#67 Washington Men's Basketball 2016-2017 Preview

Washington Huskies
2016-2017 Overall Rank: #67
Conference Rank: #9 Pac-12
Heading into February, Washington looked like they had a shot at the NCAA Tournament. But in February the team lost six of seven games and ended up 9-9 in Pac-12 play. The Huskies had to settle for a trip to the NIT, where they beat Long Beach State in the first round and lost at San Diego State in round two. This year will be tougher for the Huskies with their top three scorers gone, but Coach Lorenzo Romar has a young and talented team.
2015-16 Record: 19-15, 9-9
2015-16 Postseason: NIT
Coach: Lorenzo Romar
Coach Record: 288-171 at Washington, 381-259 overall
Who’s Out:
Andrew Andrews was the heart and soul of the Huskies team last year. He averaged 20.9 points, 4.9 assists and 5.7 rebounds. Andrews was a great all-around scorer who knocked down over 40.0 percent of his three-point attempts and 85.0 percent of his many free-throws. Andrews alone would be tough enough to replace, but UW also lost the only other double digit scorers on the team. Dejounte Murray left after his freshman campaign when he averaged 16.1 points, 4.4 assists and 6.0 rebounds. Marquese Chriss was also a first round draft pick and left UW after his freshman campaign. The 6-9 forward averaged 13.7 points and 5.4 rebounds. Losing two first round draft picks after one year and the team’s best scorer in quite some time will not be easy to overcome. Donaven Dorsey opted to transfer after his sophomore season when he averaged fewer than ten minutes per game.
Who’s In:
This year Washington does not have two players who are going to leave for the NBA after a year, but there is one in Markelle Fultz. The 6-4 guard is a big time scorer and the consensus top ten recruit will step right into a starring role for the Huskies. He is much like Murray and Andrews because not only can he score, but Fultz can hit the glass effectively and handle the ball. Bitumba Baruti will likely need more time before making a major impact, but he is another big, lanky guard that fits right into what Coach Romar wants to do. Fellow freshmen Quin Barnard and Carlos Johnson will add more depth on the perimeter. Johnson is coming off of a strong team overseas trip over the summer. The frontcourt adds a bit more experience with Auburn transfer Matthew Atewe joining incoming freshman Sam Timmins. Atewe saw some quality minutes for the Tigers as a freshman back in 2013-2014 before missing the 2014-2015 campaign with an injury and last year sitting out as a transfer.
Who to Watch:
Noah Dickerson, a 6-8 sophomore, is a prime candidate to pick up much of the scoring slack. He averaged 7.5 points and 5.2 rebounds as a freshman and should shoulder much more as a sophomore. The frontcourt also returns Malik Dime and Dominic Green. Dime started nine games after coming in from the junior college ranks. He may not do a ton of scoring, but he is the best shot blocker on the team and will be called upon often for his defense and rebounding. Devenir Durulsseau is a promising sophomore who should see a bigger role this time around. Small forward Matisse Thybulle, another sophomore, may not be the answer for the lost scoring, but he is a capable outside shooter and a versatile wing.
Final Projection:
The backcourt will have to rely on the newcomers quite a bit. David Crisp is an option to run the point after averaging 7.2 points and 1.6 assists as a freshman. He is better suited to play off the ball and knock down some three-pointers, but Crisp could be thrown into the mix. This team has plenty of talent, but they need a leader who can find Dickerson, Fultz and the other likely scorers. This may not be an NCAA Tournament team right now, but they are very young and this group will reach the NCAA Tournament next year if everybody sticks around.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NIT
Projected Starting Five:
David Crisp, Sophomore, Guard, 7.2 points per game
Markelle Fultz, Freshman, Guard, DNP last season
Matisse Thybulle, Sophomore, Forward, 6.2 points per game
Dominic Green, Sophomore, Forward, 2.7 points per game
Noah Dickerson, Sophomore, Forward, 7.5 points per game
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 83.9 (6th in nation, 1st in conference)
Scoring Defense: 80.8 (333, 12)
Field-Goal Percentage: 42.6 (243, 11)
Field-Goal Defense: 43.0 (144, 9)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.3 (138, 5)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 33.1 (248, 11)
Free-Throw Percentage: 72.5 (71, 2)
Rebound Margin: -2.4 (261, 11)
Assists Per Game: 14.4 (100, 4)
Turnovers Per Game: 13.8 (283, 11)
Madness 2017 NBA Draft Rankings:
#4 Markelle Fultz
Madness 2016 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#5 Markelle Fultz