Looking Forward: 2011-12


by Craig Yamada

I am sure most of you have already seen these highlights, but for those who haven’t, Tony Wroten has already started dominating his senior year at Garfield.

Check out his latest highlights against Federal Way:

Wroten is playing like he could suit up for Romar next week. Hey, I can dream right?  Looking at the possible roster that UW will roll out in the 2011-12 season, one cannot help but get excited.

What we lose:

In Holiday, MBA and Overton, we will lose a wealth of depth and experience. Holiday will not be easy to replace given his defensive prowess and offensive contributions. His lengthy frame and will to win has helped UW get through some tough games.  MBA has matured into a fine addition at the post and his scoring will definitely be missed next year. His ability to finish strong in transition is something that many have grown to love, and is an area that others take for granted. His post presence is still a work in progress, and it should be interesting watching how he develops against other skilled bigs in the Pac 10.  However of all the losses, Venoy Overton  may be the player we end up missing the most. The ability to push the ball up the floor with that kind of quickness will not be found immediately. Overton’s court vision and ability to change a game by simply stepping on the floor on the defensive end will be certainly missed.


It should come to no surprise that UW’s lack of depth at the 4 and 5 spots next year will be cause for concern. The decision of Angelo Chol will ultimately make a huge impact on the outlook of next year’s squad. The development of Aziz N’Diaye’s post game will prove to be key for the rest of this year and heading into the next. I think we can start assuming that Romar will roll with Aziz in the starting lineup from here on out given the all out effort he brings game in and game out. Aziz already possesses the Jon Brockman mentality of “sacrifice your body for the good of the team”. The only thing he is missing are a few post moves to be make him a threat on both ends of the floor.

What we gain:

Let’s take a look at next year’s squad so far:

2011 Newcomers:

Tony Wroten (PG) – 6’4″

Hikeem Stewart (SG) – 6’3″

Jernard Jarreau (PF) – 6’10”

Kevin Davis (PF) – 6’9″  (Assuming he qualifies academically)

Desmond Simmons (SF/PF) – 6’7″ (coming off redshirt year)

2011 Returnees (assuming no league jumpers and transfers):

Abdul Gaddy (Jr)

Isaiah Thomas (Sr)

Terrence Ross (So)

CJ Wilcox (So)

Scott Suggs (Sr)

Darnell Gant (Sr)

Aziz N’Diaye (Jr)

Antoine Hosley (So)

Brendan Sherrer (Sr)

In Tony Wroten, you have a player that is going to make an immediate impact. Whether we have him for more than one year is the big question. With the stellar play of Abdul Gaddy as of late, the competition for a starting position will be very tight. You really could make a case for either player starting. With Isaiah Thomas likely to return to the Dawgs for his senior year, he will be  a shoe-in for the 2 guard spot next year. It will be difficult to justify having his freshman stud coming off the bench, but Romar has often sided with veterans to start the season off. This battle for starting PG should be interesting to watch next year. Perhaps Romar even goes as far as starting IT, Gaddy and Wroten? Not likely, but that would showcase one of the best backcourts in the NCAA if it happened. Wroten is already off to a quick start for his senior season averaging 22 ppg for his Bulldogs team.

Jernard Jarreau seems like he will be a work in progress heading into the 2011 season. He will need to bulk up significantly if he has hopes to avoid a red-shirt his freshman year. But if he can get his body into a D1 frame, he could be a game changer. At 6’10” as a player that can stretch the floor with guard ball handling abilities, Romar’s offense could be very dangerous. If his comparison to Kevin Durant holds true, UW will have a lot to look forward to. In his last game, Jarreau tallied 15 points and 9 blocks. Here is the story. It sounds like a revitalized block party is heading toward Montlake.

Hikeem Stewart brings PG abilities with his court vision and has an above average jumper. With the continuing log jam at the guard position, I would not be surprised to see Romar preserve a year of eligibility for Stewart. He is currently playing well for Rainier Beach, averaging 16 ppg. However, according to Husky Digest, he faced off against Jabari Brown’s Oakland High team, but lost by just two. Stewart was held to just 7 points on the night.

The wildcard could be Kevin Davis next year. Just looking at his highlights here (#0), he could be a shoe in to potentially replace MBA as our big finisher in the post:

Husky Digest has been keeping tabs on Kevin Davis on Husky Digest. In his last game for TCC, he tallied 14 points, 14 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 blocks. He has the athleticism to be a force in the post as he has shown incredible bounce in the post. Assuming Davis can get the necessary credits needed to become eligible for UW, I would expect him to battle Darnelle Gant for a starting spot next year.

And let’s not forget about Desmond Simmons. If healthy next year, he could easily step into a Justin Holiday kind of role as a big 3 or possibly small 4. At 6’7″ he has tenacious attitude toward rebounding and doing the little things to help his team win. It should be interesting to see how much sitting out a year benefits Simmons’ development. It worked wonders for CJ Wilcox.

My Dream Lineup for 2011-12:

Let’s assume that Gaddy and IT both stay for another year. Very likely I know, but here is what I would envision Romar to use for his starting lineup assuming Kevin Davis makes it in and Angelo Chol goes elsewhere:

  • PG: Abdul Gaddy/Tony Wroten (Too close to call)
  • SG: Isaiah Thomas
  • SF: CJ Wilcox/Terrence Ross (Will be too close to call by year’s end)
  • PF: Darnell Gant/Kevin Davis
  • C: Aziz N’Diaye

What is your line up for next year?