NCAA BK

Huskies hope talent is there to get back to NCAAs

Share This Story

   
 

SEATTLE (AP)

Since he was charged with returning Washington to prominence, one of Lorenzo Romar's biggest accomplishments is that he's never gone more than two seasons without taking the Huskies to the NCAA tournament.

It's a benchmark of where Romar has lifted the Huskies program.

But avoiding a third straight season without a trip the NCAAs will be Romar's most difficult task going into the 2013-14 season. The Huskies are talented and potentially the type of team that could make a run in the loaded Pac-12 but are unproven in spots and filled with questions coming off an 18-16 season.

''We have a good group of guys willing to learn, willing to work hard,'' Washington guard C.J. Wilcox said. ''I think we're going to surprise some people.''

Washington was picked to finish eighth in the conference in the preseason poll, an expected placing with the Huskies having just as many questions as the rest of the conference. The return of Wilcox gives the Huskies an established scorer to go along with the addition of prep star Nigel Williams-Goss and forward Perris Blackwell. But the Huskies enter the season lacking a proven frontcourt scorer to pair with Blackwell.

Here are five things to watch as the Huskies open the year with an exhibition against Central Washington on Nov. 6 before the regular season opener Nov. 10 against Seattle:

WILCOX AND WHO ELSE: Where will Washington get its scoring aside from Wilcox? He averaged 16.8 points last season and played most of the year with an injured foot. Even with Wilcox ailing, the Huskies still had enough scoring options to stay competitive. Wilcox is healthy, but who will help score is unknown. Guard Andrew Andrews is the top returning scorer other than Wilcox at 7.8 points per game, but much of the slack is being placed on Williams-Goss, Blackwell, Shawn Kemp Jr., and Jernard Jarreau. Blackwell averaged 12.7 points his last season at San Francisco and Williams-Goss averaged 18 points as a high school senior.

RELYING ON PERRIS: There are a lot of expectations being placed on Blackwell for the one season Washington will have him on the floor. Blackwell was a serviceable scorer at San Francisco, averaging double figures his final two seasons for the Dons. Romar believes Blackwell can be the consistent interior answer the Huskies were missing last season. Kemp and Jarreau were inconsistent, and while graduated center Aziz N'Diaye was a good defender, he struggled offensively. Blackwell spent all last season learning Washington's system in the hope he is fluent when he hits the floor.

DEPTH TO RUN: Romar never felt Washington had the depth or health last season to push the tempo the way he wanted both offensively and defensively. The Huskies averaged just 67.9 points last season, the lowest since the 2000-01 season and the only time during Romar's tenure that Washington has failed to score at least 72 points per game. On the defensive side, the 12.3 turnovers per game the Huskies forced were the fewest during Romar's time as well. That depth will be tested early as Washington gets used to new defensive rule changes that could find them in foul trouble as they learn how games will be called.

NIGEL'S HYPE: Williams-Goss is just the fifth Washington player to have participated in the McDonald's All-American game. He played for Team USA in the FIBA under-19 World Championships this summer. He joins the Huskies with a wealth of experience most college freshmen don't have. Then throw in that he averaged 18 points and seven assists playing for one of the top prep programs in the country at Findley Prep in Henderson, Nev., and it's easy to see why the freshman is expected to be a leader immediately. ''I've always played with older players at a high level and being a vocal leader is just something I've always been,'' Williams-Goss said. ''That hasn't changed here.''

NON-CONFERENCE TESTS: Washington has put together a worthy non-conference schedule. Their home slate lacks excitement with a Dec. 22 meeting against Connecticut the highlight, but away from Seattle the Huskies will face challenges. They'll face Indiana in the 2K Sports Classic in New York and play either Boston College or Connecticut a night later. They also have two true non-conference road games, going to San Diego State and Tulane. It's a solid slate to get the Huskies ready for conference play that begins on Jan. 2 at Arizona State.

Tagged: Washington, C.J. Wilcox, Perris Blackwell

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by



NCAA BK Videos

Georgetown, Syracuse to renew CBK rivalry Posted: Jun 10, 2014
Georgetown basketball coach John Thompson III on the renewal of the rivalry betw...

Cuonzo Martin new head coach at Cal Posted: Apr 16, 2014
Cuonzo Martin is introduced as Cal's new head coach.

UConn tops Notre Dame in women's final Posted: Apr 09, 2014
Hear from Geno Auriemma and his players after their National Championship victor...

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Nike Florida Gators #1 Replica Elite Basketball Jersey - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Florida_Gators/browse/featuredproduct/885881/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_885000/ff_885881_xl.jpg&w=100 74.95 Nike Florida Gators #1 Replica Elite Basketball Jersey - Black
    Nike Georgetown Hoyas #22 Hyper Elite Road Performance Jersey - Navy Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Georgetown_Hoyas/browse/featuredproduct/1030243/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1030000/ff_1030243_xl.jpg&w=100 119.95 Nike Georgetown Hoyas #22 Hyper Elite Road Performance Jersey - Navy Blue
    Nike Duke Blue Devils #5 Tourney Takeover Replica T-Shirt - Duke Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Duke_Blue_Devils/browse/featuredproduct/1032710/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1032000/ff_1032710_xl.jpg&w=100 27.95 Nike Duke Blue Devils #5 Tourney Takeover Replica T-Shirt - Duke Blue
    Nike Oregon Ducks X-Ray Ball T-Shirt - Green http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oregon_Ducks/browse/featuredproduct/1052002/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1052000/ff_1052002_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Oregon Ducks X-Ray Ball T-Shirt - Green
    Nike Ohio State Buckeyes Road Warrior Tri-blend T-Shirt - Scarlet http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Ohio_State_Buckeyes/browse/featuredproduct/1052645/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1052000/ff_1052645_xl.jpg&w=100 29.95 Nike Ohio State Buckeyes Road Warrior Tri-blend T-Shirt - Scarlet
    Indiana Hoosiers 2013 NCAA Men\'s Basketball Road to March Madness T-Shirt - Crimson http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Indiana_Hoosiers/browse/featuredproduct/1124528/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1124000/ff_1124528_xl.jpg&w=100 19.95 Indiana Hoosiers 2013 NCAA Men\'s Basketball Road to March Madness T-Shirt - Cri..
    adidas Louisville Cardinals 2013 March Madness #10 Premier Swingman Jersey - Red http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Louisville_Cardinals/browse/featuredproduct/1127200/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1127000/ff_1127200_xl.jpg&w=100 89.95 adidas Louisville Cardinals 2013 March Madness #10 Premier Swingman Jersey - Red
    adidas Notre Dame Fighting Irish 2013 March Madness #45 Premier Swingman Jersey - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Notre_Dame_Fighting_Irish/browse/featuredproduct/1127218/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1127000/ff_1127218_xl.jpg&w=100 89.95 adidas Notre Dame Fighting Irish 2013 March Madness #45 Premier Swingman Jersey ..
    Nike Gonzaga Bulldogs March Madness Bracketville T-Shirt - Navy Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Gonzaga_Bulldogs/browse/featuredproduct/1155821/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1155000/ff_1155821_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Gonzaga Bulldogs March Madness Bracketville T-Shirt - Navy Blue
    Top of the World Miami Hurricanes 2013 NCAA ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament Champions Adjustable Hat – Green http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Miami_Hurricanes/browse/featuredproduct/1177723/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1177000/ff_1177723_xl.jpg&w=100 25.95 Top of the World Miami Hurricanes 2013 NCAA ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament Cham..