Jarreau Injury Exposes Shallowness of Washington FrontcourtPosted by Kellen Carpenter (@kellenlc) on November 11th, 2013
Kellen Carpenter is an RTC correspondent. He filed this report after Sunday night’s Washington vs. Seattle game.
The Washington Huskies’ season did not start auspiciously: Perris Blackwell, the intended starting center and star of their exhibition game (21 points and nine rebounds) was held out for the opener against Seattle University due to lingering concussion symptoms. Desmond Simmons, another potential frontcourt starter, had already been shelved earlier due to a knee surgery. So, when forward Jernard Jarreau landed on the floor with a sickening thud less than two minutes into Sunday night’s game, it must have felt like more than bad luck for head coach Lorenzo Romar.
Jarreau was one of the stars of Washington’s exhibition against Central Washington, scoring 17 points and pulling down nine rebounds. So when a potential highlight fast break bucket was interrupted by an Isiah Umipig flagrant foul that sent Jarreau to the floor for several minutes before the training staff could help him up and to the locker room, Romar had to refashion a plan of attack that didn’t involve his three primary frontcourt rotation players. He just barely pulled it off. Midway through the first half, it looked like Seattle was ready to capitalize on the misfortune. The Huskies were ineffective on both ends and Seattle seized the lead. Umipig’s quickness was carving the Huskies to pieces on his way to leading all scorers with 15 points at the half. Eventually Washington’s depth was too much for the overmatched Redhawks, and indeed, the short-handedness of the Huskies gave a couple new faces a chance to shine.
Freshman guard Darin Johnson saw extended minutes and scored 16 points and grabbed seven rebounds while junior college transfer Mike Anderson scored 12 points and pulled down eight boards. Both came off the bench and helped to carry the scoring and rebounding load in a big way. Against a smaller team like the Redhawks, Romar could get away with using big guards, but moving forward, the team might have to find some other options for the frontcourt. Shawn Kemp Jr. played very well in his starting role, but beyond the him, Washington just doesn’t have a lot of available size. Gilles Dierickx is seven feet tall, but he managed to pick up four fouls in 12 minutes while only grabbing a single rebound. So while Blackwell is likely to return for the Huskies’ next game against UC Irvine, a serious injury to Jarreau could leave the Washington frontcourt in a precarious position. Right now, there’s nothing else to but to wait for the results of the MRI.