School is Right Around the Corner for the Hoops Dawgs

Aug 30, 2010, 5:05 PM | Updated: Apr 5, 2011, 11:20 am

Abdul Gaddy is one of a number of Huskies being looked to by UW fans to both improve on his performance last season and to help make up for the loss of team leader Quincy Pondexter. RushtheCourt.net did a revealing Q+A with ‘Dul that showed Gaddy to be serious and focused as to his goals and the work ahead.

In the article Gaddy talked about some of his conversations with Coach Lorenzo Romar in which, according to Abdul, Romar gave him some good advice.

“’It’s just a little adversity,’ that’s what he tells me. ‘You were bound to have it some time, you’re young, you’re only 18 years old, people expect a lot of an 18-year-old.’ Next year I’m going to be 19, so you get older, you get stronger, you get bigger, you get more experience. ‘Just go out there and play basketball like you always have,’ that’s what he always tells me. ‘Just be comfortable, learn the game, just try to play like you’re the best out there.’”

Gaddy seemed to understand what Lorenzo is saying and taking steps to do what he needs to.

“Yeah. I’m trying to be a more aggressive player. Because, the things that I do naturally are those things that he said. Those things are already there, so I just need to maintain them, those are sort of natural for me. I’m making sure I’m working on getting faster, getting quicker, getting stronger. I’m getting a lot of reps with my jump shot. That strength and stuff is coming with age; as I’ve gotten older I’ve gotten stronger, but I’ve also been in the weight room all summer, so I think those things will start to fall in place.”

I’ve gotten mixed messages from people as to how hard Gaddy has been focusing since his poor showing on the Team USA U-19 team in San Antonio, but it is also a lot to ask a teenager to become an NBA caliber point guard overnight.

Some feel that he has made good progress on his jumper and playing faster on both sides of the ball. Others feel that he still has a ways to go.

If he keeps on applying himself and listening to the right advise, he is going to be a very big success in the near future as his six-foot-four frame matures and his shooting improves. Gaddy has the luxury of another season with Venoy Overton and Isaiah Thomas, both of whom have proven that they can lead the UW team.

Both Isaiah and Venoy have a lot to prove going into this coming season, so if Gaddy can improve, just as much as one would hope any player would going from his freshman to sophomore years, UW is going to be much better in the back court.

A former UW commit back in the class of 2005 was Roburt Sallie. Sallie’s journey was not a happy story at first, but since landing in Memphis, back under the guidance of the infamous John Calipari, it seemed to have turned out pretty well.

The recent news that he will play for Rick Pitino at Louisville for his senior year, after graduating from Memphis seemed to be positive. That turned upside down, as it was reported that he was in fact not ready academically in time to make that work.

According to the Louisville Courier-Journal Sallie was trying to leave Memphis to play at Louisville, based on solely academic reasoning.

“(Sallie) attempted to take advantage of an NCAA rule aimed at helping players choose graduate studies of their choice. U of L said he could not take advantage of the rule because he didn’t graduate from Memphis in time to enroll. Sallie was attempting to transfer to UofL, where he would have been eligible immediately if he had enrolled in an advanced-degree program not offered at Memphis.”

It sounds to me like a scam academically and based more on basketball reasons. What’s worse, Sallie couldn’t pull it off right. I hope Roburt finds a place to play for his senior year, as we have heard that he will not likely play in Memphis.

Sallie is a very talented player that the UW staff really liked back in 2005. He is a veteran that could help any number of teams with his knowledge of the game, pro size and shooting acumen. I doubt that he would figure in the equation for UW, as it’s possible that his past relationship with Calipari, Memphis and the like might make him less than desirable now.

Add to that the fact that UW has three great shooting wings in junior Scott Suggs and red-shirt freshmen C.J. Wilcox and pure freshman Terrence Ross, but you never know.

