Monday, December 11, 2006

The Monday Morning Wash

Tough weekend if you were a Seattle sports fan who wasn't into Womens Volleyball. The Seahawks fumbled away a win against Arizona, and the Husky basketball team was flattened by Gonzaga. the sun of course will rise again, and all will be well as the season progresses for both teams. The Womens Volleyball team however qualified for it's third straight trip to the final four, and the Womens Basketball team beat Texas A&M, and Nevada.

Womens basketball at Washington actually outdrew the mens team for awhile back in the days of Chris Gobrecht, but have fallen on hard times at the gate under June Daugherty. This will probably be the last year for June as Turner has hinted he wants more wins, and attendance from the program. The program has failed to attract the best in state talent for quite some time so change may be in order. I found myself enjoying the womens game when Gorbrecht was here, but for some reason the team hasn't really clicked, or created local excitement since she left after having problems with her players. Womens basketball is capable of drawing 4-5 thousand per night under the right circumstances, and Turner is up to the challenge of making the supposed non revenue sports more self supporting. What that means of course is more money for football which is the engine that drives the program.

Football Recruiting

Washington had the biggest recruiting weekend so far this year, and picked up commitments from four recruits, RB Shaw, OL Fancher, P Ballman, and WR Boyles. You have to label Boyles commit as soft since he may continue to take visits. OL Koloto, and CB Wide enjoyed their trips but will continue to visit other schools.

Where does that put Washington? There is still lots of work to do with 21 in the bag, and as many as nine more to still to take. JC S Hilton Dawson will be in sometime this week, and if we are in on any more JC's they will also be in sometime this week to visit. After that we will have the Christmas quiet period followed by one more big weekend full of top California recruits before the scramble to fill the last holes begin.

How is Washington doing? If you follow recruiting services such as Scout, and Rivals the Huskies rank 4th in the Pac Ten behind USC, Oregon, and UCLA, and just ahead of California. Cal had a great weekend so UW should fall into the 5th slot once everything is tallied later in the week. Nationally the Huskies are in the low 30's, the Bruins at 25, Ducks at 16, and USC at 7. UW needs to close strong in January when they have as many as 11 visits with California studs scheduled the week after New Years.

DE/LB DJ Holt verbaled to Cal this weekend and it is unclear if he will trip UW. Drew Davis had a great visit at Cal but hasn't verbaled. UW may have fallen behind Cal, and UCLA for his services. As with every recruiting season there are surprises and dissapointments as the last two months are played out.

Washington has a solid class so far, and need at the skill positions has been answered in spades, but unless they can get some big uglies in over the next couple of weeks the class will fail to meet expectations. The key over the next couple weeks will be the lineman. As we said before Washington can't afford any mistakes here.

Stay tuned to Dawgman for the latest in recruiting news. The chat room was full mid morning till late last night so stay close to the source since there should be more commits during the week. Class is over at UW for the quarter so if kids visit it could be midweek.

Updated Recruiting Rankings Released

Just after I published I noticed that the new recruiting ranking were out this morning by Scout, and Rivals. The Huskies moved up to #25 in Scout, good for 4th in the conference, only one slot behind UCLA. They are #28 with Rivals, and 3rd in the conference, with UCLA, and Cal behind them. The Ducks are rated inside the Top Twenty which means they are having one of their best all time classes on paper up to this point. The Huskies can rise into the Top Twenty too if they close on some linemen, and pick up a couple more highly rated kids that are very interested in them. UW still has some big time studs on the board. USC is still rated 7th, and with 7 more schollies to give out should rise like a bullet. The Trojans only sign 4's, and 5's. Having only 17 to give out, and recruiting nationally has helped the other conference teams. Boyles who we listed as a soft verbal is one of those kids that USC doesn't have room for this year.

A large, and balanced top twenty class is what Washington needs to start regaining it's position on the grid iron. A class of thirty with as many as ten playing right away will fill a lot of holes. Let's hope they finish strong on the line's.

Bob Condotta of the Times says, "This stuff is all incredibly speculative --- we all know stories of the one-star recruit who turned into a star (Steve Emtman) or the five-star recruit who turned into a bust --- but it's worth nothing that while the Huskies are fourth in terms of overall points in this ranking, they are ninth in terms of average rating per recruit. Still, the Huskies desperately need numbers right now, and they appear to be getting that, which may be the most important thing of all for this class."

