The 2011-2012 season was pretty good for the Washington Huskies. They finished the year with an overall record of 24-11 and a conference record of 14-4. The Huskies entered the conference tournament as the top overall team, but were eliminated early. In their first game, they lost 86-84 to the Oregon State Beavers.
Even though they finished with the best record in the conference, Washington did not make the NCAA Tournament. However, they did make it into the NIT. They were selected as a #1 seed and won their first three NIT games against Texas-Arlington, Northwestern, and Oregon. They lost in overtime to the Minnesota Golden Gophers in the NIT semifinals.
March 8, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Washington Huskies mascot during a stoppage in play during the second round of the 2012 Pac 12 Tournament in the first half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE
This season, Washington will be without their leading scorer from last year, Terrence Ross. As a sophomore last season, Ross averaged 16.4 points per game and was named to the First Team All-Pac-12. Ross was drafted 8th overall by the Toronto Raptors in the 2012 NBA Draft.
Despite losing Ross, the Huskies still have tons of returning players this season. In the season opener against Loyola (MD), they started three seniors and one junior. Two of these players were senior Aziz N’Diaye and junior C.J. Wilcox. Wilcox played 30 minutes and scored 22 points while N’Diaye played 32 minutes and racked up 16 rebounds in the season opener.
The biggest problem that the Washington Huskies will run into this season is depth. In the season opener against Loyola (MD), the Huskies only had 17 points and five rebound from their bench. Two of their bench players even played a combined 46 minutes.
Yes, the opponent in the season opener was an easy one, but the Huskies will need to count on depth especially when conference play rolls around. Depth will prove to be this team’s biggest problem. This is why they will not see the same success they saw a year ago.
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Check out my other writings on the Kansas Jayhawks blog, Through the Phog.