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Husky Men's Basketball

The latest news and analysis on Husky men's hoops.

February 18, 2006 at 12:36 AM

Getting a look at Phil Nelson

With a night off in Corvallis, Ore., and one of Washington’s recruits in action about a half hour away, I decided to drive up to Keizer and watch Phil Nelson play Friday night.
Great minds evidently think alike. Lorenzo Romar was there as well.
Nelson’s McNary High School team isn’t having a great season – they are 12-9 and needed to beat Crescent Valley 76-62 to stay alive for third place in the Valley League. They did, getting an easy win, with Nelson scoring 28 points.
He did so pretty easily, hitting 7 of 14 shots, 2 of 4 on three-pointers, and hitting 12 of 14 free throws. He also had six rebounds and at least two blocked shots.
Nelson is 6 feet 7, which forces him to spent a lot of his time inside for McNary, which went 23-5 one season ago with a more veteran team.
But Romar envisions the 200-pound Nelson as mostly a perimeter player for the first year or so, with the ability to move inside once he bulks up a bit. Romar has compared Nelson’s three-point shooting to that of Salim Stoudamire, and says a good long-term comparison is former UCLA star Tracy Murray.
That three-point shooting wasn’t really on display Friday, as Nelson spent the bulk of his time playing point guard and inside. He looked more than comfortable bringing the ball up the court, something he did a few times per quarter.
The scouting report from here?
Nelson’s offense is college ready. But his defense really needs some work. The guy behind me who yelled “Nelson, play some defense!” at one point would evidently agree. And his rebounding also could be better. He’ll also need to ratchet up the intensity a bit. It’s possible he’s a guy who might not contribute a whole lot early.
The good thing is that Nelson seems to realize all of this.
I talked with him for a while afterward and when I asked what he plans to work on before coming to UW, he said, “Defense and rebounding!”
Nelson plans to come to Washington in June to spend the summer working out with the Huskies.
He’ll also go to Corvallis on Saturday to watch the UW-Oregon State game.
An aside on Romar. Anyone wondering why he is held in so much esteem needed only see Romar after the McNary High game. While waiting for Nelson to emerge from the locker room, he grabbed a ball and began shooting around with a couple of kids, about age 10 or so. Then he saw a little girl, 1 or 2 years old at most, put the ball in her hands, and hoisted her above his head so she could take a shot. I didn’t see her make it, but a few members of the crowd broke into applause at her attempts.

Comments | Topics: UCLA

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