Sallie could bring a lot to the table basketball wise this season for UW, before moving on to a pro career, but I would also think that a move like this could damage team chemistry for those guys who are expecting a chance to show what they have. Either way it works, I wish Roburt well in his search for a team this coming year be it in college or overseas.

Rivals picked the Washington/Texas A+M game as it’s “Best game” for the Big-12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series.

“In a dozen games between these power conferences, only one features two NCAA tournament teams from last season. (That’s what happens when the Pac-10 only has two teams in the field.) Texas A&M loses Bryan Davis and Donald Sloan, and Washington loses Quincy Pondexter. Despite those departures, both teams will stick to their bread-and-butter – Washington with its up-tempo, pressing style and Texas A&M with its defense-first approach. The Aggies will be motivated to win the game for

Derrick Roland, who suffered a horrific broken leg in this game last season.”

What Rivals neglected to mention is that UW also lost Elston Turner, who will be on the bench in street clothes no doubt, to the Aggies themselves. Even though A+M lost Davis and Sloan, as well as Roland, the game is on the road and the Aggies program is a strong one that keeps on winning every year in the Big-12 despite notable losses.

It should be a steep hill to climb for the Dawgs, if anything like the early season lack of focus that most of Romar’s teams have shown continues.

That game will be televised nationally, as well as the other contest for UW in the series against Texas Tech at Hec-Ed exactly one week earlier. UW will not be the focus of another “Game Day” this year though, as those events were announced by the network on Wednesday. There will be no other Pac-10 team that will be featured this season as well.

Yahoo took an opportunity to get it’s weekly shot in below the belt at the Pac-10.

“The lone BCS conference that will not host GameDay this season is the Pac-10, which is expected to be only slightly improved after placing two teams in the NCAA tournament last season. ESPN apparently learned its lesson after bringing GameDay to Seattle for Washington’s ugly 97-68 victory over struggling UCLA.”

The Dawgs rip up on UCLA, show what a tremendous home court and program they have to the national audience and for that reason ESPN shouldn’t showcase them? How about picking a better opponent, like for instance a late season non-conference game with say UNC or Duke. It’s not like those teams have no supporters on the ESPN staff that wouldn’t look forward to hyping up that game.

Even if it does seem that the Dawgs are too tough for anyone at Hec-Ed in February or March, I would think that bringing UW all the way to the east coast for a game day in Chapel Hill or Durham would make for good TV, but what do I know.

Husky Recruiting Corner

Rivals and Scout updated their 2011 recruiting rankings this past week. UW recruits that were listed by Rivals were #9 DeAndre Daniels, #19 Norvel Pelle, #22 Jabari Brown, #30 Anthony Wroten, #59 Norman Powell, #76 Angelo Chol, #111 Hikeem Stewart, #125 Brett Kingma, #128 Tyler Harris and #143 Kevin Bailey.

Daniels and Pelle are now huge targets for factories like Kentucky, Kansas and others and they rose, while Brown and Wroten appear to have dropped those types of schools and they drop. Coincidence? I think not, especially with the performances that both put out there during the AAU season.

On Scout the UW ranked recruits were #14 Brown, #27 Wroten, #34 Daniels, #51 Powell, #54 Chol and #57 Pelle. Their list stopped at 100 and should have gone a bit further out to include more players. I feel that their choices were also off the mark when it came to the UW recruits, many of whom they report are not even being recruited by Washington.

Those players listed, but not being recruited by UW included Daniels and Powell, though both of those guys would appear to be confirmed to be on UW’s radar at this point according to recent news.

Jabari, according to Zagsblog on Wednesday, is considering Maryland and Miami and has scheduled a home visit with the Terps the night after one with UW on September 9th. Depaul, Georgia Tech, Oregon and Cal also have in-homes with Brown scheduled, according to Zagsblog, who also confirmed that UW has the only official visit scheduled with Jabari.

NBEBasketball.com confirmed on Saturday that Jabari will officially visit UConn on September 25th.

