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January 6, 2011 at 5:11 AM

Poll question: Who replaces Abdul Gaddy?

We haven’t had a mailbag post in quite some time, but thought I’d answer some questions that has come up about Abdul Gaddy, who suffered a season-ending ACL injury.
(Can he apply for a medical redshirt?) No. The NCAA requires applicants to have played less than 20 percent of the regular-season games early in the season. Gaddy has appeared in 13 games and would have needed to play in fewer than six.
(Who plays point guard if something happens to Isaiah Thomas and Venoy Overton?) Coach Lorenzo Romar said he plans to have Thomas or Overton on the court at all times. But if something happens to one of them and the other needs a break, then the Huskies are forced to scramble. They have freshman walk-on Antoine Hosley on the roster and the 5-foot-10 point guard has played in six games at the end of blowout victories. Not sure if he’s ready to run the show in an emergency situation just yet. Romar said junior guard Scott Suggs has experience playing point guard and has filled in on occasion during practice and a few times in games.
(Why does Washington have just nine scholarship players?) When the Huskies didn’t land Terrence Jones, Romar decided to keep a scholarship in his pocket rather than give it to a marginal recruit late in the recruiting season. The NCAA allows teams to have 13 scholarship players and UW had 12 before the season. Washington lost sophomore Tyreese Breshers who retired in the offseason due to an undisclosed injury. Then freshman Desmond Simmons started the year with a nagging knee injury and chose to redshirt. Losing Gaddy gives the Huskies nine scholarship players.
Still the most prevailing question is who replaces Gaddy?

Honestly, I don’t know. I spoke with Romar and the Huskies yesterday and I’m not sure they had a good idea at the time. There’s four viable options and five if you’d consider a slight roster shuffle that would put a really big lineup on the floor.
The most obvious choice is senior Venoy Overton. He has experience. He’s started 35 games. And he’s a senior. On the downside, Overton is still recovering from several injuries. He’s 6 feet and paired with Thomas (5-9) that’s a small starting backcourt combination. Another thing to consider, Overton flourished in his role as a reserve the past two seasons. Last season, he was the only backup named to the five-player Pac-10 all-defensive team.
Junior Scott Suggs, redshirt freshman C.J. Wilcox and freshman Terrence Ross can all make similar arguments for a starting assignment. Each would be an upgrade to Gaddy in the height department. Wilcox is an inch shorter than the others who are 6-6. And each shoot well from the perimeter.
Wilcox is probably UW’s best shooter even though he’s in a slump at the moment. He has quick feet and hands for a defender, but his ball handling is suspect. Wilcox has also been bothered by a staph infection in his right hip that limited him to just four minutes in the previous outing and forced him to miss last week’s game at USC.
Ross is a volume shooter who has shown a knack for scoring in the post. If teams defend Thomas with a bigger guard, which is something USC and California has done, then Ross has enough offensive versatility to exploit mismatches. At times, however, he suffers from bouts of defensive lapses.
Suggs can play point guard in a pinch. He does a lot of things at a high level although he’s not spectacular in any particular area. Suggs started in the exhibition against Saint Martin’s and has proven that if given minutes, he can produce points. It remains to be seen whether he can impact the game other than scoring.
The wild card is Darnell Gant, which isn’t as far fetched as some may believe. The last time Romar tinkered with the lineup, he did it to improve the rebounding. He could put Gant at small forward, which gives the 6-8 junior, a size advantage over smaller forwards. With Gant in the lineup, 6-6 Justin Holiday moves to shooting guard, which is the position he’d play if he makes it to the NBA. Of course, this scenario wipes out UW’s thin depth in the front court. Gant currently backs up Matthew Bryan-Amaning and Aziz N’Diaye. Between those three, they’ve been able to rotate at power forward and center. On occasion Holiday plays the 4, but mostly it’s been Bryan-Amaning and Gant.
Romar doesn’t have much time to make a decision. The Huskies host Oregon at 5:30 p.m. today and the new starting guard will get an early test from the Ducks who favor a full court trapping defense that applies a lot of pressure on the ball handlers.

Who starts in place of Abdul Gaddy?survey software

Comments | Topics: Abdul Gaddy, C.J. Wilcox, Scott Suggs


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