#65 Washington Men's Basketball 2014-2015 Preview

Washington Huskies

2014-2015 Overall Rank: #65
Conference Rank: #7 Pac-12

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The 2013-2014 campaign was forgettable for Washington. There were not many big wins along the way and the Huskies ended up 9-9 in Pac-12 play and just 17-15 overall. The good news about last season is that UW was very tough to beat at home. On the flip side though, Washington won just three games outside of Seattle. Sophomore point guard Nigel Williams-Goss will have to be the player who gets this team some wins on the road. Williams-Goss came to UW with high expectations and for the most part he lived up to them, averaging 13.4 points and 4.4 assists per game. He is a good shooter who the opposition must defend on the perimeter. But he is also a quick, smart ball handler who can get up and down the floor. His freshman year was good, but now it is time for Williams-Goss to be great.

2013-14 Record: 17-15, 9-9
2013-14 Postseason: None
Coach: Lorenzo Romar
Coach Record: 251-142 at Washington, 342-229 overall

Who’s Out:
The Huskies do have to replace some key contributors though, including leading scorer C.J. Wilcox. Wilcox was a very good all-around scorer. He averaged 18.3 points per game and knocked down 39.1 percent of his 230 three-point attempts. Wilcox even averaged one block and one steal per game, so he was much more than just a scorer. Perris Blackwell stepped into a starting role during his only season with the squad. He averaged 10.2 points and a team high 6.8 rebounds after transferring in from South Florida. Desmond Simmons was a part-time starter and was always a good rebounder.

Who’s In:
With those losses, there will be plenty of minutes available for the newcomers and Coach Lorenzo Romar has a few who are ready to contribute. Robert Upshaw spent one season at Fresno State and averaged 5.3 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.8 blocks while averaging less than 17 minutes per game. At 6-11 and 255 pounds, Upshaw adds a traditional bruiser to the roster. Even if he is not playing 20 minutes a game, UW has the luxury of using him when they need another big presence in the post. Incoming freshman Tristian Etienne is a pretty big presence too. However, the 6-10, 215 pound Canadian may need some more time to gain strength before he is ready to compete in the Pac-12. Donaven Dorsey, the best of the incoming freshman, and Quevyn Winters, a junior college transfer, are a couple big wings. Dorsey is the better of the two incoming freshmen and he has the athleticism to turn into a dangerous slasher right away. Winters began his collegiate career at Duquesne before spending last season at Indian Hills Community College in Iowa. He is a good shooter on a team that needs a shooter.

Who to Watch:
Dorsey and Winters will have competition for minutes though from Andrew Andrews, Mike Anderson and Darin Johnson. Andrews started all 32 games during his sophomore season and averaged 12.3 points per game. Andrews is not afraid to take big shots, but he connected on just 28.3 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc as a sophomore and he does need to be more consistent now that he is an upperclassman. Anderson was supposed to add some outside shooting to the team, but he failed to live up to that hype. He is a great rebounding guard though and could be in for a great senior season if his shot starts falling. The expectations are high for Johnson after spending his freshman season as UW’s sixth man. He only averaged 5.9 points per game, but did not really look for his shot too often. This time around there will be more shots to go around.

Final Projection:
The backcourt should be in great shape with plenty of emerging talent more than ready to replace Wilcox. The bigger question is in the frontcourt. The health of Jernard Jarreau will be very important. He made it just 80 seconds into the 2013-2014 season before tearing an ACL. The 6-10 forward averaged 3.2 points and 2.6 rebounds as a freshman the previous season. If he can stay healthy, Jarreau should be the best frontcourt player on the team. Shawn Kemp Jr. may have something to say about that. It always seems like this is the year for Kemp to breakout, but it has yet to happen. This is his last shot after averaging 4.4 points as a junior. Gilles Dierckx is a seven-footer who only saw 71 minutes on the floor last season, but he is a big body who can eat up space and minutes. If the frontcourt can find a scorer and a few players to block some shots and grab some rebounds, this could be an interesting UW team. An NCAA Tournament berth will be their goal, but they appear to be a bit short.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NIT

Projected Starting Five:
Nigel Williams-Goss, Sophomore, Guard, 13.4 points per game
Andrew Andrews, Junior, Guard, 12.3 points per game
Mike Anderson, Senior, Guard, 5.5 points per game
Shawn Kemp Jr., Senior, Forward, 4.4 points per game
Jernard Jarreau, Sophomore, Forward, DNP last season

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 74.5 (73rd in nation, 6th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 74.7 (288, 10)
Field-Goal Percentage: 44.6 (151, 9)
Field-Goal Defense: 47.5 (325, 12)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.8 (206, 6)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 33.9 (180, 9)
Free-Throw Percentage: 75.8 (10, 2)
Rebound Margin: 1.5 (137, 6)
Assists Per Game: 13.3 (116, 8)
Turnovers Per Game: 11.4 (83, 5)

Madness 2015 NBA Draft Rankings:
#50 Nigel Williams-Goss


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