Washington Basketball: Exceeding Expectations

Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Huskies open up their 2013-14 season today, and to start it off we are going to have a little discussion. Now, Anthony already asked for your expectations in the Midweek Debate, but right now I am going to ask you a different question: Who is going to do unexpected things this season? Not necessarily be a "breakout player," as I wanted to include the freshmen Jahmel Taylor, Nigel Williams-Goss and Darin Johnson along with Perris Blackwell and Gilles Dierickx.

This is a question about them doing the unexpected relative to what we perceive they are likely to do. C.J. Wilcox is expected to be a star. Hikeem Stewart is expected to fill out the bench. Stewart taking a starting role would be more surprising that Wilcox becoming a top-ten player in college basketball

I am going to lay out a short case for each of the candidates, and let you decide for yourself.

For more detailed previews on the players, be sure to check out our position previews.

Andrew Andrews

Andrews is someone who made an impact last season, however up and down.

He possesses the quickness, handle and shooting ability to be a force on the offensive end. His defensive intensity reminded some of Venoy Overton, although obviously not to that level.

To do the "unexpected" and turn into a star (he is expected to improve, at least moderately) this is what will have to happen:

  • Improved consistency on jumper, which Romar always develops from his guards
  • Better decision-making as a point guard - No longer a freshman
  • No regression in his ability to get into the paint and finish with contact

All of these are very possible and could turn Andrews into a star for Washington alongside C.J. Wilcox

Perris Blackwell

The low-post scorer that UW hasn't had since Mathew Bryan-Amaning, Blackwell is going to be a top scorer for UW. Actually, yeah, he is supposed to be a very good scorer for UW, he isn't going to do unexpected things. Carrying on.

Jahmel Taylor

Shooters can shoot. That is basically a given. Once a shooter establishes confidence that he can shoot in the college ranks, they can make an impact with that singular skill. That is what Taylor does best. It is not the only thing he can do, as he does have slashing and passing abilities.

He is probably not going to be a large impact player this season, so for him to do unexpected things (in my opinion) he would basically have to be a role player who made an impact on the court.

Gillies Dierickx

Honestly, what do you guys expect out of the Belgian? Personally, I don't know what I can expect out of him.

Hikeem Stewart

Stewart has mostly ridden the pine in the last two season as the third point guard. He unfortunately finds himself in the same position this season with the arrival of Williams-Goss in addition to incumbent Andrew Andrews.

I feel he finds himself in the same boat as Taylor: if he makes an impact then he does the unexpected.

Darin Johnson

I think we have heard the term "athletic wing" a lot as fans of Romar-coached teams. He is the newest in the line of long fast-twitch wings to come through Washington.

He is supposed to be part of a three-wing rotation with C.J. Wilcox and Mike Anderson, using his length and athleticism to get into the lane and finish at the cup.

Mike Anderson

Anderson, like I mentioned is going to part of the three-wing rotation with Wilcox and Johnson. He is not as athletic as Johnson, but he brings a better all-around offensive game.

Should Williams-Goss or Andrews struggle, it would not be surprising for Anderson to assume a starting role. Essentially, becoming an All-Pac-12 performer is what would be unexpected of the JUCO transfer out of Moberly, Missouri.

Jernard Jarreau

My personal pick. Jarreau has the dribbling abilities of a wing with a 6-10 frame. He has better vision than some perimeter players and plays in the high post offense. I think he will be a star. I was talking to a player at Western Washington University who thinks Jarreau will end up in the NBA. There is a lot of potential with Jarreau. This year, he could harness it.

I don't know what is expected exactly of him, only that he will exceed it.

Shawn Kemp

In coverage of this upcoming season, not much has been said about Kemp Jr. He would be my second pick, if only because I don't think that his expectations match up to what he was doing at the end of last season, then how he could continue to grow this season.

Desmond Simmons

Rebounding, defense, screen-setting and hustle. Anyone expect more?

Who do you think is going to exceed expectations the most this season?

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