How long has it been since the Huskies MBB opened a season 6-0? You have to go all they way back to 2006 when a ranked Huskies team (#17 in the nation) opened up 7-0 before losing their first game of the season to a ranked Gonzaga team. That team was led by then Sophomore Jon Brockman and featured true freshman Quincy Pondexter and Spencer Hawes.
The 2014 version is not that team. There is no sharp shooter like Ryan Appleby or pure banger like Brockman. There is no "instant offense" like what Pondexter could generate nor a steady veteran hand like Justin Dentmon. However, this team has some characteristics that the 2006 couldn't claim.
Robert Upshaw as a rim defender is the most obvious difference. The man is a legit All Pac 12 defender right now and has the athleticism required to allow Lorenzo Romar to extend his defense to half court. Size in the backcourt - which is in asset in both defense and in the half-court offense - is another feature of this team that differentiates them from the 2006 counterpart. Finally, depth in the front line is unique to this squad. While a young Hawes was a great "twin tower" to Brockman, the rest of our front line depth was Artem Wallace and Hans Gasser. This team features Shawn Kemp Jr., Jernard Jarreau and Robert Upshaw as an experienced and complimentary front court.
With six wins now in the books, the Huskies are beginning to reap the attention that comes with such a great start. This week's top 25 polls both feature UW in the "others" category. The next four games will tell us a lot about this team. All four are at home, but two of them (12/7 vs #13 SDSU and 12/20 vs #22 Oklahoma) will significantly impact both their rankings and their post-season resume.
Associated Press Top 25
|1||Kentucky Wildcats (62)||7-0||1,622||1|
|2||Wisconsin Badgers (3)||7-0||1,511||2|
|4||Duke Blue Devils||7-0||1,475||4|
|8||Wichita State Shockers||4-0||1,165||9|
|12||North Carolina Tar Heels||5-1||864||5|
|13||San Diego State Aztecs||5-1||784||15|
|14||Ohio State Buckeyes||5-0||759||16|
|16||West Virginia Mountaineers||7-0||601||21|
|19||Michigan State Spartans||5-2||423||20|
|20||Iowa State Cyclones||3-1||330||13|
|24||Illinois Fighting Illini||6-0||104||39|
|Others receiving votes: N. Iowa 83, UConn 76, Oklahoma St. 69, Providence 56, VCU 52, Syracuse 49, Florida 40, Georgetown 30, Creighton 29, Washington 17, NC State 12, Wyoming 10, California 8, Seton Hall 5, St. John's 5, Nebraska 4, Baylor 3, UCLA 3, Mississippi 2, Old Dominion 2, TCU 2, Notre Dame 1, Saint Mary's (Cal) 1.|
USA Today Coaches Poll
|14||San Diego St||5-1||380|
|Others receiving votes: Virginia Commonwealth 51, Providence 50, Utah 50, Butler 44, Northern Iowa 33, Oklahoma St 32, Washington 30, Syracuse 29, Creighton 17, Nebraska 17, Georgetown 15, NC State 14, California 11, Stanford 5, Wyoming 5, UTEP 5, Notre Dame 4, Baylor 4, Memphis 3, St. John's 3, Saint Mary's 3, TCU 3, UCLA 1|