Pac-10 Hoops Preview - Washington

Over the next few weeks DevilsDigest.com will bring you a comprehensive breakdown of the upcoming 2002-2003 basketball season in the Pacific-10 conference. Included in this analysis will be the projection of team records, and post-season individual awards. The third section of this multi-part series looks at the Washington Huskies.

Washington Huskies (Seattle, Washington)

2001-2002 Record: 11-18 (5-13)
Postseason: None
Returning Starters: 2

Projected Starting Lineup: (Returning starters in Bold)

PG-Curtis Allen, 6'0, 170 Jr. (12.0 ppg, 4.4 apg .446FG%, .417 3pt%, .886FT%)
SG-Brandon Roy, 6'5, 195 Fr. (Top 50 Consensus National Recruit)
SF-Doug Wrenn, 6'8, 220 Jr. (19.5 ppg, 6.4 rpg, .438FG%, .585FT%)
PF-Mike Jensen, 6'9, 220 Fr. (Redshirted after early season injury)
C- Marlon Shelton, 6'10 280 Sr. (Medical Redshirt)

Key Returning Reserves:

C.J. Massingale, 6'4, 200 Jr. SG (5.7 ppg, 3.3 rpg, .343FG%, .167 3pt%, .818FT%)
Will Conroy, 6'1, 185 So. G (2.5 ppg, 1.6 rpg, 1.6 apg, .343FG%, .333 3pt%)
Josh Barnard, 6'5, 205 Sr. SG (5.0 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 1.2 apg, .370FG%, .284 3pt%)
Jeffrey Day, 6'9, 220 So. PF (2.8 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 1.0 bpg, .451FG%, .520FT%)
Charles Frederick, PG (limited minutes)

Recruiting Class:

Brandon Roy, 6'5, 195 Fr. SG (Garfield HS, Seattle, WA)
Anthony Washington, 6'9 220 Fr. PF (Garfield HS, Seattle, WA)
Bobby Jones, 6'7 195, Fr. SF (Poly HS, Long Beach, CA)

Lorenzo Romar returns to his alma mater 22 years after his graduation. Romar was the starting point guard on one of the better Husky teams, who finished 18-10 and 9-9 in Pac-10 play in the 1979-80 season. During his playing days, Romar was team captain in each of two seasons at Washington, and was awarded the Most Inspirational Award by his teammates on both occasions. After four successful seasons as an assistant to Jim Harrick at UCLA where he recruited the likes of Toby Bailey, J.R Henderson, Cameron Dollar (now an assistant at Washington), Charles O'Bannon and Jelani McCoy, Romar went on to land head coaching jobs at Pepperdine, and St. Louis University, where he coaches for three years at each team.

Romar hopes to bring inspiration back to a program that looked to be on a steady upswing in the late 90's before three consecutive losing seasons culminating with the firing of Bob Bender shortly after the end of the season. The Huskies have a relatively strong nucleus of returning players, led by the dynamic wing Doug Wrenn, an all-league selection a season ago and one of the best professional prospects in the Pac-10. Theoretically, the Huskies return three players who have logged many minutes in Wrenn, point guard Curtis Allen and shooting guard C.J. Massingale. However, elite recruit Brandon Roy, who should provide a much-needed shot in the arm after the transfer of freshman sensation Errol Knight, could well displace Massingale as the starter. The frontcourt looks to be primarily occupied by Mike Jensen and Marlon Shelton, both coming off of redshirt seasons due to serious injuries that required season ending surgery; Jenson dislocated his shoulder and Shelton tore the ACL in his left knee twice in a matter of six months. Reports indicate that both appear to be back to near 100%. Jeffrey Day and talented incoming freshman Anthony Washington should be able to provide quality minutes in reserve.

Recruiting Class Grade: A-

The Huskies recently learned that Brandon Roy has achieved a qualifying score on his latest entrance exam attempt and that makes this a very solid class for the first-year coach Romar. Roy is a star who'll probably make an early jump to the NBA after a couple of seasons if not sooner. Roy's former Garfield High School teammate Anthony Washington signed his second letter of intent with the school after the NCAA Clearinghouse, which ruled that the player had not met initial eligibility requirements, voided his first one in November of 2000. He's an excellent athlete with a substantial amount of untapped potential. In the spring Romar nabbed Long Beach Poly's Bobby Jones, a fringe top-100 national player who, like Washington possesses a tremendous upside based on his length and athleticism. One could reasonably add Mike Jensen to this group since he will be a redshirt freshman after his injury. Jensen was considered by many to be the best forward on the West Coast in the 2001 recruiting class.

Noteworthy:

-Point guard Curtis Allen will need to cut back on his 109 turnovers from a season ago for this team to have any opportunity at the post season. An assist to turnover ratio of 1.16/1 is just not going to get the job done at this level. A 2/1 assist to turnover ratio is generally regarded as solid.

-Marlon Shelton is the son of former NBA player Lonnie Shelton who played for a decade in the league, and the brother of Arizona Cardinal lineman A.J Shelton. -Doug Wrenn is only a junior but look for this to be his final season in a Husky uniform. Wrenn could very well be a late lottery selection in next year's NBA draft and is a first rounder without question.

-Lorenzo Romar is a noted recruiter and being a native of Compton, California helps with his pull in the talent-rich area of Southern California, where he also has longstanding ties due to his years spent at UCLA and Pepperdine.

2002-2003 Outlook: This is a transition year for the Huskies, but don't tell that to Doug Wrenn who is capable of putting the team on his back for long stretches and will make this a competitive squad. They are relatively young and talented group with only two scholarship seniors and will surprise some teams this season, though there will also be growing pains associated with the coaching transition and lack of experience. Give Romar a few more years to recruit and acclimate himself to the school, and the Washington Huskies could become a legitimate threat in the Pac-10.

Pac-10 Prediction: 7-11 Postseason: NIT bubble

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