Tag Archives: Abdul Gaddy

Where Did These Dawgs Come From?

I’ve noticed that us Good Guys aren’t very good about writing about sports when sports go wrong. It’s a good thing we aren’t getting paid to write about these things because once our teams start losing, we all start going to the movies (or doing something that isn’t sports related). If you would like to pay us to write though, I’ll gladly accept your money. So, on this very full sports day, I’m going to ignore the Mariners trade that I don’t really like and talk about a surging Husky basketball team. I could have chose Chip Kelly or dead, fake girlfriends but I’ve been planning on writing about the Huskies for about a week.

The easiest place to start this post is with the question, “What happened to the Huskies?” The easy answer is that Romar pulled a Bugs Bunny and convinced the whole team that they are drinking something special so that they will be able to defeat the Monstars of the Pac-12. That’s probably not accurate though. Before conference play began, the Huskies suffered humiliating losses to Albany, Colorado State, and Nevada. The team had some good moments but they were overshadowed by inconsistency and a lack of play-makers. The team didn’t have an identity and seemed to be going no where.

There were excuses for this, and they were pretty legitimate. Romar lost two players to the first round of the NBA Draft. The team suffered injuries to Scott Suggs and Shawn Kemp Jr. The Dawgs weren’t a deep team to begin with and these injuries didn’t help. With that to boot, the Huskies were learning a new offense this year. When you don’t have your whole team there to practice a new offense, it’s hard to learn it. The defense also suffered, as they were slow on their rotations.

The Huskies played better towards the end of non-conference play but still was not consistent. The turnaround in the season may have come when the Dawgs went and played a game at Connecticut. They lost by 8 points but the defense held UConn to 65 points and the team played hard. It was clear that progress had been made.

Since that game, the Huskies have started Pac-12 play 4-0. Three of those wins have come on the road. Yes, they haven’t played the top teams in the conference but they have found a formula to let them compete against those top teams. That formula is hard-nosed defense, hustle, veteran scoring, and more hard-nosed defense.

Read about those after the jump!

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UW Basketball: Goodbye Wroten and Ross

Lots going on in Seattle sports right now.  First up: Husky basketball.

As expected, both Terrence Ross and Tony Wroten have declared for the NBA draft.  Both have said they will hire agents, which would prevent them from changing their minds and returning to school.  Obviously, it would have been great to have either or both of them return.  Both are phenomenal athletes who had the ability to dominate games.  I’m not one of those who considers their decisions addition by subtraction for next year’s team.  Players like Ross and Wroten are hard to find, and we wish them luck in their NBA careers. Continue reading

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Husky Hoops: The End of the Road to NYC, and Next Year

The UW basketball season is not officially over, but it’s pretty close.  Many people stopped caring when the team missed the NCAA tournament (me initially being one of them), but those who didn’t watch last night’s NIT battle royale with Oregon missed out.  Hec Ed was packed for the final home game of the year, and it was loud.  With Oregon as the opponent, it felt like anything but an NIT game, and it was played that way, as well.  Both teams played hard and well, I would argue at an NCAA tournament level.

I understand why the Huskies missed the Big Dance.  Their resume probably wasn’t worthy, at least given the way the selection committee looks at teams, but I think anyone who argues that they’re not one of the best 68 teams in the country is crazy.  They have been inconsistent and frustrating, but when they play anywhere close to their ability, they’re a potential sweet sixteen team.  That’s obviously not going to happen this year, which is what makes them so frustrating.  If you can get past that disappointment, though, last night was a blast and a good way to remember this team.

The Dawgs will now head to Madison Square Garden for the NIT semifinals and hopefully final.  Obviously, we hope they win, but it is still kind of hard to get overly excited.  The Oregon matchup was a nice surprise, but when you come down to it, it’s the NIT.

So, you ask, what’s the point of this post?  I can’t really remember.  I started it earlier today and can’t remember where I was going with it.  I guess let’s talk about next year.

