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Husky Men's Basketball

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

August 7, 2012 at 12:29 AM

Wilcox, Simmons star in summer league

It’s difficult to know just how much stock anyone should put into performances by Washington players at the North Seattle Community College Summer League.
For most Huskies, a typical summer Monday begins at 7 a.m. with weight lifting and conditioning followed by breakfast, tutoring, summer school classes, lunch, individual workouts with UW coaches, an hour or two of pickup games at Hec Ed and a quick dinner usually on the go before a game at NSCC.
“I wouldn’t look into these games too much,” senior co-captain Scott Suggs said. “We get to play with another UW player so there’s a little bit of chemistry there, but this could be like our fourth or fifth (strenuous) thing we’re doing and sometimes you’re just exhausted.
“We’re out here trying to win. The competitiveness comes out. You’re tired, but you want to win. But compared to a real game, it’s not a fair comparison. It would be a lot more effort put into it if we were playing a real game.”
Still senior co-captain Abdul Gaddy believes the summer league games gives players a chance to develop habits and build confidence that could help them during the season.
“I’m trying to win,” he said. “I’m trying to win no matter what I’m playing. You’re just trying to win every time and that just builds up so when the season comes, that’s how you play. You compete in practice. You compete and want to win and that carries over into the game.”

Gaddy’s comments are particularly interesting considering he was nearly the hero for his squad Monday after draining a clutch shot in the waning moments.
Trailing by two points in overtime with seconds left, his team called timeout and drew up a play for Gaddy who executed it perfectly. Using a nifty cross-over dribble, he darted into the lane and drew a foul on newcomer Mark McLaughlin before converting a short jumper. Gaddy hit the ensuing free throw to put his team up by one point.
After forcing a miss and drawing a foul, misfortune plagued Gaddy’s team.
Inexplicably former UW star Matthew Bryan-Amaning fouled Jernard Jarreau at the free line with 0.9 seconds left. It may have been a bad call, but credit the redshirt freshman for putting himself in position to draw the call. He hit both free throws to his team a 70-69 overtime win.
Bryan-Amaning led all scorers with 27 points and mostly had his way with Jarreau in the post scoring on an array of layups, hook shots and short jumpers. Still Jarreau gave as good as he got and finished up with 20 points.
Gaddy (20 points) had difficulty keeping McLaughlin (21) out of the lane. But he did force the high-scoring newcomer into a slew of miscues, including a turnover on the final play in regulation.
Sophomore forward Martin Breuning added 17 in a losing effort.
The other matchup pitting Huskies against each other wasn’t nearly as competitive as Andrew Andrews and Shawn Kemp Jr. overcame a monster effort from Desmond Simmons thanks to a big assist from a pair of former Rainier Beach High standouts.
The game underscored the difference between Simmons and Kemp who paired against each other and are vying for minutes in the post. Simmons began the game with two long three-pointers while Kemp flushed four power dunks after passes from Andrews.
Despite surrendering about 45 pounds and two inches to Kemp (6-9, 265), Simmons (6-7, 220) used quickness, guile and a freakish non-stop motor to score on putbacks and layups in transition. He finished with a team-high 29 points while Kemp and Andrews each had 11.
There was a scary moment late in the game when sophomore Hikeem Stewart crumpled to the court after blocking a shot. He appeared to injure his knee and did not return. After the game Stewart limped out of the gym clutching a bag of ice to his knee while indicating he was fine. The former Rainier Beach star added just six points in the loss.
Meanwhile Stewart’s former high school teammates D’Vonne Pickett (31 points) and Jeff Perkins (21) helped Andrews and Kemp to the win. Pickett is a junior at Seattle University and Perkins is a sophomore at Eastern Arizona.
In the nightcap, Washington junior C.J. Wilcox sank eight three-pointers and scored 39 points – the most points tallied this season by any player. Still it wasn’t enough to prevent an 81-80 defeat.
Obviously it was a big scoring game for Wilcox, but it must be noted he was defended most of the game by Garfield High senior Tucker Haymond. While many believe Haymond is a Division I prospect, he was overmatched against Wilcox who enters his fourth year at UW and is considered a NBA draft hopeful.
Wilcox shared point-guard duties with Suggs and they struggled to create offense for anyone other than themselves due in large part to the one-on-one nature of summer league games.
In the final minutes, Wilcox was often isolated in the open court against Haymond (14 points) who held his own and forced a few turnovers. It was probably good experience for Wilcox, who also unveiled a nifty step-back jumper.
Suggs managed just 12 points, but he sank a mid-range jumper that gave his team a three-point lead in the final seconds.
However on the ensuing possession, Seattle University junior Sterling Carter tied the game with a three-pointer. On the next trip, he drew a foul on Wilcox and hit one of two free throws to give his team an 81-80 win.

Comments | Topics: Abdul Gaddy, C.J. Wilcox, Mark McLaughlin


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