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Husky Men's Basketball

The latest news and analysis on Husky men's hoops.

August 18, 2006 at 4:47 PM

Depth chart, and more

I was just getting around to answering the question from a reader about what UW’s lineup for next season might look like when another reader all but answered it for me — you can see that exchange on the post below this one.
I agree with the reader’s starting lineup in all but one instance — I think there’s a really good chance that Adrian Oliver starts alongside Justin Dentmon in the backcourt. Oliver is a combo guard as much as he is a true point guard, and the Huskies have no problem starting two guards who can each play the point, such as the Will Conroy-Nate Robinson backcourt a few years ago.
So that would make the starters look like this:
PG: Justin Dentmon
SG: Adrian Oliver
SF: Quincy Pondexter
PF: Jon Brockman
C: Spencer Hawes.
One caveat, however. You will never see it written that way on a UW chalkboard as if you’ve read this blog long, you know how much Lorenzo Romar dislikes designations for players. Guards are guards and they don’t need to be strictly a “shooting” guard or a “point” guard.
What may be more accurate when it comes to the reserves is listing the possible rotation rather than simply who lines up behind who.
I figure the first guard off the bench would probably be Ryan Appleby, followed by Harvey Perry and/or Joel Smith.
Obviously, the real wild card is Perry, who is apparently healthy and will definitely contend for a starting job. I think Appleby’s role may continue to be more as a sixth man, similar to last year’s. Smith will have to show vast improvement to work his way into a larger role this season, something he is capable of doing. But if I had to list them now, I’d say Appleby/Perry/Smith.
The frontcourt starters seem set already, with the first big man off the bench potentially being either Phil Nelson or Joe Wolfinger, likely depending as much on matchup as anything else. Artem Wallace could easily move into a bigger role, as well, with Hans Gasser probably continuing in a role of finding spot playing time when the matchup fits, as was the case a year ago. Again, if forced to list them now, I’d say Wolfinger/Nelson/Wallace/Gasser (though the order of those first three could change by tomorrow).
Overall, I think this year’s team will have a lot more lineup and rotation movement than did last year’s.
Last year’s team found pretty set roles early in the season and didn’t deviate much other than the Mike Jensen/Jamaal Williams starting lineup change at mid-year.
But that was a veteran team that wasn’t as deep as this one may be.
With more players, and less experience, lineups and rotations could change quite a bit during the year as the coaches attempt to find the right combinations, and players settle into comfortable roles.
Speaking of Gasser, he suffered a dislocated shoulder during an agility drill this week. How long it will keep him out is unknown, but given that it’s August and practice is still two months away, he at least has some time to recover before practice begins in October.
There isn’t much else going on right now as this is the time of year when players can get away for a little while before things pick up again in earnest. Brockman and Appleby spent the week helping out at a clinic in Bellingham, and most of the freshmen are finishing classes. But with everyone scattered, there haven’t been any pickup games this week.
Some of you have asked in the past whether UW will host a Midnight Madness this season. As of now, it’s still uncertain. Romar has taken the team away for a weekend retreat to begin every season since he has been here — last year, it was to The Evergreen State College in Olympia — and he thinks that is a really valuable way to kick off the season. Having a Midnight Madness would kill that, so Romar only wants to have a Madness night if he’s certain that it will be well attended. UW already is somewhat on the short end of early-season practice time by virtue of being a quarter school and starting later than semester schools — coaches can begin working with their players in small groups once school begins, which allows semester schools (such as Washington State) an earlier start.

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