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Washington Huskies Basketball Roster Breakdown: Forwards/Centers

The Huskies added five players to the front court this off-season, replenishing a front court that has been depleted the last two years. Here are quite a few words attempting to explain how each of them play and what to expect next season.

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The Huskies had a lot of problems during their disastrous collapse last season, but the lack of big man depth was  the most glaring issue for the Huskies, and likely the main reason for their collapse. Robert Upshaw's dismissal, Jernard Jarreau's knee injury left the Huskies relying solely on Shawn Kemp Jr. and Gilles Dierickx, who will be finishing out his career at Division II Seattle Pacific University. Even Kemp went down with an injury near the end of the season, suffering a sprained calf. That forced the Huskies to rely on Dierickx and also trot out five guard lineups.

The Huskies reloaded their front court this off-season, adding five big men to the class of 2015, three of which are true freshmen,  along with one junior college transfer and one SEC transfer. Romar and his staff have put themselves in a great position to avoid the attrition they suffered last year.

But, what exactly do we know about these players? Where are they from? How do they play? And what should Husky fans expect from them next year? Lucky for you, I answered all of those questions below!

One caveat before we dig into this thing, I haven't seen any of these players play in person. I have watched as many clips of each player as I could find, but am only able to  base my analysis of how they play off of internet highlight tapes, which are undoubtedly skewed to only show the strengths of each player. So, it would be wise to take my analyses of their games with a grain of salt

Alight, let's get to it!

Matthew Atewe:

It seems appropriate to kick this roster preview off with Matthew Atewe, mainly because Atewe's eligibility next year  is still up in the air. It was announced shortly after the conclusion of the 2014-2015 season that Atewe would be transferring from Auburn University, and he committed to the Huskies about a month later. Normally. NCAA rules require that transfers must sit out for one year before being eligible to play. However, the 6'8' 230 pound center is in the middle of an appeal process in hopes of gaining a special exemption that would allow him to play immediately. Atewe's case is essentially that he was unable to play last year due to an injury he suffered to his surgically repaired left leg during a exhibition game against West Alabama in November. The fact that Atewe sustained his injury under new head coach Bruce Pearl,  who was not the man who enticed him  to play for the Tigers (that was former head coach Tony Barbee) may also help Atewe win his appeal.

No one really knows whether or not Atewe will win his appeal, but it is probably best for Romar and his staff to plan under the assumption that he will not be eligible. If the NCAA rules in his favor it is safe to assume that he will be the starting center for the Huskies next season, if, because of nothing else, he is the only big man on this roster that has experience at the Division I level. Rim protection and rebounding are Atewe's two biggest strengths, and he should help solidify the Huskies defense whenever he is eligible to play. He likely will not provide much scoring on the low block, as he is more of a scrapper who play with energy and battle for offensive rebounds and run the floor in transition for lay ups and to put pressure on the defense.

Atewe's eligibility affects every big man on the roster for the Huskies, as it will dictate how much each player will play, and might have an effect on whether or not certain players will be able to red shirt. Whether or not Atewe is eligible will be taken into account for every Husky big on this break down.

Malik Dime:

Dime is a 6;11' 225 pound power forward comes to the Huskies by way of Indian Hills Community College, located in Ottumwa, Iowa. Dime will become the second player from Indian Hills in as many years to play for the Huskies. Small forward Quevyn Winters played at Indian Hills for one year prior to committing to the Huskies last spring. Husky fans should not expect that pipeline to be tapped any longer however, as it was mainly established by former assistant coach T.J. Otlezberger.

How he plays:

The first thing that struck me  about Dime while watching his highlights (there are not very many available, unfortunately) was his athleticism. He dunks the ball with ease and ferocity, and looks comfortable catching and dunking alley oops, and can also dunk on spin moves and post moves through traffic, and on dump off passes. He is fast, and should be able to run the floor in transition and potentially create scoring opportunities for the Huskies. XXX He only averaged 7.7 points and 4.6 rebounds per game last season,  so I wouldn't expect him to put up huge numbers next year or make many back to the basket moves, as I could not find a single clip of him making a back to the basket move. that ended in anything other than a dunk or lay up right at the rim,  He also shot an abysmal 55% from the free-throw line, so don't look for him to knock down mid range jump shots next year. XXX The coaching staff will most likely teach the guards to give him the ball  only in positions where he can go right up and finish at the rim.

Offensive limitations aside, I am very excited by the addition of Dime, he is supremely athletic, and should be able to meet  and finish over anyone at the rim in the Pac-12, and should supply the Huskies with plenty of highlights next year. He will need to pick up his rebounding numbers next season, and he  also only averaged 0.4 blocks per game last season, and will also need to learn to use his athleticism on the defensive end.

If Atewe is eligible:

Look for Dime to start at the power forward position next season and for Dime and Atewe to create an athletic, and potentially imposing starting front line.

If Atewe is ineligible:

Look for Dime to be the starting center. An argument can be made that he will be the front court player most affected if Atewe is ruled ineligible; in my mind, is a starter either way, but at 225 pounds, he will likely be undersized against nearly every center in the Pac-12, and the Huskies would more than likely forced to play small ball for stretches of games once again this season.

Noah Dickerson:

Dickerson is a 6'7, 250 pound Center/Forward. He played for  the famous Montverde Academy, which has produced notable players, such as Luc Mbah a Moute, Marcus Capers, D'Angelo Russell and Kasey Hill, among others.

