Davis Gives Hopkins his First True UW Playmaker, Maybe Totally New Lineup

Newcomers could grab all of the Husky starting spots.

By joining the University of Washington basketball team, point guard Daejon Davis not only fills one of six vacated roster spots, his addition might have created the unthinkable for any college program.

A total overhaul of the starting lineup.

Five up and five long gone.

When we last saw the Huskies putting the finishing touches on their hopeless 5-21 record — the second-worst in school history — Mike Hopkins trotted out the following opening lineup in the opening round of the Pac-12 tournament against Utah, which resulted in a 98-95 defeat:

Quade Green, G, 6-3, senior

Erik Stevenson, G, 6-3, junior

Jamal Bey, G, 6-6, junior

Hameir Wright, F, 6-9, senior

Nate Roberts, F, 6-11, sophomore

Rather than go with a three-guard lineup, which was either a Husky staple or concession through thick and thin seasons, Davis will give the UW something far more traditional and possibly productive. He will provide Hopkins with the luxury of the first truly dedicated playmaker to run the floor in five seasons in Seattle.

As skilled as he was, Green didn't want to set up the offense on a regular basis in Kentucky, which is why he left John Calipari behind. For the Huskies,  he felt the pressing need to score because the offensive options were generally so slight among his teammates.

Davis averaged 4.2 assists per game in four seasons for Stanford. He had a 9-assist game against the Huskies. He knows and relishes this role.

Consider this potential UW starting lineup, which is a welcome two-guard, three big-man look:

Daejon Davis, G, 6-3, senior

Terrell Brown, G, 6-4, senior

Emmitt Matthews, F, 6-7, senior

Langston Wilson, F, 6-9, sophomore

Jackson Grant, F, 6-10, freshman

Rather than no designated playmakers, Davis and Brown give the Huskies a pair of proven dish men. As a part-time starter at Arizona, Brown averaged 3.5 assists per game last season.

Brown, however, mainly will take over for Stevenson, now at South Carolina, as the shooting guard and hit a higher percentage of shots. Before Arizona, Brown was a 20.7-scorer at Seattle U and a first-team All-WAC selection.

Matthews will replace Bey, giving the Huskies a third starting forward rather than a third guard, and supposedly a defensive upgrade over anyone who stepped on the floor for the UW. As one of the Huskies' few returnees, Bey likely comes off the bench this next season, maybe feeling more comfortable as a scorer in this manner.

Wilson steps in for Wright, forward for forward. From what can be gleaned from his video highlights, the Georgia junior-college transfer will give the Huskies a legitimate offensive threat inside where they previously had none. He appears to be an intimidating dunker, something the UW went without, too. And his 3-point shot looked far more accurate than Wright's.

Finally, Grant, a top 35 national recruit, replaces Roberts as the third starting forward. From his video highlights, the freshman appears to have far more offensive skills than the UW's other returning starter. Inside and out. You don't sign a guy of Grant's stature to sit him either. 

Roberts can come off the bench and be a rebounding specialist, plus work on his offensive game, and maybe start as a senior alongside Grant in 2022-23.

Five new starters. 

This should lead to way more than five measly wins.

If not, Hopkins won't last longer than five UW seasons.

Follow Dan Raley of Husky Maven on Twitter: @DanRaley1 and @HuskyMaven

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