Also over the weekend Brown participated in the Elite-24 Classic in LA, CA.

According to the ESPN Kansas site, Brown is still considering Kansas, stating his earlier lists are not that firm in an interview on video. Jabari did confirmed though that his only scheduled visit was with UW, contradicting the earlier report on NBE.

This clearly illustrates how absurd all of this recruiting coverage can be, as reporters attempt to get hard news out of teenagers and fall on their faces time and time again.

The UCLA Rivals site covered the Elite-24 event and said that, “Brown was very effective, hitting several jump shots and going to the hoop with power and great hands”. That is actually big of them, considering that Jabari is not considering the Bruins. They would usually be more dismissive in that case.

Brown reportedly had an incident at the event in which he helped defend his former AAU team mate Nick Johnson, during an incident with NBA player and former USC Trojan star Demar Derozan.

It’s good to see that Jabari is loyal to his fellow players when it comes to an attack from an NBA bigwig. Brown also impressed me by referencing god in his video interview for the KU ESPN site.

Another kid that UW is recruiting that also impresses me personally is Stewart. According to an update in Scout last Monday, Hikeem is getting recruited the hardest by “Washington, Colorado and Oregon State”.

Stewart was on “Talkin’ Hoops” last Monday as well and we spoke all about his recruiting, as well as a number of other topics that would interest UW fans, like his relationships with Tony Wroten, Nate Robinson, Jamal Crawford, Brandon Roy and others.

It is my impression that Stewart is a very heavy UW lean and that the chances are great that both he and Tony will be wearing purple and gold in the near future. we hope to break the news that both of them are committing to Washington sometime soon. Stewart mentioned that he was looking to commit sometime in late September on the show.

2011 UW guard recruit Brett Kingma also had a recruiting update on Tuesday in which he confirmed visits to, ” Oregon on Sept. 18 and Arizona State on Oct. 1″. The article barely mentions Washington only stating that, “Gonzaga, Vanderbilt and Washington are three of the other high-profile programs that have offered him”.

Sources have also informed us that Kingma and UW may not be as big of an item as has been advertized, but Scout reported on Monday that UW, along with BYU and ASU had in-homes set up and that Brett’s officials with ASU and Oregon were also confirmed. One Scout observer stated though that Kingma is an Oregon lean

I spoke to Jim Marsh, Kingma’s AAU coach, who said that Brett is a great shooter with range and that coaches are really starting to come around and take a closer look at him, based on that fact.

We spoke to Brett today and he got us 100% up to date.

“I have set up officials to Oregon, Arizona State, and Vanderbilt. BYU, Arizona State, and Vanderbilt have scheduled in-homes. My list is Oregon, Washington, Boston College, Arizona State, Vanderbilt, BYU and Pepperdine.”

Seatown Sports did a nice profile on Brett two weeks ago, that seemed to doubly confirm his strong interest in UW. The article stated that Brett, “Will cut his list to five schools in mid-August, go on his vista in the fall, and make a decision by the end of October”, which is more or less what he told me the last time we spoke.

I have not seen anywhere that Kingma has made that cut to 5 schools. Perhaps he meant to say mid-September.

Daniels has been the subject of a mountain of recruiting press and message board speculation after it was reported last week that he was trying to reclassify to 2010, was visiting schools and a lot more, based on reports from his high school coach at Taft High in Woodland Hills, CA.

Since then kentuckysportsradio.com reported on Wednesday that Daniels and Kentucky were still trying to make it happen, despite reports that he was definitely going to stay in the class of 2011 that had happened days before.

“Two sources confirmed yesterday that there was still interest between both Daniels and the Cats and the two were attempting to try and work out the details over the next two days. Enrollment deadlines are coming so we will know with finality whether the relationship ends up consummated, but for now, the possibility of Daniels joining this year’s team is still in play.”

