Six Questions - Part 1

The most eagerly anticipated Washington Husky Basketball season in decades is fast approaching. Here are some of the key questions the team faces heading into the season, with some answers - and a healthy dose of opinion tossed in for good measure.

Will Spencer Hawes be everything he's been anticipated to be?

By reading many of the national pre-season rags, you might come to the conclusion that the Washington Huskies are planning on starting only one player this season. With so much attention lavished on Spencer Hawes, one could imagine the head on the Huskies' blue-chip center has been getting pretty big, and understandably so. But that flies in the face of the foundation UW Head Coach Lorenzo Romar has built his program around.

The fact is, Hawes knows how good he is and the sky-is-the-limit promise his future holds, but he's smart enough to not put the proverbial cart before the horse. Hawes is a superbly poised, confident young man, who manages his on-court behavior in similar fashion. He is fiery and passionate without being disrespectful - traits that his coach values as paramount. But he's not unflappable, as evidenced by teammate and close friend Jon Brockman's ability to get under his skin during scrimmage.

While Hawes undoubtedly has the tools to be a superstar, Coach Romar's system revolves around teamwork and unselfish play, so scoring will likely come from all over the court. Due to a scope on his right knee to remove a loose 'particle', Hawes may start slowly after missing out on the bulk of preseason practice, though he shows little sign of any lingering after-effects.

Without a legitimate center to practice against (teammate Joe Wolfinger is out for the year while he rehabs a stress fracture in his foot that will sideline him for the entire 2006-2007 season), it may take a few games for Hawes to get comfortable while the team helps integrate him into the offense.

Hawes expects to make a major impact on this team from the start, but if it takes him a little while to get it going, how will he respond? Will he become frustrated and angry with his teammates, or take a step back to regroup and acknowledge the things he needs to work on? He has always worn his emotions on his sleeve, so this will be something to watch for.

There is no doubt that Hawes is a program-changing, championship-caliber player, and the odds are good that he will demonstrate every ounce of his significant promise. Just don't be surprised if it takes him a little time to get there. Top Stories