An extended preview of Washington basketball’s roster for the (hopefully) upcoming 2020-21 season
It’s going to be tough for Washington basketball to replace their two leading scorers from the 2019-20 season, and Mike Hopkins has turned to the transfer portal for reinforcements. The latest transfer is Cole Bajema, a small forward coming over from Michigan. If he’s eligible to play immediately, the sophomore from Lynden, Washington becomes probably the team’s second-best three-point shooter.
Last season, Hopkins went primarily with an eight-man rotation. However, with this young core, don’t be surprised if he expands to get 10-11 players regular minutes.
One of the biggest question marks this year is who’s going to start at center. The best man for the job might be sophomore Bryan Penn-Johnson. The defensive-minded seven-footer would be a welcome addition to the 2-3 zone, and will be a threat in the low post as he continues to progress on the offensive end. Another name to consider for that spot would be Penn-Johnson’s classmate, Nate Roberts, would have a very similar impact.
The last name that should be in consideration is USC transfer J’Raan Brooks. Brooks, a graduate of Garfield High School in Seattle and former top 100 prospect, decided to come home after one year with the Trojans. After sitting out a year, Brooks should be ready to go, and will be the biggest offensive threat of the three.
Sophomore RaeQuan Battle, who Hopkins considers the team’s best three-point shooter, will probably be the first guard off the bench. This could change depending on the eligibility of Erik Stevenson, but expect Battle to have a much bigger impact in year two. Expect him to be a high volume scorer off the bench, especially as he becomes more consistent, because Battle isn’t short on confidence.
Hopkins is definitely looking for the talented Nahziah Carter to step up to be the player we’ve seen on occasion in the last three seasons. Carter and Hameir Wright will be the only two seniors on the ball club, and Carter is probably going to be the guy the team turns to in clutch situations.
The Huskies have all the pieces necessary to contend for the Pac-12 title in the 2020-21 season. Now the question is, can they put them together?