2009-2010 Washington Huskies Basketball Preview
In 2005 and 2006, the Washington Huskies (26- 9 overall, 14- 4 Pac-10) managed Sweet 16 finishes in the NCAA Tournament. Then two fallow years were followed by another NCAA berth where the Huskies went two and out. This season the team, which finished at the top of the Pac-10 in 2009, looks to attend the Big Dance, play two games and then be gone again.
In 2008- 2009, Washington had the top rated offense in the league, scoring an average of 78.6 PPG and one of the worst defenses, allowing 69.5 PPG (9th). Despite their ability to put points up, the Huskies were rated eighth in field goal percentage (46%), ninth in threes (34%) and seventh in frees (70%). They threw the ball at the hoop a lot but also missed a lot. Although they were tops in the league in rebound margin at plus-8.2, they will find that task a tad tougher as they will be without forward Jon Brockman and his 11.5 RPG.
Still, in the paint the Huskies do possess some rebounding muscle. Senior forward Quincy Pondexter (12.1 PPG, 5.9 RPG, 1.6 APG) many be only six-foot-six but he’s got a wide body and knows positioning. As a freshman last year, Darnell Gant (3.1 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 0.4 APG) proved to have some fine defensive skills. There is depth in front as redshirted frosh Tyreese Breshers returns to the roster and junior Matthew Bryan-Amaning (6.0 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 0.7 APG) looks for more playing time. Breshers, who stands six-foot-seven and weighs 255 pounds, is a bold, brash wide body and Amaning, who plays big, can block shots at one end and dunk at the other.
The backcourt is defined by the play of guard Isaiah Thomas (15.5 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 2.6 APG). Last season, his rookie, Thomas was a spark plug, pushing the ball up the court, penetrating and scoring. At the other guard spot it’s expected that freshman Abdul Gaddy will get the start. Gaddy, an excellent passer and playmaker, will open up the court for the Huskies. There’s depth in the backcourt too.
The Washington Huskies, who will have coach Lorenzo Romar at the helm, will put a skilled, fast and experienced team on the court. They’ll also utilize some new faces and a very fine bench. First place in the Pac-10 is once again possible and an invite to the Big Dance looks like a lock. An up-tick in “D” and continued fine play under the basket are essential to this team’s success.