Analyzing The UW Basketball Schedule 2011-2012


I will do schedule Game Day Previews for the teams on the UW’s non-conference schedule this year. But, we are going to take a broader view of UW’s 2011-2012 schedule and see where it might rank in terms of overall strength of schedule and how UW’s RPI might look like at the end of the season. First, just as a reminder, here is how UW’s schedule has stacked up the last 5 years:

SeasonNC SOSAve RPI of NC oppTotal SOS

Below you can see the schedule with the records and final RPI for all of UW’s opponents from 2010-2011. I took these statistics from and the final RPI was taken following the last game of each team’s conference tournament and does not take into account any post-season games they may have played.

  DateOpponent2010-11 Record2010-11 RPI
11/4/2011vs. Seattle Pacific20-10N/A
11/12/2011vs. Georgia State12-19223
11/13/2011vs. Florida Atlantic19-10113
11/14/2011vs. Portland20-11103
11/20/2011at Saint Louis11-19175
11/25/2011vs. Houston Baptist5-24345
12/2/2011at Nevada12-19194
12/6/2011Marquette (@New York)22-1564
12/10/2011Duke (@New York)32-54
12/16/2011vs. UC Santa Barbara16-13157
12/18/2011vs. South Dakota St.17-12183
12/22/2011vs. Cal State Northridge12-18248
12/29/2011vs. Oregon State11-20219
12/31/2011vs. Oregon20-18135
1/5/2012at Colorado20-1365
1/7/2012at Utah12-18118
1/10/2012vs. Seattle University11-20289
1/15/2012vs. Washington State22-1382
1/19/2012vs. California18-1576
1/21/2012vs. Stanford15-16160
1/26/2012at Arizona State12-19162
1/28/2012at Arizona29-819
2/2/2012vs. UCLA23-1144
2/4/2012vs. USC19-1567
2/9/2012at Oregon20-18135
2/12/2012at Oregon State11-20219
2/16/2012vs. Arizona State12-19162
2/18/2012vs. Arizona29-819
2/25/2012at Washington State22-1382
3/1/2012at USC19-1567
3/3/2012at UCLA23-1144
 Average Non-Conf RPI 174.8
 Average Total RPI 132.4

First a major caveat; last year’s performances do not necessarily indicate how these teams will play this season. Undoubtably some of these teams will not be nearly as good as last year, while others will probably be stronger. But, taken over an entire 30 game schedule, these changes may average out across the teams.

But, if you allow for the premise that last’s years RPI will be on average similar to this upcoming year, then you will probably notice something. UW’s non-conference strength of schedule will be right in the range of 175 (which is similar to 2006/07 and 2007/08), even with Duke on the schedule. Both of those years ended up being quite disappointing after the Sweet 16’s of the previous years. So, this begs the question what does Romar know that we do not?

Was Lorenzo Romar worried about the effects of the loss of three seniors plus Isaiah Thomas? Remember who left the team following the 2005/06 season? Here’s a hint: it included Brandon Roy, Bobby Jones, Mike Jensen, and Jamaal Williams, plus Joel Smith who transferred. So, maybe Romar is a bit concerned about the transition again and wants to be able to ease in his less experience crew with games against Houston Baptist and Cal St.-Northridge? With games against Duke and Marquette, there certainly will be those challenging games. But, all in all, I am pretty disappointed with the lineup.

Looking at the schedule above, UW’s relatively weak non-conference schedule is going to put a lot of pressure on them to win all of the games they are expected to and win at least one of the tougher road/neutral site games. They really can not afford to be any worse than 9-3 in the non-conference. A win over Duke or Marquette will probably be really important for their pedigree when it comes to tournament seeding time.

In addition, due to the relatively weak NC SOS, they will also need to perform more consistently in Pac-12 play. Last year they went 11-7 in the conference and that was after a 7-1 start. That may not get it done this year. They may need to go 12-6 or better to assure themselves a spot in the NCAA tournament or at least a decent seed. No more #11 or #8 seeds, please?

I think most Husky fans are not really sure what to expect for this year. On the one hand, we have a pretty good core group coming in ready to take the lead and be starters. Abdul Gaddy is going to have a lot to prove his junior season after the disappointment of his first two years. Terrence Ross has a chance to really take off and potentially be an NBA lottery pick. Most of us are probably expecting him to be the leading scorer this year. Will we panic if he starts slow?

CJ Wilcox has shown flashes of brilliance with his smooth 3-point shots and nice drives to the basket, plus his outstanding D. Aziz will be more prepared for his role in Pac-12 play and Scott Suggs and Darnell Gant know that this is there your to shine as seniors. Take also the fact that Wroten comes in as one of the highest rated recruits UW has had in the Romar-era and there is a lot to look forward to.

On the other hand, UW lost a huge amount of experience last year. Other than Gant and Suggs, most of the players on the floor next year will only have played 1 full season of college basketball or less and they were not counted on to be the leaders or even leading scorers. There are certainly a lot of unknowns about how well this team will mesh together, deal with adversity, and find their roles in the extremely deep guard positions.

We won’t know until the games are played how this will all work out. They could shock the country and be better than anyone expects, or underperform and end up like the Spencer Hawes club that went 19-13 and didn’t even get a post-season invite after three straight NCAA appearances.

But, if you want me to go out on a limb and predict how the season will end up, I will. The full schedule predictions are coming out in a matter of days.

PS- I predicted 11-7 in the Pac-12 at the beginning of the season. But, when they were 7-1 after eight games, I figured I would be wrong…