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Husky Men's Basketball

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

June 9, 2008 at 12:05 PM

Garbage redux

So that was kind of a fun college basketball discussion for June, which was the whole point.
And as I expected, “not garbage” beat “garbage” by an Obama-over-Kucinich-type margin.
Having read through it all, have to say I, too, agree with the “not garbage” contingent. Not because I’m being a homer or anything, but just that I think you still have to take a big-picture view of where the Huskies are right now.
Sure, they have been disappointing underachievers the last two seasons. Still, they haven’t hit the depths of the Sonics, Mariners or Husky football — each of whom are coming off, or are in the midst of, some of their worst seasons ever (particularly the Mariners and UW football, since I think we can all agree the Sonics’ situation is so odd as to be impossible to judge through mere wins and losses).
And not only has the Husky basketball team not sunk to those same levels, but it also appears better positioned to get back on track in 2008-09 — if it doesn’t, then this argument will have a decidedly different tone a year from now from both you and me. (And yes, I am saying I think the hoops squad has a better chance to get back to where it wants to be this year than does the UW football team. But maybe that should be a separate discussion for another day — it is still June and I have a lot of blog posts left to fill until the fall rolls around).
There’s no doubt 08-09 looms as the pivotal year for Lorenzo Romar. Many coaches stumble for a year or two while trying to rebuild/reload, especially those that lose players the caliber of Brandon Roy (who I still think few realized just how good he was while he was a Husky). But three struggling years in a row, with a roster that now appears to have the requisite ingredients for success on paper (added experience with Jon Brockman, Justin Dentmon and Quincy Pondexter; added depth at the spot it’s most needed with the three incoming guards) and serious questions would have to be asked and answered.
What we know at the moment is that Romar is already the fourth-winningest coach at UW in just six years; that he has provided the school with some of the greatest moments in its basketball history; and that there are reasons to believe him when he says the good times will return this year.
To respond to one comment I saw:
— One poster blamed the “local media” for over-hyping the recruiting of late, specifically the Spencer Hawes-led Class of 2006. I’ll admit to some culpability there while pointing out it wasn’t just us — Scout.com rated it No. 6 in the nation; Rivals.com rated all four players as four- or five-star recruits; HoopScoop.com also ranked it No. 6. I could go on-and-on. And when UW was ranked No. 8 early in that season, that was the national AP poll, not anything locally. If anything, I actually think it was the national buzz over these recruits that helped feed the local media excitement. Few of us locally had really seen any of these guys other than Hawes before they got here. I think the thought was that we all knew how good Hawes was, and if the national guys are right about the others, this really will be a hellacious class. To be fair, we still don’t know for sure that all those rankings are necessarily wrong. I think Hawes is going to turn out to be a really productive NBA player; I think “bust” is too strong for Pondexter’s first two years, and caution that he still has two years left; and Oliver and Nelson could each become Players of the Year in their new conferences. That said, no doubt the class is a huge disappointment for what it ended up contributing to UW.
Anyway, I get the sense that most of you agree in general on this topic — the program is in much better shape than it was in the dark days of Russo, Nance and Bender, but the last two years have been disappointing and improvement is necessary this season to show that those were merely aberrations. I think that’s exactly where I stand, as well.

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