The Washington Huskies basketball team had a remarkable year last year. This year the expectations are high for the Huskies and should be. With the loss of seniors Jon Brockman and Justin Dentmon, the Huskies will have big shoes to fill. Sophmore guard Isaiah Thomas and Junior strong foward Quincy Pointdexter will be looked upon to take charge this year.
The Huskies are in good hands with incoming freshman Abdul Gaddy. By the end of Gaddy's career, some might say he will be the best PG to ever walk through the doors of Hec Ed. We will have to wait and see to find out in a couple months. Young, calm, cool and collected. Gaddy is a rare breed! Gaddy will have no choice but to attend two years at the University of Washington due to being a year advanced in schooling. The NBA rules of eligibility won't allow him to turn pro until after his sophmore year. Gaddy is going to have to step in from day one and take charge. He will have to earn a spot in the starting lineup.
Overton, Thomas, Gaddy will be a three headed monster that no guards in the Pac 10 will have fun guarding.
Reigning Freshmen of the Year Isaiah Thomas shook up the Pac 10 last year and suprised a lot of people doing so. Thomas will have to improve his shooting and tunrovers to help the Huskies win the Pac 10 title again. Thomas will have a real good shot of being the leading scorer, assists, and Player of the Year in the Pac 10 this upcoming season.
Quincy Pondexter will be looked upon as a leader this year. Pondexter is the oldest out the group and will have to produce at a high level. Towards the second half of the season and March Madness Pondexter proved he can play at high level of play and be consistent, which was one of the knocks on his game his first two years at the University of Washington. Pondexter needs to work on his face to the basket game along with not trying to overdue it on the court.
One thing Romar preaches is defense and if you don't play defense you won't see the court. Venoy Overton is the pride and joy of the Husky defense. Overton will defend anyones best guard on the opposite team and give them problems the whole game. Tough and willing to learn, Overton has a good chance of being named Defensive Player of the Year for the Pac 10.
Shooting perecentage wasn't so great for the Huskies last year. Word around the summer runs going on at Hec Ed is that the shooting has improved. Darnell Gant is consistantly hitting the 10 to 15 foot shot he was getting last year on a consitant basis. Isaiah Thomas is getting his shot back to the days when he attended Curtis High School and was known for putting on shooting clinics. Elston Turner would have to be the best shooter coming in from last year. Turner will provide a spark off the bench.
The down low presence of Brockman is gone and will be filled with the likes of Matthew Bryan-Amaning, Darnell Gant, Tyreese Breshers (if healthy), freshman Clarence Trent and Senior Quincy Pondexter. Although they can't fill the hole Brockman brought to the Huskies, they can provide a tough presence down low in the Pac 10 by giving post players fits with the diversity that these guys have in their game.
With Cal and the University of Washington being the team to beat. Oregon St will be a team pressuring for a top 3 spot. There is no question the Huskies should be dancing in March. The question is how far will they be dancing? With the Pac 10 talent in a decline, the last couple years, will they be prepared for March? The Huskies have a test come Dec 12th in Anaheim California when they faceoff against the Georgetown Hoyas.
Stay tuned for the upcoming season of Husky Basketball!