Well much has been said about the disappointing season, and the early departure of Terrence Ross and Tony Wroten to the NBA. There have been differing opinions about the season and those players. But its time to look forward. The Husky Basketball cupboard is not totally bare. I am very excited about Abdul Gaddy in 2013. It has been shown that having a Senior PG provides a lift. I also thought that over the final couple weeks of the season he was much improved.
Yes we lose our top two scorers. But lets not forget this is college basketball, and every team has players graduate every year. We return Scott Suggs from injury and C.J Wilcox who was not 100% for most of the year. Although, I dont expect them to totally take over the point totals of Ross and Wroten, I see both of them having great seasons. And with the addition of Mark McLaughlin's scoring I don't expect the huskies to be lacking any scoring options. Yes, I am here to tell you its not doom and gloom for Romar's Huskies. Romar's teams have usually bounced back after disappointing seasons. We can add 3 players to this recruiting season and have only land one so far (McLaughlin). I will analyze the full roster after the jump.
*Abdul Gaddy 6'3" PG
*Scott Suggs 6'6" SG
*Aziz N'Diaye 7'0" C
*C.J. Wilcox 6'5" SG
Mark McLaughlin (JC Transfer) 6'6" SG
*Desmond Simmons 6'7" SF/PF
Hikeem Stewart 6'2" G
Austin Sefarin-Jenkins 6'6" PF
Shawn Kemp Jr 6'9" PF
Martin Breunig 6'8" SF/PF
Alex Wegner 6'7" SG/SF
Andrew Andrews 6'2" PG
Jernard Jarreau 6'10 SF/PF
Adding two more recruits, assumes Wegner remains a non-scholorship walk-on. This is what I believe will happen to get to the 13 scholorship players. I dont anticipate any attrition this year. There has been discussion in the past couple weeks about the lack of front court depth. When I look at this roster I disagree. I anticipate N'Diaye to continue to improve. As I do for Kemp and Breunig. Jarreau, although being 6'10" is more of an outside player. But, his size cannot be ignored.
I have placed an asterik next to my projected starters. I actually think the starting lineup could be better next year than it was this year. For as exciting a player and talent, Tony Wroten is. It became apparent we got out of the offensive flow when he was playing the point. I still anticipate Wilcox having a game where he hits 7-8 3's is 10-12 at line and has 4-5 more 2 point baskets. Yes, that adds up to about 40. I really believe his injury had a huge impact on his scoring. As stated above I think Gaddy will have a great Senior season. As will Suggs and N'diaye. It will be nice to have 4 upperclassmen in the starting lineup. The main guys off the bench will be Kemp, Breunig, McLaughlin and Andrews. This leaves Jarreau, Stewart, battling for playing time. the competition for playing time from these 6 players should be great. And come January we probably see ASJ get back into the mix. Unless we get one of the top guys still uncommitted, our other two recruits probably redshirt.
So that gets us to recruting. The signing period is open but, only one has signed and, there are still plenty of players interested in playing on Montlake. Tops being 6'8 PF from Findlay Prep in Vegas, Anthony Bennett. Yes we are in his top 5. But I wouldnt hold your breath. He is a Florida lean with Kentucky still in the mix. Next up is Zena Edosomwan 6'9" PF. He is still trying to get into Harvard. If that doesnt happen its probably UCLA or Cal. Bad news first right? I bring up these two guys to point out that Romar does recruit big men. I am sorry but we cannot compete with Kentucky for kids. Not now probably not ever. And with Edosomwan, he appears to be really looking at academics.
Speaking of Academics. There are a couple of players on the radar that are still trying to qualify. Aaron Ross 6'7" PF, originally committed to Arkansas in 2011. He spent last year in Prep schools and is just restarting the recruiting process. There is also, Victor Robbins 6'6" SF from Compton. If he can qualify UW has a good shot at him.
Jordan Tebbutt 6'5" SF from Tualitin OR, via Oak Hill is one guy we seem to have a good shot at. Who just happens to be on campus today. It will probably come down to if he wants to come back to the NW or stay out east and play for a team like BC. UW is also looking at 6'0" PG Jaylen Beckham from Lexington, KY. Why isnt he staying in Kentucky? Well he is just a 3* recruit. I assume Beckham is a backup plan if Romar can only sign one of the players already mentioned. If i was a betting man I would Tebbutt signs and Robbins does if he can qualify. I am holding out hope for PF though.
With 3 starters graduating next year Romar will really have his work cut out for him in recruiting. That being said, I am sure there are a lot of players that will see the graduation as an opportunity. Hopefully, one of them is a front court player. Washington is currently in the mix for four 5* players. Of the 4 the most likely Huskies are probably Jabari Bird and Aaron Gordon. Bird a 6'5" wing and Gordon a 6'7" forward, have stated they would like to play together. The two of them along with their other friend 4* Stephen Domingo could all end up at UW or Arizona. Bird and Gordon could be the type of Combo deal that finally put the Huskies over the top. They are also the type of one and done players that you take no matter what. They should make an annoucement late this summer. Whereas, Bird and Gordon have stated they will stay on the west coast, Domingo could opt for Harvard or Georgetown.
As far as the state of Washington goes. The big name for next year is Zach Levine a 6'3" guard from Bothell. He is close to committing with UCLA.