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Husky Men's Basketball

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

March 21, 2008 at 9:37 AM

A look ahead

A little earlier than anyone hoped, the Washington Huskies are left with little to do but look ahead to potentially better times ahead.
That was the focus of my story today, which also includes a player-by-player look at the roster for next season.
As the story notes, UW coach Lorenzo Romar is pretty optimistic about the future, noting the return of everyone on the roster except Ryan Appleby and Tim Morris and the addition of five players (if you include the redshirting Darnell Gant). The mix of experience and new talent, he thinks, will get UW back to where it was a few years ago.
“Next year is a year where I feel like if you want call it the rebuilding or whatever has now taken place,” he said. “Next year is a year where we can get back in the direction of where we were a couple of years ago.”
As is almost always the case, there’s a lot of stuff that didn’t make it in the story, so I’ll touch on some of that here:
— Romar says he expects all of the incoming freshmen to be eligible. Isaiah Thomas and Elston Turner are not eligible yet but Romar said “eventually they will be.”
— Romar says he’s confident the free throw shooting will be better next season if for only because most of the Huskies have proven to be better FT shooters at other points in their career. “It just had to be a mental thing,” he said. “Obviously, all those guys will shoot a lot of free throws this spring and summer. But I’m going to base it off what they were before this year that they will get back to where they were. They will have a spring and a summer, get their mind refreshed, you move on. And (all three guards coming in) are very good foul shooters.”
— Romar said he thought Jon Brockman’s FT shooting might have been impacted this year by having to do so much, while Justin Dentmon might have struggled a little bit with having a new role off the bench. “With Jon, it could have been that he was asked to do so much this year in terms of his minutes and defending and rebounding and scoring and that may have affected him at the line this year,” Romar said. “Next year he will have experience in that role.” As for Dentmon’s FT shooting, Romar said “this was the first year in JD’s career here that his minutes were up and down and maybe that had something to do with it, that his role changed throughout the season.”
— Here is Romar’s take on the three incoming guards: “All three of them have high basketball IQs, all three of them can pass, shoot and handle thte ball. All three of them can finish. I think that we our best when we have great guard play. In basketball to be a success you’ve got to have great guard play and I think those guys can provide that. They don’t have to come in and be saviors. They don’t have to take that expectation and put it on their back. They can blend in with the veterans that we already have and just think that what they will bring will have a significant impact. So I think it will be the first time in three years that we will have experience and really good guard play across the board. So when I say I think we’ll be better, my talk is not wishful thinking, I’ve got concrete reasons as to why.”
— Romar said he expects everyone on the roster to be back and all the incoming players to be eligible, which means the Huskies could be one over the scholarship limit. However, he also said it will work out, though without elaborating. So obviously something is going to have to give somewhere (maybe one of the seniors gives up a scholarship for their final year or something).
— UW still needs to add a couple of games to fill out the schedule and is looking for a big-name opponent to begin a home-and-home series. That would likely begin with UW playing on the road next season. UW will host Oklahoma State as part of the Big 12/Pac-10 Challenge next year, and will also play in the CBE Classic that will feature two home games and then, if UW advances, two games in Kansas City. It will feature a field similar to the pre-season NIT this year, so that will likely give the Huskies a couple of games against top 100-type RPI teams as well. The rest of the schedule will be similar to this year’s.
At some point later, we’ll go through a more expanded player-by-player look at the roster.

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