Abdul Gaddy heard the criticisms all off-season. The Sophomore to be had a disappointing Freshman campaign. As the second highest rated Point Guard behind Kentucky’s John Wall more was expected, especially as a starter. Instead he would be relegated to the bench relatively early in games and often be a non factor.
Meanwhile his Bellermine Prep teammate Avery Bradley had propelled himself to the first round of the NBA draft with his freshman season at Texas.
What’s wrong with Abdul Gaddy? Is he even good enough? His shooting was terrible and his passing was suspect. These are things in which he was lauded for in high school.
It seemed that Romar never had any doubts about his phenom Point guard, installing him back into the starting line up without any indecision early in the team’s training camp this season. And it seemed that Romar’s patience would pay off, as it often does with players of his with any doubt(think Brandon Roy, Jon Brockman, who each were disappointing freshman).
Gaddy responded, taking full advantage of his opportunity and improved in every major statistical category. His three point shooting improved by 30 percent, field goal percentage up to 50 from 41.7, and increased his scoring average to 8.5 from 3.9. Improving his assist to turnover ratio to almost 4/1 didn’t hurt either.
What did hurt was what happened at practice on Tuesday when Adbul Gaddy tore his left ACL going to the rim. It’s a season ending injury.
Pretty unfortunate considering this happened so early in the Pac-10 schedule when it seemed that Washington was finally starting to form an identity with their rotation. Also considering guards CJ Wilcox and Venoy Overton had already been battling injuries and illnesses.
Now the question remains….Where do the Huskies go from here?
Who starts at PG now?
Conventional wisdom would say Venoy Overton, right? He’s started before. He’s a senior. Can run the system to perfection. Well, but here’s the thing: By starting Overton you take away a huge component of your bench. You take away your pace changer, your defensive hound who helps you either kick your opponent while they are down or give your team a much needed shot in the arm. In the end, I’m confident Overton will stay on the bench.
There will only a Point guard ‘starter’ for names sake
Meaning, that when the game starts, Isaiah will be the point guard, but it will be business as usual for the Junior who has a score first mentality. The real question that remains now is what rotation Romar will use to start. Which guard compliments Isaiah best? Who can handle the ball well to let Isaiah play off the ball at times? The early favorite I would think is Terrance Ross who has ideal size and ball handling skills inside the paint to make up for Isaiah’s lack of size. But, when Venoy is on the court the ball will always go through him first.
Can Gaddy be a four year Husky now?
Considering how highly rated Gaddy was when he came out of High school I thought that as soon as he turned 19 that the NBA would be a serious consideration for him. While his overall physicality is a question there is no questioning his talent. The NBA Draft seems to be based on potential in the latter stages of the lottery picks anyways, so why would a team shy away from taking a risk on Gaddy? Now, there would be risks. Not just because of the injury, but because of his play and lack of on court maturity. Does Gaddy just take this opportunity in rehab to just commit to the program through the long haul now? He cannot use a redshirt and will be a Junior next year. With Venoy Overton graduating there will be a lot more minutes for Gaddy to hold on to. And, if he stays for his Senior year he will be without Isaiah Thomas and could potentially take on a bigger brunt of the scoring. The only downside, highly touted Point Guard Tony Wroten Jr. is coming in to compete with him. But if Gaddy can fend off another sure fire NBA prospect it only speaks for how good Gaddy can be.
More minutes to make the crowded back court happy now, at least, right?
Definitely. Early on his career Scott Suggs was pretty unhappy with his playing time before he got a bigger chunk of responsibility last season. Now, Suggs has the opportunity to step up and be a major player. Even if he’s not a starter there is no question that other than Overton, he could be the first guard off the bench. Suggs, Ross and Wilcox were each averaging 14 minutes a game about. But each were playing inconsistently depending on who the hot hand was and who the opponents were. Now we could see all of them every game in more situations.