Dawgs’ Top Three Impact Players


Editor’s Note: I’d like to welcome a new contributor to Montlake Madness, Maxwell Helman. He’s a passionate Dawg fan with an always-interesting and different point of view. I’m positive that his creativity will be an asset to all of us. 

Now in true MM fashion, please feel free to rip him in the comments below. :)

by: Maxwell Helman

1. Tony Wroten Jr:

I don’t know how this young man doesn’t garner more preseason hype. People are going to be sorely mistaken after he gets rolling. I think Abdul Gaddy is going to be a solid player for the Dawgs this year, however Wroten is a gem and the Huskies will shine when he has the ball in his hands. 

He is a 6’5 point guard, same size as Jason Kidd, who can handle the rock and passes with precision and great court vision. Not perfect by any means, his jumper is above average and the same could be said about his defense. His athletic ability and basketball IQ will make up for his early defensive liabilities.

On the break he is Freddy Kreuger, an absolute nightmare. Quick enough to get to the rim and strong enough to absorb contact and finish.

Wroten will only get better as he learns when to take it to the rim and when to dish. Detractors argue his ego is astronomical. What they don’t see is an exceptionally hard worker with a Cam Newton brand of confidence.

To elaborate, Cam Newton has one goal, to be the best there is, the ultimate. Everything he does, on and off the field is to reach that goal. It isn’t cockiness or arrogance, I call it supreme confidence. That is what a leader should have and Tony Wroten is quickly going to become the leader of this Husky team.  Wroten’s infectious confidence will be very important for a team looking to build on their perceived lack of leadership.

2. Aziz N’Diaye:

Big Aziz is back after a strong sophomore campaign. Aziz was wildly inconsistent last year but I believe his problems can be attributed to two main issues; conditioning and confidence.

He did however play 608 minutes and that game experience will be extremely beneficial toward his development. People also need to remember that last season was his comeback year off a torn ACL. I think that held him back along with his constant struggle to grasp the Huskies system.

If Aziz can play without the mental burden this year he could be a very strong contributor for this Huskies squad. If you watch N’Diaye you will notice that he is not a stiff seven footer with pots and pans for hands and feet. He is very gifted athletically and where that really needs to translate to is on the glass and in the paint.

If N’Diaye can stay out of foul trouble and truly has improved his conditioning then he can give the Huskies a presence in the middle. With his development the Huskies can be very aggressive defensively on the perimeter, which is truly one of Lorenzo Romar’s defensive tenets.

3. C.J. Wilcox:

I thought about putting Terrence Ross on this list but I chose Wilcox instead. I think Ross and Wroten will be the two best players on the team but Wilcox serves just as important of a role.

One of the purest shooters in the Pac-12, the redshirt sophomore is looking to improve on a solid freshman season. Wilcox is more athletic than people give him credit for and an offseason focused on ball handling and defense should reflect in his minutes per game.

His quick release and improved shot fakes should allow him to get to the rack more as well as drawing some shooting fouls on the perimeter. With the ability that Wroten, Ross, and Gaddy have to penetrate, there should be a abundance of open looks for Wilcox.

With Scott Suggs out for a couple months I see Wilcox really embracing his role as a third or fourth scoring option.  Wilcox’s ability to rattle off threes in quick succession could be the difference between an above average offensive year for the Huskies or a very explosive and potent one.

At the end of the season you can bank on three things (barring injury) from this group of talented Huskies: Wroten will lead the team in assists (Gaddy will be close), Wilcox will lead the team in 3pt shooting, and N’Diaye will lead the team in blocks and rebounding. Strong seasons from these three players will allow the rest of the pack to flourish without having to carry too much of a burden.