In anticipation for our first 'real' test of the season, with all due respect to the UMKC Kangaroos and our halftime evenness, I figured it would be nice to know a little bit more about the Washington Huskies. And if you want to know about the Washington Huskies, head on over to the UW Dawg Pound, the SB Nation Husky blog. I was able to catch up with the site's head author, John Berkowitz, to discuss Monday night's game between UW and Kansas. But if you do go over there, make sure and be nice; while our football team has disappointed, our struggles don't begin to compare with theirs.
1) Rock Chalk Talk: What makes Jon Brockman so good?
John Berkowitz: Jon Brockman is a physical specimen who is usually the strongest player on the court. He reminds me a lot of Phil “Elbows” Jackson when he used to play for the Knicks before going on to be one of the greatest pro coaches in history. Jon is a rebounding machine who dominates inside on defense. Offensively he has some tools and usually hits for around 18 points per game with his shots usually coming from the inside.
2) RCT: After Brockman, who would you say is the Huskies' best player?
JB: It is probably freshman point guard Isaiah Thomas. The Thomas you see on Monday will not be the same player you see this coming March if the Huskies get into the tournament. Like all freshman he is a work in progress at this point and will need most of December to get his game in shape for Pac Ten play. The kid is a pure shooter but asking him to shine against Kansas in the third game of the season is asking a little too much.
3) RCT: What is this team's biggest weakness?
JB: Washington really needs to improve play around the perimeter. They need to shoot better from the outside to keep teams from doubling up inside on Brockman. Things will improve as the season goes with Thomas running the point. The same thing goes for defense where Washington is sometimes a step slow on the outside. Washington is also a terrible free throw shooting team.
4) RCT: After not making the Tournament the past two seasons, is there extra pressure on Lorenzo Romar to make it this year? And, if he doesn't get there, is his a potential candidate to get fired?
JB: Romar is safe because everyone loves and has faith in him. We aren’t a traditional basketball school and the best way to develop the program is by being patient. He is recruiting well so there will be average seasons mixed in with some great ones as time goes on. I see no reason why Romar won’t retire at Washington.
5) RCT: On a similar note, what is this team's upside? Can this team make the NCCAs?
JB: I think this team will finish in the middle of the Pac ten which should yield an NCAA berth. Count on six Pac Ten teams making the tournament and Washington being one of them.
6) RCT: And, finally, can I get you to predict the score, who wins and another, Husky-related prediction for Monday night's game against Kansas?
JB: I think Kansas wins by 15 to 20 points. Washington is still developing in the backcourt and their second best big man Matthew Bryan- Amaning may still be out which will let your team double up on Brockman. Once again the team you see on Monday will not be the team you see in February and March.
Once again, plenty of thanks go over to John at UW Dawg Pound. And some more preview-type content should be up sometime Monday. It should be a fun game, with two incredibly young teams battling it out. Sure, we probably have more overall talent than they do, but as awesome as Sherron Collins is, they probably have the best player in the CBE Classic in Jon Brockman. I love that guy.