The 2013 senior class is an odd one for the Huskies. Only one of their three graduating seniors played here for four years. Aziz N’Diaye played here for three, Abdul Gaddy for four and Scott Suggs five.
Suggs has always been an intriguing player and of course comes with an interesting story that anyone who has watched Husky basketball on TV has heard. After earning Missouri’s Mr. Basketball, he chose Washington over programs such as St. Louis, Illinois and Wisconsin. Lorenzo Romar got to know him over a game of pick up basketball when Suggs was just 12 years old.
Fast-forward 11 years and Suggs is ready to move on from Romar and Washington after a successful five-year career.
After averaging just 4.7 minutes per game his freshman year, the Huskies began to depend on Suggs during his sophomore campaign. He backed up Justin Holiday and Quincy Pondexter on a team that won 26 games and advanced to the Sweet 16.
Moving up the ranks, Suggs began to earn a bigger role in 2010-2011, however still split time in the starting lineup with C.J. Wilcox and Terrence Ross. The three wing players provided deadly accuracy from beyond the arc and athleticism that was unmatched in the Pac-12. Ross, of course, went on to get drafted eighth in the NBA draft, while Wilcox has gone on to be the star of the Huskies. Suggs, on the other hand, was never able to fully grasp his role on the team. Like Gaddy, a season-ending injury hindered his progress and he seemingly never fully recovered.
He broke a bone in his foot before his senior year and was forced to redshirt during the 2011-2012 season. Many believe Suggs would have given the Huskies much-needed depth for the ultra-talented squad that underperformed. The team had two first round picks (not including Wilcox) but failed to make a fourth straight NCAA Tournament appearance. Without Suggs, Ross and Tony Wroten were forced into leadership roles that eventually led to a trip to the NIT Final Four.
With Suggs on the floor, UW found itself dancing three of four chances. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to cap off his career with one last dance. Without a star presence, Suggs had no one to compliment. Being a sidekick was something Suggs had done very well in his previous three seasons, but much like Gaddy, he wasn’t able to step up and become the star this team truly needed. He was always there, on the perimeter, waiting to catch and shoot. Sometimes he would show flashes of stardom, taking over games in all aspects, but it didn’t happen frequently enough.
He closed out his career on a nice individual note, scoring at least 14 points in all of his last seven games, except at BYU in the NIT. There was no rhyme or reason to UW’s success when Suggs did well; in the streak when they lost seven of eight, Suggs scored in double-figures in six of those games. When he scored four and six points, respectively, against Cal and Stanford, UW won both games convincingly.
He was an integral part to Husky basketball for five years and will be missed; however, Mike Anderson brings hope of replacing Suggs with him. Both are wing players who can really shoot. One can only hope he brings as much heart as Suggs did, night in and night out.