In Jim Hayford’s third season at the helm of Seattle U, the Redhawks battled with inconsistency. As he put it, it was a season of “almost’s”. Many of the Redhawk losses went down to the wire that were described by Hayford as winnable games. Ultimately, the Redhawks clinched the third seed heading into the WAC tournament. Hayford believed that his team would piece it together and make a run in the tournament. As we all know, Seattle and the rest of the WAC never had that opportunity. Heading into this year, Hayford is ready to hit the ground running with his new squad.
Terrell Brown, Morgan Means, Myles Carter, Delante Jones, Mattia De Campo
Losing your leaders in all major statistical categories isn’t good for any team. And that’s exactly what the Redhawks are losing in Terrell Brown and Myles Carter. These two were a great duo for coach Jim Hayford and replacing their production won’t be easy. Morgan Means is a tough loss as well, as he is a crafty player with a high basketball IQ who hit some big shots for the Redhawks last season. Both Morgan Means and Terrell Brown are part of the 1,000-point club. Delante Jones and Mattia De Campo were both solid contributors off the bench. When you add it all up, the Redhawks are losing nine players from last season.
Riley Grigsby, Aaron Nettles
For Seattle, Riley Grigsby is the lone returning starter.
Grigsby averaged 9.7 points and 5.5 rebounds last season, and those numbers will certainly increase this year. Aaron Nettles is a senior. Nettles and Grigsby will take on more leadership responsibilities as the Redhawks welcome 11 new players, including five freshman. Both players, according to Hayford, have done everything right since they stepped on campus. The leadership and experience of Grigsby and Nettles will be a big key for Jim Hayford and the Redhawks this season.
Daron Henson, Angelo Stuart, Nate Robinson, Jared Pearre
What happens when you lose nine players? You bring in 11 new ones. Daron Henson joins the Redhawks as a graduate transfer from Washington State. Henson was the best three-point shooter for Washington State last season, shooting 40 percent from beyond the arc. Angelo Stuart is a prolific scorer who was a junior college All-American. Stuart has the potential to become as good of a player as Terrell Brown was for the Redhawks.
Nate Robinson was an All-Conference player while at the City College of San Francisco. Robinson, along with teammates Darrion Trammell and Emeka Udenyi, led CC of San Francisco to a 30-0 record where the Rams averaged 100-plus points per game.
Tiago Ziebecchi is eligible after sitting out last season due to transfer rules, and Jared Pearre is eligible immediately after transferring from Cal State Northridge. Jim Hayford has brought in a solid group of players that will all have a chance to contribute immediately.
Jim Hayford – 4th season
Projected starting lineup:
G – Angelo Stuart, Sophomore, 6’1, 165 pounds
G – Aaron Nettles, Senior, 6’0, 175 pounds
G/F – Riley Grigsby, Junior, 6’6, 220 pounds
F – Jared Pearre, redshirt Junior, 6’8, 205 pounds
F – Daron Henson, Graduate, 6’8, 205 pounds
Projected finish in WAC standings:
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, there is a lot of uncertainty in the WAC right now. The Redhawks starting five is a very talented lineup, but can other guys step up and contribute off the bench? The other glaring problem is that Seattle doesn’t have a player taller than 6’8. There are at least four teams in the WAC that feature at least two players who are 6’10 or taller. Jared Pearre could take on the role of center, but can he hold his own against other centers in the WAC?
What to expect:
Although the lack of size could be an issue, this team will play lots of quick, up-tempo basketball. Jim Hayford says that this team will fire on all cylinders. Crafty playmaker Angelo Stuart (I’m telling you, he has the potential to be a Terrell Brown-type of player) and Aaron Nettles and Riley Grigsby can all play quick and are capable shooters. Daron Henson and Jared Pearre are bigs who can play up-tempo. Add in the San Francisco trio who are proven winners and some gifted freshman and Seattle may shock some people in the WAC.
Jim Hayford believes that this squad can do great things if the younger guys are able to step up and make plays. Seattle will be a fun team to watch this upcoming season.
Let us know what you think WAC hoops fans. If you would like to listen to coach Jim Hayford talk about this upcoming season, give this podcast a listen.