With the 2022-23 Washington Husky Men’s Basketball roster looking complete, after the addition of Kentucky transfer Keion Brooks, it’s time to start predicting the first 5 for the upcoming season. RealDawg.com’s Reece McCully dug into Washington’s roster and made some educated predictions
At the point guard, there will be difficult decisions to make. Noah Williams, a transfer from Washington State, had a tough season last year, but if he can return for a second year, he could walk to Montlake as a considered start. Two small issues, Koren Johnson and PJ Fuller. Koren Johnson, an incoming freshman has a strong opportunity to make a big impact, even without a bench. If Noah Williams comes to UW slightly rusty it wouldn’t be a shock to see Johnson have increased in minutes as the year continues. The same can be said for PJ Fuller who filled Terrell Brown Jr. off the bench last season as well as on guard shooting for Cole Bajema and Jamal Bey. Chances are different that PJ gets a secondary position again on point guard and also on shooting guard. Another new signing Keyon Menifield has a chance outside of playing time, but it is more likely, in my opinion, that he will wear a red shirt before being thrown into the back.
Point Guard prediction
Beginner: Noah Williams
Backups: PJ Fuller, Koren Johnson
Rotation piece / red shirt: Keyon Menifield
The guard shooting is a bit more cut and dry, Jamal Bey was a starter last year and it can be assumed that he will be next year as well. There is a possibility outside of Cole Bajema or PJ Fuller could steal the job, but I think, at this point, Jamal Bey started as a 5th year senior and then added Bajema and Fuller while Jamal Bey took a break.
Prediction Shooting Guard
Starter: Jamal Bey
Backup (s): Cole Bajema, PJ Fuller
A small advance might be the easiest prediction for the team: Keion Brooks. That’s why Mike Hopkins hired him in the first place. He had to fill the hole left by Emmitt Matthews. That’s exactly what Brooks is going to do. Now, who supports him is in question. Well, there are a few options. Samuel Ariyibi is the only true small striker on the list. However, he is completely unknown, as we haven’t seen anything in the past season. There’s a chance he could carve out some playing time in position 3, but at the moment it’s impossible to make a prediction of where he stands in the lineup. The person who has more information about it is Langston Wilson. While listed as a forward, if he doesn’t win in the starting place, it could be assumed he gets playing time at 3 and 4.
Small Forward Predictions
Introduction: Keion Brooks
Backup: Langston Wilson
Rotation section: Samuel Ariyibi
Progress is a difficult one. Of all the advances on the to -do list, no one has yet made a name for themselves. Jackson Grant had a chance last year, but the former 4-star experienced Covid at the beginning of a slow-developing season and he lost weight. Grant is ready to have a breakout season this year, but he has competition at the lanky Langston Wilson. When Grant was sick, Wilson got a backup role last year, and he never let go. Now that the starting point is open, Wilson has the opportunity to take on a starting role. At this point, I don’t think there is enough information to make a good prediction. The only certainty is that new signing Tyler Linhardt will play a small role in the rotation and could possibly wear a red shirt.
Power Forward Prediction
Start: Jackson Grant / Langston Wilson
Rotation piece / red shirt: Tyler Linhardt
It’s clear that after Nate Roberts left, Coach Hopkins had a big shoe that had to be filled… literally. He did just that with dual seven-footers Frank Kepnang of Oregon and Braxton Meah of Fresno State. Both of these guys have high potential, but in my opinion, the starting possibility is Frank Kepnang. Although Riley Sorn may have something to say about it. The most experienced center on the roster had the opportunity to make a name for themselves last year and finally make the leap every Husky fan had hoped for.
Starter: Frank Kepnang
Backup (s): Riley Sorn / Braxton Meah
The last prediction
Noah Williams at point guard
Jamal Bey on guard shooting
Keion Brooks in a small forward
Jackson Grant or Langston Wilson in progress
Frank Kepnang in the middle
Coach Hopkins needs this season well or his seat will be hotter than it is now.
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