The Pac 12 men's basketball honors were announced yesterday and the Washington Huskies were showered with accolades. Tony Wroten Jr. won Freshmen of the Year, Terrence Ross was All Conference first team (along with Wroten Jr.), Aziz N'Diaye made first team all defense, and Lorenzo Romar won Coach of the Year. For some mysterious reason Ross nor Wroten Jr. won Pac 12 Player of the Year, but I won't make a scene about it. In the end the Huskies were well represented and acknowledged for finishing the season strong. What does this say about the program going forward?
To be fair the Pac 12 is experiencing a down year. The talent level is not what it's been in years past and the team's RPI reflects that. The Huskies were able to overcome a mediocre start to the season and win the Pac 12 regular season title with very young players. In terms of recruiting and sustaining a winning tradition it really depends on how far the Huskies advance in the NCAA tournament. Another Pac 12 tournament title would be nice, but in order for the program to advance to the next level a sweet 16 bid is important.
Coach Romar deserves a lot of credit. After being called out by Husky fans and alumni (myself included) Romar has been able to attract and retain top recruits while maintaining a high level of class and respectability. As you might recall I suggested Romar should become more "Calipari cut throat" in his approach, but he did it his way and the success speaks for itself.
There are two problems lurking on the horizon for the Husky program. Tony Wroten Jr and Terrence Ross will probably be lottery picks in the 2012 NBA draft leaving a huge void in points and assists. In addition, coach Romar will be mentioned for every major head coaching vacancy in America. If the Huskies can't replenish the talent or keep coach Romar happy the program could fall on hard times. For now let's enjoy the good times and let the future take care of itself. Go Dawgs!