With lower expectations placed on this group, chances are they will be able to fly below the radar and take advantage of being the “under-dawg”.
After capturing the PAC 12 regular season title last season, the Huskies failed to match predictions for post season success in the conference tournament and were the first team in history to win the regular season title and not get an invite to the top 68.
This years crew will have to use last years failure as motivation to return to the upper tier of the PAC 12.
With a 219-113 (65%) winning record over his ten year tenure at UW, Lorenzo Romar has one way or another been able to put a successful product on the floor.
Coming off a season with such high expectations that were not met, combined with what may be the weakest roster in his decade as Huskies bench boss, Romar is going to have to dig deep into his vast knowledge and experience to come out of 2012-13 successfully.
Winning his third straight PAC 12 Coach Of The Year award last season, Romar doesn’t appear to be fazed by the lack of star power (CJ Wilcox aside), suggesting that the team will have to rely on the blue collar approach this season.
2) Experienced Starting Five
The Huskies have the ability to march out three seniors and a junior as part of their starting five on opening night.
Abdul Gaddy, Aziz N’Diaye and CJ Wilcox along with sophomore Desmond Simmons all played at least 18 plus minutes a game last season, while senior Scott Suggs, who redshirted last year, averaged 18 minutes a game during his junior season.
Knowing what to expect from Romar and vice versa will be key for the Huskies, as they look to get out to a good start this season.
3) Blue Collar Work
Last season, the Huskies looked to match the high level of expectation placed on them based on talent alone.
This year the team needs to get dirty. No more fancy passes or high octane pace for the Dawgs.
It will be a slugfest, knock them down and drag it out type game with a crew who is ready to leave blood, sweat and tears on the court.
While the Huskies have a strong starting five, the next set of players off of the bench have limited to no in game experience or past value.
Aside from Simmons, none of the returning Huskies subs saw more than 7 minutes of action a night (Austin Seferian-Jenkins).
If Romar can get valuable minutes and production from last years redshirts Andrew Andrews and Jernard Jarreau the second unit may not be in as much trouble as thought to be.
2) Big Man
Maybe it was due to a heavy focus on their backcourt talent over the past couple of years, but the Huskies need N’Diaye to step up and dominate the paint this season.
If the Dawgs fans see the 7’0″ senior sitting down, there really isn’t any other size on the roster.
Walk on football fan favorite Seferian-Jenkins has yet to commit to playing this season and Shawn Kemp Jr. didn’t really remind anyone of his pops.