Husky men’s basketball coach Mike Hopkins started Monday’s media video conference with pleasantries and quickly dove into the subject at hand. His 2020-2021 Basketball team.
The Huskies were the worst team in the Pac-12 last year and in need of some type of rebuild. Five players left the program during the off season. Isaiah Stewart and Jaden McDaniel opted for the NBA draft Senior forward Sam Timmins graduated. Guard Elijah Hardy transferred to Portland State and center Bryan Penn-Johnson transferred to LSU. The program announced that Senior forward Nahziah Carter has been suspended from all team activities without further detail.
GOING IN A DIFFERENT DIRECTION
With suspensions graduations and transfers behind him Hopkins is ready to move the program forward with a new wrinkle. Push the ball up the court , use more of the space on offense and drive to the basket.
To facilitate the new wrinkle in the offense the Huskies secured the services of three transfers at the guard position. Juniors Nate Pryor, Erik Stevenson and sophomore Cole Bajema committed to finishing their collegiate careers at Washington. The drive to the basketball from the perimeter has been a point of emphasis for Hopkins and staff. The Huskies went to the free throw line just 32% of the time last year according to Hopkins.
DEFENSE IS STILL THE KEY TO VICTORY
For the Huskies to be successful in the upcoming season they will need to get back to playing hard nosed stifling defense to close out games. The Huskies were lethargic when it came to closing our games last year and allowed teams to beat them in the perimeter according to Hopkins.