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Husky Men's Basketball

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

April 12, 2007 at 10:10 AM

Nelson redux

With the Phil Nelson transfer news now starting to digest, time to address a few other issues it raises:
First, I’ve gotten a few people wondering whether Nelson was run off to make room for other players. Definitely not the case. UW coach Lorenzo Romar said they had some talks with Nelson the last few days to make sure he really wanted to leave.
Romar said they talked with Nelson not to much to try to change his mind, saying that once someone’s mind is made up there’s usually no changing it. But more just to “talk through things. We support him in whatever he does.” But Nelson was apparently set on leaving.
Second, Nelson’s depature opens the door now for UW to pursue 6-3 guard Ty Abbott of Phoenix (here’s a profile here). From what I understand, UW assistant coach Jim Shaw saw him play last weekend and the Huskies decided to make a late run at him.
Abbott is also considering Arizona State and Washington State after being released from his letter to New Mexico once Ritchie McKay was fired. As my colleague Glenn Kasses of the Spokesman-Review points out in his blog, this could be the first recruiting battle between UW and WSU since the Cougars’ resurgence.
But in that regard, it’s also fair to point out that WSU has reportedly been in on Abbott a lot longer than the Huskies, with UW apparently regarded as a little of a longshot in this deal. (Also some interesting news in Glenn’s blog on WSU taking a trip to Australia, similar to that UW will take to Greece; and on WSU’s two players who are transferring. Could be some interesting Mac Hopson-Phil Nelson battles in the Big Sky in the next few years, it sounds like).
Third, as far as I can tell, none of this has anything to do with Venoy Overton. I’m told he has signed his letter, but since it is spring break at Franklin, he doesn’t have ready access to a fax machine, so he is simply waiting to deliver it in person, which is expected to happen by Friday. So figure on an official announcement on that in the next few days.
Fourth, for those wondering what Nelson’s transfer indicates about the UW program, I’ll point out again that transfers have been rare during Romar’s tenure of players who figured to have a significant future. I counted seven players who transferred from UW since the day Romar got the job in 2002, but four occurred in the first 18 months or so as the program was getting settled (Erroll Knight, Josh Barnard, C.J. Massingale, Jeffrey Day). Harvey Perry left in December and landed at Idaho and Perry said flatly it was strictly a playing time thing (there have been whispers of some behind-the-scenes stuff there, as well, but the larger point is that he wasn’t being counted on for a significant immediate role.). EDIT: To make it clear, referring here only to Perry and the stuff that’s been bandied about on here about him expressing unhappiness with his role on the team.
No doubt, however, this is all part of the process of the program taking that next step from the core group of Brandon Roy, Nate Robinson, etc., that got it off the ground to establishing that next group that will get it back to that point.
NORTH GYM NAMED FOR HARSHMAN: On another note, hope you saw this today on the school deciding to name the North Gym at Hec Ed after former coach Marv Harshman. I’m told it was a pretty moving scene at the banquet Wednesday night when Romar made the presentation to Harshman.



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