Angelo Chol is officially not going to be a Husky next year, and as sad as that is to read for dawg fans. You should be happy that he is going about his business like a man, and going to be choosing the school he thinks is best for him. Husky fans don’t have to live through another repeat of Terrence Jones. However, it doesn’t help you feel any better about the Power Forward position and/or the Center position next year for the team.
With Chol not coming, and Terrence Jones pretending to come, Matthew Bryan-Amaning graduating, Tyreese Breshers retiring, and Brendan Sherrer being a walk-on. This doesn’t leave a lot of players left that can play the big-man position. Therefore, how does UW fill the void?
1. The biggest thing to watch for, is going to be Desmond Simmons. He has red-shirted this whole season, and is coming into next year basically like a new recruit except with a grasp on the offense/defense. He measures in at 6’7 and weighs 215 pounds. He is not a huge in the height or weight department but has shown the ability to play inside and rebound the basketball. He should be primed and ready to go for next season. He was recruited as a 4-star power forward with the athleticism to play small forward. He may be able to handle power forward duties after a season red-shirting but before the season, his size and speed combo didn’t fit him for post play. Watch to see if anything has changed by next season.
2. Darnell Gant will be in his senior season and might be the most ready Power Forward on the roster. However, he is still not the most reliable in the post. Gant is best on the defensive side of the ball and has yet to show a productive inside offensive game. As of right now, N’Diaye and Gant would look to be the starter(s) in the post.
3. Aziz N’Diaye is going to be 100% healthy by next season, the N’Diaye we are seeing this year is still recovering from a torn ACL. He is has been healing and has yet to go at full-speed or 100%. By next year, he should be ready to dominate inside especially on defense. The main concern with him is his ability to operate in the paint on offense. He needs to improve his inside post moves to be a real viable option to fill this void.
4. Terrence Ross is playing amazing basketball lately, and while his natural position is to play guard, he might be able to transition or be used to play forward when needed. At 6’6/190 and with his athletic ability, he has the capability to play forward. He is already effectively being used down low on defense and it may serve him well to learn to transition some of that to offense. However, to really max out his potential it may be best to just use him in the small forward capacity.
5. Jernard Jarreau is our only committed forward, so far, in this year’s recruiting class. The conventional wisdom was that he would have red-shirted his freshman year. While, he still may red-shirt next season, there doesn’t look to be enough depth to allow that to happen. He may be the Huskies best option off of the bench and thus allowing UW to have 4 big men to use during games. He is a little undersized in the weight department (6’10 and 200 pounds) but shows the potential to be a real threat inside when he develops.
6. Only having four forwards on the roster is not going to be a legitimate option for the dawgs and thus they should at least think about some of the other recruits they have left on the back burner until now.
- Daouda Soumaoro is from Mali, Africa, listed as a 2-star recruit by ESPN.com, and is currently interested in UW, St. John’s, Colorado, Utah, and Fairfield. UW has kept him around but has yet to make any formal moves. Now may be the time to do just that. Invite him to visit, scout him a little more and see what he can offer UW. 2-star may seem low, but playing in Africa and a little in New York has hurt some of his ability to be scouted and seen. He is 6’9 and 215 pounds and shows the ability to play like a true center. He still needs to work on his offensive point scoring, but he has a decent jumper and is an effective rebounder. He is the best available forward recruit that is interested in UW.
- Christian Behrens is a local product from Kent, WA. He is currently being recruited by Cal, but if UW turned their heads towards this 2-star Power Forward, he might just be interested. He is 6’8 and 190 pounds, slightly undersized but shows the potential to play in the post. He had an injury that cost him his junior season, and that injury and his size has kept him ranked rather low, but many colleges are starting to be intrigued by his potential.
- There are other in-state kids that UW just doesn’t know enough about that they may consider. They could even return to the JUCO route like they did with N’Diaye.
Don’t be surprised to see a transfer or something else crazy happen, Lorenzo Romar always seems to fill a team, regardless of whether players are transferring out or maybe even transferring in to UW.
The spot will be filled and the void will be closed, but as of now it looks like the weight is going to rest on who will step up and fill that void? N’Diaye? Simmons? Gant? Ross? Jarreau?