Thought I would do something that would discuss each of the incoming Husky players at length, a little more in-depth compared to the Desmond Simmons write-up I did a few days ago.
I would have started off with someone who is more of a sleeper like C.J. Wilcox, but the draw of writing up on Abdul Gaddy is just too much to pass on. It would be best to get the Gaddy post out of the way just because I have so much to say about the new Washington point guard.
What Gaddy Offers Next Season…
If you were able to read my projection on the starting lineup next season, then you know I think there is no question that Gaddy is going to be the starting point guard for the Huskies next season.
What Gaddy brings to the table is perhaps the best instincts in the Pac-10 conference next season for a point guard. That’s obvious high praise for a player since he has yet to play a game at the college level, but there is some strong evidence to back the claim. Take a look at a highlight clip on YouTube of Gaddy, specifically the first highlight that is played. The first pass is a beautiful no look find, but the moment his finger tips touch the ball on a pass back, the ball has instantly been transferred on a bullet pass to an open man down low.
Now imagine this type of ability playing in the high-octane offense that Lorenzo Romar has made famous among Husky fans. The court is going to be wide open and fast the entire game for Gaddy, with an obscene amount of moments he will be able to flash his playmaking ability. Gaddy separates himself from the competition due to moments like these as he processes the situation quicker than anybody. Through his high school career with the Bellarmine Lions, Gaddy always demonstrated this quick decision making that always put him and Bellarmine ahead of the competition.
The first clip of that video is just one example, take another look at the video 48 seconds in. The video is against my old high school and a game where Gaddy scored over 40 points and dished over 10 assists. But this one clip demonstrates Gaddy’s instincts and playmaking ability to the fullest.
He begins by driving to the middle of the key with his off hand after facing tough pressure on the perimeter. His presence in the key immediately drew the attention of almost the entire Gig Harbor defense, in which Mathias Ward actually provides great body positioning that, in theory, should diffuse any chance of a basket for Gaddy on that play. However all in the span of about a millisecond, Gaddy was able to dish to the man Mathias had been defending on the baseline for an easy two.
Those two clips alone provide a sufficient amount of evidence to emphasize what Gaddy will do for the Huskies next season. With his ability to drive to the basket and draw attention (while making quick decisions), any Husky big man playing will suddenly see many more opportunities for quick dishes that lead to easy dunks. Also the spot up shooters such as Elston Turner and C.J. Wilcox will be able to have more open looks because of the attention that Gaddy and Isaiah Thomas will bring with their ability to drive to the hoop. Thomas is different because he has the ability to finish for a basket, Gaddy will instead create opportunities for his teammates.
Having Gaddy on the Huskies is exactly why every team should want to have a “true point guard.” Isaiah was obviously great for the Huskies last season as the point guard, but other teams saw him as the scorer that he is as opposed to a point guard. Gaddy will open up the floor for his teammates in a completely new way and force opposing defenses to play honest to everyone on the floor.
For Gaddy next season expect something along the lines of: Starting PG, 8-10 PPG, 4-6 .5 APG, 1-2 SPG, and one of the highest assist-to-turnover ratios in the Pac-10 conference.
What Gaddy Offers Long Term…
In Gaddy’s case, long term may not last more than two years with the Huskies. It has been discussed at length that Gaddy must stay for at least two years because of his age, and because of his NBA type ability I’ll only project for two seasons with a maximum of three.
But in these next two (or three seasons) for the Huskies, they should be able to challenge for a Pac-10 championship and continue to build off last season’s run to the NCAA Tournament. With only one senior leaving after next season, 2010-2011 may be the year to attack for a possible Final Four.
This incredible achievement all depends on the development of some key players (Darnell Gant, Matthew Bryan-Amaning, and Clarence Trent to name a few) and the possibility of bringing in Josh Smith in the next recruiting class. But as Gaddy continues to grow older, the team will only improve with his game at the college level because of the impact the point guard in Romar’s system has on the outcome of the game.
I do not think there is any question he could be a First Team conference player at the end of his sophomore year. With Jerome Randle leaving next year, the path to receiving that type of recognition is far from being absurd.
As you may notice, the discussion of what Gaddy offers long term is much more about the team as opposed to him specifically. While the other incoming freshman (and junior in Charles Garcia’s case) will see this section dedicated to their individual growth, Gaddy is talked about in a team sense because of his impact on the team right now. Because of Gaddy the team should go far in the quest for a national title, he could have as big of an impact for the team as Jon Brockman had last season and Brandon Roy four years ago. He is that talented, and playing in the most important position for the Huskies. Gaddy could make this team one of the greatest Husky teams ever.
Now that I have thrown out the Roy card, there is nothing left to say besides having Gaddy going out and proving it on the court the for the Huskies.
But if Gaddy can live up to all of the stock I am putting in his remarkable ability as a point guard, get ready to celebrate Husky fans.
NOTE: I am not saying Bow Down to a 17-year-old, this will be the name for all four segments.