(GopherSports.com) — Minnesota head men’s basketball coach Richard Pitino announced Thursday the addition of two guards in Jamir Harris (North Brunswick, N.J./The Patrick School) and Isaiah Washington (Harlem, N.Y./St. Raymond’s HS). Both signed their National Letters of Intent to join the Golden Gophers for the 2017-18 academic year.
“We are extremely excited to announce the signing of Jamir and Isaiah,” Pitino said. “I’ve always believed that in order to compete at the top of the Big Ten, which we hope to do, you need to have multiple good recruiting classes and we feel we’ve done that. Both Jamir and Isaiah are very good players and will be great student-athletes for the University of Minnesota.”
Harris is a combo guard who is ranked 12th nationally at that position among Class of 2017 prospects by 247Sports. He is rated fourth among all Class of 2017 prospects in the state of New Jersey by ESPN.com. The 180-pound Harris competed for the NJ Playaz EYBL team, where he averaged 11.4 points, 2.9 rebounds, and 1.7 assists per game in more than 30 minutes per contest, while shooting 38 percent from 3-point range.
“I believe Jamir is one of the top 3-point shooters in the country,” Pitino said. “He is a competitor, an extremely hard worker, and a tremendous person. He comes from a great family and he will be a terrific addition to our basketball program.”
Washington is a four-star prospect according to several publications and consensus top-100 recruit, and is a pass-first point guard who can create offense. The number-one rated point guard from the state of New York and 13th nationally according to Scout.com, he averaged 17.5 points and 6.8 assists per game this past summer playing for the New Heights AAU program on the Under Armour Circuit this summer. Among his accomplishments was sharing most valuable player honors at the Elite 24 All-American Game, scoring 36 points in a showcase that matched him up with and against some of the nation’s top prospects.
“From day one, we set out to get Isaiah as our point guard, and we are excited that we did that,” said Pitino. “He is a dynamic player, loves the game, and is a lot of fun to watch on the court. We feel both Isaiah and Jamir will make an impact on our program right away when they arrive next year.”
The Gophers open the 2016-17 season on Friday, hosting Louisiana Lafayette at 7 p.m.