2015-16 Washington Huskies Men's Basketball Preview, Part Two

A few things stand out about this roster besides their youth. They're not a big team by Pac-12 standards, especially this season. The Pac-12 is a conference of giants - Arizona, UCLA, Utah, California, and USC are all expected to start seven footers - and they're good ones. Throw in Colorado's Josh Scott, Washington State's Josh Hawkinson and Oregon State's Olaf Schaftenaar, who are all 6-foot-10, and you begin to understand why size is a concern this season.

Pac-12 front courts are going to be really tough, and that doesn't include the non-conference giants the Huskies will face in Texas and Gonzaga. 

Washington will counter with speed. The Huskies' young bigs can get up and down the floor in a hurry. They're transition oriented and big finishers. In theory, the bigger conference front courts may have a tough time keeping up with the Dawgs' fleet-footed posts. That's the hope anyway. 

"Malik Dime is a really good rebounder," Washington Head Coach Lorenzo Romar said during his Media Day press conference, previewing his front court approach. "Marquese Chriss can rebound, Noah Dickerson can rebound. I think this could be a really good rebounding team. The long wings we have with the length and athleticism is going to allow us to rebound well. Unless you have a Jon Brockman who is just everything he does just speaks to rebounding, I think it’s important that you have guards that can rebound. I think really good rebounding teams have guards, wings that can rebound and I think we have that. Along with all of our bigs I think can rebound the basketball."

Washington has done big things with smaller front courts before. The 2004-2005 Sweet Sixteen team offered a front court rotation of 6-foot-5 Jamaal Williams, 6-foot-8 Mike Jensen and 6-foot-8 Hakeem Rollins. This current group really isn't that small by Husky standards, especially when you factor how big the wings are. 


Washington has a lot of size on the perimeter, and more importantly a ton of length. Wings Dejounte Murray, Donaven Dorsey, Matisse Thybulle, and Dominic Green average 6'6 in height. But their wingspans are even more impressive, particularly in terms of how it should translate to the defensive end.  Make no mistake - Washington wants to run, but that only happens if they menace the ball on the defensive end the way they have in the past. That will require wholesale buy-in from the entire roster. 

"I think we have the ability to pressure the basketball more than we have in the last two or three years," said Romar. "I think we will do a better job with that. I think we have a group collectively that is better at making plays. Making plays for themselves or making plays for others. I think we will a more athletic team.

"If we can’t be aggressive and be dictators on the defensive end, then we are just going to be mediocre. That is where it all starts."

Basically, if the defense doesn't click, the Huskies don't stand a chance. 


2015-16 Men's Basketball Preview, Part One

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