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Husky Men's Basketball

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

January 9, 2012 at 2:46 PM

ASJ’s role? Future starter, reserve or All-American practice player

Austin Seferian-Jenkins spent his first minutes at Washington practice working on a mid-range jumper with a staff member.
About 20 minutes later, coach Lorenzo Romar spoke with the newest member of the team and instructed him during a low-post drill other players.
Wearing a sleeveless white shirt and long, baggy purple shorts Seferian-Jenkins, a standout freshman tight end, looked as if he belonged on the hard wood.
Romar doesn’t have an timetable on when or if Seferian-Jenkins will make his UW debut. He won’t play tomorrow against Seattle University and chances are slim he’ll make an appearance Sunday against Washington State.
“That’s not my decision,” ASJ said when asked when he’ll play. “How do I feel? I feel good. Obviously I’m going to have to get into condition. These guys have been playing almost half of the season so it’s going to take a minute to catch up to them that way and learning the offense and the defense and everything like that. I’m going to have to spend extra time doing that. It’s a challenge that I’m very excited to embrace.”
ASJ was a two-sport star at Gig Harbor High and that experience gives him an idea of what to expect with the Huskies. One of the biggest adjustments will be getting used to the amount of running that takes place in a basketball practice.
“The first three days are hell,” he said. “But after that you get used to it. I just love doing it so I really don’t have a problem with it. I just cherish every day I get to play.”
In terms of how he fits with the Huskies, no one seems to have a good read just yet. Romar hasn’t seen ASJ play in over a year and obviously he hadn’t seen the 6-6, 258-pounder on the court with the Huskies in competitive game.
ASJ played with the UW players last summer during open gym a few times.
Since the end of the football season, he said he’s been playing every day at the IMA, but admits its the transition to college basketball is a major adjustment.
Washington plays up tempo and Gig Harbor ran at times, but utilized more of a traditional hall-court attack.
“It’s not going to be easy and I understand that,” he said. “It’s going to be hard, but if it wasn’t hard I wouldn’t want to do it.”
Midway through the season, the Huskies are still trying to establish roles in the front court. Aziz N’Diaye is a fixture at center, but the other spot on the front line is uncertain. Senior forward Darnell Gant started 14 games, but he came off the bench Saturday at Utah. His production has dipped lately, but it’s unlikely he’ll fall completely out of the rotation.
Desmond Simmons is playing starter minutes in the past nine games. Romar hinted today the 6-7 redshirt freshman could move into the starting lineup as soon as Tuesday.
Freshmen Martin Breunig, 6-8 forward, has played in every game while 6-9 center Shawn Kemp Jr. has appeared in 12 games. Both average 6.9 minutes.
Seferian-Jenkins may push Breunig and Kemp for minutes in the immediate future.
“I’m just trying to help the team get better,” Seferian-Jenkins said. “I don’t have any personal goals. My goal is to try and come in here and help out the team in any way I can, whatever way I can I’ll be happy to do.
“I’m not the type of guy to just sit there and not work hard. I’m going to work hard. If I do’t play 10 minutes a game, I’m going to be the best practice they have. There’s no doubt about that. All-American practice player. I’m just excited for the opportunity.”

Comments | Topics: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Aziz N'Diaye

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