- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 25, 2011

Head Coach: Flip Saunders (third season, 49-115; 16th season overall, 636-511)

Assistant Coaches: Randy Wittman, Don Zierden, Sam Cassell, Ryan Saunders, Gene Banks

Andray Blatche, F

Ht/Wt: 6-11, 267

Last Yr: 16.8 ppg, 8.2 rpg

The knock on Blatche has been his maturity and focus. He promises that will change. Blatche led the team in rebounds last season and was second behind Nick Young in scoring. In his seventh season, Blatche needs to show leadership, consistency, maturity and All-Star caliber play.

Trevor Booker, F

Ht/Wt: 6-8, 235

Last Yr: 5.3 ppg, 3.9 rpg

Booker is the classic junkyard dog. He makes plays though sheer effort, hustle and energy. His contributions may not always show up in the stat sheet, but there are nights when he could lead the team in rebounds.

Jordan Crawford, G

Ht/Wt: 6-4, 195

Last Yr: 16.3 ppg, 3.9 apg

Crawford is tough, fearless and competitive. He has confidence in himself, so he’ll never stop shooting, even if he’s having an off night. Crawford will need to improve his shot selection and decision-making since he’ll occasionally be called on help out Wall at point guard.

Maurice Evans, G/F

Ht/Wt: 6-5, 220

Last Yr: 9.7 ppg, 2.8 rpg

Evans brings quality leadership and a veteran presence to the locker room. On the court, Evans is a defensive-minded player who won’t be worrying about his offensive touches.

Rashard Lewis, F

Ht/Wt: 6-10, 228

Last Yr: 11.4 ppg, 5.8 rpg

Lewis was plagued by a right knee injury that hobbled him for much of last season. Although the knee appears healed, it could take some time for Lewis to regain his offensive production. That’s a lot to ask of a 13-year veteran.

Shelvin Mack, G

Ht/Wt: 6-3, 210

Last Yr: Rookie

Mack will be the primary backup for Wall at the point, and he learned from having to guard him in training camp. The Butler product is mature, poised and coachable. He hardly seems like a rookie.

Roger Mason Jr., G

Ht/Wt: 6-5, 205

Last Yr: 2.9 ppg, 1.7 rpg

Mason is a D.C. native who wants to be here, and that’s a positive. He’s a veteran leader with a nice shooting touch, and he’s a very good 3-point shooter. But his production has declined since the 2009 season, when he had a career year for San Antonio. Mason often leads the second team and keeps the rookies grounded.

JaVale McGee, C

Ht/Wt: 7-1, 260

Last Yr: 10.1 ppg, 8.0 rpg

McGee has the skills to be more than a highlight-reel dunker, and he should show off those skills more. McGee shows signs that he’s beginning to develop a post presence, and he has made a commitment to be a better defender, shot-blocker and rebounder. He can be an integral part of the team’s rebuilding efforts.

Hamady Ndiaye, C

Ht/Wt: 7-0, 235

Last Yr: 0.9 ppg, 0.4 rpg

A hard worker who remade his body over the summer with intense workouts, Ndiaye still is learning the game. He has hustle, effort and energy going for him.

Kevin Seraphin, F

Ht/Wt: 6-10, 278

Last Yr: 2.7 ppg, 2.6 rpg

A capable backup, Seraphin is athletic and can score in the paint, but the Frenchman still is adjusting to the NBA.

Chris Singleton, F

Ht/Wt: 6-9, 225

Last Yr: Rookie

Singleton is a great defender and brings the intangibles - energy, effort and hustle. The rookie out of Florida State says he’ll do whatever it takes to get on the floor, and he probably can defend every position except point guard. Knowing Singleton, he may figure out how to do that as well.

Ronny Turiaf, C

Ht/Wt: 6-10, 246

Last Yr: 4.2 ppg, 3.2 rpg

Turiaf will bring veteran leadership and maturity. Expect to see Turiaf show up in the rebound and blocked shots columns. He’s another effort-and-hustle player.

Jan Vesely, F

Ht/Wt: 7-0, 235

Last Yr: Rookie

Vesely’s an athletic big man who has a nice shooting touch and isn’t afraid of contact around the rim. The Czechoslovakia native will need to adjust quickly to the American style of play.

John Wall, G

Ht/Wt: 6-4, 207

Last Yr: 16.4 ppg, 8.3 apg

Wall spent the offseason playing in summer-league games, studying film and analyzing elite NBA point guards. In order join them, he’ll need to improve his assist-to-turnover ratio, make quicker and better decisions down the stretch, learn how to close out games, and try to remember that no one on the team is as fast as he is.

Nick Young, G

Ht/Wt: 6-7, 210

Last Yr: 17.4 ppg, 2.7 rpg

Young will have to get back in basketball shape after missing training camp. He’s a great shooter who says he’ll “take it out on the league” that he didn’t get a long-term deal this summer. Hopefully that won’t lead to selfish play.