Those attempts, if true, were reportedly unsuccessful, according to Zagsblog who reported that DeAndre was definitely going to prep school next fall on Wednesday night. The piece also confirmed with Daniels that he was considering three prep schools in “Brewster (N.H.) Academy, South Kent (Conn.) and IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.”.

AdamZagoria tweeted on Thursday that, “DeAndre Daniels won’t be attending Brewster (N.H.) or South Kent (Conn.), sources say”.

Rivals confirmed that IMG would be his destination in the fall and that in fact Washington was still in the picture, despite reports in Scout that they were not.

“Daniels’ recruitment has exploded in recent weeks after his de-commitment from the Longhorns. Texas is still involved to some degree, Trigonis said, and USC, UCLA, Washington, Cal, Kentucky, West Virginia, NC State and ‘pretty much everybody’ is now in the mix.”

In an update that relates more to his AAU team mate Daniels, Pelle was also prominently mentioned in Rivals on Monday. The piece by the Texas Rivals site talked about the top schools on Pelle’s list, as mentioned by his AAU coach.

“The first teams mentioned in Pelle’s recruitment by Trigonis were Washington, St. John’s and Kansas.”

According to a a tweet by teenage recruiting junkie Alex Kline (TheRecruitScoop), Chol has eliminated UConn.

“While Ater Major has plans to leave UConn, Angelo Chol’s decision to knock UConn off of his list was due to a loss of scholarships”

In my opinion this won’t be the last recruiting plan that was changed by the actions of the NCAA this year, as Kansas, Kentucky, Oklahoma and others are likely to be affected and to an even greater degree than UConn.

Harris played in the Five-Star Orange & White Classic on Sunday in Brewster NY. Rivals did a highlight video which includes more strong footage of Tyler who really impresses me with his overall game at his height of six-foot-eight.

Harris will go to the elite east coast prep school St. Benedicts for his senior year, according to numerous sources.

Three UW 2012 prospects participated in the Nor Cal Clash, as point guard Dominic Artis, shooting guard Langston Morris-Walker and wing Richard Longruss all competed on the rising juniors team which lost to the rising seniors 91-87.

According to Rivals Washington is not one of the schools showing the most interest.

“Artis had the touch from the outside going with three 3-pointers in the first half in finishing with 13 points. He does a good job of getting separation with his dribble and has the range and confidence to pull up from anywhere. He mixed in his distributing skills in the second half, but we will have to continue to see his defense this coming season. Some of the schools showing him the most interest right now are Stanford, New Mexico, Oregon and Georgia Tech.”

Sources have informed us that this “baby faced assassin”, who is a former team mate of 2010 signee Desmond Simmons and 2011 recruit Jabari Brown is definitely on UW’s priority list.

Morris-Walker really impressed Rivals with his hustle and rebounding.

“There might not have been a harder working rebounder in this game than Morris-Walker, who finished with eight boards despite being 6-foot-4. He is a quick jumper and showed good physicality inside. He was one of five players for the juniors in double figures with 11 points in a solid, controlled game for him.”

2012 UW guard recruit Gabe York was the subject of a recruiting update in Rivals. The piece stated that UW is definitely after York, who is also reportedly still wide open.

“Oklahoma, Notre Dame, Tulsa, Washington, Baylor and Miami are the new schools on his list which already included Arizona, Arizona State, Georgetown, Oregon State, Stanford, Syracuse, USC and Washington State.”

Pac-10 Round Up

(Heath Harshman did a very good job of helping us cover the WSU Cougars of Ken Bone last season and he just sent us a nice analysis of their just released schedule and what to expect from their 2010-2011 opponents.)

The WSU men’s basketball schedule was released last week and it’s looking promising for yet another young Cougar squad. They play all of their tough non-conference games in the friendly confines of Beasly Coliseum in Pullman and end the season at home with a couple of games from the southern California schools.

