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UW Basketball Exhibition Opener Just 2 Weeks Away; Recruit Decision Coming

Coach Mike Hopkins will unveil his revamped Husky roster next week.

A nearly totally revamped University of Washington basketball team is two weeks away from unveiling itself in an exhibition game with Central Washington, followed five days later by its season opener at home against Northern Illinois — pitting Huskies against Huskies.

With seven new players, including four from the transfer portal, it's anyone's guess what coach Mike Hopkins' fifth squad will resemble. 

Others aren't all that optimistic about the urgent housecleaning that has come following the UW's morbid 5-21 season. Athlon Sports has picked the Huskies to finish 10th in the Pac-12, this after league media members voted them 11th last week.

Meantime, touted 6-foot-7 small forward Chris Bunch from Concord, California, and now playing at a Utah prep school, will choose from among Syracuse, Rutgers and the Huskies on Thursday at 2 p.m. PT.

Bunch has said he enjoys Hopkins' upbeat and extroverted approach to coaching, but has offered no other clues to who he favors.

The UW says it will hold a media gathering next week to introduce the new team. 

Just three veteran players return in a pair of starters, 6-foot-6 senior guard Jamal Bey and 6-foot-11 junior forward Nate Roberts, and a reserve and one-time Michigan transfer, 6-foot-7 junior guard Cole Bajema. 

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With six Huskies entering the transfer portal in the offseason, Hopkins picked up 6-foot-3 senior guard Daejon Davis from Stanford, 6-foot-3 senior guard Terrell Brown from Arizona, 6-foot-7 senior forward Emmitt Matthews from West Virginia and 6-foot-4 junior guard PJ Fuller from TCU.

From an overall viewpoint, this UW team doesn't have a proven Pac-12 scoring threat among all of the new and old faces. Bey comes off a season in which he averaged 10.3 points per game, third-highest among those Huskies, same as Davis over 11 games for the Cardinal.

Brown averaged just 7.3 in his lone season at Arizona, yet he was a 20.7 scorer for Seattle University in the WAC the season before and might be the best best to lead this team in scoring and provide points in big totals. 

Hopkins also welcomes a pair of freshmen in 6-foot-10 forward Jackson Grant from Olympia High School and 6-foot-8 forward Samuel Ariyibi from the NBA Africa Academy, and 6-foot-9 JC transfer Langston Wilson from Georgia Highlands College, plus holdover Dominiq Penn, a 6-foot-2 freshman guard who joined the team last season but didn't play. 

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