Washington basketball: McDaniels wins Freshman of the Week

McDaniels takes home the fifth Freshman of the Week award for Washington basketball this season, the most by any Pac-12 team

Washington basketball had the Pac-12’s highest-rated recruiting class coming into the season, thanks to the commitments of five-star freshmen Jaden McDaniels and Isaiah Stewart, but they weren’t able to put it together during the regular season, finishing with a 15-16 record overall, and a 5-13 record in Pac-12 play.

McDaniels, who has had an up and down season, and was relegated to the bench halfway through Pac-12 play, showed flashes of the NBA potential that has him projected by most draft experts to go in the lottery of the 2020 NBA Draft after winning his first Pac-12 Freshman of the Week award.

Over the weekend in Arizona, where the Huskies pulled off their only two road wins of Pac-12 play, McDaniels averaged 18 points per game to go along with six rebounds, and 2.5 blocks per game.

If he can continue to produce at a high level on both ends of the floor, the Huskies will be a force to be reckoned with in the Pac-12 Tournament. McDaniels has always been an excellent defender, but he’s struggled on the offensive end this season, shooting 40% from the field over the course of the season.

One thing that McDaniels showed improvement on over the weekend that’s another promising sign for Washington is his turnovers. He came into the weekend averaging 3.2 turnovers per game, but he only gave the ball away four times over the weekend.

The question now is, can he keep this going? Washington has another matchup with the Arizona Wildcats on Wednesday, and for the sake of his draft stock, and his team’s NCAA Tournament hopes could be riding on his offensive output. It’s win or go home for the Dawgs, and the reigning Pac-12 Freshman of the Week could hold the key to their future.