Washington Huskies Basketball: Key Departures and Additions

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Nigel Williams-Goss

McDonald’s All-American, four-star (five-star if you’re ESPN) rating, 4.0 with a Harvard offer, 35-1 record in his senior year at Findlay Prep. If Washington had seen more success in the past few years, the arrival of Williams-Goss would probably be receiving much more hype, but even with expectations for the team low, the excitement for the freshman point guard is very real. Given the college-type atmosphere, schedule, and even talent level of Findlay Prep, and the fact that Williams-Goss played from his freshman year on, I expect Williams-Goss to contribute right away. Honestly, I’d be a little bit surprised if he fails to start the first game of the season. He’s been described as a classic point guard, more of a floor general than a scorer, but with the ability to take over at the end of close games, such as when he hit a game-winning three over then-undefeated, #1 ranked Montverde during his senior year.

Darin Johnson

A three or four-star recruit depending on the site, Johnson is a 6’4″ shooting guard with terrific athleticism and all-around scoring ability. Though he may take longer than Williams-Goss to adjust to the college game, I expect him to be one of three newcomers to contribute in their first year on the roster. He has the potential to be the next in a long line of skilled guards molded by Coach Romar.

Mike Anderson

A junior after transferring in from Moberly Area Community College, Anderson is the third newcomer to the Division I game that I expect to seriously contribute early on. His statline in CC showed versatility and hyper-efficiency: 17 points, 10 rebounds, and 1.5 assists while shooting 81% from the free throw line, 52% from the field, and 41% from three-point territory. It’s unlikely he will replicate that stat line at the Pac-12 level, but the 6’4″ swingman projects as a do-it-all glue-guy for this year’s team. He could provide valuable depth off the bench or even sneak in and take a starting spot, considering that Romar has refused to name any starters aside from Perris Blackwell and C.J. Wilcox.

Jahmel Taylor

A tough, undersized scorer listed at six-foot, Taylor averaged 22 points, six rebounds, and four assists during a senior season that also saw his team win the state championship in Division 4A in Southern California. The most likely player to redshirt, but still a player to be optimistic about in years to come.

Perris Blackwell*

Blackwell was on the roster last year, sitting out the required year after transferring from the University of San Francisco. A 6’9′ 280-pound below-the-rim bruiser, Blackwell averaged a solid 12 points and seven rebounds in his final year at USF. The limited tape that I have seen of him shows a fundamentally sound post-up scorer and tenacious rebounder and put-back artist. He seems to do well driving from the high post while maintaining his dribble, and after years of frustratingly inconsistent inside shooting, his preference for high-percentage layups off of offensive boards could be a breath of fresh air. Romar has been super positive about Blackwell, even projecting him to be the team’s second leading scorer behind Wilcox. He is a senior, so this is his only year to make a mark at Washington. He already seemed to function as a fairly vocal leader off of the bench last year, and both his leadership and the consistent nature of his play could go a long way towards steadying an inconsistent program.

Gilles Dierickx*

Just like Blackwell, Dierickx sat out last year after transferring from Florida International. He wasn’t a huge contributor there, but Romar has indicated that he is expected to contribute after a year spent putting on weight and improving his game. The seven-footer is a solid mid-range jump shooter and an above-average shot-blocker, and could provide more depth off of the bench, which will be valuable with guys like Kemp and Blackwell likely to start. Neither of those players is likely to stay in for 30+ minute a game, so guys like Dierickx and Simmons will be very valuable.

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