Stuff happened with the basketball team this past week. News! Three pieces of news! Two pieces of news were separately bigger than the last piece of news. It is probably a good thing for those involved in the third piece of news that the first two pieces of news happened. You probably heard that Tony Wroten has decided to leave school early and go into the NBA Draft. You also may have heard that Terrence Ross has decided to throw his name in the proverbial hat and put himself into the draft as well. I hope you heard both of those, if not then you must be living under a rock. If in fact you are living under a rock then I would suggest you to not live underneath a rock because it sounds painful. Get out!
If the rock you live under is of smaller stature then you may have may have missed the fact that the Huskies picked up a commitment from shooting guard Mark McLaughlin out of Tacoma Community College. McLaughlin is a 6-6 shooting guard with a diverse offensive skill set. He is able to drive, spot-up, pull-up and finish with both hands. He has been compared to Tre Simmons, a former Husky guard who played for two seasons and had one All-Pac-10 sesason. McLaughlin is not considered the best defender, and with Romar putting focus on the defensive end for next season, he may not garner many minutes in his first season. At the very least he helps to provide guard depth with the loss of the aforementioned guards Ross and Wroten.
We must and will get back to guarding the way we are capable of guarding in this program," Romar said Wednesday.
Another player who may just step up in the place of the two future NBA-ers is Andrew Andrews. Andrews redshirted this season, despite the fact that he wowed in practice with his quickness.
Andrew Andrews will also join the backcourt next season, after he recovers soon from the minor hip surgery he had on Friday. The 2011 Oregon Class 5A co-player of the year at Benson Tech High School in Portland was brilliant in practices while redshirting this season, a move that looks rather wise right now. Andrews impressed teammates and coaches with great quickness on drives past the starting Huskies throughout the season.
The recruiting trail is not yet finished, and the Huskies still have two open scholarships once/if McLaughlin signs his letter of intent. Anthony Bennett is the big fish in the pond, having named UW in his top five, along with Oregon, UNLV, Kentucky (of course) and Florida. He would be an almost assured one-and-done athlete, as he is in almost every top-ten prospect list. He is an amazing talent that would be one of the best recruits Romar has ever landed.
Obviously the Huskies are losing offense with the loss of Wroten and Ross. If Gant is included then the Dawgs lost over half of their scoring from the previous season. That is a huge loss, but one that the team is set up well to recover from. Junior shooter C.J Wilcox should be a more versatile offensive threat when his leg fracture –which limited him almost exclusively to games, no practicing heals. Previously mentioned is the offensive game of Andrew Andrews. McLaughlin will add another scorer. He led all Junior Colleges with over 28 points per game. Gaddy has developed more confidence in his leg and showed an improved ability to attack in the lane later in the season. Oh and Scott Suggs is also returning for his Senior campaign. This is just along the wing.
The inside will include Sophomore Martin Bruenig, who showed flashes of his ability in short stints last season, an improved Aziz N´Diaye, Redshirt Freshman Jernard Jarreau, Sophomore Shawn Kemp Jr. and Desmond Simmons, all of these players plus whomever Romar recruits. The offense will not be devoid of talent.
One potential issue will be the loss of rebounding ability. Ross has ridiculous hops that allowed him to sky for rebounds, and Wroten had an uncanny ability to grab offensive rebounds. The loss of rebounding from the guard position is something that will have to be made up for by interior players, as the current crop of wings are not particularly adept at rebounding the ball.
The team is very well set up to withstand the losses of Tony Wroten and Terrence Ross. Maybe the worst loss involving these players will be the lack of highlight dunks.