McDonald’s all-American forward Anthony Bennett (below) out of Findlay Prep in Nevada. He’s also considering Oregon, Kentucky, Florida and UNLV. A Canadian native, he’s in Portland this week practicing with the World Select Team that will play Saturday in the 2012 Nike Hoop Summit at the Rose Garden.
Connecticut’s 6-9 junior power forward Alex Oriakhi is considering UW, according to Adam Zagoria. He would have one year of eligibility and will likely receive a NCAA waiver to play next season because UConn is expected to serve a one-year postseason ban next season due to low APR scores. Oriakhi averaged 6.7 points and 4.8 rebounds in 21.5 minutes last season.
Several recruiting sites suggest other UW targets include: William Howard, a 6-8 small forward from France; Jordan Tebbutt, a 6-5 wing from Oregon; Jaylen Beckham, a 6-0 point guard from Kentucky; Darrick Wood, a 6-4 wing from Washington, D.C. and Anthony January, a 6-8 small forward from Compton, Calif.

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