Washington Week: What To ExpectPosted by Connor Pelton on July 15th, 2012
We’re most of the way through our weeklong look at the Huskies and have at least enough information to make some educated guesses about what the 2012-13 season has in store. With two players lost to the NBA Draft, a key player returning from injury and two promising newcomers, the Huskies have a lot of potential but even more question marks. Here is our attempt at answering some of them.
Washington’s Leading Scorer – C.J. Wilcox. Earlier in the week we said that Wilcox averaged a quiet 14.2 PPG, mainly because he was the “forgotten” third guard behind first round picks Tony Wroten, Jr., and Terrence Ross. This time around he’s behind no one, and will be first in a long list of talented shooting guards on the 2012-13 roster.
Washington’s MVP – Scott Suggs. Suggs is more of a spot-up shooter, so even though you could make the argument that he is the deadliest on the team, he won’t shoot the ball and score as much as Wilcox. However, late in the game, the Huskies will definitely look to get him the ball. This is his fifth season on Montlake, so Suggs’ senior leadership combined with his lights out shooting ability make him the most important player in 2012-13.
Washington’s Most Improved Returnee – Abdul Gaddy. Some people would call Gaddy’s first three years with the Huskies a disappointment, and while we wouldn’t go that far, last season certainly was. Coming back from a season-ending anterior cruciate ligament tear in his left knee in early 2011, Gaddy struggled to make plays behind first-round draftee Tony Wroten, Jr., at point guard. This season, no one is in front of him, and he should take advantage. He’s got numerous targets in Wilcox, Suggs, and Mark McLaughlin who will improve his assist statistics, and he’s not an awful shooter. The next step in his game is to become the type of player that Wroten was last season, one who can take over a game by driving into the lane and making a big bucket when the offense begins to stall. It’s safe to say, though, that if Gaddy doesn’t improve significantly, it could be a very rough year on Montlake.
Washington’s Most Impactful Newcomer - Andrew Andrews. Andrews is the type of quick and tough point guard that will remind fans more of Wroten than Gaddy will. Andrews is just a freshman, but after having a year already in the system, should earn some good minutes backing up Gaddy. If he can prove that he can score the ball as easily as he did in high school, Lorenzo Romar could use him in a combo-guard type of role.
Washington’s Conference Record/ Finish – 10-8, 5th Place. The Huskies are an incredibly tough team to project. On one hand, we can see Gaddy blossoming into a second-team All-Pac-12 point guard, Wilcox and Suggs shooting the lights out, and N’Diaye being one of the top centers in the league, but on the other, it’s tough to have too much faith in a team that loses so much of their offensive production from 2011-12. The difference between a top four finish (likely to result in an NCAA Tournament berth) and a bottom eight finish will be how the Huskies perform on the defensive end. In a conference known for its defensive footprint, the Huskies were mediocre last season, averaging 7.0 SPG and 4.0 BPG. Not counting Wroten, Terrence Ross, and Darnell Gant, none of whom will be back in 2012-13, the new totals come out to 3.4 SPG and 2.5 BPG. Andrews and McLaughlin have to step up on the defensive end, or the Dawgs might fins themselves on the wrong side of a few close games.