The Cougs will start the year with six of their first eight games at home. The first of those games, an exhibition, is against Lewis-Clark State on Friday November 5th. They will then face Southern University and Idaho in their first “real” games of the season.

WSU faced Idaho at home last season as well, winning fairly comfortably 76-64. Southern, whose Alumni include NBA player and coach Avery Johnson, struggled last season in the Southwestern Athletic Conference finishing 5-25 on the year.

After opening at home WSU will travel to the Westside of the state to take on Portland University in the Cougar Hardwood Classic at KeyArena. The Cougs faced Louisiana State in the Cougar Hardwood Classic last season, winning an overtime thriller, 72-70.

They will then head to California for the first of five total trips to the Golden State for a game against Fresno State. Adding to the fun in Fresno will be the transfer of Washington native Mychal Ladd. Ladd played the last two seasons with the Bulldogs, averaging just over ten points per game.

He will be joining former Rainier Beach High School teammate Reggie Moore on the WSU squad in 2011-12 and will red-shirt this season.

After their first road test of the year the Cougs will then be faced with a three game home stand that will tell WSU fans and the rest of the Pac-10 just what they are made of. They open with a Tuesday match-up with Sacramento State and will follow that up with back-to-back home match-ups with Kansas State and Gonzaga.

The Cougs faced both of the latter last season, losing both games, but in very different ways.

On their short trip to Spokane to face the Zags the Cougs were 6-0 on the year, but had not really been tested. They came out flying in the first half against the then #16 ranked Bulldogs and took a 39-27 lead. But, in what would be the first of many polarizing performances, WSU let their lead slowly but surely slip away as they lost 74-69.

WSU then traveled over 1,000 miles to Manhattan, Kansas to take on the Kansas State Wildcats just three days later as a part of the Big-12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series. The Cougs looked lethargic and jet-lagged from the get-go and were blown out 86-69, and it was not as close as the score indicated.

A year of growth and experience for a young and talented Cougar team as well as the added advantage of playing in Pullman could be just the swing needed for WSU to turn those two losses into a couple victories. But, both opponents return key parts of their teams from last season.

Kansas State will once again lean on guard Jacob Pullen to lead them success, he was the leading scorer for the Wildcats on their way to the Elite Eight last season. He scored 21 points against WSU last season in 25 minutes of play. Gonzaga meanwhile will bring back forward Elias Harris but will not have the services of former guard Matt Bouldin.

Bouldin was the straw that stirred the drink in the Bulldogs comeback last season; he scored 28 points and was seven of twelve from behind the arc. Harris was also important in the Gonzaga win, scoring 24 points and grabbing 12 rebounds.

After that solid home block of games the Cougs then go on their longest road stretch of the season. They will play seven games away from home over the course of 21 days from December 10th through the 31st.

WSU begins the stretch against the University of Texas Pan American, who went just 6-27 in the Great West conference last season, in the Spokane Arena. They will then travel to Santa Clara for a final game before participating in the Diamond Head Classic in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Joining the Cougars in the tournament field will be the hosts Hawaii, Mississippi State, Florida State, Utah, San Diego, Elite Eight participant Baylor and national championship runner-up Butler. WSU will open up with Mississippi State on December 22nd, it will be televised on ESPNU. The entire tournament will be on the ESPN family of networks. The Cougs will then face the winner/loser of the Baylor/San Diego game the following day. All the teams are guaranteed at least three games, a solid tournament to resemble the likeness of the Pac-10 conference tournament.

WSU will then get a trip to sunny Los Angeles, CA to take on UCLA and USC to open conference play during the final week of December. Following the opening series of Pac-10 play Wazzu will begin the Thursday-Saturday schedule of conference play for the remainder of the regular season.

They will then end the conference season with three in-state games: away to Washington in Seattle followed by a home visit from USC and UCLA to close out the season.

