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Husky Men's Basketball

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

August 23, 2006 at 10:12 AM

Mail bag

My solicitation for questions here the other day resulted in more than a few. So I’ll try to answer them over a period of a few days, rather than all at once.
— The first involved walk-on Brandon Burmeister, since I left him off our depth chart discussion the other day.
The answer is that Burmeister is still very much a part of UW’s roster and in the plans for this season. His outside shooting abilities could become even more valuable because the Huskies could have a little void in that area, especially early in the season. The departed Brandon Roy, Bobby Jones and Mike Jensen accounted for roughly 40 percent of the team’s made three-pointers a year ago. (Jamaal Williams, as you may recall, accounted for about .05 percent, making the only one of his Huskies career late in the Sweet 16 game against UConn).
On the other hand, all the new guys coming into the program will make for that much more competition for playing time, and realistically, I’m not sure Burmeister will play a whole lot more this year than he did last season.
— Another asked what I felt were realistic expectations for this season. I think just about anything involving the NCAA tournament is realistic. This is a very young team — but also a very talented — and depending on how it all comes together, everything from an early-round flameout to a Final Four appearance seems possible.
Look at UCLA last season. That was a fairly young team, as well, (though obviously with some key seniors in leadership roles) that could have easily lost in the second round of the tournament. Instead, once the Bruins got out of the first weekend — then pulled off a miracle against Gonzaga — they gained some momentum and almost won the whole thing. That could have been the Huskies last season, and it could be the Huskies this season.
But UW’s youth and the time it figures to take early in the season to put it all together is why I have the Huskies ranked third in the conference in my most recent Pac-10 rankings published here.
I think there will be some inevitable missteps along the way — though not many as I’m still saying this is a top 15-20 team right off the bat. But enough that it might mean UW doesn’t win the Pac-10 title, especially since the conference schedule isn’t favorable early.
Still, I see a team that should only get better as the season wears on, and will likely be at its best — and most dangerous — come NCAA tournament time.

Comments | Topics: UCLA

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