Now, in all fairness, just because the rats are evacuating this sinking ship that is Husky Men’s Basketball doesn’t mean it’s bad that they’re gone.
Jamal Bey, for instance, is out of eligibility (thank Christ). He was a colossal disappointment for the duration of his Husky career. Langston Wilson has opted to transfer, but he was often foul-prone and never really developed a consistent offensive game. Jackson Grant is also leaving, but he couldn’t crack a weak front court. Tyler Linhardt is apparently a guy who was here, but I know nothing about him since he hardly ever played.
Then, Cole Bajema announced he was leaving, but that feels like addition by subtraction. He’s another supposedly-good three-point shooter who was streaky as all get-out. His good games were SEVERELY outnumbered by the ones where he was anonymous to outright atrocious (you shouldn’t have as many games as he has when he went 0 for 6 or 1 for 7, when you’re supposedly an elite outside shooter). It sounds like P.J. Fuller is also leaving, but with an expanded role, he did exactly zero with the opportunity (after having a solid 2021-2022 season).
And then you’ve got Keion Brooks and Noah Williams, who it sounds like are on the fence. Brooks was easily the best player on last year’s .500 team, but that’s not saying a whole lot. He has one year of eligibility left, and I don’t know why this is even a question. Why on God’s green Earth would he stay at Washington? Why wouldn’t he go somewhere where he actually has a chance to play some Tournament ball? I can sort of see why Williams might stick around; he’s a local kid who spent most of this past season injured. I don’t know if he has any value on the open market right now, unless he wants to go to a smaller school just to play a lot of minutes and fill out his stats. The thing is, if he’s healthy, he’ll have every opportunity to do that here, so why not just stay?
What kills me now, though, is hearing that Keyon Menifield has announced he’s leaving, after recently announcing he was coming back. He was far and away the most promising and exciting player on last year’s squad, and it’s truly devastating that he won’t be back. But, again, I get it. I loved watching him; he was fun as hell on the court. But, he’s never going to win here. He’s not from here. There are no ties whatsoever keeping him a Husky. It’s brutal, but that’s what you get when you refuse to fire a lame duck in Mike Hopkins.
Who does that leave us with? Two okay big men in Braxton Meah and Franck Kepnang (the latter coming off of a serious injury) and Koren Johnson (the other freshman guard who wasn’t quite as good as Menifield, but still looked promising last year). We have a couple of incoming freshman I’m assuming won’t reneg on their committment. And, I guess, we’ll have a whole new slate of underwhelming incoming transfer players no one else in college basketball wanted.
This just sucks. It’s not like I was even remotely excited about Husky basketball next year, but I dunno, at least we would’ve had Menifield. I can only imagine how big of an impact he’ll have in his second full season at the college level. I hope he kills it on his new team. I can totally see him being a star in the Big Dance next year.