My Completely-Uninformed UW Men’s Basketball Preview 2017-2018

The first game of the non-conference slate starts on Friday.  But, with the Seahawks going through a Thursday game this week, I’m bumping this up to Wednesday to even out the week.

As the title alludes to, I don’t know much about this Husky basketball team.  None of us really do, though you’ll find more informed previews elsewhere.  We have a new head coach, obviously, in Mike Hopkins.  This is the first season since 2001 where we’re going into it without Lorenzo Romar, so that’s going to be different.

The hope is that Coach Hop can coach these guys up.  At the very least, I’d like to see some intensity on the defensive side of the floor, but if that exhibition game last week was any indication, we’re going to be in for a bit of a wait in that regard.  Part of that, quite frankly, will have to do with this transition period, and the players who are carrying over from one regime to the next.

This team is going to have to rely on the likes of Junior guard David Crisp, Junior forward Noah Dickerson, and Junior swingman Matisse Thybulle.  Those guys – along with incoming Freshman Jaylen Nowell – are going to carry this team, for good and for ill.  The holdovers haven’t been asked to play much defense thus far in their careers.  So, the question becomes:  do they buy in?  Or, do they go through the motions because they know this team can ill afford to bench them for any great length of time.  Without those three guys, this team might go winless this year, or damn near close to it.

Then again, even WITH those guys, the team likely won’t be very good.  That’s what happens when you’ve only got two Seniors on your roster, one who has 46 career minutes at the college level, and the other who is Dan Kingma.  And, after the big three, the other two Juniors on the squad are Dominic Green and Devenir Duruisseau.

So, yeah, young this team is.  Young and inexperienced and mediocre.  And, on top of that, lacking in quality big men!  There are four players who are 6’8 or taller.  One is Noah Dickerson, who will start, but who is also prone to foul trouble.  One is the aforementioned Duruisseau, who hasn’t done much of anything in his first two seasons, other than emergency fill-in duty when one (or, more likely, more than one) of our other big men got in foul trouble.  Then, there’s Sam Timmins, the center from New Zealand, who averaged 14.6 minutes last year, but never really made much of an impact.  And then there’s a Freshman by the name of Hameir Wright, who I don’t even know if he’s going to play this year or not.

I think, what’s going to end up happening, is you’re going to see a lot of small ball out of this team.  I think you’re going to see Dickerson at the 5, and some of our taller swingmen like Thybulle or Green playing at the 4.  But, essentially it’s going to be a 4-Guard situation, and oh by the way, can’t forget the fact that this team doesn’t really have a true quality point guard either.  Crisp will most certainly be the primary ball-handler, but he’s not a guy who can really create off the dribble.  I guess we’ll see about Nowell or the two Carter boys, hopefully that works itself out before we start conference play.

It doesn’t look like we’ll have Nate Pryor, who apparently isn’t academically eligible I guess?  That’s a bummer, I guess, but what can you do?

I don’t totally know where to peg this team as far as how it will rank in the Pac-12, but they were 11th last year, and that feels about right for this year too.  What I worry about, more than anything, is that there really isn’t one of those Take Charge type of players.  That guy you turn to when you need a big bucket at the end of the game.  The closest thing to that is probably David Crisp, and I’ve seen him clang more rushed jumpers off the rim to last a lifetime.  If that’s the guy we have to turn to when we’re tied, or down by 1-3 points inside a minute, we’re going to lose A LOT of games.  Prove me wrong!

It’s actually too bad this team won’t be good, because the schedule is pretty enticing.  We kick off the season this Friday against Belmont, who is a perennial Tournament darling.  Next week, we have the 2K Classic in Madison Square Garden against the likes of Providence, Saint Louis, and Virginia Tech.  We go to Kansas City in early December to face the Jayhawks in the Sprint Center; then on the 10th we come home to take on Gonzaga at Hec Ed.  Oh sure, THIS team will get killed by all those teams; but a GOOD team might be a lot of fun to watch against such robust competition.

As it stands, remember how the 2008 Husky football team had one of the toughest schedules in the entire league, with a non-conference slate against #3 Oklahoma, #15 BYU, and Notre Dame?  Remember how Oregon and USC were both really great that year and we ended up going 0-12?  Well, it’s damn near impossible for a basketball team to do something like that, and aside from Arizona, I’m not really sure how great the rest of the Pac-12 is in basketball this season, but a non-conference slate that features Kansas and Gonzaga, among those other teams, is a doozy for a rebuilding program like Washington.

