2003 Pac-10 Preview: Washington

Part eight of the conference preview looks at Washington. The Huskies are starting over with new head coach Lorenzo Romar but that doesn't mean that the team will experience any kind of first-year jitters. Not with two All-Conference type players and the addition of four big time freshmen on their roster. Washington could shock some of the established Pac-10 powers in 2003.

Washington Huskies (Seattle, WA)
2001-02 record:
11-18 (5-13, Pac-10)
Returning starters:

Projected Lineup: (*=returning starter; Incoming recruit in BOLD)
PG-Curtis Allen*, 6-0, 170 Jr. (12.0 ppg, 4.4 apg (3.7 TO/g) .446FG%, .417 3pt%, .886FT%)
SG-Brandon Roy, 6-5, 195 Fr. (Top 50 prospect from Seattle still not NCAA eligible)

SF-Doug Wrenn*, 6-8, 220 Jr. (19.5 ppg, 6.4 rpg, .438FG%, .585FT%; 1st team All-Pac-10 in 2002)
PF-Mike Jensen, 6-9, 220 Fr. (Top 100 recruit in 2001 redshirted in 2002)

C-Marlon Shelton, 6-10, 280 Sr. (Medical redshirt in 2002)

Jeffrey Day, 6-9, 220 So. PF (2.8 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 1.0 bpg, .451FG%, .520FT% in 14.8 mpg)
C.J. Massingale, 6-4, 200 Jr. SG (5.7 ppg, 3.3 rpg, .343FG%, .167 3pt%, .818FT% in 16.3 mpg)
Anthony Washington, 6-9, 225 Fr. PF/C (Explosive athlete and shot blocker)
Bobby Jones, 6-7, 195 Fr. SF (19 ppg as 1st team All-California player)

Will Conroy, 6-1, 185 So. G (2.5 ppg, 1.6 rpg, 1.6 apg, .343FG%, .333 3pt% in 12.5 mpg)
Josh Barnard, 6-5, 205 Sr. SG (5.0 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 1.2 apg, .370FG%, .284 3pt% in 16.7 mpg)
Charles Frederick, 6-0, 190 So. G (Football WR appeared in six games)
David Hudson, 5-11, 185 So. G (Played five games last season)

Recruiting class grade: A/B
--If Roy is eligible and plays this season for UW, the Huskies will have an outstanding four-man class, if you count redshirt freshman Mike Jensen. Jensen was the No. 1 ranked power forward in the West in the class of 2001 and chose Washington over elite schools like Kentucky, Syracuse, Stanford, Oregon and Gonzaga. He's a great athlete and not just for a guy his size, but for anyone. Washington originally signed in 2000 but his letter-of-intent was voided when he didn't meet NCAA initial eligibility requirements. He runs the floor very well and is an explosive shot blocker around the rim. Jones was new head coach Lorenzo Romar's first signee and he is a big time talent out of Long Beach Poly HS. He won three consecutive state titles at Dominguez High with teammate Tyson Chandler before losing to eventual 2002 state champion Westchester this year. He earned a reputation as a great defender the past couple years.
Gem of the Class:
Brandon Roy, SG (if eligible), Jones, if he's not.
--Roy chose the Huskies over Arizona, Kansas and Gonzaga. He entered his name in the NBA draft but withdrew it when his mind returned to him. If he is ruled ineligible at Washington, he could sign with Gonzaga, which accepts non-qualifiers out of high school or play for two years at JC power College of Southern Idaho.

*Lorenzo Romar, the former head coach at Saint Louis and former assistant at UCLA, takes over for Bob Bender this year in Seattle. His reputation for being a master recruiter should go over very well in the talent-laden Northwest. Expect him to lock up the Seattle-Tacoma area prospects and to enter into the Portland sweepstakes as well.
*Freshman Erroll Knight (Gonzaga) and sophomore Sterling Brown (unknown) transferred in the offseason. Knight was an explosive athlete with a big upside. He should help the Zags immediately in 2003-04.
*Center Marlon Shelton is the son of former NBA player Lonnie Shelton, who had a 10 year career in the League, five of which were spent playing for the Sonics. His brother, L.J., is a starting offensive lineman for the Arizona Cardinals in the NFL. Marlon was forced to redshirt last year after re-injuring his left knee in mid-September during a rehab workout. The rehab stint followed surgery on the same knee stemming from a torn ACL suffered against USC in the second to last game of the 2001 season. He has fully recovered.
*This will be Doug Wrenn's final year in a Husky uniform. The ultra-talented 6-8 forward will leave after his junior year and enter the NBA draft where he is expected to be a Lottery pick.

2003 Expectations:
--Washington has great talent at three very important positions: point guard and small forward. Curtis Allen and Doug Wrenn are the leaders of this team and will be forced to carry the load much of the time. The additions of Jensen at power forward and either Roy or Jones at shooting guard will bring more athleticism and skill to the fray. Should Shelton not work out at center, expect freshman shot blocker Anthony Washington to step in and give the Huskies the most athletic starting five in the conference. The bench is not as deep as it takes to win league titles but it's an improvement from a year ago. Washington, if it can cut down on turnovers, will be the surprise team of the Pac-10 and maybe one of the sleepers in the nation.

Pac-10 Projection: Seventh
Postseason chances:
NIT is likely but don't rule out NCAAs.

E-mail Ben Hansen at AZPointGuardU@yahoo.com

June 25, ASU-5th
June 26, USC-6th
June 27, UCLA-3rd
June 28, Stanford-9th
June 29, Cal-4th
June 30, Oregon-2nd
July 1, Oregon State-8th
Tomorrow, Washington State
Thursday July 4th-ARIZONA

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