Beach's Bits - Andrew Andrews

PORTLAND - Though you may never have heard the name Andrew Andrews before, you will soon enough. Hailing from Benson Tech in Downtown Portland, the 6-foot-2 point guard was a relative unknown in recruiting circles until verbally committing to the University of Washington last fall.

Andrews brings a new dimension to the Huskies burgeoning point guard tradition. In fact, he may possess the finest combo guard skill set of any guard Lorenzo Romar has recruited since Isaiah Thomas. He's certainly got a knack for scoring the ball. He's averaging 23 points a game running the point for Benson, and scored a season high 42 against Evergreen on December 27th.

Andrews utilizes a quick first step and low, staggering crossover to penetrate the paint and fearlessly initiate contact. He possesses an excellent pull-up jumper, consistently squaring to the basket, as well as demonstrating impressive range past the three-point line. What makes him such a unique recruit is that despite possessing such versatile scoring skills, he's a clever playmaker as well, and he switches between the two naturally.

As a ball handler, Andrews' skills are top notch, and demonstrates leadership and poise as he directs the Benson offense.

Physically, he's got great size for a point guard. While not especially long, he's got a robust, physical frame not unlike former UW guard Justin Dentmon. As other comparisons go to former Huskies, Andrews cuts his own cloth. Will Conroy is a common comparison since he's similar in size and athleticism, but Andrews is more skilled than Conroy, blessed with better point guard instincts. He's shifty with the ball in his hands, and adjusts tempo on the fly, similar to Abdul Gaddy, but also attacks the paint like Thomas.

Watching him live, Andrews' passing instincts appear first-rate. From a pure athletic standpoint, Andrews moves well laterally and has the ability to elevate through contact at the rim. He doesn't possess quicks like Venoy Overton - few players do - but his footwork and overall quickness are well above average for a player his size.

Defensively, Andrews is what you would expect from a typical high school player, mixing in occasional lock-down moments with otherwise mediocre defensive fundamentals. He often takes plays off when not directly involved in the play. As with nearly all freshmen, that will change when Romar gets a hold of him.

Andrews appears well-equipped to make an impact for the Huskies early in his career, whether that begins this coming fall, or in 2012. He wanted to be a Husky so badly, Andrews pledged his future to UW even with the caveat he may not be able to enroll this fall due to a numbers crunch.

Washington is stacked at guard for the foreseeable future, and Andrews figures prominently in that rotation, whenever that may be. Next season, Thomas, Gaddy and true frosh guard Tony Wroten should earn the bulk of the point guard minutes, though Romar has used as many as three point guards at a time. The NBA Draft could figure prominently for Thomas, potentially leaving the Huskies without his services this fall.

Gaddy is recovering from an ACL injury and there's a chance he won't be 100 percent when the season begins. That leaves Wroten and fellow frosh Hikeem Stewart, both of whom are more combo guards than true points.

With Terrence Ross, Scott Suggs, and C.J. Wilcox holding down the other guard spot, it's unlikely Andrews would see much action at either backcourt position.

Regardless of when Andrews ultimately arrives, Romar appears to have found himself another gem. After seeing him play, Andrews may just be the most underrated prospect on the west coast.

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