Montlake’s next three grads
With University of Washington men’s basketball ending an up-and-down season on a disappointing note, it’s time to shift directions and start thinking more about next year.
With that said, let’s break down the careers of UW’s three graduating seniors, their impacts, and how they’ll be replaced.
First, let’s say goodbye to point guard Abdul Gaddy. The Tacoma product was many things in his time at UW. Injured was one. Underwhelming was another. Hot and cold was a third. But overall Abdul Gaddy was one of the most frustrating players to come through Washington.
I remember the excitement Husky Nation felt when Gaddy, all-everything star at Bellarmine Prep, inked his letter of intent to Washington. The 14th best player in the country. The number two point guard in the nation.
The undisputed best player in Washington State.In the same recruiting class Peyton Siva, Kawhi Leonard and Thomas Robinson were just a few of the names ranked behind him. Only former UK star and now Washington Wizards starting point guard John Wall was considered better at the one.
We were excited for Gaddy, to say the least.Gaddy was a smart and savvy player who knew his game. He nad a number of shifty moves and was a solid ball handler. His court vision, passing, and overall ability to run a game were exceptional. But the warning signs that eventually led to his underwhelming career at UW were there.
He wasn’t a great athlete. He lacked elite speed or lateral quickness, which hurt him in transition or in man defense. There was a tremendous amount of pressure on him. And he was incredibly, incredibly young. 17 as a college freshman and only turning 21 two months ago in his senior year, Gaddy was often at a physical and experience disadvantage.
Throw in a lost season due to an ACL tear sophomore year, and you can see how Gaddy’s career ended up disappointing a lot of people. We’ll remember Abdul Gaddy for never being as good as he should’ve been. Or as we wanted him to. But when healthy, he was a solid if unspectacular point guard capable of handling a team well.
Andrew Andrews and Nigel Williams-Goss will be more than capable of running the point next season, though.
Never in recent memory have the Huskies had a player quite like Aziz N’Diaye. A 7’0” 260 JUCO transfer from Idaho, and originally, Senegal, N’Diaye was memorable. Washington’s first ever player from Africa, N’Diaye’s name itself was often misspelled and mispronounced (eh-ziz enn-jigh, rhymes with N-high), but his sheer size made him unforgettable.
N’Diaye came to Washington with great physical tools and very little else. His first season was mainly spent getting into the low post, catching a pass in traffic, and then promptly dropping or fumbling it away. In his next season, he revamped his strength and conditioning and contributed some solid minutes.
But it wasn’t until 2012 that N’Diaye finally developed a well-rounded game and became a much smarter player.
His lack of basketball experience is understandable given that he never touched a basketball growing up until the age of 14. But his senior year, he came up strong for the Huskies, finally being the contributing post presence lacking in so many recent Washington teams.
Averaging 8.9 points and 9.9 boards, N’Diaye, although it certainly took him a while to develop as a player, will be missed as a force down low.
Some draft websites have N’Diaye as a possible late second round pick, so keep your eyes peeled for more basketball in the future for the big man.
The last of Washington’s three seniors, sharpshooting guard Scott Suggs finishes up an injury-limited career in Seattle nevertheless having put up solid numbers and contributed to the team every year. An unlikely Washington commit hailing from Missouri originally, Suggs improved noticeably every year and finished up this season averaging 12.2 points a game plus a few rebounds and assists.
Suggs was poised for a great season last year as well, but an ill-timed foot injury forced him to redshirt the season, a big loss for the Dawgs.
Suggs was a classic example of a player who came in with some talent and was molded by Lorenzo Romar over the course of four years into a smart, effective, and reliable all-around player.
Although Washington is often a team stacked with shooters, Suggs will be missed regardless for his versatility, range, and intangibles.
Cue up the music and lay out the carpet, graduation is around the corner, and Washington is losing three solid players. But with the depth of the team and recruiting class Romar is putting together though, the net effect should be negligible. Best of luck to our soon-to-be graduates, and thanks for all the great memories.