Right now, the Huskies are slated to return almost everyone.  They lose Darnell Gant to graduation, but get Scott Suggs back from an injury redshirt and add Andrew Andrews and Jernard Jarreau, who both redshirted as freshman this year.  They have no committed recruits currently (more on that in minute).  I have no doubt that that team would be favored to win the Pac-12 handily and would probably be in consideration for the top 10 in the country.  That’s a lot of talent, and a lot of talent that should be improved and much deeper next year.

The problem is that Terrence Ross and Tony Wroten seem extremely likely to leave early for the NBA.  Both are projected for the first round.  Both have some questions, and it’s a deep draft class, so it’s not like there’s no doubt they’re leaving.  And to be fair, neither of them has given any indication they’re gone.  Just don’t get your hopes up on them staying.  In fact, if you don’t deal well with disappointment, just plan on them leaving.  The power of low expectations!

To break down my thoughts on the two: it would obviously be great if they both stayed.  If I could pick one to keep, it would be Ross.  He’s my favorite to watch, and he’s the better all-around player.  Wroten is a fascinating guy.  He had maybe the best freshman year in UW history and was one of the best players in the conference, but everyone knew what he would do: drive to his left, throw the ball toward the basket, and if it didn’t go in, get his own rebound and finish.  It’s a testament to his talent that he was so successful with this, but it also shows how much he could improve.  His effort, defense and free-throw shooting got much better this year.  If he could add a jump shot and a right hand, he might be the national player of the year, let alone the Pac-12 POY.

It’s not all doom and gloom if Ross and Wroten leave.  This team should still be talented and improved.  Abdul Gaddy has played increasingly well as the season has progressed, looking like an all-Pac-12 point guard in the last few weeks.  CJ Wilcox doesn’t quite have the shocking talent and athleticism of Ross, but he’s not terribly far behind and will only be a junior.  Suggs is in the same mode and will offer a steady head and hand.  Andrews or Hikeem Stewart would need to step up for some depth, but that could easily happen.  The front court would be a bigger question.  Aziz showed huge improvement this year, and if he could continue that and make himself a threat offensively, he could be the best big man in the conference.  Simmons had his moments before hitting a bit of a wall and losing some playing time, but he is still young and has that useful Gant-like skill set.  It will be vital for Shawn Kemp Jr. or Martin Breunig to step up and develop as a legitimate first big man off the bench.

That’s a good team, if lacking slightly in depth and star-power.  The strange thing right now is that the Huskies have no imcoming recruits to augment the returners.  I saw the other day that they’re one of only a few schools in the country with no commits yet.  This is partly by plan.  With only Gant graduating, there’s only one scholarship open, and that’s apparently being held for 5 star power forward Anthony Bennett.  Bennett is no sure thing or even remotely close to it, but he seems to be the only guy out there that the Huskies would add to the team as it is currently.  The recruiting class for 2013 has the potential to be huge, and it’s thought that Romar is happy leaving an extra scholarship open for a year if he doesn’t get Bennett or a similar level of talent.  This would likely change if Ross and/or Wroten leave, as they’d have more open scholarships and the need for some extra depth.  We’ll leave the potential recruits in that case for a later post.

So enjoy this team in the one or two games left, especially Ross and Wroten.  Hopefully they’re back, but don’t worry too much if they’re not.  You can never fault these kids for leaving for millions of dollars, and there’s always someone else ready to take his place.

But if you’re reading this, Terrence and Tony, how about you guys stick around and we make a run at the Final Four?  Seattle could use a couple of new legends, not to mention a winner.

-Matthew

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Bad News, Good News, Great News!

Ready for the bad news? It is a bleak day for Dawg fans, there’s no 2 ways around it. Yesterday’s loss was frustrating, untimely, but certainly not surprising, at least if you’ve followed this team all season. On one side, the Huskies exceeded pre-season expectations by winning the Pac 12 outright, a truly awesome accomplishment. On the other side, 20 of the Huskies 21 wins have come vs. opponents with an RPI of 75+, and time and time again the Dawgs have narrowly missed on opportunities to make a statement, and erase doubts. The biggest factor, for me anyway, is leadership. Gant is the only contributing senior, and I think he has done his best, but his personality is not that of a Brandon Roy, Will Conroy, Jon Brockman, Isaiah Thomas, or Quincy Pondexter. Gaddy, Ross, Wilcox and Wroten, for all the good that they’ve done in spurts, have not embraced the role of captain, the guy that pulls his teammates up in the face of adversity. The result is a plethora of head shaking moments, and some success based largely on raw talent like Lorenzo Romar has never had. It’s tough when talent does not fully translate, and potential is not reached. If this core stays together for another year and really gels, they are a top 10 team, but Ross and Wroten seem destined for the NBA, which nobody should blame them for.

