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Abdul Gaddy Is Not a Bust

How does the number two point guard in the country, a five star recruit, go to his hometown school and in his junior year, remain the most disparaged player on the team?

Abdul Gaddy needs more X's and O's before he will truly succeed. (Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-US PRESSWIRE)

That’s the case with Abdul Gaddy, and it all started when the expectations for him as a 17 year old freshman were through the roof.

He was looked at as someone who would take over games and be a dominant point guard, there were talks about how lucky the Huskies were that he was so young; he’d have to stay at least two years before going to the NBA.

So where did it all go wrong? How did such a talented prospect become such a ‘bust’ in so many fans’ eyes?

For starters, Gaddy is far from a bust, his ability to control the tempo of the game is unmatched by anyone else on the roster. His over 2:1 assist to turnover ratio is incredible for the style of game the Huskies play.

He’s given very little credit for his defense, but in reality, he is fundamentally sound. He’s not the quickest, but he’s able to keep in front of his man and that’s been important for the Huskies who’ve at many times struggled with their fundamental defense.
Still, the biggest knock on Gaddy is his lack of explosiveness, or that wow factor that Isaiah Thomas and Tony Wroten both have brought to the table.

Gaddy isn’t a scorer, so he’s only seen as someone who can bring the ball up the court and pass off letting others do the work to score.

That’s where the gap has occurred from Gaddy’s talent and his production at Washington. No matter what stat is brought up, he hasn’t produced at the level the number two point guard should produce at.

The reason for this? The Huskies have no set offense, they play rat ball as many call it; letting the talented athletes get open and score with no called plays and no real game plan.

This works great for players like Wroten or Terrence Ross who are phenomenal athletes, but Gaddy doesn’t have the athletic ability that they have; he is a mental player.

Gaddy would thrive in a system that he knows where players are supposed to be and when they’re supposed to get a pass, that’s his game.

In a game earlier this season, he ran a simple pick and roll to Aziz N’Diaye, he placed what should have been a perfect pass to N’Diaye cutting; only problem is that he didn’t cut. The pass went out of bounds and Gaddy could be heard yelling to N’Diaye that he needed to roll; if he had, it would’ve been an easy two points for Washington.

Watching the Husky offense, it consists of standing around the top of the key and waiting for one player to make his move; there’s not a huge need for a true point guard in that game plan.

Gaddy is not a player who is going to drive to the hoop to score; if he does it will be with more of a running floater than an acrobatic highlight lay-in anyways.

In the Huskies system Gaddy doesn’t know what to expect, he doesn’t know where the shooters will be if he attempts to penetrate and kick out. Everyone is doing what they want to and he’s stuck trying to improvise as best he can.

Put Gaddy onto a team like Duke that has set plays and an offensive system and I believe he would flourish; he wouldn’t be an Austin Rivers or a John Wall, but he wouldn’t be getting torn down for not scoring 17 points per game.

In no way is he a perfect point guard, he lacks confidence and an outside shot, but calling Gaddy awful or a bust is far from the truth. I’d hate to see what would happen if the Huskies didn’t have him; their turnovers would sky-rocket and they’d be even more out of control than they already are.

I simply refuse to believe that every scout in the country, not to mention the handful of coaches of great programs that offered him scholarships flat out missed. It happens yes, but not with the number two player at a position, he doesn’t just become a bad player stepping to the next level, it’s just not a good situation for his skill-set.

He could very easily have an NBA career ahead of him; the situation at Washington isn’t right for him; it happens. Maybe the blame shouldn’t go squarely on him, maybe there should be more emphasis on X’s and O’s for the Huskies.

If that were the case Gaddy would improve and the Huskies would benefit as well, he is a good player, he’s just stuck in a system that doesn’t fit his game.

Follow Lawrence on Twitter @AMitchellReport

Topics: Bust, Gameplan, Huskies, John Wall, Recruiting, Tony Wroten, True Point Guard, Washington

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  • robera

    You have provided absolutely no evidence that Gaddy is good. I agree he isn’t necessarily a fit for this team but that doesn’t mean he would be great somewhere else. He can’t shoot, he can’t penetrate, the best you got is that he can control tempo? You mean he slows the huskies down when they want to run.

  • kradun

    It depends on what you consider to be good. If being an explosive scorer is your definition of “good”, then obviously Gaddy is not your man. I think the OP described Gaddy exactly the way he is at this point in his development. He is a great passer with an excellent ability to execute offensive “set” pieces (which are practically nonexistent in Romar’s offense), and which is probably why he isn’t as successful as he can be. And to reiterate on the original article, his contributions on the defensive side of the ball go largely unnoticed. He plays very solid defense. Last, but not least, most people tend to forget that he is still recovering from a debilitating ACL injury. It is no coincidence that his overall offensive performance has declined since the injury. His FG, 3PT, and FT percentages are down this year, but his assists per game have increased (everything else is pretty much on the same level as before). It is obvious that his confidence in his own physical abilities has decreased as well, but I am sure he’ll regain most of it towards the end of the year & the beginning of next season. Many (tremendous) athletes (quite often) take more than 2 years to recover from complex ACL tears. According to Mervyn J. Cross of North Sydney Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Center, even elite Olympic athletes require a minimum of a 9-month recovery period (and that’s considering a successful reconstructive surgery and a rehab program). I don’t think Abdul Gaddy is quite there yet, so let’s give him some time. At the end of the day, there is a reason he was considered a 5-star PG prospect out of Bellarmine (#2 in the country, trailing only Wall). You don’t get that type of a scouting profile just for looking handsome in the HS Prom photo. Thanks to Lawrence for the article! Cheers ;)

    • robera

      @kradun Don’t need to be an explosive scorer to be good. I just don’t really see him do anything particularly well on the offensive end. I will accept that maybe his defense is underrated. But there is nothing that indicates, to me anyway, that he is a great passer. He certainly looks to pass rather than score. And how he was rated coming out of high school is irrelevant when considering what type of college player he is. I will concede that maybe he isn’t recovered yet from the knee injury and maybe we will see a different player next year. Talk of him playing in the nba seems crazy to me. Maybe you think I am crazy but I would take will Conroy over Gaddy anyday. But maybe he will prove me wrong. I hope he does.

  • wayne02

    Why hammer on Gaddy?. Romar clearly counts on him to run the show, especially during crunch time. Let’s see where he ends up. Glad he’s on the team.

    • AMitchellReport

      @wayne02 Who’s hammering on Gaddy? Are you meaning the original post by me, or the comments below?

  • kradun

    Speaking of the culprit, he (Gaddy) looked much more like his old self yesterday in Corvallis. Executing and delegating like a true field general, he had eight points, five rebounds, four assists, only one turnover — and he even managed to get two very important steals! You could tell his body language was way more positive than several days ago at Oregon, and that manifested itself in a great performance yesterday! Go Dawgs! Let’s sweep Zona this week.