The first polls have come out, and despite a disappointing performance against Montana, the Washington Huskies moved up four spots to the #10 spot in the ESPN/USA Today Poll. This is the first time the Huskies have cracked the top ten this season, and the first time since they reached #7 in 2006. Find the complete poll here.
Given the Huskies schedule this week and some of the teams that the rest of the top-10 has to play, there is a good chance that Washington improves on this spot by next week so long as they take care of Texas Tech and Cal State Northridge.
The AP poll was also released, and Washington jumped two spots from their previous spot to #12.
Find the AP poll here.
Are the Huskies this good? It could be debated after the performance against Montana, but for now we should chalk that up as rust after a nine day break. Washington will get their first real test in Lubbock this week, although talent wise they should still take care of the Texas Tech.
Expect Washington to keep climbing up to polls because there just will not be many losses coming in non-conference this year. A win against Georgetown could catapult Washington to a top five spot.
Chad Ford has been covering the NBA Draft for ESPN for a long time and has gained national respect for his insight on the top college and international basketball prospects. Last season Washington fans tracked the national analysis on Jon Brockman to gain an understanding for where he would fall in the draft, this season fans will be scouring for news on Quincy Pondexter.
It appears that it may be a bit easier to track news on Pondexter’s draft status as he has captured the eyes of scouts as a possible first round draft selection. Yesterday Ford only cemented this belief when he had a new blog post on the top seniors in the country.
Guess who was #1…
1. Quincy Pondexter, F, Washington
Draft range: Lottery to late first round
Pondexter came in as a heralded freshman but went on to disappoint his first two-and-a-half years at Washington. He started to come on midway through his junior season and is off to a red-hot start as a senior. Physically, there isn’t anything Pondexter can’t do. He’s one of the top two or three athletes in the draft. His skill set, especially on the offensive end of the floor, has been much slower to develop. However, he has shown major improvement in the past year and could be one of those late bloomers who finally is starting to get it.
If he has a huge year at Washington, and improves his perimeter game, Pondexter is the one senior who has the ability to crack the lottery. If his improvements are more modest, he’s still a potential late first-round pick.
Before arriving at Washington his freshman year, the idea of Pondexter being a one-and-done player was a legitimate thought according to many. While we quickly learned that was not the case, Pondexter’s national resume fell to the point where many though he would not be drafted at all whenever he entered the draft. But like Brandon Roy, Pondexter has gained through staying four years at Washington to build a legitamite lottery type resume for NBA teams.
Following Pondexter’s season as he works to possibly achieving what Ford has laid out for him will be one of the most intriguing stories of the year.
By June, there should be another player on the Tracking Seattle list.
Lots to get to which has lead to the pileup of news. Tracking Seattle will be up tonight or tomorrow morning with this weeks picks and my top-25.
The first big piece of news this week is that Washington’s own Quincy Pondexter was the first recipient of the Pac-10 player of the week award. If you remember last season it took awhile for the Huskies to bring in their first award, so its nice to see Quincy earn it so early.
The award could have gone to either Pondexter or Isaiah Thomas, but Pondexter did his job on the boards as well by averaging 11 rebounds.
The next piece of news comes from Westwood where UCLA continues their remarkable early season struggles by losing to Cas State Fullerton. The Bruins had struggled in both of their exhibition games, but they were expected to shake it off in time for the season. This is UCLA we are talking about, they don’t have these types of struggles.
But it looks like it could be more of a rebuilding season in Westwood than originally thought.
Finally the Huskies were ranked 14th in both polls, for some reason dropping one spot in the USA Today poll. But at this stage in the season it means nothing.
So just quick updates on those three stories before we get into our weekly schedule.
The disappointing news came across the news wire that local standout Josh Smith is headed to UCLA, not the hometown Washington Huskies.
Basically I was prepared for this news for awhile, but it is still disappointing that a big local talent like Smith will not be staying home to represent his city and state. A lot of players on the Husky team today take pride in that because Seattle and the Huskies have always been flying under the radar of the national spotlight.
I actually have had a opinion piece saved in the queue for whenever Smith finally announced his decision about how Terrence Jones is a much better fit for the team, and has a higher ceiling than Smith as well. I didn’t want to run it until Smith finally announced, so expect seeing that article soon.
But now the focus shifts to Jones, who will be announcing soon whether or not he will sign in the fall or the spring. There has been much speculation that Smith and Jones were waiting for the other to announce before making their decision known, so maybe Smith declaring UCLA will push Jones to make his announcement and let his recruiting saga end as well
Filed under News, Recruiting
Lorenzo Romar added one more player to the roster yesterday, meaning that the open tryouts produced at least one success story in sophomore Brendan Sherrer.
Sherrer comes from Archbishop Murphy High School and will be able to provide depth for the team and add another big body for practice. Sherrer stands at 6’9″, making him a logical walk on with his height and past basketball success in high school.
“He’s got size and that is something that will help us when practicing,” said Romar. “He’s strong enough to push the other guys and he’s only a sophomore, so he has a chance to grow with the guys. He also has a great attitude and work ethic.”
It has not been made entirely clear what will happen to the other player given an extended tryout in Rudy Sharar.
The media poll for the Pac-10 was released yesterday at the conference’s media day, and the Washington Huskies saw themselves projected to finish second in the conference to the California Golden Bears.
It was widely assumed that the media would choose between Washington and Cal in a weaker Pac-10 conference. Cal received 25 first place votes, Washington received 7, and UCLA received five. No other team was given a first place vote.
Here is the full media projection…
- Oregon State
- Arizona State
- Washington State
Among the notable quotes from coaches during yesterday’s press conferences were Ernie Kent saying that Michael Dunigan has dropped more than 40 pounds from last year, Herb Sendek saying that offense is going to be more of a group effort for the Sun Devils, Craig Robinson said that the Beavers will have to be careful not to expect wins to come easier now that they are a sleeper pick, and Lorenzo Romar saying that Isaiah Thomas has greatly improved his defense.
The ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll was just released, and the Washington Huskies are ranked #13 in the first poll of the season.
Kansas was given the top spot with Michigan State, Texas, North Carolina, and Kentucky rounding out the rest of the top five. Kansas received 27 first place votes, MIchigan State received three, and North Carolina got one.
California, the team most believe will challenge to take the Pac-10 title away from Washington, was ranked one spot higher than the Huskies at #12. There was only a difference of six points between the two, showing just how close coaches see the two teams. Washington and California are the only two Pac-10 teams that made the first poll, with UCLA being the closest to break in by receiving the 29th most votes. USC was the only other Pac-10 team to receive votes by finishing a surprising 36th.
Georgetown is the only team in Washington’s non-conference schedule to be ranked in the top-25, coming in at #21.
Other Notables: Purdue (7th), Butler (10th), Mississippi State (19th), Gonzaga (34th) Texas A&M (47th)