Now for some good news. If the Huskies do make the big dance, which is officially an “if”, their seed will likely be an 11 or 12, rather than a 9 or 10 which seemed possible a week ago. But does it matter? I would argue being an 11 or 12 seed is often better than being a 9 or 10, at least in terms of making a sweet 16 run. The recent numbers back this up. Since 2001, here are the seeds, and what % have made the round of 16.

9 seed- 2/44 = 4.5% make sweet 16
10 seed- 8/44 = 18%
11 seed- 6/44 = 14%
12 seed- 9/44 = 20%

The great news? Check it out, your Mariners are in 1st place! Granted the games don’t “really” count, but we’ll take what we can get.

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The State of the Husky Basketball Team

Yes, I still write for this blog.  Welcome back, you say?  Why thank you.  How have you been, you say?  I’m doing well.  The main reason I haven’t written much lately is that I wanted to make sure that I was still writing on here for the right reasons.  All four of the Good Guys’ write on this blog as a hobby and nothing more.  We aren’t paid for what we write (nor should we be) and we aren’t the most popular sports blog in Seattle (again, we shouldn’t be).  We just do this for fun and we are hopeful that our readers find us entertaining and somewhat informative.  In the last month I wanted to make sure that I wasn’t writing just to see how many blog hits we could get.  I wanted to make sure that I didn’t think of it as a chore.  Most of all, I wanted to make sure that I enjoyed sports more while writing about them than not writing about them.  Now, I’m back!  Yes, I’ve missed writing and, having wasted about 200 words already, it’s time to get on with this post!  There will be more in the future and, hopefully, not as many breaks in the future.

I was driving back to Seattle today and caught the last couple of minutes of the Husky basketball game on the radio.  After watching their blowout loss against Colorado on Thursday, I was hesitant to even turn it on but I’m a Dawg and will always be.  Despite the Huskies best effort to lose the game to a terrible Utah team, they edged out a close victory.  It was their first road win of the year.

After the game had ended I spent a few minutes about what I thought ‘Husky basketball’ is.  In recent years I think the program has been successful enough to earn an identity and I think Romar, Bob Rondeau and Harry the Husky would agree.  What is that identity?  I would peg it as in-your-face defense that takes risks, fast paced offense that thrives off of penetration and shooters, and a dive on the floor to get the loose ball mentality.  Most of all, I think it’s that last part.  That’s what makes Dawg fans stand up and bark.  Since the program has been on the upswing, there is no doubt that Romar has taught his players to want it more than their opposition.  Sure, that hasn’t been the case every single game but I think most Husky fans would agree.  So what’s different about this year’s team? Continue reading

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Raise The Roof

Can we put a stop to the discussion of who is the best player in the Pac-10?  I’d take Derrick Williams and Klay Thompson on my team any day, even though Thompson drives me nuts, but no player is doing more better right now than Isaiah Thomas.  He’s gone from a very good shooting guard to the best point guard in the conference, and one of the best in the nation, in what seems like the blink of an eye.

As disappointing as it was to lose Abdul Gaddy for the year, and it would certainly be nice to have him around, his injury could be the catalyst for this team to jump to another level.  With Isaiah running the point to perfection, that allows UW to add one of their rangy swingmen to the line-up, which no team in the Pac can really match.  Or they play Overton and IT together and they can wreak havoc on the perimeter and in the lane.

