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Husky Men's Basketball

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

August 11, 2012 at 2:14 PM

Impact of losing Mark McLaughlin

The shock of losing Mark McLaughlin is starting to fade and the Huskies must now face the difficult task of replacing the talented newcomer who was expected to provide a significant scoring punch for a team that lost its top two scorers.
At 6-6 and 220 pounds, McLaughlin might have played as many as three positions at Washington ranging from shooting guard to both forward positions. Given UW’s demanding defensive schemes, he wasn’t expected to begin the year as a starter. But he was likely to lead the reserves and perhaps take over a starting job during the season.
Equally important, many believed the 22-year-old transfer from Tacoma Community College had the skill, moxie and experience to emerge into a go-to player and perhaps close out games for UW if needed.
McLaughlin departure puts a lot of pressure on guards Abdul Gaddy, C.J. Wilcox and Scott Suggs to stay healthy and play 30-plus minutes. Gaddy averaged 33.9 minutes last season and coach Lorenzo Romar had hoped to cut back and trim his workload.
It seems unlikely now.
In all probability Gaddy, Wilcox and Suggs will also have to make a big leap in their progress and compete at an all-conference level for Washington to return to the NCAA tournament.
McLaughlin’s loss likely means more opportunities and minutes for redshirt freshmen Andrew Andrews, a 6-2 guard, and Jernard Jarreau, a 6-10 forward. It’s impossible to know if they’re ready to contribute consistently over the course of a 30-game schedule, but both players have strengths the Huskies desperately need.
In addition to being UW’s second best point guard, Andrews is probably the best on the team at drawing fouls and has shown no fear attacking the basket. Jarreau is lauded by teammates as the most improved player. He’s a nice help defender and has a versatile offensive repertoire that includes a fairly dependable perimeter jump shot.
If sophomore forward Desmond Simmons continues to develop as a shooter, then the Huskies may not miss McLaughlin.
The other sophomores include: Hikeem Stewart, Shawn Kemp Jr. and Martin Breunig. They struggled to make a meaningful impact last season.
Washington has 10 available players and two returning starters (Gaddy and Aziz N’Diaye). Here’s a best guess look at the depth chart and two possible alternatives.
PG: Gaddy and Andrews
SG: Wilcox and Stewart
SF: Suggs and Jerreau
PF: Simmons and Breunig
C: N’Diaye and Kemp
Note: This would be a traditional lineup with little variance from last season. Suggs slides into Terrence Ross’ spot, Wilcox takes over for Tony Wroten Jr. and Simmons replaces Darnell Gant. This gives UW a solid starting unit, but the bench is very inexperienced.
PG: Gaddy and Andrews
SG: Wilcox, Suggs and Stewart
SF: Simmons and Jarreau
PF: Kemp and Breunig
C: N’Diaye
Note: Washington may need to roll out this lineup against big teams such as UCLA and Arizona. The Huskies were effective pairing N’Diaye with a low-post presence like Matthew Bryan-Amaning two years ago. However, the two big guys could clog the lane and this group appears to be offensively challenged.
PG: Andrews and Stewart
SG: Gaddy
SF: Wilcox and Jerreau
PF: Suggs and Breunig
C: Simmons, N’Diaye and Kemp
Note: This might be UW’s best defensive lineup in regards to pressing and putting pressure on the offense. When N’Diaye missed three starts last season due to injury, the Huskies started four guards and Gant in the middle to post a 2-1 record.

Comments | Topics: Abdul Gaddy, C.J. Wilcox, Mark McLaughlin

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