Skip to content

Abdul Gaddy is the key to Washington’s season

Nov 18, 2012, 1:42 AM EDT

Abdul Gaddy

UNCASVILLE, Conn. – Senior point guard Abdul Gaddy had made a career out of being a pretty good point guard for the Washington Huskies.

He came of the bench as a freshman, spelling Venoy Overton and Isaiah Thomas. He moved into a starting role as a sophomore, averaging 8.5 points and 3.8 assists before tearing his ACL that January, and followed that up with averages of 8.1 points and 5.2 assists as a junior. Throw in two NCAA tournament trips in those three seasons, and Gaddy has had himself a decent collegiate tenure.

The problem with Gaddy having a ‘decent collegiate tenure’ is that he was supposed to be oh so much more.

A McDonald’s All-American back in 2009, Gaddy was the No. 2 point guard in the class, sitting squarely behind John Wall. By comparison, the No. 2 ranked point guard in the Class of 2008, according to ESPN, was Kemba Walker. In 2010, it was Brandon Knight. In 2011, it was Myck Kabongo. Impressive company.

This season is Gaddy’s final chance to prove that he is capable of living up to those lofty expectations, and it happens to coincide with a year where Washington desperately needs to him to be a star.

Washington head coach Lorenzo Romar may have lost Terrence Ross after last season, but there are still plenty of pieces at his disposal, particularly on the wing. Scott Suggs and CJ Wilcox are both big, athletic wings capable of putting up 20 points on any given night, while sixth-man Andrew Andrews looks like he has the chance to be really good down the road. Aziz N’Diaye anchors the front court, and while he isn’t much more than a shot-blocker and a rebounder, Desmond Simmons has had a solid start to the year, averaging 9.0 points and 7.0 boards through three games.

But it all comes back to Gaddy, the tie that binds.

And never was that more clear than on Saturday night, as Washington knocked off Seton Hall 84-73 in overtime in the semifinals of the Hall of Fame Tip-Off.

In the first half, the Huskies looked utterly dominant. They shot 61.3% from the floor, they scored 49 points and they went into the break with a 16 point lead. And Gaddy? He was sensational, finishing with 14 points, five assists and just a single turnover while shooting 6-8 from the floor. He hit a three. He drove the lane and finished at the rim. He penetrated, drew defenders, and found the open man. He showed off a decent mid-range game.

“He played as good a first half as any guard around, I thought,” Washington head coach Lorenzo Romar said after the game. “When he plays that way he makes our team play at a high, high level.”

And when he doesn’t?

“If no one else steps up, we’re just not that good. We don’t have much ‘superstar’ on our team, so if a couple guys aren’t performing at a high level, there’s not a lot of margin for error.”

That was evident in the second half.

As good as Gaddy was for the first 20 minutes, he was that bad in the second 20. Well, maybe bad is the wrong term; nonexistent is probably more accurate. He took just three shots from the floor. He didn’t score a single point or notch a single assist. He turned the ball over twice, but that’s not really an outlandish number.

Perhaps the biggest sign of Gaddy’s struggles were Washington’s struggles, as they blew that entire 16 point halftime lead. Seton Hall made went on a 31-9 run, eventually taking a 66-60 lead, as the Huskies struggled to get open looks and, at times, to simply get the ball across half court.

And that’s where Gaddy’s importance lies.

It’s not simply the points or the assists; it’s initiating the offense and getting the ball to the right people in the right spots at the right time. It’s facilitation more than simple production. And when he’s doing that effectively, the points and the assists are going to be a by-product.

The Huskies need him to be a leader, to be able to reliable on his consistent production.

It’s the difference between being a tournament team and a team that blows 16 point leads to Big East also-rans.

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @robdauster.

Latest Posts
  1. Report: Former George Mason forward Anali Okoloji headed to Eastern Michigan

    Apr 21, 2014, 12:09 AM EDT

    Anali Okoloji, Matt Thomas AP

    In need of some bodies in the front court, Eastern Michigan has reportedly added one in the form of George Mason transfer Anali Okoloji.

  2. 2015 shooting guard Camron Justice verbally commits to Vanderbilt

    Apr 20, 2014, 10:43 PM EDT

    Rob Cross, Kevin Stallings AP

    Late Sunday Vanderbilt landed its first commitment in the 2015 class, with shooting guard Camron Justice announcing his pledge via Twitter.

  3. USF loses two more as guards Javontae Hawkins, Musa Abdul-Aleem decide to transfer

    Apr 20, 2014, 9:02 PM EDT

    Michael Dixon, Jr., Javontae Hawkins AP

    USF lost two more players Saturday as guards Javontae Hawkins and Musa Abdul-Aleem decided to transfer.

