Last week, we wrote about five big men coming to the Pac-10 this season that we feel will make an immediate impact, replacing guys like Aron Baynes and Jordan Hill as the post players the Huskies will have to keep in check in order to be successful.
Next are five wingmen (big guards and small forwards) new to the conference this season who the Husky guards and wings, talented as they are, will have to step up to defend. Also wanted to mention that I’m not covering Huskies in these groups (I got several “Where’s Tyreese?” emails last week.) We write a lot about the Dawgs and I want to introduce players not everyone will be familiar with yet:
A strong outside shooter and passer, look for Wilson to make an immediate impact for the Ducks. Wilson also considered Michigan State and Texas before committing to Oregon, and was ranked among the top five small forwards in the class of 2009.
It’s likely that Wilson starts the season out as the sixth or seventh man in Oregon’s rotation, but with Ernie Kent’s job on the line, don’t be surprised to see him starting his best five by midseason, which could ultimately include Wilson instead of upperclassmen Joevan Catron or LeKendric Longmire.
Honeycutt possesses the length of a post player, the athleticism of an elite wing player (check out this dunk!), and, at the high school level, the passing acumen of a point guard. The knock against him that he lacks toughness, and that he’s coming into his freshman season shortly after being diagnosed with a spinal stress fracture, an injury that isn’t quite as serious as it sounds. That said, it’s unknown how much the condition will impact his freshman season.
Provided Honeycutt is healthy enough to play regularly this year, he’s got a shot to compete for serious minutes at the small forward and shooting guard spots.
6’5″, 185, Fr. (Minnetonka, MN)
Lockett will try to help fill the void left by James Harden at Arizona State this year with his athleticism and reliable shooting. Herb Sendek will hope to mesh Lockett’s “gunslinger” mentality with his deliberate system at ASU.
With the losses of James Harden and Jeff Pendergraph, starting spots and key reserve roles are there for the taking at ASU, whose very thin bench was among its big liabilities last season. Freshman such as Lockett and fellow wing Victor Rudd should get a chance to compete incosistent upperclassmen Ty Abbott and Jerren Shipp for playing time right away.
6’6″, 195, Fr. (Los Angeles, CA)
A wing with a scorer’s mentality, Hill can pass, dribble and put the ball in the hole. The word on him, though, is that he must improve his shooting to discourage Pac-10 defenders from sagging off of him.
Arizona’s recruiting class this season could be its starting five in two years. Other than Kreal Natyazhko, Hill may have the slight edge on classmates Kevin Parrom and Derrick Williams to compete for a starting role this year, but it’s anybody’s guess who thrives first among the strong Wildcat freshmen.
6’8″, 195, Fr. (Portland, OR)
While his shot needs some work, and he’ll have to beef up for his rebounding skills to translate to the Pac-10, Moser’s an effort guy who excelled on defense at the high school level. He could be a shut-down guy by midseason, able to contain 2s, 3s, and 4s.
Moser has “sixth man” written all over him as far as his freshman year is concerned. While it wouldn’t be too surprising if he earned his way into a starting role, it would be shocking if he didn’t spend 15-20 minutes on the floor per game given his hustle and defensive skill.
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