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Husky Men's Basketball

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

July 26, 2012 at 8:45 AM

Handicapping UW’s power forward race

Had a chance to connect with Matthew Bryan-Amaning this week and the former Washington standout gave his thoughts on the Huskies who are vying for his old power forward position.
He tagged Desmond Simmons as the favorite because the sophomore was one of five players last season to compete in every game. He also made 11 starts and UW was 9-2 in those games. However at 6-7 and 220 pounds, Simmons is a tad undersized at the four.
The other candidates include: 6-9 Shawn Kemp Jr. and 6-8 Martin Breunig, who both played sparingly last season as first-year reserves while 6-10 Jernard Jarreau sat out and redshirted.
Bryan-Amaning played against Kemp during a summer league game Monday and he complimented the UW forward for improving his conditioning. He also had kind words about Jerreau and said his offensive skills should allow him to flourish in Washington’s up-tempo offense.
The Huskies will be hard pressed to equal Bryan-Amaning’s production in the low post. He’s second all-time at UW in blocks (158) and 25th in scoring (1,182 points) while shooting 50.6 percent during his four years. As a senior, he posted 10 of his career 15 double doubles and was named the conference’s Most Improved Player, first team All-Pac-10 and honorable mention All-Defensive Team.
Bryan-Amaning played last season in Turkey. He auditioned for the Great Britain Olympic basketball team, but didn’t make the squad. He’s hoping there’s a chance he could be added as a replacement because a few players are suffering from injuries.
Here’s a snippet of the interview.

(Thoughts on Kemp?) “He’s good. He’s trimmed down from last summer when I saw him last. He’s running the floor a lot better. He beat me down the floor a couple of times tonight.”
(No he didn’t.) “Yes he did. So he’s in good shape right now. I can see coach has been working with him finishing around the rim a lot more. Obviously he’s real athletic. Just right now for him it’s some of the little stuff he needs to get down. I know he played last year, but being away from the game is big. I was talking to him during the game about little stuff. But he’ll be fine. I can tell Fortier has been working with him with footwork. I can see stuff that Fortier did with me when I was younger.”
(Of course everyone is different, but how long does it take to develop some of the footwork that you’re talking about?) “When I was growing up, I played a lot of guard more than I did as a post player so a lot of that stuff comes naturally for me. For him it’s stuff that you’ll work on and as he gets more comfortable, he’ll be fine. I know stuff like that it was easier for me because I played on the perimeter. But I think he’ll be fine. I know that he’s not used to being put on the block and coach saying go get a bucket. I know the more he works out with coaches and Coach Romar and all of the other guys, he’ll be fine. The same thing happened with me when I first got up to the Dub. Coach Romar said you’ve always had the moves, but you just want to do every move at the same time. You get used to it. Now I’m comfortable with myself. I know what I want to do. I know where I want to get and I know what moves are going to work for me.”
(There’s a question mark for Washington at power forward. How would you handicap the competition?) “I don’t know it’s going to be tough. Obviously Dez has a couple of years on those guys. He’s been in the program. He’s seen myself, he’s seen Darnell (Gant) go at it. Also Martin and Shawn got some time on the court and started to pick up towards the end of the year. Jernard has a great skill set. I’ve seen him play before I left last year. And he’s put on some weight since I’ve last seen him last year. Today I saw him dunk on somebody and that’s not stuff that I remember him doing. A year ago he wouldn’t have done that so I know he’s starting to be able to take contact a lot more. So it’s going to be fun. I think offensively he’s got probably the most versatile skill set. He can handle the ball some as well as go inside. The way he runs the floor and the way Romar likes to run his system that’s going to play to his advantage.”
(He seems like a perfect guy to be a stretch-4.) “Yeah like Darnell knocking down jumpers, but obviously with his touch he can post up and shoot over smaller guys. I’ve seen him knock down many fadeaways. It will be something I think he’ll be comfortable with the more he does it.”
(And how was your year in Turkey?) “Had a good year. A good rookie season. Averaged about 20-21 minutes. Around 13 points and six boards. A couple of blocks and a couple of steals, which led the league. A good rookie everybody is telling me. Opened some eyes and hopefully it’s a good step for the rest of my career.”
(The last two weeks you’ve been in Las Vegas right?) “Yeah I went to Vegas with the New Orleans Hornets. Just out there working hard. Had a good mini-camp with them. I don’t think they really knew a lot about me because I joined the team late. I got asked to play summer league real late because I was with the (Great Britain) national team. They didn’t really know much about me, but I had a good minicamp and apart from the guys that were on the team I think I opened some eyes. I was the first big off the bench. They said at the end of the camp I showed I can play at a high level and if it’s not with them, I’ll be in a training camp with somebody.”
(And there’s a scant possibility you can still play in the Summer Olympics.) “Yeah with the national team. A couple of guys Joel Freeland, a close friend, he just signed with the Blazers. He got drafted way back in ’06. I know he’s been sent home and went back to the UK to get tests or scans or something because he’s not 100 percent. One of the other big men Dan Clark, who played in the ACB last year, rolled an ankle. The Games start next week so sometime this week something may happen. Obviously I don’t wish anything bad for those guys. I grew up with those guys and know them all, but if any of them are not 100 percent I wouldn’t be surprised to get a phone call or email to come home to play.”
(How cool would that be?) “Definitely it would be great. Great experience. Great opportunity. Obviously my whole thing was to be able to get to play summer league and play with the (national) team so if that would be able to happen, it would be a dream come true.

Comments | Topics: Jernard Jarreau


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