The Huskies have effectively closed the books on the 2012 recruiting class after unsuccessfully attempting to land William Howard and Mouhammadou Jaiteh. The Huskies did add two transfer recruits, only one of which will play this season. Is 2012 then a bust in terms of recruiting?
Pay it Forward
Closing 2012 with one scholarship remaining, means it can essentially be rolled over to 2013, the class that Lorenzo Romar and his staff have their sights set on. Romar’s off to a great start in landing a bona fide leader in Nigel Williams-Goss, who has also stated a desire to attract other 2013 recruits to UW.
McLaughlin…Fill it Up, Son!
It seems that every year national writers and fans alike are asking, “Where will the Huskies turn to replace the scoring that left?” due to graduation, or in the case of this year, the draft. 32 points per game walked out the door as freshman phenom Tony Wroten and sophomore sharp-shooter Terrence Ross declared early for the NBA draft. The answer, in part, to that pressing question is Mark McLaughlin, a transfer from Tacoma Community College, where his 27.5 points per game lead the nation. Long recognized a D-1 talent, expect McLaughlin to make an immediate contribution at the wing. McLaughlin is also an above average passer and has respectable handles for a guard with his size, 6’6” and right around 200 lbs.
Turn to the Returning
Recruiting classes are only part of the equation, which is strange, I know, to assert in an article on the same topic. Recruiting classes make for good national discussion for sure, but what about what a team returns? Keep in mind that Scott Suggs will be returning for his final season – treat him as a one and done! I think Husky fans will see immediately why he was sorely missed last season – sharp shooting, calm and collected, knowledge of the Husky way. The aforementioned departure of Ross and Wroten and the need for backcourt scoring and able defense will also be filled by C.J. Wilcox. The Huskies perimeter game will put enormous pressure on opposing defenses, which creates other lanes and looks for others.
No Fronting on the Front Line
With the Huskies unable to land Howard or Jaiteh, another member of the frontcourt will need to step up. Aziz N’Diaye returns for his senior season and it’s reasonable to expect what he’s already proven – an intimidating 7 footer clogging the middle and windexing the glass. However, there are minutes to be had at the small forward spot, and while Desmond Simmons has the advantage returning after an effective freshman campaign, it remains to be seen who else can contribute at that position. Perhaps Romar will opt for a “by committee” type of rotation, but there are viable candidates in Breunig, Kemp and Jarreau. See the great analysis on the matter by John Chase.
Time will tell how the 2012/2013 team gels, but I believe the pieces are there, even if the 2012 recruiting class was a bit “thin” in terms of numbers. As such, the stage is set for those who have played in the system for a few years to contribute in a big way and the “newcomers” – including redshirt freshmen – to carve their own important niche.