Did you know that the Seattle U Redhawks are the only team in the WAC that return all five starters from 2020-21? Did you know that two of those starters were 1-2 in scoring in the WAC last season? And, did you know that outside of Utah Valley, Seattle split every series it played in the WAC last season? Now, add Houston transfer Cam Tyson to the mix and 6-10 Brandton Chatfield and there should be more chatter about the Redhawks. All-WAC selections Darrion Trammell and Riley Grigsby are back. Aaron Nettles, Emeka Udenyi, Kobe Williamson, and Nate Robinson are back. Head coach Jim Hayford picked up another City College of San Francisco transfer in Kyree Brown. There is a lot of familiarity and a lot of consistency in the Pacific Northwest in 2021-22.
Jim Hayford, 5th season
Overall – 424-230
At SU – 64-55
2020-21 – 12-11 overall, 4-5 WAC
Postseason – Lost in WAC semifinals to GCU
Cam Tyson, 6-2, RSJR, G (Houston)
Kyree Brown, 6-0, SO, G (JUCO)
Brandton Chatfield, 6-10, RSSO, F/C (Washington State)
Projected WAC Finish
Here it is for some of the Redhawks players that might read this. The only thing keeping Seattle from being picked higher is the question of size. Yes, Jim Hayford brought in Washington State transfer Brandton Chatfield who is 6-10 and he also has Kobe Williamson who 6-8. But that is really all the size Seattle has. Emeka Udenyi who plays in the paint is 6-6. Will the limited size hurt the Redhawks? At times last year against Utah Valley and GCU, it came into play in a significant way. So that is something to keep an eye on in 2021-22, although the WAC is a more guard-heavy league.
With that being said, the guard play in Seattle is fantastic. In his first season for the Redhawks, Darrion Trammell put on an offensive clinic. Here is the kicker: Trammell is 5-10 so he’s sometimes the smallest guy on the floor. But Trammell makes up for it with lightning quick speed, ability to split a double team, and hit from the perimeter. Did I mention Trammell also had 45 steals on the season and was second in WAC play with 21 steals? Now add in teammate Riley Grigsby who averaged 39.0 minutes per game in WAC play and averaged 17.7 points per game in WAC play. It is a combo that was difficult to guard in 2020-21 and will be again in 2021-22.
Opponents will have to pick their poison in order to beat Seattle this season. If you put all your focus on stopping either Trammell or Grigsby, Seattle has other shooters/athletes who can hurt you. Houston transfer Cam Tyson is one of the best 3-point shooters in the WAC. Nate Robinson showed in the WAC tournament what he is capable of when healthy. Aaron Nettles was averaging double figures before missing the final six games of the season due to injury.
Pace, quickness, and attack mode are all symbolic of what Seattle does on the floor. The Redhawks shot 31 percent from 3-point land in 2020-21 while taking nearly 140 more attempts than opponents. Seattle also defends well. The Redhawks averaged 6.6 steals per game compared to 5.1 for opponents and also averaged 3.5 blocks per game compared to 2.9 for opponents. Remember when we said the lack of size is something to keep an eye on? Well, Seattle doesn’t let that phase you and Jim Hayford has some thoughts on that.
“As you look around the league, it looks like, especially with the new Texas 4, it’s going a little more away from that (size),” Hayford said. “But we added a legit 6-10 guy in Brandt Chatfield from Washington State. He’s pretty good and he’s a third-year freshman. So, we’ll see if that helps us when the need for that comes.”
Seattle will play 13 non-conference games. 10 of the 13 games will be at home with six of those games at the newly renovated Climate Pledge Arena. The three road games will be at Washington, at Washington State and at UNLV.