Following Gaddy’s injury, Thomas seemed to take it upon himself to carry the team, and he has, despite the loss to Stanford.  IT spent the day before the first game without Gaddy proclaiming on Twitter that he was going to start the movement to bring back the Raise the Roof.  That night, he got his first dunk of his college career and started the movement.  He kept it up two nights later to win his first Pac-10 player of the week award, and tonight he posted his first double-double with 27 points and 12 assists, with only 1 turnover.  If the Huskies keep rolling to the conference title and IT plays anywhere close to this level the rest of the way, I can’t see how he doesn’t win the conference player of the year award. 

Keep it up, IT.  I can’t think of anyone I’d rather have running these Huskies.

Some notes after the jump! Continue reading

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Gaddy Out

It was announced today that Abdul Gaddy has torn his ACL and will be out for the rest of the year.  This is obviously bad news.  Gaddy had taken a tremendous step forward this year and is now out for the rest of the year.

Even with this injury, the Huskies are the deepest team in the conference.  Gaddy is a true point guard, but Isaiah Thomas is morphing into that more and more which could soften the blow of losing Gaddy.

Two questions come to mind with this injury:

  • How bad does this hurt the Huskies?
  • Who takes Gaddy’s minutes?

Any injury to a starting player is bad.  That goes without saying.  But, of the 5 Husky starters, Gaddy might have been the least valuable.  That’s not to say he’s not valuable, he clearly was.  But, the Huskies couldn’t afford to lose a big man and they are deep at the guard position.  Overton and Thomas will take over point guard duties.  Sometimes they’ll be in at the same time.  Those two can’t get in foul trouble because the Huskies can’t afford to lose a ball handler.  Also, Gaddy was good at settling down the offense into the half court sets.  That will be missed.

As for who takes Gaddy’s minutes?  Clearly, Overton will get a bump in playing time.  Hopefully he’s healthy enough for that.  Also, the trio of Ross, Wilcox, and Suggs will get more.  Because of his play lately, I’d like to see Ross get more minutes.  As would most of Husky nation.  The Huskies lineup will be taller now and more lengthy, which could be a good thing.  I’m not sure who will take Gaddy’s spot in the stating lineup.  I would vote for Ross, because I think Overton is more effective off the bench.

Make no mistake, this is a big loss for the Huskies, but, I don’t think it ends the Huskies season.  I think they will be just fine.  I could be wrong but I sure hope not.

Andrew

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Who’s Your Gaddy?

The Washington Huskies basketball team is an interesting team to try and figure out (and something we’ll try to figure out more in the coming weeks).  They seem to be a lot like last years team thus far, can’t win on the road and look like they’re a top-10 team at home.  But, I, and I imagine the rest of the good guys, think that this team is better.  One of the reasons for that is Abdul Gaddy.

Last year, Gaddy came to UW as a 17 year old and didn’t live up to expectations.  He was ranked as the number 2 point guard in his recruiting class and was thought to be the player that would take the Huskies to the next level.  He did win a starting job but this was more due to the fact that Overton was more effective coming off the bench than Gaddy being effective as a starter.

Gaddy’s jumper was pretty horrid last year and he seemed to lack quickness.  He did appear to make some progress towards the end of the year, but he was a big question entering the year.

Now, it appears things are different.  Frankly, he looks like a completely different player.  Through 11 games Gaddy has shot 54% from the field and 43% from beyond the arc.  This summer, he was helped out by Ryan Appleby with his shooting, much like Quincy Pondexter last year.  Now, his shot looks almost as natural as anyone’s on the team.

The confidence from his jumper has given the rest of his game life.  He’s put his amazing ball-handling skills on display and finds the open man better than any Husky point guard has since Will Conroy.

In Wednesday’s game against Nevada, Gaddy’s shot wasn’t falling.  He had a few looks from deep where he was pretty open but failed to knock them down.  Last year, that would have been more of the same.  But, this year it was different.  He still had his confidence.  He was still taking the shots and thinking they were going in.  He was still shaking defenders with ease and finding the open man.

My dad always used to tell me that sports were 50% mental, 50% physical.  When you’re talking about the college or professional level this probably is an exaggeration.  But, Gaddy is an example of just how important confidence is.  That confidence makes him fit in with the rest of the team.  And that confidence is the reason why I think these Huskies could make a deep run in March.  Deeper than any Husky team in recent memory.

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