Sept. 14, 2009
SEATTLE -- The defending Pac-10 Champion Washington men's basketball team begin their quest to defend its title on Tuesday. The 12 Huskies on the roster, led by senior Quincy Pondexter, will begin their morning with team meetings and a compliance review, before breaking into smaller groups to begin training.
The first official day of practice is Friday, Oct. 16, so each Student-Athlete is limited to eight hours of workouts per week until then. Players will meet in groups of four on the court and are limited to two hours of individual workouts with coaches per week until practice officially starts. The remaining six hours of allotted time will be spent with the UW Strength and Conditioning staff, under the supervision of Matt Ludwig.
The Huskies have a wealth of experience returning, including six of their top scorers from 2008-09. Leading the way are Pac-10 Freshmen of the Year Isaiah Thomas (15.5 ppg) and Pondexter (12.1), who spent his summer representing USA at the World University Games. Coming back for their junior campaigns are stalwarts Matthew Bryan-Amaning, Venoy Overton and Justin Holiday. Add in returning starter sophomore Darnell Gant (in his third season with the program), sharp-shooter Elston Turner, slashing guard Scott Suggs and redshirt big man Tyreese Breshers, and it's easy to see why the Huskies are predicted by many prognosticators to once again battle for the conference crown.
Participating in their first official workouts for the Huskies are a trio of highly-touted freshmen: Abdul Gaddy, Clarence Trent and C.J. Wilcox. Gaddy, from Tacoma, Wash., was a McDonald's All-American after a stellar high school career at Bellarmine Prep, while Trent should provide some high-flying acrobatics and toughness down low and Wilcox is an eagle-eye shooter from downtown.