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Return to the 2006-07 Top 144 Preview

October 30th, 2006

By Joel Welser

Broadcast Basketball


Washington Huskies


Overall Rank: #16

Conference Rank: #3 Pac-10


2005-06: 26-7, 13-5, 2nd

2005-06 postseason: NCAA


Washington is done rebuilding.  Despite the loss of two NBA draft picks, the Huskies have more talent now than they have had during the recent string of success.  That’s reloading.  The problem is that the upperclassmen on the roster have a combined total of two starts over their careers at UW.  Last year’s great recruiting class will be this year’s stars and this year’s great recruiting class might have a little stardom in the near future as well. 


Who’s Out: Three starters are gone in Brandon Roy, Bobby Jones and Jamaal Williams.  Those are the only three players who averaged over ten points per game with 20.2, 10.4 and 13.8, respectively.  Mike Jensen earned 12 starts during his final campaign in Seattle, averaging 5.3 points and 3.3 rebounds.  Seldom used Zane Potter has also run out of eligibility.


Who’s In: Incoming freshmen Spencer Hawes, Quincy Pondexter and Adrian Oliver could all earn starting jobs in November.  Hawes, a 6-11 center, has all the tools necessary to be a dominate force in the Pac-10.  He can score inside and out and his hard work should make him a lottery pick whenever he decides his time at UW is up.  Pondexter has continued to work on his perimeter shooting and with a little consistency there, the 6-7 small forward will be a great player.  Pondexter has amazing quickness and can slash to the basket with the best of them.  Oliver, a combo guard, is a tremendous scorer, who averaged 26.1 points per game last year and will provide valuable depth on the perimeter.  Sharpshooting forward Phil Nelson gets lost in the shuffle, but is still a highly touted recruit.  Once strength is gained so Nelson can more effectively attack the rim, the 6-8 Keizer, Oregon product will make some noise in Seattle.  A couple redshirt freshmen will look to battle for minutes.  Harvey Perry is a long and athletic defensive specialist who missed last year with a back injury.  Joe Wolfinger will use his seven foot frame to provide another big body off the bench.  Zach Johnson, a 6-7 center, is expected to miss the season with a knee injury and delay his debut for the Huskies.


Who to Watch: Justin Dentmon and Ryan Appleby will have to replace the perimeter production of Roy.  Dentmon averaged 8.3 points and 3.8 assists as a freshman.  The 5-11 Carbondale, Illinois product took over the point guard duties early and surprised everybody with his solid season.  A little more consistency and little less turnovers and Dentmon will be one of the elite point guards in the conference.  Appleby is the most dangerous long range shooter on the team.  He excelled coming off the bench last year and may end up in that role again if newcomers Oliver or Perry can handle the starting duties.  Joel Smith will be in the mix as well after averaging 3.7 points per game last year. 


Final Projection: After a freshman season in which Jon Brockman averaged 8.4 points and a team high 6.5 rebounds, bigger things are expected this year from the 6-7 forward.  And with two freshmen expected to join him up front, Brockman is suddenly the elder statesman in the paint.  Having his close friend Hawes by his side, there won’t be any chemistry issues with two youngsters at the four and five.  Hans Gasser and Artem Wallace provided emergency depth last year and will do the same this year.  The youth will cause some problems, but the sheer talent on this team will keep Washington in any game.  If Coach Lorenzo Romar can keep his team together through the inevitable bumps early in the year, the Huskies can compete with UCLA and Arizona for the top spot in the Pac-10.


Projected Post-season Tournament: NCAA


Projected Starting Five:

Justin Dentmon, Sophomore, Guard, 8.3 points per game

Ryan Appleby, Junior, Guard, 7.9 points per game

Quincy Pondexter, Freshman, Forward, DNP last season

Jon Brockman, Sophomore, Forward, 8.4 points per game

Spencer Hawes, Freshman, Center, DNP last season

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