Tag Archives: Washington Huskies

Commit News: Enes Kanter

Wow. This came out of nowhere Husky fans.

It has quickly spread that the Huskies picked up a brand new commitment for the 2010 class in Turkish big man Enes Kanter, one of the top remaining players in the country. When I country, its not Turkey, but rather the United States.

Kanter suddenly committed to the Huskies this morning after forging a very strong relationship with new assistant coach Raphael Chillious. A few months back I made a comment about Chillious possibly having a big impact on international recruits because of his past at Findlay Prep and bringing in foreign players (such as our own Matthew Bryan-Amaning). Never did I expect the Huskies to reap the benefits so quickly as I rather had 2011 recruit Angelo Choi in mind.

But how good is Kanter?

Evidently we may have another Spencer Hawes on our hands in terms of being a one and done according to national scouts. Some even expect him to be a lottery pick after his freshman year.

During the U18 European Championships, Kanter was named tournament MVP by averaging 18.6 points and a mind boggling 16.4 rebounds per game. Some have asked where the rebounding is going to come from this season, looks like we have an answer for next year.

One of the first things that comes to mind with this commitment from Kanter is that the loss of Josh Smith suddenly becomes irrelevant. After Smith chose UCLA I believed it would only put more pressure on the Huskies to land Terrence Jones or go after a player such as Aziz N’Diyae for a transfer. The Huskies had to get a big man in the class, and the filled that spot with one of the top remaining players in the country.

Nobody saw this coming. Just yesterday I cam across Kanter for the first time in what now appears to be dumb luck. I had never heard of the kid and only was relevant because I saw he was transferring from Findlay Prep to a Stoneridge Prep.

Through some of the film I have found online its obvious what Kanter’s strengths are. He appears to have some polished post moves that lead to some easy baskets. His rebounding stats are off the charts and he is able to position his body well to set him up for some hard earned rebounds, ala Jon Brockman. Through some of the film, and I don’t want this to be taken 100% since I have not seen full games, but he seems to lack effort on the defensive end. But if there was anything Lorenzo Romar would be able to do, that would be to teach defensive intensity.

Although I didn’t see it in film, supposedly Kanter has some off the chart shooting ability as well from deep. His prep school coach says that he has NBA range right now.

Just to review some of the concerns about the Huskies this season. Rebounding (maybe Kanter’s strongest asset), three point shooting (a 6’10 big with NBA range), and low post threat (polished post moves and averaged 18 points in Euro championships). Did Lorenzo Romar just pull of a recruiting coup?

One fact about Kanter that should not be overlooked is the fact that he has been raised in a European setting in basketball. The training is much more intense and rigorous than early training in the United States, meaning Kanter is likely more polished than some of his American counterparts right now.

So the Huskies just picked up a five star recruit out of nowhere, evidently beating out Ben Howland and Kevin O’Neill for Kanter’s services. It should be interesting to see how this changes the recruitment of Terrence Jones, but at least we know if Jones does not choose to be a Husky everything will be okay in Montlake.

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Interview With Former Husky Bobby Jones

Husky fans always loved the dependable Bobby Jones.

A key member of the Husky teams that started the winning tradition Lorenzo Romar has established, Jones finds himself playing in Italy these days for the professional team in Teramo. Bobby was kind enough to answer some questions for Husky fans on life as a former Husky, professional player in Europe, and living life in Italy.

Montlake Fastbreak: How have you adapted to life in Italy so far?

Bobby Jones: Its been a slow process but I’m gettin there. I live by myself and all the other American teammates that live in my building have their wives, or girlfriends living here with them.  Plus they been playing over here for years so they are used to it and know how to deal with the situation better now. With all the free tim I have been able to write more, which was my major in college, so its working out.  I blog ever so often at:  http://bobbysworld.yardbarker.com/

It has been helping me let out a lot with nobody around me everyday to talk to physically.

MFB: How would you compare the style of play, atmosphere, and overall experience of playing overseas as opposed to your experiences in the NBA and D-League in the States?

BJ: I think they play dirtier here if you ask me, and the officiating is definitely different for many reasons.  Its frustrating because I cant feel how they are going to make calls. One moment they let you play aggressive then next minute they call touchy fouls on certain players that shift the whole momentum of the game. We will see how it will pan out with that.

MFB: What do you plan on doing at the end of the season in Italy?

BJ: Well I’m going to split time between Seattle and LA. I have a 3 year old daughter in Seattle and my immediate family in LA, and being over I see neither so I try to see both equally.  As well as continue to train and get ready for the NBA off season, my main goal is to get back to the NBA.

MFB: Do you keep in contact with Justin Dentmon (who is now playing in Israel) at all and talk about the experiences of playing overseas?

BJ: I still talk to JD over the internet.  I keep tabs on him and vice versa.

MFB: What type of role will you have with your team in Teramo?