Overall this schedule is fairly similar to last season. A couple tough non-conference games, several should-be wins and conference play. But what makes the upcoming schedule more appealing is the games that the Zzu Cru in Pullman will be able to witness first hand.

Last season the Cougar faithful got to see the likes of Idaho, Eastern Washington and Air Force headlining the non-conference schedule at Beasly Coliseum. This season is quite a different story with the visits of KSU and Gonzaga into the Palouse.

Those two games, particularly Gonzaga, could have very different results from those just a year ago and playing at home could just be the advantage the Cougs need.

Hopefully a year of experience for the leaders of the team will help what is yet again one of the youngest teams in the conference return from an overall disappointing result to last season. With this schedule I can see a pretty solid record heading into conference play and maybe even a big win or two heading into the final half of the year.

Heading into conference play all bets are off, anyone who watched the Cougs in Pac-10 play last season can back me up in saying that anything, truly anything, could happen with this group of guys in the Pac-10 this season.

(Thanks Heath for this look at WSU’s schedule and we look forward to more of your news coverage and analysis in the coming year.)

In more Cougar news, Scout confirmed on Thursday that 2010 JC transfer signee Faisal Aden is on campus in Pullman and getting into the flow.

“I’m here. I’m taking classes. I’m getting used to things and finding my way around. I’m getting ready to go play open gym here in a second.”

This is great news for the Cougars who will benefit from Aden’s all-around game and ability to score from all over the court.

The good news got better when 2011 WSU post recruit Ryan Anderson cut his list to 10 schools and WSU made it. In an update in Rivals Anderson spoke positively about the Cougs, who appear to be a great candidate for an official visit.

“Washington State is another school that I am working on seeing if I can set up a visit with. They play in the Pac-10 and it is a great school in a wonderful city. Their coaches have come down to see me play a lot. They really like me so it is definitely a school I am looking at.”

USC will not be the last stop for one time UCLA commit Taylor King. According to Fox Sports King will instead go to Concordia College, where he will be able to play two years instead of having to sit out one to only play one at USC.

It is not clear whether He chose to go to the D2 school for that reason or because the USC option was not in fact available.

OSU was mentioned in a Rivals feature titled “Twelve teams try to end tourney droughts”. The piece painted a dim view of the Beavers chances.

“Oregon State now must try to regroup while replacing two of its top three scorers. The Beavers could show improvement this season and have a realistic shot at a winning mark, but an NCAA bid likely will be out of reach.”

I’m not sure about this, but I would think that OSU is on the bubble at best this season. I do think that they are better than many think though, as Jared Cunningham, Joe Burton, Lathen Wallace, Omari Johnson, Daniel Deane and Calvin Haynes head up a solid returning core, While the addition of Roberto Nelson and Devon Collier will definitely be felt positively.

NCAA Corruption

The big name in the news this week when it comes to NCAA corruption is Sonny Vaccaro, who will “make a come back” to the summer AAU circuit. Sonny was the godfather of the shoe camps system that has built a literal empire of corruption.

The shoe companies gain access to parents, “handlers” and others who need to be dealt with to direct kids to boosters, agents, etc. They then also start building relationships with the kids and the various adults that they listen to for guidance.

They then use those “relationships” to attempt to later guide them to shoe deals if they are big enough stars down the road or at least schools that the shoe company sponsors and that they want to promote. Vaccaro coming back into the summer AAU system is not what the game needs.

Guys like Vaccaro, William “Worldwide Wes” Wesley and others are bad for the game and need to be removed from it in my opinion, not added to it in some official capacity, as “Wes” has been attempting to spin his move to become a licensed agent.

This looks to me to be a thinly veiled attempt by Vaccaro to legitimize himself, now that Calipari, Kansas, the Pumps and others are starting to be uncovered and watched by the NCAA.

According to numerous reports Vaccaro is leaning to involve himself with up and coming Chinese shoe giant Li Ning.

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School is Right Around the Corner for the Hoops Dawgs