Thursday, November 02, 2006

Husky Basketball Review

The frost is on the pumpkin and that means Lorenzo Romar and his boys are ready to embark on another exciting Pac Ten basketball season. The season starts Friday with an exhibition against mighty St. Martins. Romar has not only returned quality basketball to UW, but in his short tenure has brought the program to a level it has never experienced for more than a year or two consecutively in the past. Lorenzo has turned Washington into a perennial top ten team, and national championship contender. That is pretty impressive, but Washington has always been a sleeping giant in basketball, all they lacked was a top coach, and a decent facility. Now they have both!

All eyes are going to be on Center Spencer Hawes who compares favorably with young centers now in the NBA. I don't know how long Spencer will be with us, but hopefully he enjoys school enough to stay around till Brockman graduates. I know it is hard to turn down the money, but players develop better in college than they do on the bench in the NBA. I think early entry has ruined the NBA. Wolfinger having to sit out the season is a tough break, he was coming along nicely and would have given UW a twin tower look at times. Artem Wallace will be counted on to spell both Hawes, and Brockman.

John Brockman returns for his sophomore season as the team captain. Can't remember too many soph's getting that honor. What John lacked in his game last year was quickness, and confidence. He had a good year, no doubt about it, but he had some rough edges that needed to be trimmed off. I think you are going to see a much more polished player this year. Will he emerge as the go to guy inside the paint?

Flanking Brockman will be a plethora of talented swing players who will rotate in, and out throughout the game. Talented frosh like Quincey Pondexter, and sharpshooter Phil Nelson. Don't forget Senior Hans Gasser who put together quality minutes last year, and RS Harvey Perry, and Joel Smith can slide between the small forward and two guard slot which adds to the versatility of the team.

At guard Justin Dentmon return to lead the Huskies at the point, with Ryan Appleby, and Adrian Oliver pushing him for playing time. I can see UW going with three guards at times this year when they really want to speed it up. Harvey Perry, and Joel Smith will vie for time at the two, but Washington's guards are able to play both positions.

The Huskies have been bit by the injury bug early as Joel Smith, and Spencer Hawes won't be going full speed early, but both will have plenty of time and should be ready in at most a couple of weeks.

Romar's past Washington teams were blessed by experience and toughness, this one is going to be different. They will be tough, but they are also going to be young. It will be interesting to see how the 16th ranked Huskies progress during a tougher non conference schedule which includes Gonzaga in Spokane for the final time. UW has decided not to renew the contract with the Bulldogs which has to do with lingering bitterness over the Cameron Dollar incident. My feeling is UW gets no real benefit out of playing Gonzaga anyway. The game is nice for the fans, but why should we be doing Mark Few any favors? No!

How will Washington do in the Pac Ten? We have as much talent as anyone in the conference, and perhaps nationally so I think we have a chance once again to win it all. UCLA, USC, Arizona, Stanford, Oregon etc... Should all provide plenty of competition. Look for 6-7 teams in the conference to make the dance this year. We will review the conference race next week and make the usual predictions....Stay tuned.

Oregon is at a cross roads with Ernie Kent. He has to win this year or risk being asked to move on. The Duck's are still trying to get their new basketball arena off the ground to replace the infamous Pit, and I don't think Kent is the guy that is going to take them there. Perhaps Michael Wines, or Blazer Prophet can give us a better idea of what is going on in the Willamette Valley.

We will be covering basketball throughout the season so stop by, and leave your comments. I think the blog has been a success in it's first year, and we have really picked up a lot of readership by word of mouth. I invite everyone who visits, friend, or friendly foe to post your thoughts whenever you visit, and I thank you all for participating!


Health Insurance Expert said...

A tip of the hat to PrrBrr who pointed out a couple of minor mistakes such as the misspelling of names.

I amnot ready for basketball, it has always been second to football for me, and we still have three football games to go. It is not like we are Arizona for crying out loud.

prrbrr said...

HIE, I too am a football first guy, and we have 3 to play out. The seasons like the pros are way too much overlapping. I see the BCS driving a playoff system with the stretching of Bowl games now one week past New Years day, and bowl alignments not even being decided until the first week in December for a mid December Bowl date, making travel plans for an average means fan all but impossible. That said, the PAC 10 in Basketball is much like the football preseason with an upper tier of UCLA, Az, UW, Ore, Cal, USC, and the ferd, with ASU, OSU and WSU the bottom feeders. Most teams will be improved IMO with exception of the ferd. Great coches in PAC10 and it's tough to hold a job with this kind of competetion. I hope the PAC 10 does well in preseason, because I think the conference champ will have at least 2 losses and will not be the PAC10 tourney champs. Talk about fratricide.

Zach Landres-Schnur said...

i, on the other hand, am a basketball guy first (for various reasons).

but i'm too not ready for hoops. we're still in the thick of an entertaining year and i haven't shifted by focus to b-ball yet.

hairofthedawg said...

Football first here as well, but I'm a sports nut in general and follow as much as I can. I used to be worse. When I was young my mom would get on me about washing my elbows because they were black from soaking up ink from devouring the sports page. Fortunately my dad wasn't that into sports and didn't get upset because my elbows had mangled the section.

I used to watch the Huskies but early on it was the Bruins all the way. My grandmother once got upset with me because I wasn't concentrating on her steel guitar lesson because the UCLA/ND game that ended their winning streak was on. In hindsight, I wish I had learned the guitar.

I think I really started following the Huskies when Detlef started with them. He was playing in HS not far away from where I grew up and his play for the Huskies piqued my interest, plus the Bruins' fortunes were becoming as mercurial as the rest of the college basketball world.

Over the years my attention has waxed and waned with the success of the team. I always follow them, just not as closely as the football team.

It's not quite to the point of equally dividing my attention between sports, but it's getting close these days. Part of the reason for that is the caliber of coaching we have for both teams. Not that previous coaches didn't have this, but it's almost spelled out that both Coach R and W ooze integrity from their pores. We're finally seeing the results in football and have for a few years in hoops. I did read your post on dawgman about being more critical next year concerning football and understand where you're coming from. Not sure I'm right there with you but I think Coach W is. We'll see.

We've got the first exhibition game under our belts. Final score was alright considering understandably jittery starts by some of the youngsters. At this point my biggest concern is Brockman fouling. I understand the type of player he is, but he has to learn how to back off a bit. We can live without him against St. Martin's but we'll need him in crunch time in a lot of games this year. As for the rest of the team, nice scoring distribution and I'm glad to see what looks like young guys not afraid to attack the boards.

Health Insurance Expert said...

The nice thing about college basketball is it doesn't intrude on college football and keeps us busy through March.

Last nights game was typical of a young talented team forming it's identity. St Martins is always competitive and scrappy.

The Huskies will be a much different, and better team with Hawes in there, and it will take a lot of pressure off Brockman.

Like LORO said the Saints were small and quick which made them a good test for the opener.