Five keys to success for the Washington men’s basketball team
1 Wilcox and who else? Where will Washington get its scoring aside from Wilcox? He averaged 16.8 points last season and played most of the year with an injured foot. Even with Wilcox ailing, the Huskies still had enough scoring options to stay competitive. Wilcox is healthy, but who will help score is unknown. Guard Andrew Andrews is the top returning scorer other than Wilcox at 7.8 points per game. Perris Blackwell averaged 12.7 points during his last season at San Francisco and Nigel Williams- Goss averaged 18 points as a high school senior.
2 Relying on Perris. There are a lot of expectations being placed on Blackwell for the one season Washington will have him on the floor. Blackwell was a serviceable scorer at San Francisco, averaging double figures his final two seasons for the Dons. Romar believes Blackwell can be the consistent interior answer the Huskies were missing last season. Blackwell spent all last season learning Washington’s system in the hope he is fluent when he hits the floor.
3 Depth to run. Romar never felt Washington had the depth or health last season to push the tempo the way he wanted both offensively and defensively. The Huskies averaged just 67.9 points last season, the lowest since the 2000-01 season and the only time during Romar’s tenure that Washington has failed to score at least 72 points per game. On the defensive side, the 12.3 turnovers per game the Huskies forced were the fewest during Romar’s tenure.
4 Nigel’s hype. Williams- Goss is just the fifth Washington player to have participated in the McDonald’s All-American game. He played for Team USA in the FIBA under-19 World Championships this summer. He joins the Huskies with a wealth of experience most college freshmen don’t have. Then throw in that he averaged 18 points and seven assists playing for Findley Prep in Henderson, Nev., and it’s easy to see why he is expected to be a leader immediately.
5 Nonconference tests. Washington has put together a worthy nonconference schedule. Their home slate lacks excitement with a Dec. 22 meeting against Connecticut the highlight, but away from Seattle the Huskies will face Indiana in the 2K Sports Classic in New York and play either Boston College or Connecticut a night later. They also have two true nonconference road games, going to San Diego State and Tulane.
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