Tag Archives: Terrence Ross

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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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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Ranking Your 2011 Mariners

The big news today is basketball related, with Isaiah Thomas announcing, rather unexpectedly, that he will indeed forgo his senior season at UW. He’s off to the NBA, which sucks for Husky fans. Time will tell whether this is a wise decision by IT, but I’m happy for him. Next year’s expectations will be lower now, and it could very well be our last year watching Terrence Ross, but the team should still be good, and contend for the conference yet again.

With that news, I’m officially closing basketball talk on the blog, until at least the draft in June. Why? Because today is opening day! As Andrew noted, things have been dry on here lately, but nothing like some M’s baseball to stir conversation. In case you have not heard, the 25 man roster is official. Looking over the team last night, I started ranking guys in my mind, and that’s what this post is all about. In addition to ranking the 25 man roster, in terms of most valuable to the team in 2011, I’m also throwing 3 more guys into the conversation: Ackley, Gutierrez, and Aardsma. The latter two are on the DL, and Ackley will probably be up sometime in June, so they belong on this list too.

    Ranking the Roster (Most Valuable to Least Valuable)

1- Felix Hernandez—He is the King of Seattle, and the best pitcher on planet Earth. Yes, Felix is the Mariners’ most valuable player. Go away trade rumors!
2- Ichiro—The team’s best hitter and most valuable everyday player. Also, the coolest Mariner ever.
3- Justin Smoak—I want to fall in love with Justin Smoak, and so does this city, but he has a lot to prove. IMHO, this guy is the lynchpin to the M’s offense in 2011.
4- Franklin Gutierrez—I fear for Guti’s long-term health with every day that passes without an explanation, but assuming this mystery stomach ailment gets treated, Guti is the team’s best defender, and a top 5 hitter, a valuable asset indeed.
5- Milton Bradley—Depending on which Milton shows up, batting 3rd, Bradley could easily lead the team in production this year. But can he stay healthy AND out of trouble? I wouldn’t bet on it.
6- Erik Bedard—Hard to argue that a guy who did not pitch last year could hold much value, but IF healthy, Bedard provides huge value to this team. And IF his spring performance is an indicator of what’s to come, his worth is as high as a #2 starter.
7- Chone Figgins—This guy had better bounce back, and I expect he will now that he’s back at 3rd and settled into Seattle. The M’s should be annoying to play, and Figgy leads that annoyance.
8- Jason Vargas—I still don’t think of Jason Vargas as a #2 starter, but he earned this spot after last season. Can he provide an encore?
9- Jack Cust—Batting clean-up for your Seattle Mariners…Jack Cust. Really? You better believe it! He will strike out a ton, but I gotta think he is an upgrade at DH, and he is an awesome interview.
10- Miguel Olivo—The team’s main acquisition this winter, Miguel can’t be worse than our catchers last season, but he must improve on his first go around in Seattle if he is to win over the fans. Continue reading

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Happy Walter Jones Day!

If you haven’t heard, Seahawk great Walter Jones announced his retirement yesterday.  It was certainly not unexpected after he missed all of last year after surgery.  He was one of the best left tackles to ever play in the NFL, legitimately in the discussion with just two or three others as the greatest ever.  It’s incredibly doubtful we’ll ever see anyone on the Seahawks offensive line come close to the dominance Jones showed.  I heard this morning that he gave up nine sacks in his career, which is just one sack every season and a quarter, and happened to be the same amount of quarterbacks that he blocked for.  The Seahawks were just as likely to have a new quarterback as Jones was to give up a sack.  His #71 jersey will be retired immediately.  Good luck to Walt in the future and thanks for the memories!

The governor has declared today to be Walter Jones day.  I don’t really know what you do with that, other than reminisce and listen to sports radio, but I guess you could try to eat 71 hot dogs or something.  Luckily, there are plenty of other sports things going on today, so if you’re not into hot dogs, watch for these instead:

3:30 Terrence Jones and Terrance Ross Announce Their Commitments

Jones and Ross are probably the two best remaining basketball recruits on the west coast, and they are both considering the Huskies along with a host of other schools.  Classmates at Portland’s Jefferson High, they will announce their choices at a 3:30 press conference with two other teammates.

Ross is rumored to have committed to the UW Monday on a visit, but is delaying the announcement so he can do it with his friends.  That’s not for sure, but I’m about 90% positive he’ll be a Dawg at this point.  He’s a 6′ 5″ wing with great athleticism and an excellent shot.  He wasn’t able to play at Jefferson this past year due to transfer rules, but as a sophomore in 2008 he was the Oregon player of the year, and now can be found as high as the top 30 in recruiting rankings.  He’d be a huge add, with his size and offensive talent playing in nice contrast to Isaiah Thomas’ small and slashing game.  There are concerns with both players about getting into school, but Ross himself has said that he’ll qualify, so there’s no reason to doubt him until he doesn’t get in.

Jones is not as clear of a lock for UW as is Ross, but he’s an even higher ranked prospect and arguably a better fit for next year’s team.  A 6′ 9″ forward, Jones is an inside-out type player who reportedly can do a little of everything offensively with good defensive to boot.  Honestly, I’ve heard a little of everything about Jones skills, including that he does or doesn’t have a low post game, shot, or premium athleticism.  It’s clear he’s more of a three four swing guy than a true post-up four, though.  Think a bigger Pondexter rather than Brockman, I guess.  Whatever the case, he’d be a huge get and would likely step right into Pondexter’s starting spot.  Kentucky and now Kansas seem to be his most likely landing spots if not UW, but I’d say there’s a better than even chance he’s a Husky.

Keep your fingers crossed.  Getting both guys could mean the Huskies are Pac-10 favorites (if they’re not already) and a big threat to go to the Final Four.

6:30 Husky Spring Game Under the Lights

This is the first time the spring game is being played at night, and I’m really looking forward to it.   The spring game is always a little weird to watch since it’s all Huskies (see Andrew’s post below), but it’s a lot of fun if for no other reason than it’s a chance to watch some football again.  Plus, it can give an idea of how the team and individual players have progressed, especially the non-linemen.  Look for Deontae Cooper to put on a show, and hope that the back-up quarterbacks show anything.  I think parking’s $7 but the game’s free, so come on out!

7:00 Cliff Lee!

Lee finally makes his Mariner debut against the Rangers tonight, and there’s a definite sense that the season is finally starting for real.  He won’t help the offense, but if they start to come around, this team could come together quickly.  This is also the first series where the opponent has to face both Felix and Cliff, which will be a lot more fun for us fans than it will for the Rangers.  Snell goes to the bullpen, but I haven’t heard who is being taken off the roster yet.  Candidates would be Colome or maybe Kelley or Texeira.  The Mariners are just a game back of the division lead, and a sweep could really get momentum going in their direction.

It should be a fun day and weekend.  Hope you enjoy it!

-Matthew

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