2007 Washington Huskies Basketball Preview
The Washington Huskies (19- 13 overall, 8- 10 Pac-10) finished seventh in their conference in 2006- 2007 and for the first time in three years did not get into NCAA March Madness. In fact, the Huskies sat out the NIT too! Coach Lorenzo Romar (103- 55 in five years with Washington and 193- 143 in 11 years) guided the club to 29 wins in 2004- 2005 and 26 in 2005- 2006. Despite losing center Spencer Hawes (14.9 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 1.7 BPG), an impact player during his career, Romar is optimistic about the upcoming season.
Although Washington was strong on scoring last season, coming in second in the Pac-10 with 76.5 PPG, they were dead last in scoring defense, allowing 73.0 PPG. Their rebounding margin was best in the conference and second nationally as they averaged plus-9.0. They were second in the Pac-10 in assists with 15.19 per contest. However, turnovers were a major problem for the team and improving the college basketball odds. The Huskies finished 10th in the league, giving the ball up 15.6 times per game. In shooting, they were the fourth most accurate club in the Pac-10 from the floor and the foul line.
Forward Jon Brockman (14.2 PPG, 9.6 RPG, 55.0 FG%), now a junior, uses his big body to manhandle the boards and the ball. He’ll continue to be a force upfront. Sophomore Qunicy Pondexter (10.7 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 49.8 FG%) will ably man the other forward spot. Center could go to the fine-shooting sophomore Joe Wolfinger, who wore a medical red shirt last season.
The guard positions feature two returning starters—junior Justin Dentmon (10.1 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 3.6 APG, 40.8 FG%) and senior Ryan Appleby (10.5 PPG, 1.9 RPG, 2.2 APG, 41.5 FG%). Both are good shooters but neither offers much on defense. The team does not have a backcourt playmaker.
In order to get the club back on the winning track in the conference tournament brackets, Romar will need to get the most that he can from his returning starting four and hope that center Wolfinger can come back after missing last season. The Huskies are a tough team to predict because so much depends on the center area. A strong floor general at point will help this team get back into the NCAA mix. Defense is definitely needed too.