Since stepping onto the court as a freshman three years ago Abdul Gaddy has had a target on his back. He seems unable to do anything right, he doesn’t score enough points, he isn’t fast enough or exciting enough, and that first season left such a bad taste in fans mouths that the former number 2 point guard in the nation still hasn’t been able to overcome it.
Coming out of high school Gaddy was behind just John Wall, who became a superstar, but the difference between Gaddy and most other high school stars was that he wasn’t tabbed as a big-time scorer. According to Scout.com his strengths included his ability to create, his instincts for the position and being an impact player. His weaknesses; not a big-time scorer, shooting off the dribble and his strength.
His first season was certainly a disappointment, but his second season started strong before he tore his ACL.
Now in year three it seems as if he’s despised by some fans because he doesn’t score, fans see the points that Tony Wroten Jr. puts up on a nightly basis and continue to complain that Gaddy doesn’t do enough.
Wroten leads the Huskies in scoring, averaging 16 points per game and does so while making some of the most jaw-dropping plays ever seen in purple and gold. This started the #StartWroten campaign, which at it’s beginning, the expectation was to send Gaddy to the bench.
Instead, Aziz N’Diaye went down and Wroten started alongside Gaddy, putting up over 20 points per game in his three starts. Those scoring outbursts made the Wroten supporters back him even stronger, arguing without his points the Huskies would have no chance and that Wroten deserves more time on the court than Gaddy.
Wroten clearly is a better scorer than Gaddy, there is no debate there, but as a point guard, Wroten is well behind Gaddy in terms of running the Washington offense.
A point guard is supposed to run the offense, protect the basketball, create offense for his teammates and in essence be the reason the offense is productive; a scoring point guard is icing on the cake, but a scoring point guard who lacks the rest of the skills can be doing more harm than good.
Before getting into their playing styles, there are some astounding stats that support Gaddy being an much more productive than Wroten this season at running the offense.
Gaddy is third in the Pac 12, averaging 5.2 assists per game; Wroten is 16th averaging 3.2 per game.
Wroten is 8th in the nation and first in the conference in turnovers per game at 4.5 per game; while Gaddy is 39th in the Pac12 with 1.6 per game.
Gaddy leads the conference and is 25th in the country with a 3.2 assist/turnover ratio; Wroten is 53rd in the conference and sixth on the Huskies with a 0.7 assist-turnover ratio.
Stats never tell the whole story; Gaddy has played more minutes and it’s likely with more minutes, Wroten gets more assists, but he also would add in turnovers, but when they are on the court you can tell that Gaddy has more control of the game than Wroten.
When Wroten decides he’s going to drive to the hoop, he goes for it and has one thing in mind scoring; sounds like something you want from a guard, the only problem is that Wroten drives himself into trouble as often as he gets to the hoop. His heads down, his eyes are set and he goes, opposing defenses are figuring it out, and while his scoring has gone up, his productivity is going down.
It’s true that Wroten is incredible at getting to the hoop, and he is a solid finisher, but there have been countless times when multiple defenders have collapsed on him only for him to put up an ugly shot or turn it over.
Gaddy is the polar opposite; when he drives to the lane he seems to have one thing on his mind, find the open teammate and make the pass. That’s why he’s had 7+ rebounds in three of the last four games, never turning the ball over more than once.
With the great wings the Huskies have, they need an unselfish point guard who knows how to find open shooters; Gaddy does just that. C.J. Wilcox and Terrence Ross don’t appear willing to create their own shots this season, so when Wroten takes over they become silent, but when Gaddy is in they seem impossible to stop.
It’s never flashy with Gaddy, his highlights are few and far between; he’s only dunked one time that I can recall, but that’s what a point guard should be doing. Think of one of the best point guards in the NBA, Chris Paul, how many times is he on ESPN for anything other than a great pass? Almost never, he doesn’t need to score to be a dynamic player.
Sure, some teams expect their point guard to carry the load, but in those cases the point guard is head and shoulders the most talented and best scorer on the team. The Huskies have three great scorers in Wroten, Ross and Wilcox; meaning they need their point guard to be a distributor, not a ball hog.
Wroten and Gaddy are completely different players that have styles as different as chocolate and vanilla, they both have a spot on this Husky team, but as for who’s running the offense, it has to be Gaddy. He’ll continue to be under-appreciated, but he’ll continue to do what he does and while he’s the distributor on offense the Huskies are going to be in great hands.