THE FLATS – Georgia Tech’s basketball program continues to build its initial recruiting class under head coach Josh Pastner with the signing of 6-5 wing Curtis Haywood II of Yukon, Okla., and 6-8 forward Moses Wright of Raleigh, N.C. to letters-of-intent, Pastner announced Thursday.
Haywood attended Brewster Academy, considered to be one of the nation’s best basketball programs, in Wolfeboro, N.H., for the 2016-17 school year. A consensus 3-star prospect, he is ranked among the state’s top 10 players according to CBS’s 247Sports.com.
Under the direction of head coach Jason Smith, Haywood led the Bobcats to a 33-0 record, a NEPSAC (New England Prep School Athletic Council) AAA championship, and the program’s fifth national championship in the last eight seasons. The versatile wing and co-captain averaged 12.0 points, 4.5 assists, 4.5 rebounds and a team-best 2.1 steals in route to second team All-NEPSAC honors.
“Curtis is a big wing who can really shoot the ball,” said Pastner. “He has a high basketball IQ, and he can defend. He’ll be a very good addition to our program, and we’re excited to have him join our program. He fits our culture and the vision of what we’re trying to accomplish.”
Haywood is the latest Brewster Bobcat to enter the ACC’s hardwood brotherhood, joining Louisville’s Donovan Mitchell, Syracuse’s Taurean Thompson and former Virginia player Jarred Reuter. Before his move to New England, Haywood spent three years including an undefeated sophomore season at Mustang High School in Oklahoma.
“Curtis is a tough guard who had a tremendous fall and has continued to shoot the ball well early in our season,” Smith told Rivals.com. “He has great length — a 6-foot-11 wingspan — and has ability to be an excellent defender.”
Wright, a rapidly growing forward, attends William G. Enloe High School in Raleigh, N.C. Described as a “late-bloomer,” Wright has grown four inches and added 40 pounds since his sophomore year with the Eagles. Under head coach Patrick Paye, Wright employed a deft inside-out offensive attack while his 7-foot-2 wingspan allowed him to wreak havoc on the glass. In his senior season, the forward led his team in scoring (22.0 ppg), rebounding (11.0 rpg), blocks (2.0 bpg) and three-point shooting (41.0 pct.). Wright earned all-conference and all-region honors his senior season and was also selected to play in the North Carolina – South Carolina All-Star game.
“His best basketball is ahead of him. He’s got a chance to progress and really take off in his development much like Ben Lammers did this year for us,” said Pastner. “He has really good athleticism, and he’s able to block shots. He’s a frontcourt player who is skilled, he can play multiple positions, and he has some toughness about him.”
Wright played for the Garner Road Elite in the AAU circuit, from which coach Dwayne West has sent players like Isaiah Hicks (North Carolina) and T.J. Warren (NC State) to ACC programs.
“I just think he has a tremendous work ethic,” Paye said. “He has gone from being a fairly skilled player to having an excellent skill level. Obviously, his growth, just physically, was a huge benefit and I think, again, his work ethic and his mentality allowed his basketball IQ to grow.”
“This kid is very interesting,” said Patrick O’Brien of Phenom Hoop Report. “He stands around 6-7, 6-8, lengthy prospect that is very athletic. He continues to still build his frame, as he isn’t the biggest of guys. But he is so versatile on the floor. He can step out and drop shots from outside, including hitting the three ball but he can attack and work down low in the paint.”
Haywood and Wright bring to three the number of signees in Georgia Tech’s signing class of 2017. They join 6-foot point guard Jose Alvarado, a three-star prospect from Christ the King High School in Brooklyn, N.Y. Pastner’s 2016-17 squad, which went 21-16 and advanced to the championship game of the national Invitation Tournament, loses six seniors.
ABOUT GEORGIA TECH MEN’S BASKETBALL
Georgia Tech’s men’s basketball team has completed its first year under head coach Josh Pastner by advancing to the championship game of the NIT and finishing with a 21-16 record. Tech has been a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference since 1979, won three ACC Championships (1985, 1990, 1993), played in the NCAA Tournament 16 times and played in two Final Fours (1990, 2004). Connect with Georgia Tech Men’s Basketball on social media by liking their Facebook Page, or following on Twitter (@GTMBB) and Instagram.