Basketball season is coming up fast, and I am happy to say, I’m damn excited. I secured my Dawg Pack Tickets, so I will be attending every single home game, and no matter where the game is played, you can count on seriously comprehensive hoops coverage from Husky Haul all season long. The amount of content that will be generated by having both football and basketball seasons going at the same time will be crazy.
Obviously we will be previewing the Huskies in more depth as the start of the season gets a bit closer, but I’d still like to say that I’m really thinking that the team will be much better this year than will initially be expected by national sports media types. The absence of any really big returning names, or any highly touted freshmen, has the hype down very low, but the chemistry looking sky high. This team will not have any of the dramatic undertones of last season. These guys aren’t only teammates, they are friends. There is strong senior leadership (Abdul Gaddy comes to mind) and experience to go with a healthy level of opportunity for hungry young players to work for.
In particular, that power forward spot looks to be up for grabs. Personally, my money is on Desmond Simmons, by far the biggest returning contributor at the position, to fight his way into the role. He doesn’t always play pretty, but he is a hustle player with a developing skill set. Despite his limitations, I would rather have a slightly undersized four that gets tough boards and fights on the defensive end than a guy that can hit a mid-range jumper and little else.
Assuming I’m right, and Simmons wins the job, the starting five would mostly likely be Abdul Gaddy, Scott Suggs, CJ Wilcox, Simmons, and Aziz N’Diaye. Four upperclassmen, three being seniors, along with zero freshmen. In college basketball, that level of experience proves to be a huge asset year after year. Sure, schools like Kentucky thrive off of the one and done model, but that is the exception rather than the norm. Even if Washington is picked to finish somewhere in the middle of the conference, I think 3rd is a much more reasonable spot. More on basketball in the coming days!
Stories Especially Worth Reading:
An interesting look from the ESPN Pac-12 Blog at where teams in the conference are ranked today as compared to preseason rankings.
The Huskies are taking on USC on Saturday, meaning that Reign of Troy, the Fansided site that covers Trojan sports, is writing a ton about Washington. In case you aren’t familiar, RoT is basically the USC Husky Haul. We’ll be doing a Q&A with one another really soon, and I’ll be linking to any information from RoT that has to do with UW. In this case, there is a preview of the Husky offense and an article warning Kiffin’s team not to take the Huskies too lightly.