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The Washington Husky hoops team returned to Montlake last week with the start of fall practice a mere three weeks away

With eight newcomers, the team has a lot of work to do in weight room. However, the most noteworthy physical transformation during the offseason comes courtesy of Donaven Dorsey, who shed 22 pounds since the end of last season. It’s something that should play big dividends as he transitions back to his native position on the wing this fall.

Dorsey's first season at Washington was largely considered a successful one. He averaged 3.8 points in 14.7 minutes per game while shooting nearly 34 percent from behind the arc. As team injuries mounted, Dorsey's minutes steadily increased. During the back half of conference play, his minutes increased to 22 minutes a game as he eventually worked his way into the starting lineup.

To say he was one-dimensional on the offensive end is a massive understatement: Of Dorsey's 100 field goal attempts last season, a shocking 89 of those attempts came from behind the three-point line. But that's not really him.

In high school, Dorsey was a lanky, high flying combo-guard who earned his living attacking the basket. Running point for Timberline High School in Lacey, the 6-foot-7 sophomore spent a lot of time with the ball in his hands, directing the offense with quality passing skills and a high-level handle.

An ankle injury cost him the second half of his senior season after a breakout performance in the 2013 4A state tournament put him on the map as a junior. Dorsey packed on the pounds as he slowly healed, and by the time he arrived at Washington he was an entirely different player than the one the Husky coaching staff had recruited.

Not that the bulk ended up being a bad thing. As it happened, Dorsey carved out an unexpected niche for himself in the rotation as a three-point specialist and front court presence, where the added pounds worked in his favor against bigger post players.

Fast forward to today, and Dorsey much more closely resembles his recruited self after an offseason of conditioning work and healthier eating. Over the summer Dorsey looked considerably more agile and explosive attacking the basket like he used to, but with more confidence.

And though the similarities between the new Dorsey and his younger self are obvious, there's one big difference; he’s now a shooter. That wasn't the case in high school, and the improved Dorsey could be one of the Huskies’ top scoring options this upcoming season.

He should be improved defensively as well.

The Huskies sent out a mysterious "Save the Date 10-21-2015" message over social media earlier this week. No further information was provided. However, since practice officially opens in early October, Midnight Madness is probably off the menu. Could it be a public scrimmage or an Alumni event similar to the much beloved Alumni game of 2013? Or something different? An announcement about the proposed practice facility, perhaps?

We'll just have to wait and see.

In other Pac-12 news, UCLA earned the pledge of touted 5-star 2017 point guard Jaylen Hands. After years of neglect, the Bruins’ backcourt is getting a major overhaul over the next couple of years after receiving pledges from five 4- and 5-star guards. The upswing coincides with a renewed focus on the program’s southern California roots, and more specifically the Compton Magic AAU program.

They could receive a further boost if former 2016 Arizona commit TJ Leaf picks UCLA, as many expect.


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