What Happens if Josh Smith Commits? *UPDATED WITH GARCIA NEWS*

One aspect of the Desmond Simmons commitment last week was that the news kick started the annual panic among Husky fans about the scholarship situation for the 2010 season. In order for Washington to stay in line with the scholarships in 2010, the Huskies were assumed to only bring in one player to complete the 13 scholarships that are available for basketball.

While there was a good reaction to the news that Lorenzo Romar added a great wing player into the fold, the question on everyone’s mind was, “What about Josh Smith?”

Smith is the top payer in the state for 2010, a top-10 player nationally, and someone who could come in and dominate right away at center for the Huskies. With the general perception that Romar could only fit in one player in the class, it is easy to understand some discomfort that Smith suddenly  has no spot on the Huskies.

But believe me, if Smith wants a spot, there is no doubt that he will be given one from Romar. For the past few years the Huskies have always overbooked on scholarships with the situation working out in the end, for example the Joe Wolfinger transfer this season.

Problem with the scholarship situation for 2010, it is much more difficult to pinpoint who exactly is a candidate to leave for the NBA or transfer. Here’s a look at the 2010 roster with Simmons included…

  1. Charles Garcia Jr, Senior
  2. Matthew Bryan-Amaning, Senior
  3. Venoy Overton, Senior
  4. Justin Holiday, Senior
  5. Darnell Gant, Junior (RS)
  6. Isaiah Thomas, Junior
  7. Elston Turner, Junior
  8. Scott Suggs, Junior
  9. Tyreese Breshers, Junior
  10. Abdul Gaddy, Sophomore
  11. C.J. Wilcox, Sophomore
  12. Clarence Trent, Sophomore
  13. Desmond Simmons, Freshman

The conventional wisdom is that Suggs will transfer after many were disappointed in his performance and seemed to be stuck on the bench his freshman year. I’m not buying it.

Romar has continued to emphasize that the team sees Suggs as a possible All Pac-10 player by his senior year. Suggs should see increased playing time with Dentmon leaving and being arguably the only true shooting guard on the team besides Turner (many see Wilcox as a three). This could all change of course based on his performance next year, but it seemed obvious that Suggs would need some time to season when he signed his letter of intent. I never panicked about his game, and it appears Romar is not either.

There is the possibility Romar knows someone will declare for the draft, and the only people that really seem like the could declare early are Thomas and MBA. Problem is, even out of those two, no one truly stands out as an NBA player on the roster as Gaddy is forced to stay for two years. But Isaiah and MBA are the two that seem to have a chance. Of course everyone anticipated Thomas to be a four year player when he committed because of his height, but a weird string of events occurred last season that seem to be indications Thomas could declare.

One of the first was at one point during the season, reporters began to ask Isaiah about the possibilities he would declare early. Strangely he seemed prepared for the question and gave an answer with a strong indication that the NBA was definitely on his mind. A second clue was at one point on Thomas’ Facebook page, he updated his status as “Declaring for the NBA Draft!” While it was obvious that it was a joke, I don’t think there is any doubt that Thomas knows in his mind he is an NBA player. If he preforms and gains more national fame next season, I don’t think there is any reason to not be surprised to see IT at least see where he stands with the NBA scouts.

MBA on the other hand is a guy who didn’t even start last season, but has the NBA type of body and skill set that would translate well professionally. With MBA likely starting next season, there is the possibility he emerges as a legit post for the Huskies and becomes the strong rebounder and scoring threat Romar saw when recruiting him. At points last season Washington fans saw the talent MBA possesses, if he can completely harness that talent; who wouldn’t want a 6’9″, cut, power forward who has polished post moves and strong rebounding skills.


Since I had the article almost finished, I decided just to let you guys see it as is along with some thoughts on the Garcia situation…

Now that we know that Garcia is indeed the possible attrition that was necessary to get Smith, or any other recruit, under scholarship to join a recruiting class with Desmond Simmons.

It hurts to lose Garcia as it was expected he could play some significant minutes next season, but the Huskies have options in the front court for next season.

The player that will likely have to step the most now with the news Garcia failed to qualify will be my old classmate Clarence. I personally saw him as a guy who was going to see little playing time, possibly redshirt to gain some college experience before achieving significant minutes. But with Garcia now unavailable it will likely open up the door for Clarence for more PT at the four. Gant, Breshers, and MBA will receive the majority of the minutes, but three is not enough as more than likely they will have some foul trouble often during games.

This also brings up the three guard lineup again as Pondexter could now see more time at the four. Garcia’s news only makes it more likely, so continue to ponder the idea of a small, quick lineup for the Huskies next year.


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