Friday, March 18, 2011
All-time Huskies team in the Romar era
As the Washington Huskies prepare for their sixth NCAA appearance in the last eight years in the Lorenzo Romar era I came up with an idea. Instead of putting you to sleep with yet another preview of the game between the Huskies and the Georgia Bulldogs I figured I would do something else. Over the years Romar has produced some great talent and I started to think how about I do an all-time team. Just like with most Romar teams you'll see my roster consists of mostly guards. On my 12 man roster I include eight Huskies who were first team all Pac-10 and four guys guys who made Pac-10 honorable mention. This team will include four guys who were drafted in the NBA first round, seven guys who have played in the NBA not counting two active players. Just like with any list I'm sure there will be some controversy. I have two active players in fact in my starting lineup so here is my list.
G- Isaiah Thomas(2008-present):
Now that Thomas has became a point guard he is the obvious choice here. Thomas in just three years may have accomplished more than any other player in the Romar era. Thomas has won the freshman of the year, made two first team all Pac-10 teams plus an honorable mention. He has also won a Pac-10 regular season championship and won two Pac-10 tournament championships. Thomas was named MVP in those two Pac-10 championship wins as well.
Thomas in his career at UW has averaged 16.4 PPG, 3.9 APG and 3.5 RPG while making 1.6 three pointers a game. Thomas for his career is averaging 1.2 steals a game as well. As a freshman Thomas averaged 15.5 PPG while dishing out 2.6 APG. Thomas started 34 of 35 games as he was named freshman of the year. As a sophomore Thomas started all 36 games averaging 16.9 PPG and dishing out 3.2 assists. Thomas was named first team all pac-10 that year. Then this year his junior year Thomas again making all 33 starts has averaged 16.8 PPG while dishing out 6.0 assists per game. Once again Thomas was named first team all pac-10. For his career Thomas needs just 10 points to be 6th all-time on the Huskies scoring list. Just 53 points to be 5th all-time. If Thomas comes back for his senior year he will be the all-time leading scorer in Huskies history and in assists as he averaged 6.0 APG this season. Pretty easy choice putting Thomas in this starting five.
Another obvious selection here picking Brandon Roy. Roy while at Washington was part of three NCAA tournament teams, including back to back sweet 16 teams. Roy was twice named honorable mention all pac-10 then as senior he won Pac-10 player of the year. Roy was also unanimously chosen as a first team all-american. Roy is the only Romar player to win Pac-10 player of the year and be a first team all-american.
What many forget is that the Huskies didn't receive a freshman or junior year from Roy basically. Due to SAT scores Roy was limited as a freshman playing just 13 games that year. As a sophomore Roy averaged 12.9 points per game, led the team in rebounding with 5.3 and was second in assists with 3.3. As a junior Roy got hurt in the great Alaska shootout and was the best 6th man in the country. Roy averaged 12.8 PPG, 5.0 RPG and 2.2 APG. As a senior Roy blew up and carried the Huskies on his back to the sweet 16 where the Huskies were a few plays from an elite eight appearance. In that year Roy averaged 20.2 PPG, 5.6 RPG and led the team with 4.1 APG. Roy that year shot 50.8% from the field, 40.2% from three point range and 81.0% from free throws. Roy ended up being picked seventh overall in the draft. That is the highest any Romar player has ever been drafted.
Nobody in the Romar era has quite had the career like Quincy Pondexter has had. This was a big time five star recruit who was a total bust at the end of his sophomore season. Then as a junior Pondexter became an all-around player and was big in the NCAA tournament. Then as a senior Pondexter carried the Huskies and won a Pac-10 record player of the week award five times. Pondexter also hit the game winning shot with 1.7 seconds left to beat Marquette in the first round of the 2010 NCAA tournament. Pondexter developed in a great forward while at Washington.
Pondexter as a freshman was third on the team in scoring but slowed down in Pac-10 play. Pondexter made 22 starts that year and averaged 10.7 ppg but wasn't an all around player at all. As a sophomore Pondexter took a step backwards starting just nine games while averaging 9.9 points per game. As a junior Pondexter led the team in scoring in the NCAA tournament and for the season averaged 12.1 points per game and 5.9 RPG. Then as a senior Pondexter broke out being named first team all pac-10 and probably should have won player of the year. Pondexter averaged 19.3 PPG and led the team in rebounding with 7.4 RPG. Pondexter also shot 52.8% from the field, 35.3% from three point range and 82.7% from free throws. Pondexter finished his Husky career as the third all-time leading scorer. Pondexter would be drafted in the first round of the NBA draft.
