The life of a Husky fan can be so sweet and joyous at times, but so frustrating at others. There is always the high of a big win and a low of an unbelievable loss. This season will be a typical season for Husky fans, with huge wins like, perhaps, those over Arizona or UCLA, but also huge losses against teams like Albany. True fans always stick with the team through the tough times and bumps in the road and even though this is one of the hardest things to do, most Husky fans survive through this brutal test of survival. The Huskies extended future looks bright, but in my opinion, the near future could end up to be a struggle.
To start off with the most vivid point on my mind right now, I will start talking about this highly discouraging Albany loss. Even though this loss was one of the worst of the Romar era, I think it is a good thing this team lost to Albany. This team needs a reality check, and I think they were promptly handed one Tuesday night. With tough non-conference games against Seton Hall and possible Ohio State coming up, the Dawgs needed something to happen to whip them into shape. I think this loss will do just that. However, speaking of the loss, I think this can all be placed on Romar’s hands and rightfully so, after the game, he stated it was 100% his fault. Romar should have and could have kept Aziz in the final play of the game to be a shot blocker, but chose to go with the guard Hikeem Stewart so he could switch screens easier (even though he didn’t switch one screen). The Huskies need to learn to play hard and win without one of their best players and I think this game gave the Huskies some experience in to what that feels like as Scott Suggs came out early with a concussion. While CJ Wilcox was mediocre, I think Andrew Andrews shined and will turn out to be a star in the future. I think losing Aziz next year will hurt the team a bunch, but I strongly believe that Perris Blackwell will be able to step in and contribute from day 1. In the end, I believe this game will turn out to really be a blessing in disguise because this kind of game gets everyone’s attention and pushes players to work harder when they want to stop working. If the team doesn’t figure it out themselves, Lorenzo Romar will force them to figure it out. I mean there is a reason why he has been the coach of the Dawgs for what seems like forever.
These early non-conference games will tell us a lot about how the team will perform and look this year. With a new offense going in and many new players, the Dawgs will have to work out the kinks and make sure everything flows before actual conference play starts. Many people thought that the Europe trip would help with this, but it has clearly not helped so far. Again, time will only tell how well this offense works out. It is way to early to judge how much of an impact the new coaches and system have on the team. I think we will be able to judge these aspects of the team by the time conference play actually starts. Look for the Dawgs to have a solid year in the Pac-12, maybe not a tournament caliber year, but a year that is viewed by many as straight up solid. I don’t expect anything huge out the Huskies team this year, but perhaps that’s just me.
Even though I think the Huskies might struggle a bit this year, I think the future looks very bright. With Darin Johnson signing his NLI Wednesday and Nigel Williams-Goss signing his Friday, Romar adds two highly skilled and talented guards to his arsenal of players. Each have qualities that will significantly improve the team and if CJ Wilcox leaves for the league, which I don’t think will happen, these two guards will come in very handy. Aaron Gordon is a huge remaining target for the 2013 class for Lorenzo Romar and I think that if Romar doesn’t secure the commitment of Aaron Gordon, he could be looking at a future on the hot seat. Kameron Rooks is a 7′ center out of California and is another prospect the Dawgs are looking at. He is more of a back to the basket type player, but can also step out to hit some mid-range jumpers. He is a priority for Lorenzo Romar and the staff, but not their main one as Aaron Gordon holds down that role. If the Huskies can come away with a class of NWG, Johnson, Rooks and Gordon, they will be sitting very pretty for the 2013-2014 season. If you add in the transfers and more experienced role players, there could possibly be an Elite 8 birth in the season, who knows. The far future hinges on the players Romar ends up bringing in with the 2013 recruiting class so it’s a good thing he already has a solid start to the class.
Overall, the Husky basketball program has a solid future ahead of them. This being said, the program could have an amazing future ahead of them if the chips fall in all the right places. I think the likeliness of this happening is pretty substantial and I think there soon could be some glory days for Washington basketball. It just may not be the days right around the corner. You can’t always have instant gratification, right?