March 14, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Washington Huskies head coach Lorenzo Romar instructs against the Oregon Ducks during the first half in the second round of the Pac 12 tournament at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Despite silence from the Washington athletic department, goaztecs.cstv.com announced that San Diego State would be hosting the Huskies on December 8, 2013. It won’t just be one game, but a home-and-home series with the Aztecs. They will visit Seattle as part of the 2014 non-conference schedule.
While it might not be the top-notch non-conference opponent UW fans have been waiting for, it is a step up from the bottom dwellers that have been visiting Alaska Airlines Arena recently. Of course, Husky fans will have to wait a year, as UW heads south in the first half of the series.
The Aztecs went 23-11 last season and earned themselves a No. 7 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Dunk City, otherwise known as Florida Gulf Coast, bounced them in the second round (or round of 32) of the tournament.
We all know the disappointment that the Huskies were last season, but they should be able to bounce back well next season with the additions of Nigel Williams-Goss and Mike Anderson among others.
Luckily for the Huskies, Aztecs’ leading scorer last season, Jamaal Franklin, decided to enter the NBA Draft, rather than return for his senior season. The junior wing averaged 17 points and 9.5 rebounds per game last season. The next returning leading scorer is Xavier Thames, who averaged just 9.5 points in 28.7 minutes per game as a junior.
The Huskies have key losses too, but none is as big as Jamaal Franklin. With a better and bigger recruiting class, Washington should be reloaded, while San Diego State might be struggling to hang on.
Steve Fisher brings in four-star wing Dakarai Allen and three-star guard D’Erryl Williams. Allen should help make up for the loss of Franklin, while Williams can help burden the loss of Chase Tapley. Neither, however, will replace the production of the team’s top two leading scorers.
A team that would have probably been beaten by 20 last season should hold their own, if not beat, the Aztecs next season. With an improved Huskies squad and a depleted Aztecs one, it should be a good game. It never hurt to get a little experience in a hostile environment before conference season, too.