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Husky Men’s Basketball Favorite Individual Season Bracket

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Vote for your favorite UW hoopers from the last 20 years

Washington v Stanford Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

For the 3rd season in a row the Washington Men’s Basketball team will not be appearing in either the NCAA tournament or the NIT. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have any chance to fill out a bracket where UW basketball is involved.

This season Terrell Brown Jr. had one of the best statistical seasons in recent Husky history dragging a moribund Washington offense to a winning record in Pac-12 play. That got me thinking about some of the other great seasons that have occurred over the past 20 years and where Brown’s run would rank. To make the final decision I put together a bracket and am letting you vote. I’m making the official cut off point the start of the Lorenzo Romar era both because 20 years is a nice round number and that’s really where my own Husky fandom began.

Here are some of the ground rules. This is all about how you the fan feel about the season in question. Team success can play a part because obviously it’s more fun to watch a player lead a team to a victory. This shouldn’t just be decided by “well that season UW made the Sweet 16 so automatically he should advance”. NBA success or lack thereof also shouldn’t play into the voting. This is based on that particular college season regardless of what came after.

Intangibles though such as “man, it was fun to watch him play” or “he was always so clutch” definitely are valid criteria. So is overall statistical dominance. Some of the more recent seasons don’t have the history to decide this but it’s also reasonable to vote based on how much nostalgia you feel when someone asks you if you remember that particular season.

Each player is listed once even though some players could have multiple seasons throughout their career that would qualify. I tried to select their best year.

Before we get into the bracket let’s go over the honorable mentions. There were 24 players under consideration that got whittled down to 16 to qualify for the voting. The misses were:

2005-06 Jamaal Williams (13.8 pts, 4.7 reb, 1.3 ast)- #2 scorer on a team that narrowly missed making the Elite 8 but only played 24 minutes per game.

2008-09 Justin Dentmon (14.4 pts, 2.5 ast, 41.2% 3pt)- Breakout senior year on a #4 seed but overshadowed by Isaiah Thomas on that roster

2010-11 Matthew Bryan-Amaning (15.3 pts, 8.0 reb)- Dominant big man for a #7 seed but ended up a smidge behind some of the other centers.

2010-11 Justin Holiday (10.5 pts, 5.2 reb, 1.2 stl)- Extremely important role player who went on to a nice NBA career but just didn’t have the stats for that same team to make the list.

2011-12 Tony Wroten Jr. (16 pts, 5 reb, 3.9 ast)- Became a 1st round pick and was a physically dominant guard but the terrible shooting + turnovers made for a less fun watch at the time.

2014-15 Nigel Williams-Goss (15.6 pts, 4.7 reb, 5.9 ast)- Stats were fantastic and great player but heading to Gonzaga and the team clearly having no chemistry hurts his case.

2015-16 Dejounte Murray (16.1 pts, 6.0 reb, 4.4 ast)- Similar to Wroten except more fun to watch although not being the #1 scorer at guard keeps this below making the list.

2015-16 Marquese Chriss (13.7 pts, 5.4 reb, 1.6 blk)- Some stunning dunks and blocks but too frustrating to watch with the bad fouls going for the highlight plays.

Now we get to the bracket itself:

2005-06 Brandon Roy (20.2 pts, 5.6 reb, 4.1 ast, 50.8% FG, 40.2% 3pt, 81.0% FT)

2004-05 Will Conroy (9.4 pts, 6.4 ast, 3.3 reb, 45.6% FG, 30.3% 3pt, 76.1% FT)

It’s unfortunate that 2 great friends and teammates such as Roy and Conroy are matched up in the 1st round. Brandon was spectacular in his senior season leading Washington in points and assists while finishing 2nd in rebounds. That combo helped him earn the Pac-10 Player of the Year award and 1st team All-American honors. The Dawgs earned a #5 seed in the NCAA tournament and made the Sweet 16 before losing to #1 seed Connecticut.

Meanwhile, Conroy played an unselfish brand of basketball setting up teammates (including Roy) while showing off exemplary leadership on a team that earned a #1 seed in the NCAA tournament and also ultimately fell in the Sweet 16. The lack of raw scoring clearly hurt Conroy’s case as Nate Robinson and Tre Simmons made the All-Pac-12 team while Conroy got snubbed. Of course Conroy is now a long-time assistant coach for Washington but that shouldn’t be a consideration in this vote.

Poll

Which of these seasons was your favorite?

