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Husky Men's Basketball

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October 19, 2011 at 3:20 PM

Counting down the Huskies — No. 7 Scott Suggs

15 - Scott Suggs.jpg
Apologies for suspending the Washington countdown, but got behind on interviews and needed to restart the countdown when the Huskies returned from their two-day training camp in Olympia.
This is where ranking players gets difficult. As a reminder, this isn’t a scientific poll or a prediction of who’s going to lead the team in scoring.
It’s just a quick list to preview the season and No. 7 is Scott Suggs.
A week ago, the senior co-captain was a lot higher on the list. However, he underwent surgery to repair a fracture in his right foot last Friday and is expected to miss at least the first six non-conference games. Suggs hopes to return for the team’s New York trip when Washington plays Marquette (Dec. 6) and Duke (Dec. 10).
The injury is unfortunate considering Suggs appeared headed for a breakout season and was a candidate to secure a starting position. He’s appeared in 81 games, only senior co-captain Darnell Gant played in more, and he’s UW’s third leading returning scorer.
Last season Suggs averaged 7.4 ppg in 31 games and shot a team-best 45 percent on three-pointers, which was third in the conference. He’s also 10th on UW’s all-time three-point list with 89.
Shortly after Abdul Gaddy suffered a season-ending knee injury Suggs, who had never started a game, moved into the lineup and made nine straight starts. He sprained his left knee at Arizona State and missed the next three games. Suggs came off the bench the following six games before returning to the starting lineup for the season-ending game against North Carolina in the third round of the NCAA tournament.
Suggs had a mini-breakthrough last season. He struggled on the road before scoring 12 points at Washington State and 18 at Oregon State.
Suggs is an outstanding shooter, who is looking to expand his game. He was last among the Huskies who played in at least 15 games with 17 free throw attempts and worked on his ball handling and driving to the basket this summer.
He’s also hoping to improve as a rebounder – his career high is five – and a playmaker – his career high is five assists.
It will be interesting to see how the Huskies integrate Suggs into the rotation when he returns.
Here’s a transcript from an interview with Suggs last week.