It’s almost as if that non-conference schedule was built for a certain Lorenzo Romar-coached team, featuring a certain future #1 overall draft pick who now plays for Missouri.  But, I guess that’s not important.

You want something to root for?  Root for steady progress.  Root for this team building a real identity.  Root for the Huskies to pick up the intensity on defense.  Ultimately, root for this team to be better in March than it is right now.  So that maybe NEXT year we can dream a little bigger.  Dream about a spot in the NCAA Tournament in 2019 or 2020.  That’s not too much to ask.

It is too much to ask this team to be good right now.  So, don’t get your panties in a wad when they look awful.

Shit Is Hitting The God Damned Fan In The Husky Basketball Program

It’s incredibly difficult to keep up with all of this, but I’m going to try my damnedest to give a recap.

So, remember all that excitement when the Huskies hired Mike Hopkins away from Syracuse and we thought we were getting someone with the potential to be special?  Well, I hope there’s some magic in that old silk hat he found, because the Huskies are hemorrhaging players, prospects, and even prospective assistant coaching candidates, with no relief in sight!  Where do I even begin?

Jason Hart, an assistant at USC many believed would be coming over with Hopkins, decided to stay in Southern California (probably with a hefty raise attached to his contract), so there goes our California recruiting connection.  Instead, the Huskies were able to hire unemployed Cameron Dollar – fresh off being fired by Seattle U for 8 years of head coaching mediocrity – so I guess that gives us maybe an “In” with the Seattle-area high schools.  You know, in case Will Conroy wasn’t enough.

Know that I’m writing this tight-lipped and a little bit annoyed:  we fired Romar … then we hired one of his top assistants from back in the Romar glory days?  If the idea is We Need To Make A Change, how exactly is Dollar bringing about this change?

It’s obviously not helping us keep the players we have on roster, nor the recruits we tabbed coming in our 2017 class!  The Huskies have officially lost 4 of the 5 recruits from our best-ever recruiting class, as Michael Porter Jr., Daejon Davis, Blake Harris, and Mamoudou Diarra have all de-committed/asked to be released from their LOI.  On top of that, reserve big man Matthew Atewe and starting big man Noah Dickerson have both decided they’re going to transfer, which ultimately leaves the Husky program in shambles heading into the 2017/2018 season.

On the bright side, we’ve got re-commits from the likes of David Crisp, Dominic Green, Carlos Johnson, and Matisse Thybulle, which I guess is better than nothing.  No word yet from Sam Timmins, Dan Kingma, or Devenir Duruisseau, but if you’re like me, you forgot Devenir Duruisseau was even on the roster (I thought he transferred ages ago!).  And, also, no word on potential incoming recruit Jaylen Nowell, but it fucking feels like only a matter of time before he asks for his release as well.

There might be a couple of other guys on the roster, walk-ons or whatnot, but they’re not important.  By my count, that’s 7 guys returning and 1 guy from our incoming Freshman class (for now).  Considering how late it is in the recruiting period, and considering the coaching staff isn’t even fully formed yet, I don’t know what we’re supposed to expect out of the Huskies come this fall, but get ready for an overwhelmingly last place finish!

Even if we were able to keep Dickerson, Atewe, and just the two local recruits, next season would’ve been a struggle.  But this is insanity times!  I hate to say I told you so, but this is what happens when you fire a head coach that’s this beloved.  When you sign on to join a university – particularly in basketball, because they’re such a close-knit unit – you sign because of a coach, not the school.  These guys signed on to play for Lorenzo Romar, not the University of Washington, for better or for worse.

I shudder to think of what this will mean for the program going forward.  I mean, if you thought last year was bad, get a load of 2018!  If you thought we bottomed out before, you ain’t seen nothing yet!  So, on top of having the stink of being the worst Pac-12 basketball team next year, we’ve got the stink of a school that fired a beloved, long-term head coach.  So, you know, not for nothing but we all better hope Mike Hopkins can coach his ass off, or this year of “growing pains” or whatever could build into an entire tenure of utter humiliation.

Fancy that, it’s like Washington ISN’T a destination program for college basketball or something!  Weird!

Reasons Why The Huskies Have Been Disappointing & Will Ultimately Land In The N.I.T.

The Huskies have been a big fat ball of unpleasantness over the last month.  What was once a promising team, where the sky was the limit, is now falling off the cliff into irrelevance.

