NW Pac 12 Standout Freshmen
Last season, there were three prominent freshmen in the PAC 12 that held court for the Northwest hoops teams.
Tony Wroten (Washington Huskies), DaVonte Lacy (Washington State Cougars) and Eric Moreland (Oregon State Beavers) were fixtures in the box scores of their respective schools. Whether it was on the offensive end (Wroten), defensive end (Mooreland) or doing a little bit of everything (Lacy), these three freshmen made the entire conference stand up and take notice.
This season, aside from the Oregon Ducks‘ incoming class, the Northwest freshmen may be flying under the radar to start the year.
However, if their teams are to have a chance to punch a ticket to the March dance, they will have to step up and play a big-time role.
*In no particular order*
Andrew Andrews (Washington Huskies, guard, 6’2″, 195lbs)
After learning from the sidelines last year as a redshirt, Andrew Andrews will have a chance to crack the meaningful rotation this year without such a logjam of talent in the back court.
As one of the elite players to come out of Oregon two years ago, Andrews led Benson High School (Portland) to the 2011 5A State Championship game and was named the Player Of The Year averaging 24 points, 5 assists and 5 rebounds.
Coach Lorenzo Romar will have the opportunity to play Andrews as the first guard off the bench at either the point or off-guard position.
Richard Longrus (Washington State Cougars, forward, 6’7″, 235lbs)
Moving up to Pullman from Oakland will certainly be a climate change for the Cougars freshman. The positive is that the dreary fall/winter weather will give Richard Longrus every reason to plant himself in the gym for Coach Ken Bone.
Aside from Brock Motum, there really isn’t a standout talent that can limit Longrus’ minutes. If he proves himself early, chances are the freshman could provide an impact for the Cougars in his first year on campus.
Dominic Artis (Oregon Ducks, point guard, 6’1″, 175lbs)
Originally set to run the point for Ben Holland’s UCLA Bruins, Artis will be given the keys to the bus and the chance to run the show from day one if he can take the role from junior Jonathan Loyd, as he’s expect to.
With Coach Dana Altman‘s up-tempo style, Artis’ speed and desire to attack will give the former Findlay College Prep star a chance to shine.
With interest from big-name programs such as the Bruins, Memphis, Florida State, St. John’s and Georgia Tech—along with an offer from California—adding a talent like Artis will not only help the Ducks this season, but hopefully is the start of a long-term recruiting trail.
Ben Carter (Oregon Ducks, power forward, 6’8″, 220lbs)
Joining Artis in what was the PAC 12′s third-best recruiting haul, Ben Carter had turned down several major programs, including UNLV, Utah and San Diego State to play for the Ducks.
With three of Oregon’s big men set to move on after this year, Carter should be able to crack the rotation and help the Ducks make a push for the final 68.
Demarquise “Que” Johnson (Washington State Cougars, shooting guard, 6’5″, 190lbs)
Demarquise Johnson has the ability to walk onto the Washington State campus and start right away, if not then be the first man off the bench. Turning down offers from three programs—Washington, Gonzaga and UNLV—left fans in Friel Court with high hopes for this season.
Unfortunately for everyone, Johnson has been tagged by the higher powers in the NCAA offices for his grades and will not be seeing the court this season.
The fact that he still makes this list speaks volumes for his talent. Unfortunately, it also tells a little something about the level of talent and expectations for the Northwest freshman class of 2013.