(How does Washington replace the loss of its top three scorers and four guys who were a big part of last season’s team?) “I think we’ll have to have guys step up. I don’t think we’ll have any one person replace each of those individuals. I think it will be a team effort so we’ll have to have returners and freshmen step up during the season to match what we had.”
(Have you started to see some of that developing or does that happen as the season approaches?) “Nah it starts developing now just in guys picking up on things and guys showing what they’ve been working on in the summer. The guys have improved from last year. I think everybody has improved from last year.”
(Is this team as good as the one last season?) “We have the potential to to be, but we won’t be able to determine that until the end of this season.”
(Is Washington flying under the radar in terms of preseason expectations?) “I think people are looking at what we lost last year and seeing that we lost a big chunk of our scoring and just a lot of guys that knew the system. They were a key factor in each game. That’s what most people are looking at so that’s why we’ve been as you said under the radar.”
(Is it easier not being the favorite?) “I guess it’s less pressure on the team, but we still have same goals that we always had. We always want to strive for the Pac-10 title. We still have the same goals so it’s not too much of a difference.”
(What did you work on this summer?) “Just working a lot on ball handling and play making and getting to the foul line. I think I shot or I’m pretty sure I shot the least amount of free throws on the team. So I just worked hard on getting to the rim.”
(A lot of your teammates say you can just do it all. What do they mean?) “I’m not really sure what that means either.”
(Do you feel your overall game has gotten better?) “Yeah I think so. And I’m just more confident with another year of experience.”
(Why didn’t you draw more fouls and get to the free throw line last season?) “I think I was shooting and relied on the jump shot a lot. Didn’t really try to create anything off the dribble too often.”
(What did you this summer to improve that?) “Just a lot of ball handling and moves to put me in position to get to the hoop.”
(Coach Lorenzo Romar mentioned former Washington State star Klay Thompson when he talked about you and C.J. Wilcox. He said you guys can make a similar players to Thompson and can make a similar jump in production.) “I’ve watched him play before. He does a lot of good things. That’s a good compliment.”
(How has your game matured from your freshman year?) “You come from high school and there’s just little tricks or little things you can do to get open or create space for your shot that a lot of these older guys know. You just pick up from that. I’ve had a lot of great players to learn from like Quincy (Pondexter) and (Jon) Brockman. He’s kind of a post player. But in my freshman year we had JD (Justin Dentmon) at the wing. We had Isaiah (Thomas) and Quincy. So guys who played my position I’m able to learn from them.”
(What is your leadership style?) “Just been through a lot of these situations and a lot of seasons and making sure the young guys especially know what coach Romar and the coaching staff is going to expect from us. And what we should expect from ourselves. So just helping guys in that regard.”
(I remember the game at Washington State was a something of a breakthrough for you because until then you’d struggled on the road. As a veteran are you more comfortable playing on the road?) “I was never rattled or anything in road games, I just, I don’t know it just so happened I had a difficult game on the road. I always knew I could play well on the road and I just had to get over that mental block I guess. Yeah I guess you can say (the WSU game) got me over the hump.”
(Looking back, can you believe it’s your senior year?) “It was quick. People tell you it’s going to be fast, but you really don’t realize how quick it is until you go through it. It’s a little of both. At the same time, it’s like wow it’s really here. But then on the other side of that it’s like I’m ready for it.”
(What do you want your Washington legacy to be?) “Just a guy that came in and you watched him improve over the years. Hopefully a guy who went to the tournament four years in a row. Did some good things while he was here. One of those guys who was a hard worker and didn’t have any problems.”
(What would it mean to you be – along with Darnell Gant – the first Husky to make four straight NCAA tournament appearances?) “It’s an honor. A lot of good teams go to the tournament so to be the first guys to go four years in a row that would be great.”
(Who has surprised you the most of the newcomers?) “There’s things almost from everybody that’s kind of a surprise. I think with Tony (Wroten Jr.) you hear about him being a good passer, but he really sees stuff and sees the floor. He’s probably one of the best passers I’ve ever played with. With (Abdul) Gaddy coming back so quickly, he’s come back even stronger. I’m really happy for him. That was really a setback for him last year. He’s come back and he’s taken full advantage of learning from that.”
(Did you get a chance to go home this summer?) “I went home and worked out with one of my guys in the St. Louis area probably a month or so. It was three weeks at one time then I went home for one more week after summer school. So it was about even between being here and back home.”
(What will it be like to go home and play in front of the hometown fans?) “I’m excited. That’s going to be a lot of fun. I know St. Louis has a whole bunch of stuff planned. It will be fun. It’s going to be nice to go home and to have my family and friends see me play. I’m thankful to coach Romar and the coaching staff. I think coach (Jim) Shaw set the game up. They promised me a game back home and they stayed true to their promise.”
(You said half of your high school is planning to attend.) “Yeah my dad told me that they have the day off so the whole school is going to come down there. It’s going to be a lot of people there.”
(You also have a talented younger brother right?) “Yeah Ronnie.”
(What year is he?) “He’s going to be a sophomore this year. He’s like 6-4 or 6-5.”
(Is he as good as you?) “He’s done some things. His game is kind of similar to mine. He’s got the same type of build as me. He can shoot. He’s more of a … I don’t even know how to describe it. I saw him play a couple of games this summer. He’s pretty good.”
(So you haven’t played against him recently?) “Aw nah, he can’t beat me.”
(Have you played against him?) “Yeah he played against me. We played 1-on-1 and he thought he could beat me. But I wasn’t having that.”
(Did you play to 12 or 21?) “I think we played to 21 or something like that.”
(What was the score?) “I’m not going to put him on blast like that.”
Here’s a recap of the countdown.
No. 8 – Desmond Simmons
No. 9 – Shawn Kemp Jr.
No. 10 – Martin Breunig
No. 11 – Jernard Jarreau
No. 12 – Hikeem Stewart
No. 13 – Andrew Andrews
No. 14 – Brendan Sherrer
No. 15 – Alex Wegner

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

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