#44 Washington Women's Basketball 2014-2015 Preview

Washington Huskies

Overall Rank: #44
Conference Rank: #7 Pac-12
#44 Washington Women's Basketball 2014-2015 Preview
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The Mike Neighbors era at the University of Washington got off to a very solid start with another 20 win season including signature wins over Stanford and California. The mission heading into the 2014-15 season for the Huskies is pretty straight forward and that is to somehow stay healthy and find a way back into the NCAA Tournament.

2013-14 Record: 20-14, 10-8
2013-14 Postseason: WNIT
Coach: Mike Neighbors
Coach Record: 20-14 at Washington, 20-14 overall

The backcourt of Kelsey Plum and Jazmine Davis is one of the best backcourt combinations in the conference and in the nation. Plum was a stalwart as a freshman as she scored 20.9 points per game and was the Freshman of the Year in the Pac-12. In addition, Plum was only one of three players in the nation to make at least 200 field goals, 200 free throws, and 80 3-pointers last season. Davis brings the ever important senior leadership and an ability to take over a game with her ability to take care of business offensively. Another underrated strength of this Husky team is their ability to take care of the basketball, as last season they only committed 13 turnovers per contest. That ability to limit unnecessary extra possessions for the other team will keep Washington in a lot of games this season.

The need to replace the leadership lost with the graduation of Mercedes Wetmore out of the backcourt is huge. Wetmore was the team leader in assists last season with 144. However, a healthier Heather Corral should be able to pick up the offensive slack lost from Wetmore's graduation. Corral made almost 46 percent of her shots from three-point range. A healthier Katie Collier being another year removed from her ACL injury will help Talia Walton and Aminah Williams down in the paint to create more of an offensive threat to keep defenses a lot more honest this season.

Final Projection:
The schedule starts fast for Washington as they go on the road at Oklahoma on November 14th to start the 2014-15 season. The other two non-conference tests will be on a neutral floor and at home for the Huskies. Florida State awaits Washington on a neutral floor at a Thanksgiving weekend tournament in Cancun on November 27th. In addition, a rematch with an outstanding Texas A&M team is on tap for the Huskies on December 29th, which will be a great litmus test for this team before diving deep into conference play.  The conference schedule is fairly balanced except for a stretch where Washington has four of six on the road starting on January 31st at California. With the continued development of an elite player like Plum and increased balance down in the post, this Husky team can make a run at another 20 win season and threaten to get into the NCAA Tournament as the Pac-12 is finally getting deeper as conference.

Projected Postseason Tournament: WNIT

Projected Starting Five:
Kelsey Plum, Sophomore, Guard, 20.9 points per game
Jazmine Davis, Senior, Guard, 18.8 points per game
Talia Walton, Redshirt Junior, Forward, 11.1 points per game
Katie Collier, Redshirt Sophomore, Forward, 3.8 points per game
Aminah Williams, Junior, Center, 7.4 points per game

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 72.4 (72nd in nation, 4th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 71.9 (277, 10)
Field-Goal Percentage: 39.0 (242, 11)
Field-Goal Defense: 38.6 (95, 4)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 8.1 (21, 3)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 34.0 (72, 4)
Free-Throw Percentage: 70.9 (123, 2)
Rebound Margin: -4.1 (279, 9)
Assists Per Game: 12.9 (211, 9)
Turnovers Per Game: 13.0 (29, 2)

Madness 2015 WNBA Draft Rankings:
#20 Jazmine Davis


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