BJ: I’m still finding that out actually, were off to a slow start here at 2-4.  We havent really found our identity so hopefully we can soon.  I do get to work more on my offensive game here more though which is always good.

MFB: While at Washington you were always a guy that seemed to be doing the right thing all the time. How would you describe your game now as it has evolved since you have left?

BJ: Its pretty much the same just learning the game more and when to do certain things more and less.  You always can get better and be a student of the game as long as you can.

MFB: How much do you keep in touch with former Huskies or work out with them during the offseason?

BJ: I still talk with everybody, some more than others obviously. Usually in the off-season is where the most catching up takes place at.

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Smith To UCLA

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

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Tracking Seattle: Week Two

Former Huskies:

Jon Brockman, Kings: MEM (1/1 FG, 2 PTS, 1 REB), ATL (0/1 FG, 0 PTS, 1 REB), @ UTH (0/0 FG, 0 PTS, 0 REB), GSW (1/1 FG, 2 PTS, 3 REB)

Spencer Hawes, Kings: MEM (9/17 FG, 21 PTS, 11 REB, 7 AST, 2 BLK), ATL (3/9 FG, 6 PTS, 7 REB, 2 AST), @ UTH (3/8 FG, 7 PTS, 4 REB, 1 AST, 1 BLK), GSW (3/5 FG, 10 PTS, 6 REB, 1 AST, 1 BLK)

Nate Robinson, Knicks: Injured, no stats accumulated

Brandon Roy, Trail Blazers: @ OKC (5/17 FG, 16 PTS, 3 REB, 5 AST, 1 STL), ATL (8/19 FG, 19 PTS, 2 REB, 6 AST), SA (9/15 FG, 24 PTS, 5 REB, 2 AST), MIN (1/6 FG, 2 PTS, 6 REB, 7 AST, 1 STL)


Seattle Players:

Aaron Brooks, Rockets: @ UTH (6/11 FG, 19 PTS, 2 REB, 9 AST), LAL (5/12 FG, 15 PTS, 1 REB, 6 AST), OKC (5/10 FG, 11 PTS, 2 REB, 6 AST, 1 BLK)

Jamal Crawford, Hawks: @ LAL (6/14 FG, 17 PTS, 3 REB, 1 AST) @ POR (8/16 FG, 27 PTS, 2 REB, 7 AST), @ SAC (10/15 FG, 26 PTS, 2 REB, 4 AST), @ CHA (5/14 FG, 13 PTS, 3 REB), DEN (8/15 FG, 25 PTS, 4 REB, 4 AST, 2 STL)

Adam Morrison, Lakers: ATL, @ OKC, @ HOU (No Stats Accumulated), MEM (1/1 FG, 2 PTS), NOR (2/4 FG, 5 PTS, 2 REB, 1 AST)

Luke Ridnour, Bucks: @ CHI (2/4 FG, 4 PTS, 1 REB, 2 AST), @ MIN (6/9 FG, 16 PTS, 2 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL), NYK (5/12 FG, 10 PTS, 1 REB 4 AST)

Rodney Stuckey, Pistons: ORL (7/20 FG, 20 PTS, 9 REB, 3 AST, 1 STL), @ TOR (5/18 FG, 13 PTS, 10 REB, 4 AST), @ ORL (9/18 FG, 20 PTS, 5 REB, 3 AST, 2 STL), PHI (5/15 FG, 13 PTS, 5 REB, 3 AST, 1 STL)

Jason Terry, Mavericks: UTH (4/13 FG, 10 PTS, 5 REB, 4 AST, 2 STL), @ NOR (12/18 FG, 35 PTS, 2 REB, 3 AST, 1 STL), TOR (8/12 FG, 19 PTS, 2 REB, 4 AST, 1 STL)

Martell Webster, Trail Blazers: @ OKC (4/12 FG, 10 PTS, 5 REB, 1 AST, 4 STL) ATL (2/5, 8 PTS, 1 REB, 1 STL), SA (1/4 FG, 4 PTS, 1 REB, 1 STL), MIN (2/6 FG, 8 PTS, 1 REB, 4 AST, 2 STL)

Marvin Williams, Hawks: @ LAL (1/6 FG, 6 PTS, 2 REB, 1 AST), @ POR (1/4 FG, 7 PTS, 7 REB, 1 AST, 1 BLK), @ SAC (6/9 FG, 13 PTS, 6 REB, 1 BLK), @ CHA (3/8 FG, 9 PTS, 5 REB, 1 STL, 3 BLK), DEN (4/6 FG, 14 PTS, 2 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL)

Terrence Williams, Nets: @ CHA (4/9 FG, 11 PTS, 4 PTS, 1 AST), DEN (6/13 FG, 13 PTS, 6 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL), @ PHI (3/10, 6 PTS, 2 REB, 9 AST), BOS (4/14 FG, 8 PTS, 9 REB, 2 AST, 1 STL)

Seattle Player of the Week:

Jamal Crawford: Was the most consistent player this week by averaging nearly 22 PPG for the Hawks in a winning road trip.


