#43 Washington Men's Basketball 2012-13 Preview

Washington Huskies

2012-2013 Overall Rank: #43
Conference Rank: #4 Pac-12
Washington Men's College Basketball 2012-2013 Team Preview
Washington Team Page


If Washington can come close to their 14-4 Pac-12 record of a year ago, they should not be relegated to the NIT again this season. Of course their success or failure in non-conference play will have a huge effect on their placement come March, the Pac-12 as a whole is getting better. Unfortunately, at least for this year, the Huskies may not be one of those teams getting better. Much will depend on Abdul Gaddy. The former super recruit has had a relatively disappointing season based on the high expectations. As a junior last year he averaged 8.1 points and 5.2 assists. He is a superb passer and many current NBA players should thank him for his passing ability, but he has never turned into a scorer. That may need to change this year with the top two scorers gone, but Gaddy will not average many more points unless he starts shooting better.

2011-12 Record: 24-11, 14-4
2011-12 Postseason: NIT
Coach: Lorenzo Romar
Coach Record: 219-113 at Washington, 312-201 overall

Who’s Out:
UW loses their top two scorers from a year ago and both Terrence Ross and Tony Wroten were dynamic scorers from the wing. Ross was a superb all-around scorer who averaged 16.4 points before splitting for the NBA after his sophomore season. At 6-6 Ross could easily shoot over opposing defenders and he could surely shoot. Ross also used that size to rank second on the team with 6.4 rebounds. Wroten also left early for the NBA. He was not a three-point shooter like Ross, but few players in the nation could finish above the rim like Wroten. After averaging 16.0 points, 3.7 assists, 5.0 rebounds and 1.9 steals as a freshman, Wroten was drafted in the first round. The big loss in the frontcourt is Darnell Gant. He turned into a tough interior rebounder and defender to go along with his versatile offensive game.

Who’s In:
Andrew Andrews will add some quality depth on the perimeter. He redshirted last season and is now ready to play major minutes as a backup point guard. The rest of the new depth on the perimeter will be added by walk-ons Dion Overstreet and Quinn Sterling. Overstreet at least has some experience at the junior college level, but both will find it very difficult to find any minutes. In the frontcourt Jernard Jarreau should make an immediate contribution. The 6-10 freshman spent last season on the bench polishing his game. The minutes will be there for Jarreau from day one and he has the talent to at least be one of the Huskies big men off of the bench.

Who to Watch:
With the changes on the wing, Washington will look to their frontcourt for more consistent scoring. Aziz N’Diaye will shoulder much of that load. The Huskies really lacked a consistent interior scoring threat last season. N’Diaye could be that guy during his senior season. At 7-0 and 260 pounds, he can be a force in the paint. N’Diaye is pretty consistent when he does shoot, but he can have trouble creating looks. Desmond Simmons will likely step into a full-time starting role after averaging 4.2 points and 4.8 rebounds as a freshman. He may not put up huge numbers, but Simmons can do the dirty work in the paint. As long as N’Diaye emerges as a more consistent scorer, Washington needs a player like Simmons grabbing some rebounds and creating space for N’Diaye. Martin Breunig and Shawn Kemp Jr. are a couple more sophomore post players who have plenty of potential. Neither were particularly effective as freshmen, but that will need to change. Even football player Austin Seferian-Jenkins, who walked onto the basketball team, can help out quite a bit on the glass.

Final Projection:
The frontcourt needs to improve and that year of experience should do the trick. That leaves replacing Ross and Wroten as the biggest need for this team. C.J. Wilcox and Scott Suggs may not each average over 16 points per game like those two, but they are very good players who are proven scorers. Wilcox is one of the best shooters in the conference and knocked down 40.3 percent of his attempts from long range. But he is more than just a shooter and can use his 6-5 frame to finish around the basket. Washington will not have to look any further than the junior for a go-to-scorer. Suggs averaged 7.4 points per game two years ago but missed last season with a foot injury. At 6-6, he too has the size and strength to attack the basket and Suggs is ready for a huge senior season. Losing Ross and Wroten sounds bad, and it is bad for the overall depth of this team, but Wilcox and Suggs are good, experienced players who will join Gaddy to form one of the better backcourts in the Pac-12. Depth may be an issue behind those three at first, but this is a team that has players ready to step up across the board. Now they just need the rest of the conference to do a bit better so the Pac-12 does not end up as a two bid league again, with the Huskies left on the outside looking in.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA

Projected Starting Five:
Abdul Gaddy, Senior, Guard, 8.1 points per game
C.J. Wilcox, Junior, Guard, 14.2 points per game
Scott Suggs, Senior, Guard, DNP last season
Desmond Simmons, Sophomore, Forward, 4.2 points per game
Aziz N’Diaye, Senior, Center, 7.8 points per game

Madness 2013 NBA Draft Rankings:
#31 C.J. Wilcox
#92 Aziz N'Diaye
#98 Abdul Gaddy