Husky Basketball Mid Season Grades


The Huskies are just over the midway point of the midway point of the season and that means it’s time for another report card.
At 10-6 there’s plenty of room for improvement, but the season clearly hasn’t been a complete disappointment; in all honesty it’s just about what was expected from the very talented, but very young Huskies.

Coming in with three seniors, one being Brendan Sherrer, there was no question the Huskies needed to find a leader, Darnell Gant and Scott Suggs were supposed to be the go to guys in that role. Suggs injured his foot before the season forcing him to redshirt, while Gant hasn’t emerged as many had hoped.

Several younger players have emerged to dazzle at times, leave fans scratching their heads at other times, and just downright furious when things are going completely wrong.

There is still hope for this Washington Husky team, at 3-1 in conference, even though ugly, they have as good a chance as anyone to win the Conference, but for now let’s take a look at how each player has performed in the first half of the season.

Abdul Gaddy: It seems that everyone falls on one of two sides with regards to Gaddy, either you love him for who he is, or you hate him because he ‘doesn’t do enough’. So far this season he’s performed somewhere right in the middle of both sides, he’s been the calm, collected, field general to run the offense with his nearly 3/1 assist to turnover ratio. But if the Husky shooters go cold, Gaddy becomes a non-factor. In a sense it’s not his fault, but as a point guard he needs to find a way to impact the game regardless of how the rest of the team is performing. Grade: C+

Terrence Ross: He may be the enemy of having expectations through the roof. Slotted as a lottery pick in the upcoming draft he was supposed to take over every game and be the star for Washington. He hasn’t quite done that, yet has been incredibly productive. He’s had double figures in all but one game this season, averaging 14.1 points and 6.1 rebounds per game. Lower the expectations for Ross and he may be considered the MVP of the team so far, but those expectations are there. His grade is all relative; I’m grading him on what he’s actually done, not based on the measuring stick of being a top 15 pick. Grade: B+

Aziz N’Diaye: Last season N’Diaye was a nonfactor in the half-court offense, partially because Matthew Bryan-Amaning dominated the inside scoring, but more-so because he just didn’t have the skills to score down low. This season he hasn’t been dominant, but he has taken huge strides to become a factor on offense. He’s averaging 7.5 points per game to go along with 7.5 rebounds per game. The Huskies have no other inside threat at this point so N’Diaye’s production, even if not huge, is very important to the team’s success. He hasn’t been perfect though, his hands are still an issue and that’s cost him some easy points at times, and added to Tony Wroten’s turnover total. Grade: B

C.J. Wilcox: When he’s shooting the ball well he’s the most dangerous player on the Huskies, last year that wasn’t the case. He’s added a semblance of a dribble drive to go along with his lethal three-point shot and that’s been a huge reason for his success even when he’s not shooting well. He’s also become a solid defender that the Huskies desperately need this season. His quickness and length allows him to make plays that others can’t. As a shooter, he’s going to have off games, it’s bound to happen, but those cold games have been rare this season. Grade: A

Darnell Gant: As the only senior who’s playing regular minutes this year there’s been a lot of pressure put on Gant. He has not responded well and it’s been a brutal first half of the season for him. He’s averaging 7.3 points and just 4.8 rebounds per game, and hasn’t scored more than 6 points in a game since December 18th against South Dakota State. He’s never been a scorer, but it’s the small things he’s not doing this year that’s the issue, he’s not fighting for rebounds, he’s not setting good screens and he’s not playing tough. Now that he’s gone to the bench hopefully he can get back to being the role player he was in the previous four seasons. Grade: D

Desmond Simmons: This kid is the prototype of a junkyard Dawg. Just one look at him and you expect a bruiser and when you watch him he doesn’t disappoint. Simmons scraps for every loose ball, has an uncanny knack for rebounding and even adds an outside shot. He’s played so well that Romar inserted him into the starting lineup for his first career start against Seattle U. He’s averaging 6 points and 6.3 rebounds this season in limited minutes until recently. It hasn’t been all roses though for Simmons, he’s made some freshman mistakes, frustration fouls mostly, but that’s to be expected from him. In time he could very easily become one of the most important players on this Husky roster. Grade: A

Bench: This is the biggest reason why the Huskies have struggles up to this point. The Huskies have a 7 man rotation with the occasional addition of Martin Breunig and Shawn Kemp Jr. who both average just less than 7 minutes per game. Neither one has shown the ability to stay on the court without a huge drop-off in production. Washington’s style of play usually means Lorenzo Romar will use 8-10 guys in his rotation, with several guards coming off the bench, this year that’s not the case and it’s not helping. Grade: F

Lorenzo Romar: It seems as if slow starts are just part of the game with coach Romar. The Huskies sputter out of the gate only to get rolling midway through conference play. This year has started no different, but the criticism of Romar is growing. There are times where a timeout seems needed, but none is called; the offensive system is nowhere to be seen and the progression of the freshmen is certainly slow up to this point. Question’s need to be asked, but it also needs to be remembered that this is how most Romar seasons begin. Grade: C

Tony Wroten: Had to save him for last, he’s so polarizing, just like Gaddy, but on a larger scale, yet his play would appear to answer any questions right? To an extent yes, but he still hasn’t convinced me he’s as great as it would appear. His 17 points per game are astounding for a freshman, there’s no denying that, he can flat out score when no other Husky seems to be able to. Still he seems to need many more possessions than anyone else to get those points. When he is fouled driving to the lane, he misses and then proceeds to make just one of two free throws, an area he hasn’t improved in. His assist to turnover ratio also hasn’t improved much; he’s turning the ball over at alarming rates. Take the good with the bad as far as Wroten goes, but at this point those amazing numbers aren’t helping the Huskies win, which is the end goal. If he continues to do the same thing the rest of the season, and the Huskies get on a roll, then I will be convinced, but for now he isn’t quite ready for the big-time yet. Grade: B

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