  4. UConn guard Ryan Boatright still undecided on 2014 NBA Draft

    Apr 20, 2014, 8:03 PM EDT

    Ryan Boatright AP

    UConn guard Ryan Boatright is still weighing whether or not to enter the 2014 NBA Draft.

  5. Marquette’s Davante Gardner named MVP of Portsmouth Invitational (VIDEO)

    Apr 20, 2014, 6:20 PM EDT

    Davante Gardner, Sandi Marcius AP

    The 62nd annual Portsmouth Invitational Tournament wrapped up Saturday night, with former Marquette big man Davante Gardner winning MVP honors.

  6. Houston adds second junior college recruit in guard Eric Weary

    Apr 20, 2014, 4:50 PM EDT

    cd0ymzcznguwzdbhnduynddiytjhm2yyzthlmtjjotqwyyznpwexmja4zju3njzknzg5mziznzyxotuyytg3otu5yjzj AP

    Houston landed a second junior college transfer Sunday, with Howard College product Eric Weary announcing his decision to commit to the program.

  7. Syracuse graduate assistant Nick Resavy at it again with trick shots (VIDEO)

    Apr 20, 2014, 4:07 PM EDT

    Syracuse Athletics Department Syracuse Athletics Department

    More than three years later, Nick Resavy is still making ridiculous shots.

  8. Aquille Carr has declared for the 2014 NBA Draft

    Apr 20, 2014, 1:51 PM EDT

    Getty Images Getty Images

    The electrifying point guard has put his name into the NBA draft.

  9. Harrison twins awaiting feedback from NBA before deciding to return or declare

    Apr 20, 2014, 12:51 PM EDT

    AP AP

    The Harrison twins are halfway through deciding on returning to Lexington or declaring for the NBA draft.

  10. Alabama lands commitment from 2014 small forward Jeff Garrett

    Apr 20, 2014, 12:02 PM EDT

    AP AP

    Garrett becomes the fourth member of the Crimson Tide’s incoming class.

  11. Former NC State commit Torian Graham signs with Houston

    Apr 20, 2014, 11:17 AM EDT

    AP AP

    The Cougars landed a former top 100 recruit on Sunday morning.

  12. Report: Former Marshall guard Kareem Canty still weighing transfer options

    Apr 20, 2014, 10:30 AM EDT

    Kareem Canty AP

    Just over a week after his appeal to be released from his scholarship at Marshall was granted, Kareem Canty’s decided to transfer to Auburn.

  13. Jordan Brand Classic highlights (VIDEO)

    Apr 20, 2014, 9:45 AM EDT

    Getty Images Getty Images

    Watch the incoming class showcase their talents in Brooklyn on Friday night.

  14. Report: Louisiana Tech’s Michael White prime candidate for Tennessee vacancy

    Apr 20, 2014, 12:58 AM EDT

    Michael White AP

    According to a report, Louisiana Tech’s Michael White is the focus of Tennessee’s search for a new head coach.

  15. Kentucky fan follows through on promise to get tattoo honoring Willie Cauley-Stein

    Apr 19, 2014, 9:17 PM EDT

    NCAA Men's Final Four - Championship Getty Images

    A Kentucky fan promised to get a tattoo of Willie Cauley-Stein if the 7-footer returned to Lexington for his junior season. Saturday, Michael Gray followed through.

  16. 2014 shooting guard Patrick McCaw commits to UNLV

    Apr 19, 2014, 7:36 PM EDT

    Dave Rice AP

    UNLV has added another player to its 2014 recruiting class, as shooting guard Patrick McCaw verbally committed to the Mountain West program.

  17. Arizona State lands former UNLV forward Savon Goodman

    Apr 19, 2014, 6:24 PM EDT

    Savon Goodman, Brandon Spearman AP

    Arizona State has made another addition to its roster, landing a commitment from former UNLV forward Savon Goodman.

  18. USF forward Zach LeDay announces decision to transfer

    Apr 19, 2014, 5:45 PM EDT

    Zach Leday, Shaquille Thomas AP

    Forward Zach LeDay has decided to leave the USF program after spending two seasons in Tampa.

  19. Florida A&M fires head coach Clemon Johnson after three seasons

    Apr 19, 2014, 5:00 PM EDT

    2013 Continental Tire Las Vegas Classic - Florida A&M v Florida Gulf Coast Getty Images

    New Florida A&M AD Kellen Winslow Sr. has already decided that the basketball program needs a new leader, as head coach Clemon Johnson was relieved of his duties Friday.

  20. Will Tonny Trocha-Morelos finally suit up for Texas A&M?

    Apr 19, 2014, 4:25 PM EDT

    CBE Hall Of Fame Classic Getty Images

    Will highly-touted Colombian center Tonny Trocha-Morelos finally be joining the Texas A&M program?

Featured video

Derrick Gordon says 'Why not me?'