Washington Post-MortemPosted by AMurawa on April 22nd, 2013
Now that we are officially in the offseason, it’s time to take a look back and evaluate each team’s 2012-13 performance. Here’s a look at Washington.
What Went Right
The Huskies opened Pac-12 play with three straight road wins, then backed that up by knocking off Colorado at Hec Ed and it looked like the team was on the verge of turning things around after a horrid non-conference schedule. C.J. Wilcox was leading the way in scoring, having led the team in seven of its last eight games (all wins), Aziz N’Diaye was chipping in offensively and doing his normal yeoman’s work on defense and on the glass, and things were, all of a sudden, running smoothly. And then….
What Went Wrong
And then the Huskies proceeded to revert to non-conference form (you know, when they lost home games to Albany, Nevada and Colorado State, the latter by like a million points), dropping eight of their next 10 games and averaging 0.88 points per possession over the losses in that stretch. Abdul Gaddy frustrated Huskies’ fans, Scott Suggs was only occasionally involved in the offense, Wilcox struggled with an ankle injury, N’Diaye reverted to his old familiar offensively incoherent self, and the wheels fell off. Worst of all, it was awfully hard to watch at times.
Despite his ankle troubles, C.J. Wilcox was not only clearly the Huskies’ best scorer and player, he was also the heart and soul of this team. He toughed it out through his injury and even shot his team to a couple of improbable wins, although it was often apparent that he was dragging his bad leg along with him.
Gaddy, N’Diaye and Suggs all graduate, leaving behind college careers that probably satisfied few expectations. Still, each played a major role on this squad and will be a challenge for Lorenzo Romar to replace. Add to the departees Martin Breunig, a 6’8” forward who will be transferring out after scoring just 37 points in his two years in Seattle.
Players Coming In
The good news for Romar is that he’s got reinforcements arriving. McDonald’s All-American Nigel Williams-Goss should step right into the starting spot vacated by Gaddy, likely alongside sophomore Andrew Andrews. Another newcomer, San Francisco transfer Perris Blackwell, could also earn a starting spot at either the four or the five spot. Throw in a pair of other incoming freshmen – off-guard Darin Johnson and point guard Jahmel Taylor – and JuCo transfer Mike Anderson at the wing, and Romar will have plenty of new depth to play with. And then there is the potential that UNLV transfer Mike Moser will wind up in Seattle as well. He’s still trying to figure out where he’ll wrap up his collegiate eligibility (Washington, Oregon and Arizona have all come up as possibilities), but if he lands in Seattle, he’ll make a big impact on the frontcourt.
Reason for Hope
If we assume for a second that Moser comes to Seattle, the combination of he and Wilcox along the front line could be impressive. If the Huskies can get some of the dirty work done by other guys like Blackwell, Desmond Simmons, Shawn Kemp, Jr. and Jernard Jarreau, Moser and Wilcox as scoring threats could be quite dangerous. Williams-Goss certainly also has the potential to turn into a solid pass-first point guard for the Huskies.
Reason For Concern
The fact is, relying as heavily on a freshman point guard as the Huskies are expected to do next season, could pose problems. While Williams-Goss has plenty of upside, he’s far from a finished product and is likely not the type of prospect who is going to step in and turn into an all-conference point guard in his first year on campus – he’s going to take some time. Andrews will be able to help him out in the backcourt, but he is much more of a combo guard primarily focused on scoring, at that. And then there is Washington’s lack of great size up front, with nobody on the roster truly cut out for playing the center position. If Moser decides to play somewhere other than in Seattle, this could once again turn into a very vanilla offensive team.
C-. There weren’t many expectations for a team that lost a pair of players – Terrence Ross and Tony Wroten – early to the NBA, but still – a .500 conference finish and seven home losses on the season are never going to go over big among the home folks.