The University of Washington Huskies men’s basketball team has started out in a positive direction. The writers that cover Pac-12 men’s basketball predicted just before the beginning of the season in November that the Huskies would finish the season in the league in sixth place. So far in non-league games the Huskies are 7-0. So it shows they are doing better than expected to get ready for the league season which starts on Jan. 2, 2015 against the University of California at Berkeley Bears.
Last week in their last game against 13th ranked San Diego State they won 49-36. Now in the latest poll the Huskies are ranked 17th. Like this score indicates they are playing very good defense. In fact San Diego State in one of the top ranked defensive teams as well. The Huskies have been working on improving their defense. Last year the Huskies were poor on defense primarily because they lacked being a tall team. They actually started for guards. Shaun Kemp Jr. who starts this season at one of the forward positions had been ill at the beginning of last season so he was very weak the whole year. This year he is back in very good condition. Also, they start at the other forward position Jernard Jarreau who last year was injured in the first game of the season and missed the rest of the year. The Huskies have 7’0 center Robert Upshaw who comes off the bench and at this time leads the nation in blocked shots. The three players have made quite the difference to the Huskies especially on defense. Most of the guards have returned with additional experience. Of course, the real test does not happen until the Pac-12 season begins. Usually the league is very tough and I am sure this season will not be any different. If the Huskies can continue on having really good defense it should allow them to get into the NCAA tournament in March 2015.