WASHINGTON Last Season: 24-11 (14-4), NIT. Who’s Back? It all starts with the backcourt that rivals Cal’s for “Best in the Pac-12”. You have to begin the discussion with CJ Wilcox. The strong shooting swingman put up 14.2 points and 3.4 rebounds per game last year while hitting 40.3% of his three pointers. Joining him is the biggest source of optimism for Husky fans in Abdul Gaddy. The senior PG finally started to reach some of his recruiting hype last year as he put up 8.1 points and 5.2 assists a game and provided strong leadership for UDub. They also get help from swingman Scott Suggs who put up 7.4 pionts and 1.9 rebounds a game in 2010-11 after taking a medical redshirt for a fractured foot last season. Along with those three, the Huskies will have some help off of the bench in redshirt freshman Andrew Andrews, who is a favorite of JGIsland and whose parents obviously didn’t like him judging by his name. The 6-foot-2 combo guard was the 2011 Oregon 5A co-player of the year and opted to redshirt last year after seeing all of the depth that the Huskies had in the backcourt. As for their frontcourt, they will be rolling out Aziz N’Diaye again this year. N’Diaye put up 7.8 points and 7.3 rebounds a game last year, and will be counted on for some more this season. He’ll be joined by 6-foot-7 sophomore Desmond Simmons. Ultimately, this season comes down to UW’s frontcourt. If those two can step up, Washington is a scary threat. Who’s Gone? The Huskies lost two first round picks in Terrence Ross and Tony Wroten. Both scored over 16 points a game and chipped in 5 or more rebounds as well every night and will be missed. While Ross was a phenomenal player, the loss of Wroten might be addition by subtraction. Incredibly talented, Wroten sometimes took the game over in a bad way at times. He tended to hog the ball and shut some of the other guys out. With him gone, the Huskies ball movement should be much better this season. Who’s New? The one new player they were to have this year was Mark McLaughlin, however he ultimately decided not to enroll at UDub, so the Huskies will not be adding any new faces this season. Best Case Scenario: Romar coaches the team up like we know he can, and their deep backcourt allows them to take advantage of teams who are still trying to fit new pieces in. The Huskies get out to a quick start and end up making up for last year’s snub as they go dancing. Worst Case Scenario: The lack of size inside just kills the Huskies. Their guards are swarmed all game and can’t get any separation due to the lack of an inside presence. Despite Romar’s ability, he can’t elevate the team above a CBI bid. JGIsland’s Stat You Should Know: Lorenzo Romar’s teams play fast. Last year they were 30th in Adjusted Tempo (23rd in 2011, 10th in 2010 and 7th in 2009). With the loss of Wroten to the NBA, Abdul Gaddy to is not the flashy player that they have had in the past manning the point. They hope that redshirt freshman Andrew Andrews will be that guy. PacHoops’ Take: Everyone loves a balanced team. If I told you I had a team with a two year starting point guard; a senior, seven foot, All Conference defender; a returning 14ppg slasher/sharp shooter; and a fifth year, two-time team captain who’s deadly from distance you’d say, “Adam, that’s pretty damn good team.” Well then why can’t anyone believe in this Washington squad? I just described the core of their team. Balanced like a Romney checkbook. To fill in those descriptions, that’s Abdul Gaddy, Aziz N’Diaye, CJ Wilcox, and Scott Suggs. Thing is that the Huskies have lost with more and I’m hesitant to call them good. But if any team could prove me wrong this year, it’s UW. Goose’s Pick: 8th in Pac-12, NIT. Washington State Last Season: 19-18 (7-11), CBI. Who’s Back? One of the front runners for Pac-12 player of the year, Brock Motum. Motum isn’t flashy, but he’s damn good as he put up 18 points and 6.4 rebounds a game last season. As a reward for this, he was not only named to the All-Pac-12 first team, but he was given the Most Improved Player award. Scary thing is that along with his inside game, Motum also averaged almost one 3-pointer per game. His biggest help this season will be from wing DeVonte Lacy. Lacy hit 34.7% of his threes last year en route to putting up 8.5 points and 2.3 rebounds a game. Who’s Gone? The biggest loss the Cougars will face this year is senior PG Reggie Moore, who was dismissed this summer for a violation of team rules. Moore put up 10.2 points, 5.2 assists and 2.7 rebounds per game, and he will leave a big hole. They also lost guard Faisal Aden (14.5 points, 3.1 rebounds per game) who tore his ACL last January. Who’s New? They were hoping to have Demarquise Johnson this year. The exciting freshman would have helped WSU’s backcourt, but was declared academically ineligible by the NCAA this summer. The other two freshman coming in are forwards who both provide different things. Richard Longrus is a combo forward who is limited offensively, but is known for his defensive versatility and his rebounding. Brett Boese is a wing who put up 16 ppg in his senior year of HS in Spokane. The big question is what the Cougars can get from PG Royce Woolridge. The 6-foot-3 guard is elivible after transferring from Kansas where he put up 2.8 points and 0.6 assists a game in 2010-11. With Moore gone, many thing Woolridge will be the starting PG. Best Case Scenario: Motum enters beast mode and destroys all of the other big men in the Pac-12. Lacy fills the outside duties surprisingly well, and the Cougars are mentioned as a bubble team, but end up solidly in the NIT. Worst Case Scenario: Teams start quadruple teaming Motum and no one can make them pay. Their guards struggle to even get the ball past halfcourt most games, and they end up missing the postseason all together. JGIsland’s Stat You Should Know: For having the 18th tallest team measured by Effective Height (minutes played by height) the Cougars were awful on the offensive glass, ranking 223rd. With solid rebounder Motum back and freshman Richard Longrus expected to contribute right away, offensive rebounding will hopefully improve for Wazzu. PacHoops’ Take: I recently read a preview that said the Cougars will go “as far as Reggie Moore will take them.” That sucks cause he’s not on the team. Alas, this group, now short their three-year starting point guard, will go only as far as the Aussie will take them. Brock is really good people. There’s no two ways about it. Washington State is going to be pretty bad people. There’s no two ways about it. Ichabod had better bust out the coaching magic cause it’s going to be a long winter in Pullman. Goose’s Pick: 10th in Pac-12, CBI.