Thursday, November 6th, 7:30pm, Pac-12 Networks
Last season South Carolina State finished 9-21 in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference under first-year head coach Murray Garvin. Four of those victories required overtime. Only two of those wins came on the road (Coastal Carolina and Florida A&M).
Three of five starters return from that team, but the two departed players were the team's leading scorers. Seven total letterman are lost from '13-'14. The Bulldogs have been picked to finish 12th out of 13 teams in the MEAC preseason poll.
PF Darryl Palmer (Jr., 6-8, 210) is probably the most important returning starter. He averaged 6.9ppg and 6.9rpg, but shot only 39% from the field. Taking a look at the roster, JUCO transfer DouDou Gueye (Jr., 6-10, 245) stands out among the newcomers based on his size alone.
It will likely be up to Gueye to attempt to deal with Robert Upshaw's superior size in the post. Palmer will also have his hands full with Sean Kemp Jr, who looks to be in much better shape an off season removed from his struggle with Graves Disease, and Jernard Jarreau, who is finally healthy after taking a year to recover from a torn ACL.
In an exhibition victory over St. Martin's last week, the Huskies elected to feed the ball to Kemp and the other bigs to take advantage of a wealth of size and skill in the front court. The competition is more substantial this time around, but there is no reason to alter that approach.
Washington has struggled to put away underwhelming non-conference foes in recent years, so I'm curious to see if this team can bury the Bulldogs early and keep them from hanging around in the 2nd half.
Newcomers to watch for Washington: the aforementioned Robert Upshaw, JUCO transfer and sharpshooter Quevyn Winters, and freshman forward Donovan Dorsey.
Sorry that this preview is pretty light. I promise these will get more detailed as Washington faces opponents that have more information publicly available (and that I have actually watched play before).