Posted on: October 17, 2008 7:26 pm

Washington Huskies '08-'09 Preview

Washington Huskies

Head Coach: Lorenzo Romar
Last Season’s Results: Conf. 7-12 (8th), Overall 16-16. Post Season: None


Backcourt: Washington will look to Venoy Overton, Quincy Pondexter, and Elston Turner to run the backcourt. Overton took the starting point guard position away from Justin Dentmon last season, and should have good numbers as the full-time starter this year.

Small forward Quincy Pondexter has never lived up to his potential as an incoming freshman. Washington needs him to step up in a big way during his third year as they lack a proven offensive threat outside of Jon Brockman.

Elston Turner isn’t the most polished guard offensively, but he can knock down the open jumper or create his own shot. That combination is something that Washington needs. But if Turner can’t perform quickly and consistently, Suggs, Thomas, and Dentmon may get the nod instead.

Frontcourt: Jon Brockman has been the MVP player for Washington over the last few years. Heading into the season, he is the only proven center to return. Granted, Brockman is more of a powerfoward, but due to the lack of quality big men for the Huskies, he’s been forced to play center.

That may be at an end this year as the Huskies are looking Matthew Bryan-Amaning to step up and Tyreese Breshers to be an instant impact. Bryan-Amaning gets the nod early on because of his experience, but don’t be surprised if the thick-bodied Breshers’ takes over that spot due to his hustle and shot blocking abilities.

Bench: Justin Dentmon will push Venoy Overton, and should see some significant minutes for the Huskies, and provide the fresh legs and energy boost that Washington needs off the bench.
Artem Wallace will spell Brockman and the other front court players, but unless he improves from last season, he‘s nothing more than a stop gap for limited minutes.

Scott Suggs, Isaiah Thomas, Tyreese Breshers, Justin Holiday, and Joe Wolfinger round out the bench. Holiday is the only one that you can guarantee won’t see a lot of minutes. The others’ minutes will vary based upon matchups and recent performance, until later in the season when Romar will have secured a good rotation.

Key Departures: The Huskies lost two seniors, Ryan Appleby and Tim Morris, this off-season. Appleby was their sharp shooter, who took a back seat later in the season as he realized the team needed to push the ball and give teams a more athletic look. Morris was the fifth leading scorer, and was a decent role player for the Huskies last year.

Key Recruits:
PF-Tyreese Breshers - Breshers is built like Charles Barkley - short and thick. He has great hustle, and good athleticism. He’s a good shot blocker that plays bigger than his 6’6” frame would indicate. He could become a starter quickly if Matthew Bryan-Amaning doesn’t step up his game.

SG- Scott Suggs - Suggs has great ball control and knows how to edge the defense to get inside for a shot.  While he’s tall for a SG, he’s thin and could be pushed around a bit by the stronger guards. He’ll need to work on his outside game, but has the mechanics to become a solid 3-point threat.

SG- Isaiah Thomas -Thomas is a meager 5’8” but will provide the long range shooter than the Huskies lost when  Ryan Appleby graduated. He will be a surprising guard for the Huskies, despite being undersized. He will get the nod a few times this year because of his shooting capabilities.

SG- Elston Turner- Turner has a more rounded game than any other Washington recruit. He’s got better range than Suggs, can create his own shot, and won’t be at a mismatch when it comes to facing up defensively against some of the bigger guards that either Suggs or Thomas will be.

*All Players with a link go to a highlight video.

Strengths: Jon Brockman is a stud, and the go-to guy for Washington. They will be a versatile team that can run or play in a half-court set.

Weaknesses: They are a young team, so expect to see a lot of freshmen mistakes. They also have a lot more questions and development needs at each position (Brockman excluded) than they do answers. They are not overly impressive on either side of the ball.

Key Dates:
Nov 24 @ Kansas
Dec 4 @ Oklahoma State
Jan 29 @ Arizona
Feb 14 vs. Oregon

Outlook: As a young team with a good recruiting class, they have a lot of potential and will make strides throughout the year. Romar & Co. can set the foundation this year to put the Huskies back on track to competing for a PAC-10 Title. Don’t be surprised if they have an upset or two in them somewhere.

Projected Finish: Ninth in the PAC-10

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