Sept. 13, 2010
SEATTLE -- It may be hard to believe, but Husky basketball is just around the corner. Reality comes closer to fruition tomorrow when the Dawgs congregate for the first time in 2010-11.
Practice does not officially start until Oct. 15 but the coaching and strength & conditioning staffs will be able to spend eight hours per week with individuals starting Tuesday. On that first day, the team will go through orientation with academic services and compliance before gathering as a group on the court for open gym practice.
Over the next month, players will file onto the practice courts around Hec Edmundson Pavilion to unveil their new selves to Lorenzo Romar and the rest of the coaching staff. Given a limited amount of time per week together, workouts must be fast-paced and concise. There will definitely be no wasting time.
The players will not only have individual workouts, but will gather together to scrimmage throughout the next month. It will give the players additional time to gel before officially starting the march towards March. Junior Isaiah Thomas feels that the extra time will hopefully help the Huskies get off to a faster start during the season.
"I think towards the end of the year, we came together as a group and matured over the season," said Thomas about the 2010 Sweet Sixteen and Pac-10 Tournament Champion Huskies. "We were up and we were down."
"If we gel faster than we did last year," he continued, "we might be a lot better than we were last season. We have a lot of talent coming in and guys are working hard."
Besides Thomas - a first team All-Pac-10 member as a junior - the Huskies return a trio of seniors including All-Pac-10 defensive team members Justin Holiday and Venoy Overton, plus Matthew Bryan-Amaning who was one of the team's most consistent performers down the stretch.
The Dawgs' cupboard is further stocked with the return of Abdul Gaddy, who started 29 games despite being one of the youngest players in the nation. Scott Suggs, Darnell Gant, Brendan Sherrer and Tyreese Breshers were each vital parts of the team's core during last season and beyond.
The Huskies will also welcome five new faces to the floor this season. C.J. Wilcox redshirted last year and should turn some heads with his outside shooting skills and off-the-chart athleticism. Desmond Simmons' game is said to be a combination Justin Holiday and part Bobby Jones. Terrence Ross will help fill the role left by the graduation of Quincy Pondexter and Aziz N'Diaye will pair with MBA to clog the middle. Walk-on Antoine Hosley will add further depth at the point guard position.
Ready or not, Husky basketball is coming. Buckle your seats belts because it should be an exciting trip to the end.