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Husky Men's Basketball

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

October 2, 2009 at 10:23 AM

Vol. 2 Friday Mailbag: Joe Wolfinger, Josh Smith and more

Time to clean out the Inbox once again. You had questions, and I’ve got answers. Be sure to keep them coming so we can keep this going at least until the start of training camp if not longer.
Question: Why are the players absent for the national anthem? Seems a little odd they don’t even come out to participate in this part of the game. This has seemed to be new the last couple years. Any thoughts?
Answer: Well, for starters this isn’t the case all the time. Sometimes the team is on the floor and sometimes they’re not. I don’t really have a great answer for why they’re not on the floor for the anthem. The players say they’re receiving last-minute instructions from the coaches when they don’t stand on the court for the anthem. Others insinuated pre-game schedules are determined by the school hosting the game. But I know for certain there were a few games last year when the team was on the floor for the playing of the national anthem.
Q: One question I think is on a lot of fans’ minds is how many scholarships does the staff plan to offer for 2011? That team will be losing three seniors, plus quite possibly Abdul Gaddy and/or Isaiah Thomas. Do they take 4 players? 5 or more? When do those decisions get made?
A: Those decisions are fluid. Per NCAA rules, the coaching staff can’t talk about recruits until they sign letters of intent, but it’s my understanding that coach Lorenzo Romar and his staff are constantly monitoring the roster, recruits and scholarships.
You said they could lose five players, well the worst case scenario has the Huskies losing six or seven players after the 2010-11 season. Barring an unforeseen redshirt, the three seniors (Venoy Overton, Matthew Bryan-Amaning and Justin Holiday) will leave. Gaddy and Thomas might bolt to the NBA. If UW lands Josh Smith and/or Terrance Jones, they could skip off into the NBA after one year. And there’s always the risk that somebody on the roster is unhappy with playing time and decides to transfer.
My point is, it’s fruitless to make hard decisions in 2009 about something that’s impossible to predict in 2011. But this much I know, it always works out in the end. Sometimes UW appears to offer more scholarships than they have and somehow the numbers add up, which was the case last season. And sometimes – like this season – they lose a recruit (Charles Garcia) and go with just 12 players.
For more insight into the Class of 2011, check out MontlakeMaddness.com which had a post this week on possible recruits.
More later.


Q: What happened to Joe Wolfinger?
A: He transferred to the Citadel. You won’t find him on the team’s website, but a quick call to their sports information department confirmed he’s playing basketball at the Division I military college in South Carolina. The 7-foot Wolfinger graduated from UW last year has just one year of eligibility.
Q: How are the responsibilities are divvied up between the assistants. Do particular coaches take the point when it comes to developing offensive/defensive game plans etc.? Who handles what? And how much did Cameron Dollar take the lead in gameplanning? I’m a HUGE Lorenzo fan but I don’t think he’s a superb gameplanner or in-game tactician. So I worry that, if Cameron Dollar did a lot of this, we may miss him even more than we thought.
A: Throughout the season, each assistant is assigned a particular team to scout and presents a scouting report/game plan to the Huskies for practice and pre-game meetings. In addition, the assistants work with certain groups. Paul Fortier has the big men and Ralph Chillious has the guards while Jim Shaw works with both groups. Shaw is also responsible for implementing the zone offense and it hasn’t been decided who’ll take over the zone defense. It will fall to either Fortier or Chillious.
In terms of Dollar, you’re right to be concerned. Dollar has been on Romar’s staff for 10 years, since their first year at Saint Louis in 1999. But their friendship goes all the way back to 1993 when Romar, a former UCLA assistant, recruited Dollar to the Bruins. That’s a very long time. And it was Dollar who worked with the guards and was responsible for implementing the zone defense principles. And whenever Romar was absent, Dollar took over. Romar will admit that it’s will probably be a little strange coaching a game without Dollar on the bench.
Q: Is that a powder blue shirt you’re wearing?
A: Yup. But I prefer the term baby blue. And no. I did not attend UCLA. Or North Carolina.
Q: Is Josh Smith considered a “one and done” type player? And if so, has that ever deterred the Huskies from recruiting him?
A: ESPN.com ranks Smith the top center recruit in the nation, which suggests he’s got immediate NBA-caliber talent barring a disastrous freshman season. That said, NBAdraftnet.com doesn’t have him in the 2011 draft and neither does DraftExpress.net.
Still, I don’t think UW is shying away from Smith because he may bounce in 2011. If the Spencer Hawes-era proves anything it’s that Romar isn’t afraid of the one-and-done players. It’s an interesting dilemma. On the one hand, for obvious reasons you want to evolve into a national powerhouse program that attracts blue-chip recruits, but you don’t want a roster filled with players looking to bolt to the NBA after just one year because that ruins chemistry.

Comments | Topics: Abdul Gaddy, UCLA

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