Husky Hoops Spotlight

When we reached Husky assistant basketball coach Ken Bone, he had just completed a session of cracking the books. "Right now I'm working on passing the recruiting test that we take once a year," said Bone.

"It's open book, and there is a certain time allowed. You really have to know the book pretty well, because there is a lot in it. If you don't pass, you don't get to go out and recruit."

Coaches are allowed to retake the test if they fail it the first time, but they must wait a month. That month can cost coaches crucial recruiting time on the road, evaluating talent.

"We take the test every year around this time. Our staff has always passed it. We took it this time last year, which got us through to August of this year. Now we're taking it again to get us ready for our September recruiting push," said Bone between study sessions.

Bone has passed it every time, but that doesn't mean everyone does. "There are a few guys I know that didn't pass it. I won't name names," he said with a laugh.

This is the time of year that Bone and the rest of the staff are almost exclusively focused on adding to their talent base already in place. "90% of our efforts are on recruiting right now," said Bone.

"We also have had some individual camps, team camps, and big man camps. We have another camp coming in August, but what we are doing now is primarily recruiting."

Bone and the rest of Lorenzo Romar's staff are not allowed to work with the current players on roster, with one small exception. "When they are working our camps, we can use them as ‘demonstrators' in drills in those cases. But that's it. They are working with our strength and conditioning coach for now."

Washington finished with a bang last season, and Bone is excited about the way the transfer players improved as the year progressed. "Our JC transfers really came on at the end of the season. Hakeem and Trey really finished strong. They both are now very confident," said Bone.

"Of course Brandon Roy, Nate Robinson, and Mike Jensen were all sophomores, so you have to expect them to really step up even more, and they played great last year."

The future appears more than bright for the hardwood Huskies. Bone perks up when he discusses a player that rode the bench all last season. Jamaal Williams transferred in from New Mexico, and Bone expects him to bring a great deal to the team on the offensive side of the court.

"He is a scorer. He gets the ball inside 10 feet, he's really hard to guard. He has a knack for putting the ball into the basket. He doesn't out jump anybody, he just knows how to score," said Bone. When asked if he could be compared with Adrian Dantley, Bone called it a valid comparison. "That would be fair, if kids even remember who he was. Some of us older guys certainly do."

Williams is known as a good offensive rebounder. "He has a scorer's mentality, and he knows that an offensive rebound provides another opportunity to put it in the hole," said Bone.

"He'll really add more depth to our bigs."

Speaking of bigs, Bone says that Anthony Washington is taking care of his rehab and his academics. "Anthony has had a good spring and is doing the things he needs to do to get ready for next year. He is working on some things."

One area where Washington's success has made a difference is the television. "Our scheduling is getting better. There have been some good talks with Coach Romar and Fox, they really want to get us on TV as much as they can. That has a lot to do with finishing 2nd in the Pac-10 and we were an exciting team to watch. It probably doesn't hurt that Nate went back to Chicago and showed well at the NBA camp. There is a lot of excitement about Husky basketball now," said Bone.

With Washington appearing in the Great Alaska Shootout tournament in November, the excitement around the program is at a high as they prepare for the 2004-05 season. Whereas before Hec-Ed was a ghost town, now it requires a bouncer to guard the door because of the popularity.

"We hope that we can take off from where we left off last year. Hopefully with the excitement we bring to the floor, no matter who we play, we'll draw a crowd," said Bone.

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