With the season set to start for the Washington Huskies Men’s Basketball Team the center position will be looked upon to improve their presence in the paint. In the offseason they added a talented newcomer who should make an immediate impact for them on both ends of the floor. Head coach Mike Hopkins will be looking for productive minutes from his two centers this season.
BRYAN PENN-JOHNSON (Freshman, 7 feet 0 inches, 245 pounds)
RILEY SORN (Freshman, 7 feet 4 inches, 260 pounds)
The Huskies are coming into the season without any experience at the center position but they have a ton of length and size. Bryan Penn-Johnson was literally a humongous get for the Huskies in so many ways. The Huskies have been coveting a tall and athletic player in the middle for a while now and they went out and found a talented one. Penn-Johnson has a wingspan of 7-7 and will prove as a vital piece in the middle of Hopkins 2-3 zone. He is a proven rim protector and can alter shots when opposing guards drive into the paint. On offense, he has a decent touch around the rim and nice soft hands to complement his size.
Riley Sorn is a bit of a project for the Huskies as the very tall center will need to get himself ready for the college basketball game. During his senior season at Richland High School, Sorn averaged 16.6 points and 8.4 rebounds per game. He was named the WIBCA Class 4A Player of the Year. The Husky coaches will be looking for Sorn to use his immense length in the paint and disrupt opposing offenses. They saw potential in Sorn and hope they can develop him into a Pac-12 level talent.
With only two centers on the roster, the Huskies will need to find a way to balance each other’s strengths and weaknesses out to get the production they are looking for. Sorn is a bit of a wild card while Penn-Johnson has the physical tools, but there is a learning curve to the college game for newcomers. Coach Hopkins teaches defense first and foremost, and in order to see the court you have to be effective in his 2-3 zone schemes.
The need for tall and rangy players in Hopkins system is essential and Penn-Johnson provides an athletic and speedy version to the position. Look for him to make an immediate impact on the season and be the starter at center. He has tremendous upside and potential and the Husky coaches will simplify things for him so he can succeed quickly.
Things will need to progress quickly at this position group for the Huskies as the coaches need consistent play in the paint this season. The future is bright here but there is no substitute for game experience at this position.