And what’s worse?  Our three best players are all probably going to leave after this season.  The saga continues …

We know Andrews is gone, but he’s one of the good ones, so there’s no point in discussing him today.  Marquese Chriss, in stepping his game up during most of conference play, has really put himself on the map as one of the better prospects in this year’s NBA Draft.  He’s raw, of course, but his talent offensively is undeniable.  And he’s already got a so-so outside shot.  Give him a year or two to work on his shooting and you’re talking about a real weapon at the next level.  If he’s indeed going in the top half of the first round, as some are projecting, then he’s already gone.

Dejounte Murray would be the third.  He’s an obvious standout at guard with the kind of stuff that will certainly play at the next level.  He’s another who has to work on his outside shot, and he’ll get better with the turnovers as he gets more experience.  The rest of his game is pretty much ready to go.  He was looking at a late first round grade the last time I checked.  With the Huskies looking to bring in a 5-star guard in this year’s class, Murray might want to get out before he’s overshadowed.  If he can reasonably guarantee getting drafted in the first round, I don’t see why he’d stay either.

So, that’s great.  My worst nightmare, playing out right before our eyes, and there’s nothing we can do to stop it.

You’d think, with a Top 3 like these, the Huskies would be looking at something more than a 7- or 8-seed in the Pac-12 Tournament, but you’d be wrong.  Because aside from these three guys, no one is really playing at all that high of a level.  Indeed, various players are regressing from previous highs earlier this season, which bodes pretty poorly for all involved.

The one thing Romar has always been able to hang his hat on is the fact that he’s able to coach his players up and get them to incrementally improve as the season goes on and as the years go on.  The fact that the opposite is happening is taking away one of the major talking points all us Romar defenders have clung to (the other being that he recruits pretty well at times, which doesn’t appear to be going away anytime soon).

Noah Dickerson, David Crisp, and Malik Dime have all gotten worse as the season has gone on.  And while Dominic Green had a mid-season blip of effectiveness, that’s gone by the wayside as well.

Dickerson is probably the most disconcerting of the bunch, as he lost his starting job to Dime.  It makes sense in a way; as Chriss has improved, he’s commanded more opportunities.  But, in another sense, the whole flow of the offense has changed, and obviously not for the better.  In the first half of the season, the Huskies weren’t afraid to dump it into the post and let Dickerson work his magic.  Now, he’s getting the ball, like, NEVER.  Part of that is defenses packing it in, playing zones, daring us to take the outside shot (which we’re more than happy to settle for).  But, part of it is Romar just letting the guards take over, which isn’t smart when even someone like Murray is still making less than 30% of his threes.  I don’t mind a fast pace; it obviously makes for some entertaining basketball.  But, to completely ignore your big man with the best low-post moves on the team just seems crazy to me.

David Crisp is another player I liked a lot in the first half.  But, God damn has he been in a SLUMP!  He was an important part of this offense, and a player I pegged as fearless with his outside shot, something I really loved about his game.  Whereas in the first half he regularly took anywhere from 8-13 shots per game; he’s now taking 1-7 shots per game, and making a distressingly low percentage of THOSE!  He started to come around a little bit in the Oregon series last week, but even then he only took 4 shots per.

This team needs more from its ancillary players, especially on offense (let’s face it, the defense is a lost cause at this point; we just need to hope other teams miss open looks).  Matisse Thybulle runs hot and cold, Crisp, Green, and Dickerson have brought nothing to the table.  And Dime is good for some put-backs and alley-oop dunks, but that’s about it.

Speaking of Dime, Jesus Christ, he is the fucking KING of killing a good defensive possession with a foul late in the shot clock.  If the Huskies aren’t giving up easy buckets in transition (their full-court press is the worst thing I’ve ever seen; and I watched a solid 10 seconds of 2 Girls, 1 Cup), if they SOMEHOW manage to force their opponent to waste 25 seconds of a possession, never fear, just give the ball to the guy closest to Dime and let him dribble towards the basket, because Dime WILL get called for some dumbshit foul, because for some reason he hasn’t figured out he SHOULDN’T FUCKING DO THAT!  I get the whole idea of inserting him into the starting lineup in place of Dickerson; it makes sense to have his defensive presence (and a player who is a non-factor on offense) when you’ve got so many offensive-minded players among the other four guys.  But, for every dominating block, Dime fucks up just as often if not more.  How he hasn’t figured out the officiating in this conference is beyond me (to be fair, the Pac-12 refs are the worst in the history of athletics, but that’s neither here nor there).

