The Washington Huskies are stacked this year. Let me start over. The Washington Huskies lost arguably their two best players from last season and are still stacked.
After saying goodbye to seniors Justin Dentmon, the 2009 Pac-10’s most improved player, and Jon Brockman, UW’s all-time leading rebounder, Washington is still predicted to roll through its west coast rivals thanks to freshman phenom Abdul Gaddy.
With a preseason ranking in the top fifteen in the country, and a prediction to finish second to California in the Pac-10, Washington is once again gunning on full blast. One major reason the reigning conference champs are excited about their chances this year: their young backcourt. Led by 2009 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year, Isaiah Thomas and newcomer Gaddy, the Huskies might have the quickest guard set in the entire country.
Gaddy, Scout’s number two overall point guard recruit, grew up and balled in nearby Tacoma, Washington. As a senior at Bellarmine Prep, he averaged 25.3 points a game and made enough national noise to be named a McDonald’s All-American.
The former Gatorade State POY has amazing quickness and handles, and can dissect an opposing defense. His biggest asset might be his passing ability, which will be on display with Thomas and Quincy Pondexter running the wings. Gaddy is an NCAA All-American-in-waiting and if he stays in school long enough for Coach Lorenzo Romar to develop his potential, will be cashing checks in the League for many, many years.
Washington has a cupcake schedule through their first seven games, until they will finally be tested against Georgetown. If they can get past Greg Monroe and the Hoyas, they could very likely be undefeated by the time they take on Pac-10 play and Oregon State on New Years Eve.
Life as a freshman is never easy for any incoming collegian; much less when you have the sort of expectations Gaddy does coming in. Although, that’s not the sentiment you get from hearing him talk. Recently Gaddy took a few moments to share his thoughts about his upcoming year with Dime.
Dime: First off, why did you choose the Huskies?
Abdul Gaddy: It’s close to home. You got two teammates, Isaiah and Clarence [Trent], you know I’ve been close to all my childhood. My family gets to watch me play and I thought recruiting me, I thought Lorenzo Romar was a good role model for me…I think those are the main reasons.
Dime: How do you think your backcourt mate, Isaiah and you will match up in the Pac-10?
AG: I think we’ll be good together. I’m coming in trying to make his job easier. You know, he’s going to be a scorer, so is Quincy, so I’m here to make both of their jobs’ easier. Especially for him (Thomas) cause he’s so little, but he’s a scorer you know – he’s a great scorer at that – and I’m here to help him.
Dime: What are you most excited for in your first season?
AG: I’m just ready to get out there and just experience the whole college thing. The whole college basketball, playing in March Madness and stuff. I want to go far into the NCAA tournament, Elite Eight, Final Four, National Championship; I’m trying to experience that in my lifetime. I want to go the NBA but I want to achieve some goals in college before I try to achieve that goal.
Dime: Who’s your favorite player to ever come out of the Seattle/Tacoma area?
AG: Brandon Roy. Just because his game, especially because he’s flourishing in the NBA, he’s so successful. How he handles himself off the court, you know I talk to him all the time; he’s one of the reasons that helped me come here too. He was like, Lorenzo Romar’s a good coach, he’s going to help you get better everyday. I think (Roy) is a good role model, I like his game a lot.
Dime: You threw down some heaters in the McDonald’s All-American dunk contest. If you could dunk on any one person, who would it be?
AG: Oh, if I could dunk on one person…I’d say my former teammate Avery Bradley (now a freshman at Texas), cause he always says I can never do it. But one day I’m gonna try to (laughs).
Dime: Finish this sentence: Abdul Gaddy is the next __________
AG: I’d say the next great player out of Washington; I’ll try to say that.
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