JaQuori McLaughlin Picks UW: A Teammates Perspective


This past weekend, Lorenzo Romar‘s Huskies won the Wooden Legacy Tournament. An impressive feat, being that the bracket included some pretty good teams such as Xavier, UTEP, and Long Beach State. But even more important than the tournament championship victory over UTEP, was the victory in the recruitment of 2016 PG JaQuori McLaughlin.

McLaughlin is a 6-3 point guard from Peninsula High School in Gig Harbor, WA.

JaQuori with teammates Garrett Kingman (left) and Austin Knigman (right), shortly after announcing his decision. Photo Credit: Donna Kingman

You want to hear something crazy? I went to Peninsula.

You want to hear something even more crazy? I played together with McLaughlin on varsity in 2012-13 when I was a senior and he was a freshman.

So you’re about to get first hand information on J-Roc that you can’t get anywhere else.

Before we get to JaQuori McLaughlin the four-star point guard, let me tell you about JaQuori McLaughlin the person.

J-Roc comes from a basketball family. They live, eat and breath the game. His father, Jason McLaughlin, has used basketball as a way of creating community and keeping kids off the streets in Tacoma and the surrounding areas.

JaQuori, his older brother O’Shea (left), and younger brothers Elijah (middle left) and Javion (middle right).

From both Jason and his mother, Kanisha, JaQuori has been instilled with a hard-working and no-nonsense attitude. His focus is on basketball and school. He doesn’t take part in anything that would distract him from either of those. He is a kid who will become the best player his talent will allow him to become; and he has a LOT of talent.

Oh yeah, about that talent.

ESPN has him listed at PG, while Scout has him as a SG for some reason. I just don’t see how you could project JaQuori as anything but a pure point guard.

Don’t get me wrong, J-Roc can light it up when he wants to. He’ll shoot 4o+% from three, and has a large repertoire of moves including a crossover that would make Allen Iverson jealous. Then he creates a ton of separation with his first step after he gets by the defender.

But JaQuori is a playmaker. He has good vision and can fit a pass into any sized window. He also has the ability to manipulate the defense with his eyes and ball-fakes to create shots for teammates. He is the perfect point-man for Coach Romar’s fast break and improvisational offense.

The closest comparison would be Trey Burke at Michigan a few years ago.

JaQuori shoots over a pair of Gig Harbor High School defenders in the cross-town rivalry. Photo Credit: Veronica Foley Photography

I’m not saying he’s a lock first-team All-American and top-10 draft pick, but there’s no question he has the potential.

Athletically, he might not be UW’s fastest player in terms of straight line speed, but he is extremely deceptive in his moves, and changes speeds and direction before you can blink.

He takes pride in his defense as well. Even as a freshman, he would guard the other team’s best perimeter scorer. He obviously has the athleticism and lateral quickness, but he also has fast hands and good instincts. He’ll come up with a lot of steals both on-the-ball and in help defense.

UW’s glory days were when the Romar was able to keep the local talent here. That’s starting to happen again.

I�cannot put in to words how excited it will be to watch a Husky backcourt made up of J-Roc and Dejounte Murray from Rainier Beach.

Good times are ahead for JaQuori and the Dawgs.

Thanks to Jon Manley (@gateway_jon), Kanisha McLauglin, Veronica Foley and Donna Kingman for the pictures.

More from Washington Huskies Basketball