1953 was the only Final Four the Huskies have attained. They have only four Sweet Sixteen appearances but this shouldn't slow this team, especially with the Pac-10 up for grabs. Usually you never hear that but UCLA basketball along with USC football have been knocked out lately. Washington has the opportunity to establish the program on a national stage.
The Huskies have had great players, Nate Robinson and Brandon Roy and this year looks no different.
Key Departures-Justin Dentmon(14.4 ppg) Jon Brockman(14.9 ppg)
A Look back at 08-09
Landing Isaiah Thomas gave Washington a new look and therefore they had the juice to compete with at a national level. The Washington Huskies began 7-3 with a blowout 73-54 loss to Kansas and a blowout of 83-65 against Oklahoma State. After a decent start, their fourth loss came to Cal on January 10. From there they swept the Beavers of Oregon State and the Oregon Ducks on the road.
They didn't let off the gas and hammered #11 UCLA in what was one of the program's biggest wins. Next game, Arizona, and they layed a big egg while giving up 106 points to a subpar offensive team.
Washington's two wins over DeMar Derozan and USC were their tickets to the NCAA selection Committee. The Huskies ended up winning 27 games in the regular season and a Pac-10 tournament game, awarding them a #4 seed to coach Lorenzo Romar and the squad. They defeated Mississippi State only to lose to #5 Purdue 76-74 in the second round, subsequently ending their hopes.
Arrivals G Abdul Gaddy, PF Charles Garcia, PF Clarence Trent, SG C.J. Wilcox
PG Isaiah Thomas 5'8 185 lbs. Sophmore-Led the Hiuskies in scoring averaging 15.5 points as a freshman and looks to be more effective as a sophmore. Not a terrific shooter from long distance and shot under 70% from the free-throw line. With Thomas' potentia, he should improve his teammates as well as himself.
SG Abdul Gaddy 6'3 190 lbs. Freshman-One of the top guards of the 2009 Class. He lacks explosiveness but is as smooth as they come. Gaddy shoots well and fundamentally, he's elite. Gaddy and Thomas should excite the Pac-10 and be one of nation's top duos.
SF Quincy Pondexter 6'6 215 lbs. Senior-He's a solid small forward who can rebound on both ends. Pondexter is comparable to Marcus Ginyard of North Carolina but is a better offensive-minded player. Not a 3-point shooter at all but is an important piece and certainly an experienced player.
PF Darnell Grant 6'8 225 lbs. Sophmore-He's only a sophmore but the Huskies will need his size. Grant only averaged 3.1 ppg and is not a legite threat at this point. Nevertheless, coach Lorenzo Romar will need his effort night after night in order for Washington to win.
PF Mathew Bryan-Amaning 6'9 240 lbs. Junior-Matthew had a subpar sophmore year with 6.0 ppg and 4.0 rpg. He is the X-factor for the frontcourt and will need to step up and play consistent defense and score easy baskets. This should be his coming out party and will help the Huskies dance later in the year.
6th Man Venoy Overton is an exceptional defender and works hard when needed. Venoy averaged 20.5 mpg and will get playing time because of the hustle and defense. Romar can always count on Overton at any point in the game.
Top Games Not much out of conference excitement but the Huskies will take it.
- @Texas Tech: December 3. The Red Raiders won't make too much noise throughout the year, but a non-conference road win goes far for the NCAA Selection Committee.
- Georgetown: December 12. The Hoyas are on a mission and this should be a tremendous matchup of premiere guards and experienced players.
- @UCLA: January 21. The Bruins may have wet the bed last year but Ben Howland will have Pauley Pavilion rockin'.
- Standford: February 13. Washington beat Stanford by a combined eight points in two meetings. Johnny Dawkins will have his team prepared this season.
Lorenzo Romar will have his Huskies locked and loaded when they face Wright State Nov.11. The Huskies will have another great campaign in the Pac-10 once more.
Abdul Gaddy should be a fantastic addition with his ability and skill level.
Isaiah Thomas will have to play well and lead the team in order to win big. He is without question the best thing since Brandon Roy left.
The backcourt is loaded with firepower and quickness. Don't be shocked if the Huskies go with a three-guard approach. Gaddy, Thomas and Overton can all play the lead guards but they all can play together, most importantly. The combination of Gaddy and Thomas will break down defenders in a heartbeat.
The frontcourt however is suspect. Mathew Bryan-Amaning playing alongside Grant is a bulging weakness, not only because of their scoring ability but their height. The team only has three key players over 6'7.
Washington may lose in games against a team with a little more frontcourt presence. like Arizona State with at least three at 6'10 or above. THis may very well be the only noticeable weakness.
Washington should win the Pac-10 pretty easily with their returning group. USC lost the head coach and a lottery pick in Derozan, UCLA is out and for the count, losing their top guards in Collison and Holiday.
I look for the Huskies to remain in the top 15 all season long and win the Pac-10 easily but with some tough conference road matchups...As for Isaiah Thomas, he may fight his own teammate for Pac-10 Player of the Year.
Washington likely won't miss the Sweet Sixteen and can go further led by Thomas and Gaddy.