When Jon Brockman came to Washington he was a heralded recruit having played in the McDonalds All-American game. Brockman made his stamp immediately for the Huskies. As a freshman Brockman made 32 of 33 starts on a sweet 16 team and was named first team all freshman team. Then as a sophomore Brockman was named first team all pac-10. As a junior they changed the team from 10 guys to five so Brockman was second team all pac-10 in the toughest field ever for all pac-10 teams. Then as a senior Brockman led the Huskies to their first Pac-10 regular season championship outright since 1953. Brockman of course was named first team all pac-10. When you think of Brockman you think of hard worker and tough rebounder.
Brockman could very well be the greatest power forward in Huskies history. As a freshman Brockman averaged 8.4 PPG and 6.5 RPG while making 32 starts. As a sophomore Brockman averaged 14.2 PPG and led the Pac-10 with 9.6 RPG. As a junior Brockman led the team in scoring with a 17.8 average and Pac-10 in rebounding once again with a 11.6 average. Then as a senior Brockman averaged 14.9 points per game and once again led the Pac-10 in rebounds with a 11.5 average. Brockman was a three year captain, made two first team all pac-10 selections, and made 129 starts out of 131 games. Brockman is also the all-time leading rebounder in Huskies history and is second all-time in scoring. Brockman would be drafted in the second round of the NBA draft.
By far my most controversial pick in choosing Bryan-Amaning. First as we know over the years with Romar teams my options are pretty limited. For guards I'm snubbing someone like Nate Robinson because the Huskies are loaded at guards. Now I'm sure I could go super small and go with Thomas, Robinson, Roy, Pondexter and Brockman. I just chose to make this a real team is all. So now I'll defend my Bryan-Amaning selection which is pretty easy in my opinion. First of all I think this comes down to three choices which is Bryan-Amaning, one year of Spencer Hawes or Mike Jensen. I chose Bryan-Amaning since he was part of tournament teams and was named first team all pac-10 unlike those two.
As a freshman Bryan-Amaning hardly played and made just three starts. Bryan-Amaning averaged just 4.2 PPG and 3.2 RPG. Then as a sophomore Bryan-Amaning was a key 6th man on a Pac-10 championship team averaging 6.0 PPG and 4.0 RPG. As a junior like Pondexter the year before Bryan-Amaning took off second half. Bryan-Amaning in 25 starts averaged 8.8 PPG, 5.9 RPG and 1.5 blocks per game. Then this year Bryan-Amaning was named Pac-10's most improved player and first team all conference. Bryan-Amaning started 29 of 33 games averaged 15.5 PPG, led the team in rebounding with 8.1 rebounds a game. He also blocked 1.6 shots a game. Bryan-Amaning is just the second Huskies player ever to record 100 plus blocks and 100 plus steals in his career. Bryan-Amaning was a big part of three pac-10 championship teams and I'll take four years of Bryan-Amaning over one year of Spencer Hawes is what it came down to.
My toughest guy to boot from the starting five. While at Washington Robinson put the Huskies on the map with his high flying dunks and dazzling plays. Robinson was also more than just a sideshow. He led the Huskies to two NCAA tournament appearances including in 2005 leading the Huskies to a Pac-10 tournament championsihp. The Huskies were rewarded a #1 seed for the first and only time in school history. Robinson while at Washington was named first team all Pac-10 twice. Had Robinson came back his Senior year he would have been first team all pac-10 and the Huskies could have possibly made the final four in 2006. Robinson was the first Romar player drafted in the first round.
C- Spencer Hawes(2006-07):
Spencer Hawes gave the Huskies just one year or he would be on the starting five. Hawes was a huge recruit as he played in the McDonalds All-American game. Hawes was named honorable mention all pac-10 and first team all freshman team. Hawes during his one year in Washington led the team in scoring with a 14.9 average while grabbing 6.4 rebounds a game. Hawes also blocked 1.7 shots a game. Hawes shot 53.2% from the field and 75.5% from the free throw line. Hawes was the second Romar player drafted in the NBA lottery going 10th overall to the Sacramento Kings.
Simmons came to Washington as a transfer from Green River community college. Simmons in his first year at Washington made 12 starts in helping the Huskies reach the NCAA tournament for the first time in five years. Simmons averaged 10.8 points per game while making 1.5 three's a game at a 40.3% clip. Then as a senior Simmons was named first team all pac-10 averaging 16.0 PPG while averaging 4.8 RPG. Simmons also made 2.4 three's a game while shooting 41.7% from down town. Simmons also shot 86.8% from the free throw line while at Washington. Simmons went on to play European ball.