This poll is closed

  • 93%
    2005-06 Brandon Roy
    (283 votes)
  • 6%
    2004-05 Will Conroy
    (21 votes)
304 votes total Vote Now

2018-19 Matisse Thybulle (9.1 pts, 3.5 stl, 2.3 blk, 41.5% FG, 85.1% FT)

2017-18 Noah Dickerson (15.5 pts, 8.4 reb, 56.9% FG, 78.6% FT)

Once again we have a battle between teammates whose nominated seasons happened in different years. In 2019 Matisse was the National Defensive Player of the Year and it was well-deserved in addition to making 1st team All-Pac-12. His ability to jump passing lanes for breakaway dunks and block shots both at the 3-pt line and from behind on midrange jumpers was unparalleled even if his shooting struggled. His performance helped lead Washington to a Pac-12 title and a #9 seed in the NCAA tournament.

Noah Dickerson’s best year was the season prior when he was a reliably dominant option in the post. Dickerson didn’t have ideal size for a true center but was a master with his footwork at drawing fouls and was a fantastic free throw shooter for a big with plenty of 10/11 type games from the line. He was rewarded with 1st team All-Pac-12 honors.

Poll

Which of these seasons was your favorite?

This poll is closed

  • 84%
    2018-19 Matisse Thybulle
    (258 votes)
  • 15%
    2017-18 Noah Dickerson
    (47 votes)
305 votes total Vote Now

2007-08 Jon Brockman (17.8 pts, 11.6 reb, 53.6% FG)

2019-20 Isaiah Stewart (17.0 pts, 8.8 reb, 2.1 blk, 57.0% FG, 77.4% FT)

Here we get a matchup of two of the best big men in recent UW history but it’s still a contrast in styles. The Brockness Monster was one of the best rebounders the West Coast has ever seen as he used his wide frame and supernaturally superb instincts to get his hands on every ball despite not being an elite athlete. Washington didn’t see a lot of success in 2008 finishing 16-17 and 8th in the conference but it was hard to blame Brockman for that. He made 2nd team All-Pac-12 when the conference momentarily shifted to a 5-man 1st team getting shoved out by future NBA stars Kevin Love and Brook Lopez.

Stewart didn’t have Brockman’s instincts but he played a relentless energetic style of basketball you couldn’t help but love. He anchored the Washington zone and completely shut down the paint for opposing bigs while running the floor in transition and dominating on post-ups. The Huskies started the season well but fell apart in Pac-12 play leading to a last place finish once Quade Green left the lineup and no one else knew how to make an entry pass to get Stewart the ball. Stewart was named 1st team All Pac-12.

Poll

Which of these seasons was your favorite?

This poll is closed

  • 78%
    2007-08 Jon Brockman
    (266 votes)
  • 21%
    2019-20 Isaiah Stewart
    (72 votes)
338 votes total Vote Now

2004-05 Nate Robinson (16.4 pts, 3.9 reb, 4.3 ast, 38.5% 3pt)

2016-17 Markelle Fultz (23.2 pts, 5.7 reb, 5.9 ast, 41.3% 3pt)

Both of these players became 1st round picks but did it very different ways. Robinson was a sensation with his elite leaping ability in such a small frame. He led a Husky team in scoring that ended up a #1 seed in the NCAA tournament while cementing himself as a fan favorite. Finishing 4th in the conference in points per game he was named 1st team All-Pac-12.

Fultz came in with a lot of hype and lived up to it with his individual play even if the team collapsed around him. He shot the 3, he came up with spectacular chase down blocks, and he flew in for one-handed slams in transition. He led the conference in scoring and was second in assists but didn’t win conference player of the year due to the 11th place conference finish. Instead he settled for 1st team All-Pac-12 and the #1 overall pick in the NBA Draft.

Poll

Which of these seasons was your favorite?

This poll is closed

  • 84%
    2004-05 Nate Robinson
    (256 votes)
  • 15%
    2016-17 Markelle Fultz
    (47 votes)
303 votes total Vote Now

2009-10 Quincy Pondexter (19.3 pts, 7.4 reb, 1.8 ast, 52.8% FG, 35.3% 3pt, 82.7% FT)

2006-07 Spencer Hawes (14.9 pts, 6.4 reb, 1.7 blk, 53.2% FG, 75.5% FT)

This is the battle between 4-year senior and one and done freshman. Now assistant coach Quincy Pondexter entered his Husky career with a lot of hype and it finally paid off with his massive senior year. He finished 3rd in the conference in both points and rebounds per game leading UW to a #11 seed in the NCAA tournament and scored the game-winning basket to upset Marquette in the 1st round. Q-Pon was snubbed for Pac-10 player of the year but still took home 1st team All-Pac-10.

Hawes was the first one and done for UW after it became the rule and he made an instant impact as a 5-star center. Playing alongside Jon Brockman, Hawes led the team in scoring and was 2nd in rebounds. The Huskies struggled in conference play finishing 7th in the conference despite a 19-13 overall record.

