In an interview with Seattle Times reporter Percy Allen, Washington forward Darnell Gant described what he sees as his role on the team as a glue guy.
Husky Men's Basketball Blog | Darnell Gant: "I see myself potentially as the X-factor" | Seattle Times Newspaper
"I see myself potentially as the X-factor. I'm not going to say I am the X-factor, but I see myself to be that guy because we got Matt (Matthew Bryan-Amaning) and Aziz (N'Diaye) going hard in the post and me and Desmond - I'm not going to say I'm just like Desmond Simmons - but we play the four and we're not bangers like that. To me, I should do a lot of the things that Desmond (does) because Desmond goes in for offensive rebounds. He's always active and that's what I feel like I need to be"
With the team's top offensive rebounders by percentage having graduated, retired or transferred - Quincy Pondexter (10.3 oreb%), Clarence Trent (15.0 oreb%), Tyreese Breshers (10.3 oreb%) - Gant is correct that activity on the offensive boards will be important this season to maintain what was a relative strength in conference play. But equally important will be the team's ability to keep opponents off the offensive boards, which Gant could play a huge role in as well - the team has lost three of their top four defensive rebounders by percentage in Breshers, Pondexter and Trent (Matthew Bryan-Amaning was third).
Obviously, Breshers and Trent were not major contributors to the team. Nevertheless, they were two guys that could come off the bench and provide a rebounding presence. Of the team's returning players, Gant is team's second best offensive rebounder (9.0%) and third best defensive rebounder (13.5 dreb%) during a tough year personally.
With the personal struggles behind him now, Gant is a player poised to step up his contribution and an increased contribution on the boards would help the team greatly.