Dawg Pack Gets Glimpse Of Huskies At Dunks and Dinner
Oct. 20, 2011
By Gregg Bell
SEATTLE - Abdul Gaddy was smoothly running the offense, calming a sometimes ragged scrimmage. Then came the dunking, with Terrence Ross soaring from the wing and then the baseline with acrobatic and creative slams.
The only thing missing on the Huskies' Dunks and Dinner night exclusively for UW's "Dawg Pack" student section Thursday was Tony Wroten soaring.
The highly acclaimed, 6-foot-5 freshman point guard from Seattle had arthroscopic surgery Thursday afternoon to relieve discomfort in his right knee. The Huskies consider the maintenance-like procedure so minor they don't expect Wroten to miss any games, not even the Nov. 12 opener against Georgia State.
Coach Lorenzo Romar likened the scope to the arthroscopic surgery Huskies football star Chris Polk had on Aug. 18. Two weeks and two days after it, Polk rushed for 125 yards in the opener against Eastern Washington.
Polk hasn't missed a game and second in the Pac-12 averaging 121 yards rushing per contest.
"Now we see what Chris Polk is doing," Romar said. "Tony should be the same."
Sixteen days after Wroten's surgery is Nov. 5. That is a day after Washington's lone exhibition, against Seattle Pacific. Yet on Wednesday, when he decided with his family and the Huskies' staff that he would have the scope done, he said his goal was to be back for that exhibition.
"Can't wait till Nov 4th against SPU. Imma go innnn," Wroten posted on his Twitter page Thursday night.
"He's good about the whole thing," Ross, Wroten's roommate, said hours earlier, after he won the short dunk contest at Alaska Airlines Arena. "He's not down at all."
Romar said "Tony could have probably gone the whole season with a little discomfort at times and played through this. But he and his family, plus our staff, thought it would be better to take care of this now so he would be fine for the rest of the year."
The surgery is the second one on an expected Huskies starter in a week. Senior wing Scott Suggs is likely to be out until early December following surgery to repair a stress fracture in his foot. Suggs was on the bench watching Thursday's scrimmage while wearing a walking boot on his right foot. His crutches were by his side, and when he used them to join the team on the court for a huddle, the students gave him a rousing cheer.
Suggs and Wroten missed a spirited, if not consistently smooth, 20-minute scrimmage that preceded the dunk contest. The events came at the end of a two-hour practice and delighted the 400 or so students who stood and cheered in the Dawg Pack, the lower-deck, north sideline sections of the arena.
One student in the upper-most row of the student section brought a life-size poster of Darnell Gant.
At one point, the gregarious senior forward pointed from the court to the guy and yelled, "Hey, I'll buy that off you!"
Gant was playing with redshirt freshman Desmond Simmons, 7-foot center Aziz N'Diaye plus Martin Breunig, Andrew Andrews and Hikeem Stewart - three of UW's seven freshmen. Gant, who bulked up some this offseason to be more of an inside force, made a 3-point basket to show his versatility.
Breunig, a 6-8 forward from Leverkusen, Germany, who was headed to Maryland until Terrapins coach Gary Williams retired in May, continued showing the speed off the dribble that he's had throughout the first week of practices. One play Thursday he zoomed from the wing to the lane so quickly he beat his defender, drew a foul and got two free throws for the purple team.
"Good, Martin! GOOD!" Romar shouted, loving the freshman's aggressiveness.
Ross, playing with Gaddy, returning wing C.J. Wilcox, 6-10 Jernard Jarreau and fellow freshman big man Shawn Kemp Jr. on the gold team, showed off new post moves. The sophomore, more of a perimeter sharpshooter last year, had some turnarounds and even posted up N'Diaye in the blocks despite being six inches shorter than the center.
"The coaches want me to be a more versatile player, in the post and on the wing as well," said the 6-6 guard from Portland, Ore., that made the Pac-10 all-tournament team in March by averaging 15.3 points in UW's three wins. "My role is a lot different than last year."
Gaddy wowed the students with a no-look pass from about 20 feet out on the wing under the basket to Kemp, who finished with a smooth, reverse layup. The next time down the floor Gaddy again looked like he never had reconstructive knee surgery in January, speeding past his defender and passing from the wing to Jarreau inside for another assist.
After the scrimmage - which the Gant-led purples "won" 29-25, Romar grabbed a courtside microphone to emcee the dunk contest.
When Stewart showed some pre-flight flash but missed a tricky dunk, Romar bellowed into the microphone, "Man, you going to wiggle your booty, you got to make the shot."
Breunig missed his first try, prompting Ross to declare from the baseline, "All freshmen can't dunk." But then Breunig grabbed the ball while in flight from one hand through his legs and slammed it down the other hand. The judges - Huskies women's basketball players Mackenzie Argens, Jeneva Anderson and Charmaine Barlow, plus two randomly selected Dawg Pack members - gave Breunig three 10s and two nines for his dunk.
That put him into the finals with Ross. Ross summoned Suggs off his crutches to throw a "pass," a toss off the side of the basket support bar. Ross ran the baseline, grabbed the carom from Suggs' lob, pulled the ball across his chest and slammed it home.
The judges gave him all 10s, if for no other reason than for the creativity of using the basket support as a prop.
Asked what he called that winning dunk, Ross shrugged.
"I have no idea," he said. "Just improvising at the last minute, because Scott threw me a bad pass."