#98 Washington Men's Basketball 2013-2014 Preview

Washington Huskies

2013-2014 Overall Rank: #98
Conference Rank: #9 Pac-12

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Washington ended the 2012-2013 campaign on a relatively high note. After a lull in Pac-12 play, the Huskies won three of their final four regular season contests to help secure a winning record on the season. Thanks to that winning record Washington made a trip to the NIT where they fell to BYU in the first round. With three starters gone there is a little rebuilding to do and another trip to the NIT would be a successful season for Coach Lorenzo Romar and company.

2012-13 Record: 18-16, 9-9
2012-13 Postseason: NIT
Coach: Lorenzo Romar
Coach Record: 237-129 at Washington, 330-217 overall

Who’s Out:
The expectations placed on Abdul Gaddy when he arrived at UW four years ago were very high. He had a fine collegiate career, but never led the program to great things. During his senior season he averaged 10.9 points and 4.6 assists. The scrappy playmaker could make things happen and open looks could be tougher to come by without Gaddy setting up the offense. Backcourt mate Scott Suggs has also run out of eligibility. Suggs was one of the shooters on the team and he knocked down nearly two three-pointers per game. The big loss in the frontcourt is Aziz N’Diaye. The center turned into a decent interior scorer, but he made a much bigger impact on the glass.

Who’s In:
A couple transfers will make an immediate impact and help replace the production of N’Diaye in the frontcourt. Perris Blackwell spent three years at San Francisco where the 6-9, 280 pound forward took up a lot of space in the paint. He is a very strong rebounder and an efficient scorer around the rim. Two years ago he averaged 12.7 points and 6.1 rebounds. If he does not step right into the starting lineup at UW, he will at least see plenty of quality minutes. Gilles Dierckx can add more size to the frontcourt after working his way into the starting lineup at Florida International as a freshman in 2011-2012. The perimeter adds a bit of experience with junior college transfer Mike Anderson. Yet, it is the freshmen that could make a bigger splash right away. Jahmel Taylor, Nigel Williams-Goss and Darian Johnson form a decent class that will be the foundation of the backcourt for the next four years. Taylor and Williams-Goss will likely have to bide their time at the point guard spot. Williams-Goss is big enough and talented enough to play off the ball as well. Either way, he is too good to keep off of the floor. Johnson is more of a straight up replacement for Suggs. He is a fine shooter and, with a little more strength, will be able to finish around the basket.

Who to Watch:
C.J. Wilcox will have no problem taking over the leadership role. He can do everything. As a junior he averaged 16.8 points, 4.3 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 1.1 steals and 1.0 block. A superb athlete, Wilcox is not afraid to fight his way to the basket. With his ability to consistently knock down long balls, there are not many more dynamic scorers in the Pac-12. Andrew Andrews had a surprisingly productive freshman season, ranking in the top ten all-time in minutes and assists by a Washington freshman. He only started a couple games, but Andrews was playing pretty good basketball by the end of the season and the 7.8 point and 2.3 assist averages do not tell the entire story. With that year of experience under his belt, Andrews is ready to turn into the team’s primary ball handler. Junior Hikeem Stewart has yet to crack the regular rotation and he will need to battle with the newcomers for minutes off of the bench.

Final Projection:
While the backcourt does a bit of rebuilding, the frontcourt can lead the way. Shawn Kemp, Jr. started to turn his raw potential into production as a sophomore. There is still work to be done, but the 6-9 junior is an offensive threat now. Kemp is also a decent shot blocker, although he will have to work harder on the glass to help replace N’Diaye. Desmond Simmons is a fine rebounder and a very good glue guy. The 6-7 junior’s numbers will not jump out at anybody, but he is a key player on this team. With a beefed up Jernard Jarreau and Blackwell and Dierckx joining the fray, the Huskies have depth and experience up front. What they do need to find is a consistent scoring threat who is good enough defensively to leave on the floor for 25 to 30 minutes per game. Without a scorer in the paint, the shooters and slashers on the perimeter are going to find the gaps closing quickly.

Projected Postseason Tournament: CBI/CIT

Projected Starting Five:
Andrew Andrews, Sophomore, Guard, 7.8 points per game
Darin Johnson, Freshman, Guard, DNP last season
C.J. Wilcox, Senior, Guard, 16.8 points per game
Shawn Kemp, Jr., Junior, Forward, 6.3 points per game
Perris Blackwell, Senior, Forward, DNP last season

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 67.9 (157th in nation, 7th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 67.2 (188, 8)
Field-Goal Percentage: 43.6 (159, 8)
Field-Goal Defense: 43.3 (199, 12)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.3 (261, 8)  
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 34.3 (145, 8)
Free-Throw Percentage: 68.3 (209, 10)
Rebound Margin: 4.0 (55, 3)
Assists Per Game: 11.9 (236, 11)
Turnovers Per Game: 13.2 (172, 8)

Madness 2014 NBA Draft Rankings:
#41 C.J. Wilcox

Madness 2013 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#38 Nigel Williams-Goss
#104 Darin Johnson


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