A few days after the Western game, I asked senior point guard and team captain Abdul Gaddy if he would be interested in answering a few questions for me. He immediately agreed, and the athletic department was gracious enough to let me, a fellow University of Washington student, ask questions directly with Gaddy outside of any sort of official channel. It certainly won’t be a regular thing, as a site like the Husky Haul works without credentials, and sacrifices things like regular access to players in exchange for the freedom to do and say pretty much whatever we want, but it was awesome of them to make an exception.
Obviously Gaddy is a pretty busy guy and took a bit to get back to me with answers, so you won’t find any questions on recent games or the struggles of the team so far this year. The subjects discussed have more in common with a preseason look at things, so if you’re looking for Gaddy to have to defend himself against really biting questions, you’ll be disappointed. I was just thankful that he was willing to voluntarily take the time out of his day, and I wasn’t about to try to put him on the spot.
Q: I’m sure you’re pretty much tired of questions regarding your ACL tear, but do you feel like, post surgery, you eventually regained all of the athletic explosiveness that you possessed before, or have you had to adjust your style of play as a result of the injury affecting, say, your vertical jump or your ability to cut off-ball?
A: I feel like I have this year more than last. Last year I was more tentative coming off the injury and being cleared because it still would get sore at times and I had to do a lot of treatment to maintain and keep it strong. Now it is 100% strong and stronger than the other knee and i have regained all my speed and jumping ability and even a little bit more.
Q: What is one specific element of your game that you would like to see improve this year and have you worked during the offseason to improve it?
A: I would like to improve on my leadership and being a high percentage scorer. I’ve always been seen as a leader because I play the point guard on the team but just improving on being more vocal on the floor and letting guys know where they need to be on the floor and taking the right shots and knocking them down.
Q: The team spent some time overseas playing and exploring parts of Europe and Africa this summer, and you blogged about your experiences. Overall, what would you say was your most valuable experience during that tour, whether basketball related or not?
A: I think it was a great team outing in that we found our strengths and weaknesses as a team and got to bond with each other on a trip that we have never experienced before. We all became closer and got more acquainted with each other because we only knew each other out there. Was a great experience as a team and I also thought that Senegal was a very humbling experience and taught us to never take anything for granted because of the things they struggle with there
Q: Coach Romar has decided to replace the motion offense of the past several years in favor of a high post offense. How has that adjustment gone, and how do you feel about the change?
A: It has been tough but good at the same time. We get great shots in our offense and shoot a high percentage in it. We will continue to get better at it and it’ll give use a great motion for when we are in the half court.
Q: You have been at the University of Washington since 2009, and you’ve gone through plenty of adversity, especially the injury during your sophomore year. Now that you’re entering your senior season, what would the team have to accomplish this year for you to be satisfied with your career as a Husky?
A: I would like us to just reach our potential and be the best we can be whatever that is. I would love to go to another NCAA tournament and compete because that is the fun part of the year and something that every college basketball player wants to experience. Time will only tell and I just look forward to having the best season possible for us to have the greatest success.