The University of Washington’s Men’s Basketball Program is ready to make another run for the Pac-10 title and an attempt for a National Title. The season tips off November 4th, against Central Washington University. Coach Lorenzo Romar will have some time to figure out the X’s and O’s to prepare his young squad for a highly anticipated season.
The Huskies had a good offseason! They have prepared hard for battle this season. When you have guys like Jamal Crawford, Nate Conroy, Nate Robinson, Brandon Roy, Spencer Hawes running in open gym all summer long with the Huskies. The team can learn a lot from those guys as well as the ends and outs of producing at a high level of play.
The open runs have been intense and fun but very competitive. Abdul Gaddy is looking like a poised PG that the Husky fans haven’t seen before on the court. The huskies have had scoring PG’s in the past ala Will Conroy, Nate Robinson and current Husky Isaiah Thomas.
The starting five for the Huskies hasn’t been announced yet. Romar has been quoted saying “Darnell Gant, Isaiah Thomas, and Quincy Pondexter will be starters. If the season started tomorrow I could see the starting five like this.
Gaddy brings in a pass first mentality with the ability to get past his defender with his left or right hand. Gaddy’s basketball I.Q. is at an all time high compared to any PG who has walked into Hec Ed. With the ability to find any player on the court! Gaddy will make the game easier for his teammates.
Isaiah Thomas is looking like where he left off last year and that is on a mission to be one of the best players in College this year. Thomas is getting to the rim with ease and looking very comfortable on the court with Gaddy. Playing off the ball is where Thomas excels most. It’s going to be scary for defenders, because the young fella is getting better and better.
Thomas made a couple of commitments to work on his game this summer. Some of those were working on his shooting from the arc and free throws. “My shot is back to the Curtis days” Thomas said when asked about his shooting. For those who don’t remember, Thomas was and still is one of the best shooters to come out the state of Washington. If Thomas’s shot is falling like the good old Curtis days, then don’t be surprised if Thomas averages around 21 points per game.
Quincy Pondexter is the lone senior and will be expected to be the leader of the team this year. Pondexter’s up and down career at the University of Washington is something fans have talked about for years. Last year in the second half of the season Pondexter was the one to step up and show what he is capable of doing by being consistent.
Reports of this summer have been that Pondexter has worked on his ball handling control and taking his player off the dribble and driving to the basket much more fluent than he has done in his career. Also Pndexter's back to basket game has been reported that he has improved that part of his game as well. As long Pondexter stays poised and control he can be a special player and the spark plug for the Huskies this year.
Darnell Gant’s numbers weren’t as high as the rest of the starting five of last year’s team but his basketball I.Q. and knack to be at the right place and right time for rebounds was huge. Gant has been working on getting bigger this summer and word is that he is 230 lbs right now. The presence of Gant being on the floor defiantly helps the Huskies this year, especially with Brockman furthering his career with the Sacramento Kings.
Rumbles of talks this summer is that Gant’s 12-15 foot jump shot is looking very reliable. Husky fans who remember from last year, Gant had a bunch of open shots he took last year and didn’t drop into the basket. If Gant’s shot is reliable this yr then that gives coaches another headache on an already loaded Husky Squad.
Matthew Bryan-Amaning is 100% injury free and has been seen banging down low with Spencer Hawes this summer in the blocks at open runs. Bryan-Amaning went overseas to play as well and had a good show out.
Some might have counted out M.B.A. but he has got stronger and better with the ball this summer. Bryan-Amaning’s back to the basket game has been impressive and grabbing down rebounds with force as well this summer has had him looking something like a beast down low.
Romar’s bench will be a key asset to the team’s run into March. No team in March survives without a bench and it has been proven time over time.
Be on the lookout for my assessment on the University of Washington’s bench in the near future.