Finally, let’s throw more shade at guys like Green and Dorsey, who have brought zilch to the table this year.  They can’t be counted on defensively whatsoever (on an already-terrible defensive team), and they rarely hit the outside shots they’re supposedly known for.  Can Dan Kingma REALLY be that awful?  I think it’s time to dust him off for another futile Pac-12 Tournament run.

Don’t be shocked if this team loses in the first round.  When they do, just know to blame all the players below the Big 3.  And just know that none of those Big 3 will be back next year, while all the rest will.

Fun.

Surprise! Husky Basketball for 2015/2016 Starts Tomorrow!

Yeah, tell me about it, right?

It’s back for another year.  What did YOU do over your Summer Vacation Away From Husky Basketball?  I went camping with my family, spent a long weekend down in San Francisco, worked a lot, did some writing, had my car broken into … I bought an iPhone.

It’s been a rough last four seasons for Husky basketball.  Lots of talented-enough players have come and gone, but the collective has failed to make the NCAA Tournament each and every year.  That in spite of the fact that last year’s team had potential NBA hopeful Nigel Williams-Goss (since transferred to Gonzaga of all places); the two years before we had NBA first round draft pick C.J. Wilcox; and the year before THAT we had NBA first round draft picks C.J. Wilcox, Tony Wroten Jr., and Terrence Ross, along with NFL second round draft pick Austin Seferian-Jenkins.  Suffice it to say, a lot of talent has passed through these hallowed halls, but not much in the way of actual on-court success.

Which, right or wrong, has led a lot of Husky fans to lay blame at the feet of the coaching staff, which in itself presents a conundrum.  On the one hand, you’re saying Lorenzo Romar isn’t good enough to mold the talent he has into winners, but does any other coach the Huskies could legitimately hire actually manage to recruit the type of talent we’re getting?  And, obviously, when you look at lists of colleges who produce NBA talent, you’re seeing Washington among some pretty prestigious college programs.  So, if he’s turning these guys into viable professional players, can he really be that bad of a coach?

To counter that, you just have to argue that there’s more to coaching than just recruiting and prepping guys for the pros.  There’s in-game decision-making.  There’s installing an offensive system.  There’s game-planning for your opponent.  You could argue that Romar and Co. have been lacking in all of those areas in recent years.  The old knock on Romar was that he didn’t really even HAVE an offensive system.  So, with the talent he brought in the last few years, he tried installing the High Post offense; it failed spectacularly.  He must have done it with the specific players he had on the roster in mind, but either they weren’t as suited for it as he thought, or they didn’t have the ancillary players around their stud point guards to make it work.  Whatever the case, it doesn’t matter, because the dedication to the High Post is gone now, replaced by the old motion offense he had so much success with early in his Husky coaching career.  I, for one, am ecstatic about this change.  If there’s one thing that’s been impossible to watch the last four years, it’s been this Husky offense struggle to grasp their half-court sets.

Something else you’ll notice about this year’s team is how VASTLY different it looks.  Take a quick scan of the roster and the only name that’ll instantly pop out to you is Andrew Andrews, back for his fourth and final year.  His numbers have steadily improved over each year – a staple of a Lorenzo Romar Guy – but they were never all that impressive to being with, and they’re not all that impressive now.  Last year, he averaged 15 points, but it took him 11 shots to get there.  He’s a solid, if unspectacular 80% free throw shooter, and hits about 37.6% of his three-pointers.  On the plus side, they’re moving him back to point guard, mostly to lead the offense as he’s surrounded by youngsters (aside from him, there are only 2 Juniors, everyone else is a soph or frosh), but also because they appear to have better players on the team to play shooting guard.

Aside from Andrews, the only returning players I can see are 6’7 wing Donaven Dorsey (who didn’t show a ton as a Freshman last year), and 5’10 mascot/garbage minutes phenom Dan Kingma (who played some serious bench minutes the last three games of last season and showed a knack for his quick release on 3-point shots, and overall pumping up the crowd and the rest of the team with his tenacious play).  I seem to recall Kingma earned a scholarship this year, and I honestly hope we get to see more of him off the bench as an Instant Offense type of shooter.

One other familiar face shows up on the coaching staff, with Will Conroy coming on as an assistant.  Love the move.  Loved Conroy as a player.  He’s a diehard Husky, which never hurts.  He’s young enough and has played professionally recently enough (albeit, overseas, but still), that I’m sure he’s able to help these kids a lot, especially the guards.