Poll

Which of these seasons was your favorite?

This poll is closed

  • 94%
    2009-10 Quincy Pondexter
    (288 votes)
  • 5%
    2006-07 Spencer Hawes
    (16 votes)
304 votes total Vote Now

2013-14 CJ Wilcox (18.3 pts, 3.7 reb, 2.5 ast, 39.1% 3pt, 87.3% FT)

2015-16 Andrew Andrews (20.9 pts, 5.7 reb, 4.9 ast, 40.1% 3pt, 85.0% FT)

Both of these players took leaps as seniors to become the unquestioned leaders of their squads. Wilcox had one of the sweetest strokes ever seen in a Husky uniform but stepped up his playmaking and overall offensive game that season. He didn’t quite get the recognition from the conference though as for the 2nd straight year he made 2nd team All-Pac-12. The team ended up 9-9 in conference but still only finished 8th in the Pac-12 standings.

Andrews was a highly inefficient player for much of his Husky career but it finally clicked for him as he was a master at getting to the foul line and he suddenly became a deadly shooter. Playing with a crazy talented freshman class he was the adult in the room who tried to steer the offense with his leadership. Andrews led the Pac-12 in scoring and was 4th in assists per game to end up 1st team All-Pac-12 but a 9-9 conference record and 6th place Pac-12 finish was only good enough for an NIT berth.

Poll

Which of these seasons was your favorite?

This poll is closed

  • 47%
    2013-14 CJ Wilcox
    (142 votes)
  • 52%
    2015-16 Andrew Andrews
    (159 votes)
301 votes total Vote Now

2018-19 Jaylen Nowell (16.2 pts, 5.3 reb, 3.1 ast, 44.0% 3pt, 77.9% FT)

2021-22 Terrell Brown Jr. (21.7 pts, 4.2 reb, 4.3 ast, 45.2% FG, 20% 3pt, 77.2% FT)

It’s fitting that these two ended up paired against one another as each during their time was considered a master of the midrange. Jaylen Nowell was fantastic as a true freshman but stepped up his game as a sophomore and became an elite outside shooter on top of controlling the Husky offense. He won Pac-12 Player of the Year as Washington won the Pac-12 regular season title and earned a #9 seed in the NCAA tournament.

We just got done watching Brown play so I probably don’t need to do much of a summary since it is fresh in your mind. He led the Pac-12 in scoring and steals which was the first time that’s happened in over a decade. Brown single-handedly dragged UW’s offense to mediocre and had a propensity for making the highest degree of difficulty midrange shots. He earned 1st team All-Pac-12 honors and missed out on POY because the Huskies finished 6th in the conference standings instead of 1st.

Poll

Which of these seasons was your favorite?

This poll is closed

  • 42%
    2018-19 Jaylen Nowell
    (133 votes)
  • 57%
    2021-22 Terrell Brown Jr.
    (179 votes)
312 votes total Vote Now

2011-12 Terrence Ross (16.4 pts, 6.4 reb, 1.3 stl, 45.7% FG, 37.1% 3pt, 76.6% FT)

2010-11 Isaiah Thomas (16.8 pts, 3.5 reb, 6.1 ast, 44.5% FG, 34.9% 3pt, 71.9% FT)

Once again we get a set of former teammates although Ross came off the bench during IT’s nominated season. He inherited the mantle though in 2012 and finished 4th in the conference in scoring and 6th in rebounding on the way to 1st team All-Pac-12 honors. Washington won the regular season conference title but shockingly missed out on an NCAA berth and instead made a deep run in the NIT. Ross dazzled with his combination of elite leaping ability for highlight dunks and also above average outside shooting.

There was some talk about whether IT had anything left to prove coming back for his junior year but he showed he could become a premium true point guard in addition to an elite undersized scorer. Thomas finished 4th in the Pac-12 in scoring and led the league in assists but missed out on winning Pac-12 POY due to a fever dream season from Arizona’s Derrick Williams (IT still made 1st team All-Pac-12). Thomas got the last laugh though in the conference tournament with his buzzer beating game winner to earn UW a #7 seed in the tournament. Say it with me now. “Isaiah. Shot clock turned off. Game clock at 8. He’s gonna do it himself. Thomas. Shake. Crossover. Step back. AAAAAAHH.”

Poll

Which of these seasons was your favorite?

This poll is closed

  • 6%
    2011-12 Terrence Ross
    (21 votes)
  • 93%
    2010-11 Isaiah Thomas
    (286 votes)
307 votes total Vote Now

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If you’d also like to fill out a regular March Madness bracket and compete for pride against your fellow UWDP readers and myself you can follow this link right here.