How he plays:

Dickerson seems to prefer to do most of his work in the low post, especially on the left block, his go to move seems to be starting on the left block, taking a few dribbles towards the key, and the quickly spinning and finishing with a reverse lay up on the right side, using the rim to protect from getting his shot blocked. He is strong for his age and his size, and looks comfortable using his weight to back down his defenders and finish close at the rim. He does seem to have a nice touch from the five to eight foot range, but he will need to develop that part of his post game while transitioning to the next level, as it will be harder for him to physically impose Pac-12 defenders. He also seems to possess a nice mid range jump shot, looking comfortable from each elbow and the corners as well. He does look to face up occasionally while in the low post, but he looks like he needs to get more comfortable with taking a face up jump shot.  Romar described Dickerson as " a forward who can score on the block, step outside and knock the shot down" the day he signed, and while that may be a bit of an overestimate of Dickerson currently-he plays much more like a center than a forward- I believe Dickerson will develop into a kind of a stretch four.

Dickerson has a great motor, and rebounds well despite being undersized. He is  simply too talented in the post to not utilize him down low, but I expect Dickerson to get more comfortable and consistent with his jump shot, and to possibly extend out his range to the three point line by the time he is an upperclassmen. His use on the block on offense will likely be limited next season, but I would expect the Huskies to lean on the freshman to give them a 3-4 buckets out of the post a game next season.

If Atewe is eligible:

Look for Dickerson to possibly be the first big man off the bench, primarily as the Huskies back up center, but also look for him to play some power forward as well.

If Atewe is ineligible:

As I said above, I see Dime as the most likely option at center for the Huskies if Atewe cannot play. In that scenario, I see the battle for starting power forward being primarily between Dickerson and Marquesse Chriss. However, there is another scenario I could see playing out, which would be starting Dime at the Power Forward position, and throwing Dickerson right into the fire and starting him at center. After all, Dime's skill set is better utilized at the power forward position, and Dickerson is used to playing the center position. Still, I view this scenario as a long shot at best, I don't think Romar wants to throw Dickerson in as the starting center, as he will be very undersized on defense at the position.

Marquesse Chriss:

Chriss is a 6'8 205 pound power forward from Pleasant Grove High-School in California. Chriss was rated as a four star power forward, listed as the ninth best player at his position in the country by He fielded offers from six Pac-12 schools (Washington included) including Arizona, Utah, and California, and also picked up an offer from Gonzaga.

How he plays:

Similar to Dime, Chriss's athleticism is the first thing I noticed when watching his highlights, though I think I have to give Chriss the edge over Dime when it comes to athleticism. He primarily plays above the rim, dunking with ease. He will be able to catch lobs, dump off passes, and transition passes and finish them, often times with dunks. He is only 6'8'', but he is athletic enough to go over the top of  Pac-12 defenders, and will likely put a few people on posters next season. Unlike Dime, Chriss is more than just a finisher, he has a decent mid range jump shot and a nice looking stroke-though he does seem to slightly twist his legs while shooting, which will hopefully be coached out of him this summer and fall. Chriss will need to improve on the low block, especially with his back to the basket. He also seems to have a knack for shot blocking, and is athletic enough to block shots that are above the white squares on the backboard.

If Atewe is eligible:

Expect him to be the first power forward off the bench.

If Atewe is ineligible:

Assuming Dime starts at center in this scenario, expect Chriss and Dickerson to battle in practice for the starting power forward position., right now i'd give Chriss the slight edge, considering that he is a natural power forward. At 205 pounds, it is unlikely Chriss gets very many minutes (if any at all) at the center position, except for possibly in small ball lineups that feature Dorsey at the four. Even then, I would expect Romar to go with Dickerson or Dime at the center position before Chriss.

Devinir Duruisseau:

Duruisseau  is a 6'8 240 pound played at Fishburne Military school in Waynesboro City, Viriginia, and is rated as a three star center on He received four Pac-12 offers (Washington included) from California, Colorado, and Arizona State.

How he plays:

Duruisseau is a bit of a mystery, as there is hardly any highlights of him available on the internet, and he is arguably the least heralded recruit in this class. With that being said, from what I was able to gather from watching the film of him that I could find, he seems to be very comfortable with his back to the basket. He has a very nice right handed hook shot, and seems to rely on it to do most of his scoring. He has nice footwork in the post, and has a good feel and touch for shots from the five to eight foot area. he also possesses a nice jump shot, and even knocked down a couple of threes in his highlight tape, though i'd expect him to only be a moderate threat from the mid range next season.

Duruisseau comes in as an average Pac-12 athlete, he can dunk with force when given room, but I wouldn't expect any "posterizing" dunks from him next season. However, he has a nice frame, and should improve his jumping ability at least a little bit during his time at Washington. Duruisseau comes in at 240 pounds, but he looks like he is still learning how to use that weight to his advantage, as he seems to settle for his right handed hook shot instead of attacking the rim.

If Atewe is eligible:

Red shirting is possible, though may not be a foregone conclusion as some Huskies fans seem to believe. He and Atewe are the only two true centers on the roster, and I think Duruisseau is talented enough to contribute a bit next year.

If Atewe is ineligible:

While I don't foresee Duruisseau cracking the starting lineup if Atewe is ineligible, I do believe he will get quality minutes as  a reserve. Part of that would be due to sheer necessity for depth reasons, but he also possesses good size and touch, and could provide the Huskies with a spark off the bench now and then.

The Huskies have a much-needed young, front court talent coming into the program. and plenty of it. Most, if not all of the 2015 big men will be in a position to contribute right away, and will be heavily scrutinized by Seattle media, and Huskies fans alike. While judging their play will be warranted, it will be important to remember that these big men, and the team in general, will be incredibly young and inexperienced, and the majority of the team will be adjusting to all aspects of college life, on top of getting used to playing in the Pac-12,. Growing pains should be expected.

Check back here soon for the break down of the Wings and guards.