As I don’t really follow the whole recruiting trail enough to be at all knowledgeable, I don’t have a lot to say about the new guys.  I do know that our recruiting class this year is one of the best in the nation.  We trimmed A LOT of fat off of one of our shittier rosters last year.  And, while the loss of NWG may sting a little bit (time will tell, I suppose), it sounds like we really won’t miss him all that much.  He was disenchanted with all the losing, and we have all these studs coming in who’d be gunning for his job and his minutes.  I’d rather start fresh, hand the keys to Andrews (who feels more like a true Husky, rather than the hired gun that was NWG), and watch this team go to work.

The Dawgs played an exhibition game last week against Seattle Pacific.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t televised, or even on the radio, but we have stats to look at!

Andrews and Dejounte Murray led the team in minutes as the starting backcourt.  Andrews shot 6/12 overall, 1/4 from three, and 8/9 from the free throw line, for 21 points and 5 assists.  Murray shot 6/10, 2/4 from three, with 4 assists, 5 boards, and 16 points.  Rounding out the starting five, we have forwards Marquese Chriss, Matisse Thybulle, and Noah Dickerson – all Freshman, and all played at least 19 minutes.  Dickerson was 7/10 from the field with 17 points and 6 boards; Chriss shot 5/9 for 11 points and 5 boards; and Thybulle only netted 3 points, but if his line is any indication, he’s going to be one of those glue guys who fills up the stat sheet in other ways (2 boards, 3 assists, 3 steals).  Our primary bench guys in this game look like guard David Crisp (20 mins, 4/8, 2/4 from behind the arc, 3 assists, 3 boards) and forward Malik Dime (21 mins, 4 pts).  For what it’s worth, Kingma played 1 minute and didn’t show up on the stat sheet.

The consensus about this team is that they’re young, they’re fast, they’re athletic, they can score, the defense might be a little shaky, but they’re going to give you everything they’ve got.  In other words, pretty much the opposite of what we’ve seen the last four years.  If nothing else, we should be entertained by the product we’re watching.  No one is picking the Huskies to do much of anything, which is probably accurate, but could be rife for fodder if this team comes together and goes on a nice little run.

We kick off the season in China tomorrow against the Texas Longhorns.  Then, we return home for a couple of tune-up games before going to the Battle 4 Atlantis, where we’re guaranteed to play Gonzaga, and it also features teams like Texas (again), Texas A&M, Syracuse, UConn, Michigan, and Charlotte (seriously, I wanted to go to this, but it would cost an arm and a leg, and it takes place over Thanksgiving, so it was tough finding people interested in going with me).  The rest of the non-conference schedule features a lot of smaller schools I really don’t know much about (Cal State Fullerton, Montana, Oakland, TCU, UC Santa Barbara, Seattle U), but at this point I don’t know if the non-conference schedule really matters a whole lot.  No one really expects anything out of the Huskies this year, so it’s going to take a lot to get on the national radar.

I feel like a broken record when I say I think this team has a chance to shock the world (or at least the conference), but really it’s now or never.  You have to like the way Romar has recruited of late, and his upcoming classes appear to be filled with just as much talent as the one we’ve got this year.  Now, it’s time to show it on the court.  I don’t want to see Romar get fired; I’ve got a real soft spot for the guy.  I really DON’T think he’s a bad coach; I do think he’s been saddled with some players that haven’t improved like they normally would under him.  And, obviously, he’s missed out on some highly-touted recruits in recent years that have hampered some of our plans (along with some seriously savage injuries to key players – Jernard Jarreau comes immediately to mind).  But, now, he’s getting those highly-touted guys, and he’s also been working hard on the JuCo circuit to bring in some transfers who are ready to play right away.

Will this be the right mix?  God, I hope so.

Nigel Williams-Goss, Others Leave UW

I’m not even mad, really.  How could I be?  What right do I have to begrudge a kid for doing what he thinks is best for his career?

When I think about it, it reminds me of when Isaiah Thomas left the program to enter the NBA draft with a year of eligibility left.  Surprisingly, I took that news pretty well, even if I wasn’t at my most emotionally stable.  Even when other high profile guys left the program early – Tony Wroten, Terrence Ross – I’ve found it hard to blame them.  In basketball more than any other sport – if for no other reason than the relatively small number of roster spots in the NBA compared to football and baseball – you’ve got to get yours while the iron is hot.  When your stock is as high as it’s going to get – and the risk of staying in college outweighs the potential rewards – then you’ve got to do what’s best for you.

