Husky Basketball: The Lack of Depth


A year ago, the Huskies had one of the deepest teams in all of college basketball. When speaking to the strengths of UW’s basketball program one of the first things mentioned was the depth on the team. The team was 10 players deep. It consisted of 12 (non-redshirt) players and 10 of them could have been legitimate starters at other high-major colleges.

This year the problem is opposite, there are 12 (non-redshirt) players on the team and only about 7 of them could potentially fall into the starter category. A few days ago when Lawrence Mitchells did his mid-season grades he gave the bench a grade of an “F”, and there is no way to fault him on this grade because the bench has been abysmal for the most part.

Let me clarify, the bench does not include Desmond Simmons, Tony Wroten, CJ Wilcox, or Darnell Gant because all have found starter minutes and play starter minutes.

The lack of depth is troubling, a year ago there were only 2 players that averaged under 15 minutes a game and that was both of the walk-ons, Brenden Sherrer and Antione Hosley. CJ Wilcox was the next lowest in minutes averaged at 15.8 yet he averaged 8.1 points a game.

This year there are 5 players that average less than 7 minutes a game, 2 of them are walk-ons (Brenden Sherrer and Alex Wegner) but the other 3 are scholar-shipped freshmen. I feel like this point is sometimes overlooked when it comes to the weaknesses of this team. There are about 7 players able to contribute and 3 that are projects with plenty of potential. Therefore, the bench is 2 players deep (regardless of who is starting) and last year the bench was 5 players deep. That is a drastic change.

If you take a look at the stats from last year to this year, it is staggering to see the results. Below are the charts, they are

categorized by minutes played, and take into account that last year’s stats are based on a full season and this year is half of a season. But the obvious remains, there is a complete lack of depth this year.

Last Season 2010-2011

31.9Isaiah Thomas16.83.56.1
28.3Justin Holiday10.55.22.1
28.2Matthew Bryan-Amaning15.38.00.7
23.2Abdul Gaddy8.52.53.8
21.0Venoy Overton6.02.63.3
18.7Darnell Gant5.23.80.7
18.3Scott Suggs7.41.91.1
17.4Terrence Ross8.02.81.0
17.4Aziz N’Diaye4.65.70.2
15.8CJ Wilcox8.12.10.9
2.5Brenden Sherrer0.30.20.0
2.2Antoine Hosley0.50.20.1

This Season 2011-2012

32.6Abdul Gaddy8.92.64.8
31.5CJ Wilcox15.53.51.4
29.5Terrence Ross14.16.11.8
27.8Tony Wroten17.04.63.3
23.3Aziz N’Diaye7.97.90.4
21.6Darnell Gant7.34.80.9
21.6Desmond Simmons5.96.41.2
6.9Martin Breunig1.51.10.1
6.8Shawn Kemp Jr.
5.0Hikeem Stewart0.70.30.4
3.0Brenden Sherrer0.81.00.0
3.0Alex Wegner1.50.50.0

This is a stunning table to examine but the main point was to show the drop off after the 7th player (2nd player on the bench) for this season. This isn’t because Breunig, Stewart, and Kemp Jr. aren’t talented, they just aren’t ready. They are all are behind in one way or another as they are learning as true freshman.

It should be mentioned that the only true freshman who saw minutes last season was Terrence Ross.

There are some clear takeaways from the above charts:

  • Ironically, Gant was 6th in minutes last season and once again finds himself in the 6th spot this year.
  • Abdul Gaddy is seeing a lot of minutes this year, even more than Isaiah Thomas saw last year.
  • Wilcox, N’Diaye and Ross saw the least minutes last season (before the walk-ons) and all are being called upon to be the key pieces this season.
  • N’Diaye and Gant were the lowest contributors in points last season (besides walk-ons) at 4.6 and 5.2 a game. This year the lowest contributors (besides walk-ons) are at 0.7, 1.2, and 1.5.
  • These charts indicate how many minutes those 7 are expected to play and how much pressure to contribute those 7 have when they are on the floor.

This is just one of the many factors to some of the inconsistencies this team has faced but it is one I don’t think is nearly addressed as much as it should be. This team has an extreme lack of depth this year and a lot of their success last year was built around the depth of their team. Something to note.

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