G- Will Conroy(2001-2005):
Will Conroy was the heart and soul of the Huskies teams in their first two NCAA tournament appearances under Lorenzo Romar. Conroy began his career as a walk-on under then coach Bob Bender. After Bender was fired Conroy had a big sophomore year under Romar averaging 12.7 PPG while dishing out 4.0 APG. As a junior in leading the Huskies to the NCAA tournament Conroy averaged 12.3 PPG and dished out 4.6 APG. Then as a senior Conroy was named honorable mention all pac-10. Conroy also was team captain for the second straight year. Conroy averaged 9.4 PPG but did lead the conference with 6.4 APG. Conroy was also named co-team MVP with Nate Robinson as the Huskies were the #1 seed in the West regional. Conroy is first all-time in school history for assists in a career and assists in a single season in 2004-05 campaign. Conroy has played some in the NBA but has mostly played NBDL.
Bobby Jones was a three and a half year starter for the Huskies in his career. He was known for his defense and despite being forced to play the big forward he handled it well. Jones was also the very first Romar recruit and he started 14 games as a freshman. Jones as a sophomore had a breakthrough year as the Huskies made the NCAA tournament. Jones made 25 starts that season while averaging 11.2 PPG, 4.9 RPG and 1.2 steals a game. Then as a junior Jones started 33 of a possible 34 games. During that year Jones averaged 11.2 PPG, 5.6 RPG and 1.1 steals. As a senior Jones saw himself named captain and was named honorable mention all pac-10. Jones averaged 10.4 PPG, 4.9 RPG and 1.2 steals. As you can see for three years the Huskies knew what they were getting out of Bobby Jones. Jones would later be drafted in the second round. He played some in the NBA and is currently playing in Europe.
G- Justin Dentmon(2005-2009):
Justin Dentmon had an interesting career at Washington. As a freshman Dentmon started 32 of 33 games. During that year Dentmon was named first team all freshman team. Dentmon averaged 8.3 PPG, 3.8 APG and 3.5 RPG. Dentmon in his first two NCAA tournament games didn't turn the ball over once as the Huskies went to the sweet 16. The next two years saw Dentmon struggled big time. As a sophomore Dentmon was often the guy turning the ball over at the worst time or taking the shot at the worst time. Dentmon did start 27 games that year and did average 10.1 PPG, 3.6 APG and 4.0 RPG. As a junior saw Dentmon reach a personal low as he started just eight games. During that year Dentmon averaged just 9.8 PPG, 2.3 APG and 2.3 RPG. After being benched for Venoy Overton and Isaiah Thomas coming in most thought Dentmon would transfer or ride the bench. Instead Dentmon made first team all pac-10 and was named Huskies captain. Dentmon switched to shooting guard as well. Dentmon averaged 14.4 PPG, 2.5 APG, 2.7 RPG. Dentmon also made 1.8 three's a game while shooting 41.8% from three point range. Dentmon currently is in the NBDL league and even made the NBDL all-star game.
F- Jamaal Williams(2004-2006):
Jamaal Williams came to Washington as a transfer from New Mexico. Williams in his two years at Washington was the Huskies best low post scoring option. During his first year Williams averaged 9.9 PPG and shot 56.1% from the field as the Huskies made the sweet 16. Then as a senior Williams was named honorable mention all pac-10. Williams also made 22 starts that year while being second on the team in scoring with 13.8 PPG average. In his last game ever as a Husky Williams scored a career high 27 points on 12-22 shooting while grabbing a team high seven rebounds in the 98-92 loss to the Uconn Huskies. Williams played some European ball and is now currently a Huskies assistent coach.
Well that is my all-time Huskies team in the Lorenzo Romar era. Feel free to debate my selection. All 12 of my guys made all pac-10 in the Romar era. Hopefully in the next few years some guys on this current roster and recruits can make the list. Looking back you can see why the Huskies have been so successful in the Romar years. Romar has done a fine job of recruiting and developing his players. In the Romar era he had four players who had never even made an all pac-10 team make first team as a senior. Romar in fact has had six seniors make first team all pac-10 which is quite the feat in today's college basketball. So remember dawg fans as we watch our team take on the Georgia Bulldogs these guys paved the way for today. Now the current Huskies have a chance to write their own history and have future Huskies look up to them. Hope you enjoyed my list and if I missed anyone don't be afraid to let me know. In my opinion this is the best possible 12 man roster in the Romar era.