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Washington 2009 NCAA Tournament Preview

 

Washington Huskies - Pac 10 Conference (25-8, 14-4)

Seed: #4 - West Region

RPI: 14

Big Wins: 12/4 Oklahoma State (83-65), 1/24 UCLA (86-75), 1/31 at Arizona State (84-71)

Bad Losses: 11/15 at Portland (74-80), 11/25 vs Florida (84-86), 1/29 at Arizona (97-106)

Last NCAA Appearance: 2006, Sweet Sixteen loss to Connecticut

Coach: Lorenzo Romar (4-4 in 4 NCAA appearances)



Probable Washington Starters:

  • Isaiah Thomas, Freshman, Guard, 15.4 ppg, 2.5 apg

  • Justin Dentmon, Senior, Guard, 15.0 ppg, 2.5 apg

  • Quincy Pondexter, Junior, Forward, 11.5 ppg, 5.7 rpg

  • Darnell Gant, Freshman, Forward, 3.1 ppg, 3.4 rpg

  • Jon Brockman, Senior, Forward, 14.9 ppg, 11.2 rpg

 

Key Washington Roleplayers:

  • Matthew Bryan-Amaning, Sophomore, Forward, 6.3 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 1.1 bpg

  • Justin Holiday, Sophomore, Forward, 2.2 ppg, 2.7 rpg

  • Venoy Overton, Sophomore, Guard, 5.9 ppg, 2.0 apg

  • Elston Turner, Freshman, Guard, 3.5 ppg, 1.1 apg

 

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Why The Huskies Can Surprise:
Washington is not a fancy team like some others in the Pacific 10 conference, but they still get the job done. Much of their success this year can be attributed to Jon Brockman. The 6-7 senior averaged 14.9 points and 11.2 rebounds during the regular season and he will get a double-double more often than not. He is not a shot blocker or imposing physically, but his production has been quite impressive over the last four years.

Brockman’s ability to hit the glass has turned the Huskies into the third best rebounding team in the nation. However, even Brockman occasionally needs some help on the glass. Fellow starting forwards Quincy Pondexter and Darnell Gant are both decent rebounders and there are plenty of other options off the bench like Matthew Bryan-Amaning and Justin Holiday.

 

Why The Huskies Can Disappoint:
Washington takes very few three point shots. Well they actually take quite a few, but they do not make that many. Justin Dentmon is the lone consistent outside shooting threat and he makes less than two per game. Luckily, Dentmon does a lot more than just shoot long balls and averages 15.0 points per game, but the team definitely lacks a shooter to come in off the bench and provide an offensive spark. That means if UW falls behind, they could have some trouble coming back.

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Who To Watch:
Isaiah Thomas is the key to this team. The freshman point guard averaged 15.4 points and 2.5 assists during his debut campaign in Seattle. Thomas can hit the outside shot, but the 5-8 Tacoma native will do most of his damage in the paint. He gets to the free-throw line 5.9 times per contest and he makes the most of those opportunities. Thomas’ turnover numbers were a little high, but that is to be expected from a freshman, especially on a team that loves to push the tempo. However, the Huskies will need him to remain aggressive, yet under control, during the high pressure games in March.

 

Washington By the Numbers:

Scoring Offense: 79.2 (12th in nation, 1st in conference)

Scoring Defense: 69.3 (205, 9)

Field-Goal Percentage: 46.2 (60, 7)

Field-Goal Defense: 42.2 (118, 4)

Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 4.2 (311, 9)

Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: na

Free-Throw Percentage: 69.6 (142, 7)

Rebound Margin: 8.8 (3, 1)

Assists Per Game: 13.2 (150, 6)

Turnovers Per Game: 14.8 (244, 9)

 

Joel’s Bracket Says: Sweet Sixteen loss to Connecticut

 

By Joel Welser
CollegeSports-fans.com Senior Basketball Writer

 

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