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Originally published November 16, 2012 at 7:53 PM | Page modified November 16, 2012 at 10:02 PM

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Huskies get big recruiting news amid difficult week

While UW tries to rebound from a stunning loss to Albany, it received some hope for next season in the form of two highly-rated recruits.

Seattle Times staff reporter

Nigel Williams-Goss

Size: 6-4, 185

Hometown: Portland

Class: Senior

High School: Findlay Prep in Henderson, Nev.

2012-13 season averages: 18 points and 9.0 assists

Recruiting rankings: Four-star prospect, ESPN, Scout.com and Rivals.com

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Following Tuesday's stunning 63-62 defeat to Albany, Washington received some good news on the recruiting front that might have helped soothe the sting of that upset.

However, Nevada prep star Nigel Williams-Goss, who signed with the Huskies on Friday, and Sacramento standout Darin Johnson, who signed Wednesday, won't arrive until next year.

The immediate concern for Washington (1-1) is figuring out a way to rebound from one of its biggest upsets in the Lorenzo Romar era before Saturday's 4:30 p.m. matchup against Seton Hall (2-0) in the Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament.

The Huskies conclude the trip to Uncasville, Conn., on Sunday with a game against No. 4 Ohio State (1-0) or Rhode Island (0-2).

Washington has questions about the availability of senior guard Scott Suggs (concussion), its leaky defense that gave up 42 points to a pair of Albany guards and a new high-post offense that produced just 62 points at home.

The Huskies are also hoping to snap a six-game road losing streak to nonconference opponents that dates to a loss to North Carolina in the Round of 32 of the 2011 NCAA tournament. Washington was 0-5 on the road against nonleague teams last season.

Amid the uncertainty, Romar likened this year's Huskies to the 2008 team that started 2-3 after road losses to Portland, Kansas and Florida. That squad finished 26-9, won the school's first outright conference title and advanced to the NCAA tournament.

"I remind our team of things like that," Romar said. "That team had low expectations, too, from those outside the program... and we managed to be OK."

Regardless of how Washington finishes this season, one thing is certain: Help is on the way.

Williams-Goss, the newest Husky, is UW's most heralded basketball recruit since Tony Wroten Jr. in 2010.

The 6-foot-4, 185-pound point guard at Findlay Prep in Henderson, Nev., is rated the No. 50 high-school senior in the nation by ESPN.com and No. 61 by Rivals.com.

He chose the Huskies over Harvard, UCLA, UNLV and Oklahoma.

"I picked Washington because of the relationship that I (have with coach Lorenzo Romar)," Williams-Goss said. "Two was the style of play and the amount of responsibility that the point guard and guards have in his offense. And then the conference was a big factor."

Findlay Prep coach Todd Simon said Williams-Goss is the "consummate point guard."

"He's cerebral," Simon said. "He understands the game. He has a knack for knowing when to push and pull it out, when to pass and when to do his thing. He's great at setting up an offense. He's demanding. He wants to win. He's as competitive as they come.

"Defensively, he's a press player and is as good as there is in high school. He can really, really get after guys. He has a mentality that he wants to do that, to get guys out of offense. He's a phenomenal help-side zone, which is something you don't see a lot in high-school kids. He's also a good talker, constantly communicating. That's something else you don't see a lot of. He's just a leader on and off the floor."

Williams-Goss scored 33 points in Findlay's season opener. He's averaging 18 points and nine assists for 5-0 Findlay, which is ranked No. 2 in the nation by USA Today and seeking to win its fourth ESPN National High School Invitational Championship in the past five years.

Williams-Goss is the only four-year player in school history. He has a 97-7 record with the Pilots.

"He makes everyone better," Simon said. "Washington is getting a young man who is a winner on and off the court."

Percy Allen: 206-464-2278 or pallen@seattletimes.com.

On Twitter @percyallen

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