Evolution of Abdul Gaddy

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by Griffin Bennett:

As noted by Howitzer in the Taking your Pulse piece on Wednesday, Abdul Gaddy didn’t appear in any of the poll questions. He didn’t really fit as an answer for any of the questions except as a dark horse in the MVP category. I don’t have to tell you that Gaddy has gotten better. You can see it on the court every night. I could show you any five minute clip of Gaddy from this year, without knowing his stats, and you could tell that he’s a better player through his body language and confidence.

We all wanted Gaddy to have an amazing freshman year like Isaiah Thomas did, but you have to remember that Gaddy was a full two years younger than Isaiah at the same point. To our delight, Abdul Gaddy is a comepletely different player in 2010. Number Zero looks nothing like 2009’s number Ten. The difference lies in the numbers. WARNING: The nerd level of this post may be too high for some readers.

In the Numbers:

With all of the talk about the traffic jam at guard this year, Abdul Gaddy has played 6.3 more minutes per game. We all speculated that Isaiah may play the point more this year, but Gaddy’s exceptional play has forced Romar to keep him in the game. If you wanted a single stat that showed how well Gaddy is playing, his 24.5 minutes per game on a team with this depth would be enough. Fortunately, there are a few more that I can compare.

Gaddy’s scoring has been his most notable change this year. From a bleak 3.9 ppg in ‘09 (.21 points per minute) to 10.3 ppg in ‘10 (.42 points per minute), his dribble drive, mid range, and 3 point shot have all improved. Whether it be Ryan Appleby or Antoine Tyler, I don’t care who’s helped him improve as long as it sticks around. His field goal percentage has increased from .415 to .569, his free throw percentage has increased from .564 to .800, and his three-point shooting percentage has increased from .150 to a staggering .600. Those numbers are an almost unbelievebale change from a player in only one year.

Being a point guard, his number one job is to run the offense and distribute the ball efficiently. His passing decisions in ’09 were perhaps the most infuriating part of his game. He was averaging 2.3 apg (.13 assists per minute) and 1.7 turnovers per game (.09 turnovers per game) for an assist-to-turnover ratio of 1.35. Those numbers are not good enough for a starting point guard on a great team. This year he is averaging 4.1 apg ( .18 assists per minute) and 1.3 turnovers per game (.05 turnovers per minute) for an assist-to-turnover ratio of 3.15. Now those are Final Four worthy numbers. Even with his increased minutes, his per-minute rates are still better than last year.

Gaddy is also averaging more rebounds and steals per game this year, but there haven’t been enough games to accurately extrapolate those numbers compared to last year. Keep in mind that there have only been 8 games played, but you could argue that the 8 teams the Huskies have played are better than, or equal to, the 8 best Pac-10 teams (sorry OSU). Abdul has been an ENORMOUS key to this team’s success this year and I think that he deserves even more minutes. I commented that I think Romar should rest Venoy’s hamstring/tailbone after the Texas A&M game until Pac-10 play begins. I want to see what Gaddy can do playing 27+ minutes a game while allowing our best defensive player heal fully before the grind of the regular season.

Is there an award or poll question that Gaddy would win? It’s difficult to think of one, however I might just have it: Who’s the best young player on this team?