The Huskies have a number of one stars, and in-state recruits like Yakaboski, Richardson, and Williams only were given two. That impacts the overall rating, but that is where you lean toward the evaluation talents of the coaches rather than the recruiting services. UW has seen these kids up close, and they have had them in to camp, they know what they can do. I don;t see much risk here.

Mason, Sylvester, Fancher, and Campbell are the one stars who haven't been evaluated. I saw Mason's film, and he was a player, just all over the field, and he was the QB on offense. This kid has a lot of speed, and should do well. In Sylvester's film he just knocked everyone back in their tracks. He is a 5th year HS guy, so exactly how that translates I don't know. Fancher, and Campbell are locks to be three stars once evaluated. Rivals already has Campbell as a three.

Willingham has garnered some nuggets from this category so far. Guy's that fit this description would be MLB Butler, FB Homer, LS Morovick, DE Jones, WLB Stevens, OL Rosbourough, DT Kosub, WR Goodwin, OL Sedillo, WLB Houston, and S Wells. Looks like at least five starters for next year in that group. TE Williams, and JC CB Murchison haven't really hit the field so we will see how that goes. With Williams it is a matter of four guys currently being better than him, and for Murchison it was a troubling knee injury that forced him to redshirt last year. Murchison will compete with Mosley for the other starting job along side Ray Lewis.

My point is not many misses in the one, and two star category in his last two classes. Evaluation is key.

Whats up this week

The Volleyball team heads to Omaha for the Final four with the first match on Thursday against Nebraska in front of 15,000 screaming people wearing red. Should be some must see TV. I am not really into Volleyball, but I do follow this team when they get to the Final Four. Washington has won so few NCAA championships outside of Crew in it's overall history you have to be there to support it when it happens, same with when the Softball team makes a run.

The Basketball team has a soft landing this Saturday with Portland State coming to town. The game will be on FSN. Weber State, and LSU are on tap at home before the conference schedule starts at improving USC, and #1 UCLA the week after Christmas. LSU will be a goThe LA road trip should give us a good idea where this young team is headed. Defensively the Huskies need to improve to get where they want to go this post season. The soft pre season schedule does rack up wins that help you get to the post season, but it really hasn't prepared this young team for what will be a very competitive conference slate. I remember the year we went up to Alaska for the pre season shootout and it really sharpened our team. I don't think the current team was sharpened much by the pre season tourney's competition at Hec Ed this year. It's hard to bring competition in because the elite like to stay at home, but you have to like the Gonzaga schedule in the early season where they take on all comers including the Huskies. They of course have to do that to make up for a weak conference schedule, but they are finely honed by that competiton.


prrbrr said...

Wow, first I had heard that someone was finally looking at the womens bball program. Like you, I used to enjoy watching the game under Gobrecht, they played good D and were well disciplined. Another HC who didn't see eye to eye with Ms Hedges. The present regime has let way too much home talent slip away in their 9 years, esp this year. Time for a change, but I was asking for that 3 years ago on DMan. We really need the balance in football recruiting, I think the speed is there as well as need minus OL/DL, and character looks good. Hopefully TW can have the class done except for 2-3 slots waiting on a few 4/5 star guys by the 2nd week in Jan. As for Vball (and softball) I know the answer is travel costs but why are the finals held in the midwest when 3 of final 4 are PAC10 teams, and same goes for softball. For that matter, why is PAC 10 tourney always in LA for men and San Jose for women. Those for sure need to be rotated among the 5 major metro areas of the PAC 10. Also please disregard my message on dman for address, got it off old computer. Sony is 46" LCD 1080 Bravia w 10k to 1 contrast so looks great, but more important light so can be mounted on wall (and taken down by my wife and I if need be)

Health Insurance Expert said...

I think womens BB can be a better draw.

On the tourney I heard they are going to start moving it around after the contract with Staples Arena in LA is finished. Seattle, Portland, Bay Area, LA, and Phoenix will all have slot in the next rotation.

Congrats on the Bravia, it is supposed to be a good one.