2013-14 College Basketball Season Preview: Washington

Written by Paul Banks of the Washington Times, David Kay and Peter Christian of the The Sports Bank. Send Paul an e-mail here: paulb05 AT hotmail DOT com.
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Washington Huskies (Last Year: 18-16, 9-9 in Pac-12)

2013-14 Projected Depth Chart:

F/C: Shawn Kemp Jr. (Jr)/Perris Blackwell (Sr)/Gilles Dierickx (Soph)

PF: Desmond Simmons (Jr)/Jernard Jarraeu (Soph)

G/F: C.J. Wilcox (Sr)/Mike Anderson (Jr)

G: Andrew Andrews (Soph)/Hikeem Stewart (Jr)/Darin Johnson (Fr)

PG: Nigel Williams-Goss (Fr)/Jahmel Taylor (Fr)

Gone: PG-Abdul Gaddy, G/F-Scott Suggs, C-Aziz N’Diaye, PF-Martin Breunig (transfer-Montana)

2013-14 Outlook:
Lorenzo Romar and the Washington Huskies breathed a sigh of relief when C.J. Wilcox announced he would return for his senior season rather than enter the 2013 NBA Draft. Still, the program loses three starters and will struggle to finish in the upper half of the improved Pac-12 Conference.

Wilcox is one of the best scorers on the West Coast and is known for his smooth outside shot and ability to stroke it from deep. With backcourt mates Scott Suggs and Abdul Gaddy graduating, last year’s sixth man Andrew Andrews and McDonald’s All-American point guard Nigel Williams-Goss will step into the starting lineup. Andrews is a combo guard looking to build off a solid freshman campaign while Williams-Goss brings great size and play-making ability to the point guard position.

There is quite a bit of inexperience with the reserve guards, but JUCO transfer Mike Anderson should be an important contributor right away. At 6-5, 200 pounds, he can be a tough matchup due to his strength and three-point shooting accuracy. Hikeem Stewart hasn’t gotten much run in his first two years at Washington, and with freshmen Darin Johnson and Jahmel Taylor entering the fold; all three guys will compete for minutes off the bench.

Up front, juniors Shawn Kemp Jr. and Desmond Simmons were solid role players a year ago but should see increased playing time this season due to the graduation of Aziz N’Diaye. Kemp is more of a physical presence down low, while Simmons has a decent faceup game and is a factor on the boards. Jernard Jarreau will once again see minutes off the bench along with San Francisco transfer Perris Blackwell, who is a wide body down low at 6-9, 280 pounds. Florida International transfer Gilles Dierickx adds even more size for the Huskies.

Romar also picked up another big man transfer this offseason in Fresno State’s Robert Upshaw. The seven-footer was a top-100 recruit in the 2012 and gets a year to develop his still raw offensive game. He should provide a N’Diaye-like impact down low once he becomes eligible in the 2014-15 season.

Player to Watch: C.J. Wilcox, SG
Everybody knows he can stroke it from deep, but Wilcox is also a good athlete who can finish at the rim. If Wilcox can improve his dribble-drive game, he will be an even more dangerous offensive weapon and could inch him closer toward the 20-points-per-game plateau.

Key Non-Conference Games:
  • 11/21 vs. Indiana (2K Sports Classic)
  • 11/22 vs. Connecticut/Boston College (2K Sports Classic)
  • 11/30 vs. Long Beach State
  • 12/8 at San Diego State
  • 12/17 at Tulane
  • 12/22 vs. Connecticut

  • Predicted Pac-12 Finish: 8th

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