College basketball is a frustrating, imperfect system.  I hate the One & Done rule.  I think they should either make it a 2-year minimum (like they do with football), or offer up the D-League for kids who just don’t want to go to a university.  Also, they should be giving these kids some money for attending, but that’s getting into a whole other issue entirely (I’ve come around quite a bit on this issue, to say the least; I’d be for a stipend rather than treating it like a Wild West free agency system).

On a micro level, relative to the University of Washington, I understand completely why a kid like NWG would want to leave.  Look at it from his perspective:  he’s going into his Junior year.  He was once one of the highest-touted incoming Freshman point guards in the country.  If the league was able to draft him straight out of high school, it’s highly likely he would’ve passed up going to college entirely.  Now, two years in, the world has had a chance to examine the flaws in his game.  He might still be a guy who’s able to make it in the NBA, but he’s no longer the hotshot point guard prospect he was two years ago.  On top of that, he’s been the jewel of a crappy basketball program the last two years.  It’s hard to get noticed – and show off what marketable skills you do have – when you’re on a bottom-dwelling team who can’t even crack the N.I.T.  In that same vein, look at the players around him.  A point guard can only do so much to make the rest of the players around him better; at some point you need those players to pick you up as well and make you look good too!  The Huskies haven’t had the horses to boost up NWG’s already-somewhat-flawed game, and it doesn’t appear likely they’ll have anyone in the next year or two.

Then, you’ve got the mythic incoming class for 2015/2016.  It’s supposed to be the best class Romar’s brought in maybe in his whole career.  From the perspective of the program, it would’ve been ideal to have NWG around one more year, to help the kids acclimate to the college game.  From NWG’s perspective, there’s a ton of risk involved with this proposition.  What if these kids aren’t as good as advertised?  Or worse, what if they’re BETTER than advertised and they make you look bad?  Then, you’re on the same team with a number of player(s) who might be picked ahead of you.

In this situation, NWG’s holding all the cards.  I mean, the offense was already pretty much tailored to his skillset, and to showcase his gifts.  You’d have to think nothing would change in that regard next year.

But, I truly believe this is more of an issue of wanting to win above all else.  There’s a very small chance of UW being a winning program next year, and that small chance just flew out the window with NWG transferring.  If I’m NWG, and it’s looking like the NBA draft isn’t in the cards for me right now (in other words, I know I’m stuck in college at least another year), I’d MUCH rather go to a school that’s more of a sure thing to make the Tourney.  Winning is just more fun than losing, period.  The winters in Seattle suck about as much dick as possible; now imagine you’re the leader of a bottom-feeding basketball team who has to try to keep his head up in the face of all that losing and all those grey skies!

Believe you me, if I were qualified to blog for no pay about sports for other cities, I’d be gone in an instant!

Also, as for these rumors about players not getting along, I dunno.  I’m reluctant to delve into all the team chemistry issues in sports.  Players tend to get along better when they’re winning.  Players tend to bicker a little more when they’re losing.  Considering the lack of talent on this roster, I wouldn’t begrudge NWG one iota if he was a little selfish.  It wasn’t something I particularly noticed as being a problem, but again, what’s he supposed to do? Defer to players who suck?  How is it going to help our team win more ballgames if we take the ball out of the hands of our best player?  I like Kingma as much as the next guy, but let’s get real.

This sucks, but don’t blame the kid.  Loyalty to your school is probably one of the last things a professional franchise is going to look at.  They want talented players who will help them win; they don’t give a shit if a kid transfers.  And, staying true to your school for your entire college basketball career is only worthwhile if you have any ties whatsoever to that school.  NWG is from Oregon.  His ties to the UW are as deep as Lorenzo Romar’s recruiting ability and nothing more.  He’s not a local kid making good.  He’s a hired gun brought in because we’re good at showcasing our guards, because Lorenzo Romar is a great man, and because he has a history of sending guys to the NBA.  What’s he going to miss out on, playing in a few UW Alumni Games?  Yeah, that’s a rough one, but I think the kid’s future career and earning potential trumps that a little bit.

If the UW program was good – or at the very least on an upswing – I’d probably be more upset.  But, at this point, what do I care?  We’re a year away from blowing it all up anyway, so might as well not get all bent out of shape over something you can’t control.  And, who knows?  If we get a little Ewing Theory bounce-back from this move that no one could possibly foresee, then all the better.

In other news, Darin Johnson and Gilles Dierickx are also transferring.  Ooooo, oh no, whatever will we do without these two guys?!  I assume:  forget they were ever a part of the program by this time next year.