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The Morning After: Central Washington

Since this was an exhibition, here is a condensed version of what will be the usual next day coverage of the Huskies after a game. We’ll start off to see if yesterday’s questions were answered.

How does Matthew Bryan-Amaning play as a starter?

The play of MBA left something to be desired offensively, although his rebounding play was very strong with 10 boards, an encouraging sign that the team will maintain their high rebounding abilities from last year despite the loss of Jon Brockman. But in order for the Huskies to make a deep run, there needs to be a legitimate low post scoring threat to keep the pressure off of the guards on the perimeter, and MBA is the most logical guy to fill that role. MBA needs to pick it up offensively, but for rebounding it was an encouraging night.

How does Abdul Gaddy handle playing off the bench?

The play of Gaddy is what should be expected the entire season, and that was running the offense and dishing a high amount of assists. The play of Overton showed why he is starting, but it still would not surprise to see Gaddy starting the games soon. Its certain though that the play of the guards is the strength of the team as Gaddy, Overton, and Isaiah Thomas were often the best players on the floor. Any combination of the three will work it seems like.

How will Tyreese Breshers play in his first game back in over a year?

The play of Breshers was perhaps the best part of the night as Husky fans saw his Brockman like ability down in the paint. Breshers hustled and fought for baskets and rebounding, at one point leading the Huskies offensive charge. Along with MBA, Breshers will need to step up to replace the presence of Brockman, and if last night was any indication, Breshers is headed in the right direction.

Will free throws be an issue?

The least encouraging stat of the night, Washington shot just 18/37 from the line, bringing back memories of 2007/2008 when the poor shooting from the line literally killed their season. This has to be fixed if the Huskies are to repeat as Pac-10 champions, its called the charity stripe for a reason.

How will Scott Suggs play?

Suggs’ play was encouraging. He was able to hit a three pointer and put down another two points, ending the night with five points on 2/6 shooting. It should be interesting to see how much he plays in the first few games, only then will we get an indication as to how much he is going to play and how much his abilities have grown.

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Exhibition Today, Overton Named Starter

Today finally brings the day MFB and the rest of Husky basketball fans have anxiously waited for, and that is the return of Husky basketball.

Sure its in the form of an exhibition game against an inferior Central Washington, but any college basketball should commence celebration, especially in Seattlle where there is no longer any professional basketball.

The preview will be short because it is an exhibition and against a small school opponent like CWU, but here are some things to look for during the game…

  1. How does Matthew Bryan-Amaning play as a starter? His play could be the difference between a deep tourney run and a season that ends sooner than it should, the Huskies need MBA to step up down in the paint and replace some of the post scoring lost in Jon Brockman’s departure.
  2. How does Abdul Gaddy handle playing off the bench? Today delivered the somewhat surprising news that Gaddy would start on the bench, something few projected although Romar has said all along that Gaddy and Overton were battling for the final spot. He says Gaddy, Overton, and Isaiah Thomas should be considered three starters, but it will be the first time in a long time that Gaddy has not started for a team, should be interesting to see how he reacts.
  3. How will Tyreese Breshers play in his first game back in over a year? Breshers is going to have to step up this season and help in the replacement of Brockman. His style of play is very similar to Brockman’s so maybe he will excel, but we will no know till we see him on the court.
  4. Will free throws be an issue? This was the problem that plagued the team two years ago and then was fixed for the most part last season. But for a team as highly regarded as Washington, they must maintain their free throw success to build towards a deep tournament run. Last season they fixed it by getting to the line often and converting, but this season sees the departure of the best free throw shooter on the team last season, Justin Dentmon. At the end of games someone will have to step up and be that guy to take those crucial free throws at the end of games.
  5. How will Scott Suggs play? There may not be a more intriguing story line to follow this season than the development of Suggs. He came in last year as the highest ranked incoming recruit, but saw the least amount of time out of the entire group of freshman who were eligible to play (Breshers obviously redshirted). Suggs admitted that he though of transfer at one point, but has come in this year greatly improved according to coaches and teammates. Tonight could be the preview of him writing a new chapter in his Husky career.

Just to touch on the Gaddy/Overton situation a bit more; it really should not be a big deal in the end Husky fans. It was known from the beginning that the three guards would play a huge amount of minutes, so starting really is not that big of an issue when all three will receive such heavy minutes. But I must admit, I like the idea of having Overton come off the bench and be the energy to help turn around games. There has been no one else on the internet that has praised Gaddy the way I have over the off-season, so this was something I was not necessarily anticipating. But in the end it should just be small potatoes.

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New Husky: Walk-On Brendan Sherrer

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.

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