Looking ahead to 2009-2010, Pt 2

Washington Head Coach Lorenzo Romar was an unlikely beneficiary of the mess at Arizona when he earned a commitment from McDonald's All American Abdul Gaddy, arguably the top prep point guard in the country. Gaddy is one of five incoming players that will be expected to help out from the get-go as the Huskies set their sights on back-to-back regular-season Pac-10 titles.

Gaddy is by definition the truest of point guards, and his court vision and basketball IQ are literally off the charts. He's young for his grade, and still maturing physically, but he'll be the most skilled point guard to ever set foot in Hec Ed the moment he takes the floor for the first time. That isn't to say that he's going to have an Isaiah Thomas-like impact scoring the ball. He's an above-average athlete, but he isn't going to bring down the rim or set fire to the floor. What he will do, is elevate the level of his teammates with his jaw-dropping passes and sensational instincts.

At nearly 6-foot-4, he's got tremendous size for a point guard, with exceptional ball handling skills and a ankle-breaking crossover which he uses to set up penetration. He also has excellent range and is already an adequate defender, and will be right in the thick of the Huskies' starting point guard battle with Venoy Overton next season. But, as UCLA freshman Jrue Holiday's underwhelming season has shown us - be careful heaping too many unrealistic expectations on someone that's never played college basketball before - even if they are a McDonald's All-American.

Tyreese Breshers redshirted last season due to his inability to overcome a couple of nagging injuries sustained prior to his arrival. He should be ready to work out this summer and, if reports are true, is a candidate for a starting spot. Breshers is a big-bodied, 250-pound, barrel-chested bulldozer, with broad shoulders and explosive legs. Fair or not, his game is often compared to NBA legend Charles Barkley. He possesses an extremely competitive motor; his bulk, long arms and excellent footwork allow him to be a force on the glass despite his smaller stature. Conditioning has always been in question surrounding Breshers, and only time will tell how much rust has developed during his year-and-a-half layoff.

One intriguing player veiled in mystery is 6-foot-10, 220-pound junior college transfer Charles Garcia. Academics prevented the Los Angeles native from being heavily recruited, but it's hard not to be excited about a player who grew four inches post-graduation and was named First Team Los Angeles during his prep career. As a frame of reference Gant was named second team All L.A. that same year.

Despite his sudden growth spurt, Garcia retained many of his guard-like instincts. He possesses a polished face-up game to 18 feet, is an active shotblocker and flourishes in transition. For those wondering why coach Romar would take a chance on a JC player, coaches with recruiting cache like Romar don't recruit JC players unless they are expecting them to play major roles. Garcia is reportedly on track to qualify.

Another relatively unknown newcomer is Pleasant Grove, Utah prep star C.J. Wilcox. The athletic 6-foot-5 wing has drawn comparisons to former Husky Tre Simmons, and is generally regarded as one of the top prep sharpshooters in the country. Sources from Wilcox's camp rave about his work ethic and skill, but it remains to be seen whether he'll arrive prepared to make an immediate impact in a backcourt rotation that's already loaded with talent.

Finally, former Gig Harbor star Clarence Trent returns home after two season of prep school seasoning. Trent is an outrageous leaper and internet sensation, dominating dunk contests with his amazing hops. Dunking aside, with a sculpted 6-7 230 pound frame Trent has the potential to be a perfect forward in Romar's system. He thrives in the transition game where he can put his athleticism to use, and possesses a solid 3-point shot.

The Scouting report on Clarence is less glowing when the game slows down. Not dissimilar to current junior Quincy Pondexter, his biggest challenge is going to be learning to be a basketball player and not simply relying on his athleticism to make plays. How quickly he contributes will depend on how soon he accepts that fact and lets the coaching staff mold him.

The competition for playing time is going to be fierce, and not just position versus position. There are many, many questions to be answered in the coming months. Even the coaching staff has questions. Assistants Cameron Dollar, Jim Shaw and Paul Fortier are all due for a shot at building their own programs. The coaching hot stove league kicks into high gear next month and rumors are already flying about opportunities for the assistants as well as their potential replacements.

The only thing certain is that coach Romar has the University of Washington back on track and flying high. The Pac-10 will be down again next season and ripe for the taking, and this coaching staff appears to have finally dialed in a recruiting strategy that fits their system. There is more talent and athleticism in the program than any other time in its history, but that's only one piece to a complicated puzzle.

One question looms larger than all others: Will a team with so much talent be willing to set aside their own personal goals for the good of the team as this year's team did? If so, than the future looks very bright indeed.

Stay tuned to Dawgman.com for the latest in recruiting news, player profiles and open gym reports as the 2009-2010 season starts to unfold.

Looking forward to 2009-2010, Part 1

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