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Seattle Times staff reporter Bob Condotta provides a running commentary on the Huskies.

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May 12, 2008 9:52 AM

Cactus Classic roundup

Posted by Bob Condotta

The Cactus Classic AAU Tournament played this weekend in Tucson, and it featured many of the top high school players from the West Coast.

Here are a few stories emanating from the tournament:

--- Abdul Gaddy, a guard from Bellarmine Prep who has committed to Arizona, led the tournament with 36 assists and appeared to reaffirm his commitment to the Wildcats/ according to the Tucson Citizen.

--- However, the Arizona Daily Wildcat reported that Gaddy seemed to hedge when talking about his future, saying "if I come'' at one point during his interview.

--- The Arizona Daily Star has this blog report on the tournament, including a note that Gaddy's teammate, Avery Bradley, says he's "still open.'' Scout.com reports Bradley now has an offer from UCLA, as well as most of the rest of the Pac-10, but still includes Washington as a school he is seriously considering.

--- The Louisville Courier-Journal has this update on Franklin High's Peyton Siva as he says that "I still like Louisville'' and that Louisville "has a good shot to get me'' but that it's still "pretty much even.'' But he also says he's recently been getting interest from Tennessee and Kentucky, as well. And he also told the Arizona Daily Star that he likes the thought of playing with Gaddy in college and that "if Arizona fits me, I'll come to Arizona.'' UW remains in the mix, he says, but that sounds like an increasingly longer shot. Still sounds like Louisville, long the rumored final destination, is the favorite.

--- The Citizen also has this on the academics of incoming UA guard Brandon Jennings. Story makes it hard to tell where he really stands.

--- Here are the final stats. Bradley was the second-leading scorer, Siva fifth and Gaddy eighth.

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Posted by Dave " The Meatball" Armistead

10:32 AM, May 12, 2008

From the previous thread:

Posted by Dave " The Meatball" Armistead

9:27 AM, May 12, 2008

Went to the Arizona Cactus Classic- Pretty good players, Gaddy is solid and will be a nice addition to the UofA tradition of Point Guards. To dispel a few things:

" The mother of incoming UA guard Brandon Jennings, Alice Knox, said she was confident her son will meet NCAA eligibility requirements in time to play for the Wildcats next fall. Players are not cleared until August. Knox was on hand to watch the Cactus Classic as a spectator."

and... I hate to break the hearts of the Husky Faithful but.....

" Siva, however, said his three leaders are USC, UCLA and Washington, while Snaer said he was unsure if the Wildcats have offered him a scholarship.
Siva said he likes the head coaches at UCLA, USC and Washington but would like to play with the Northwest Panthers' Abdul Gaddy, who has committed to the Wildcats.
"We want to play together," Siva said. "If Arizona fits me, I'll come to Arizona."

Guess what, he fits.....

Posted by John

10:47 AM, May 12, 2008

Thanks for reaffirming my sense of superiority over Arizona fans, Dave.

Posted by tonedef

11:40 AM, May 12, 2008

siva at one point seemed like a lock to come to UW. What happened? Is it that they're not that good and it seems that Romar may not be able to sustain a strong program?

What do you all think?

Posted by MT Husky

12:32 PM, May 12, 2008

Thanks for the Cactus Classic info Bob. I also enjoyed your observations Meatball.

I noticed that one of the names there was Darius Morris. He’s got both WSU and UW listed as schools he’s interested in.

Assuming Huskies don’t land either Gaddy or Siva (which right now, it doesn’t sound like they will), he might be a good PG to land.

Sounds like he plays both guard positions well, the type of player Romar likes, he’s 6’3” and hopefully would be another type of player who will stick around for more than just a year or two.

I don’t know about Gaddy’s ambitions, but doesn’t appear he has any interest in UW, same with Siva who it sounds like he is anxious to get to the NBA anyways so I hope Romar can land Morris who in 4 years maybe it would turn out he would end up being able to do more for the UW program than either Gaddy or Siva would.

Posted by mattysimone

1:59 PM, May 12, 2008

MT gaddy comitied to zona a long time ago and sive stoped sittingbehind udubs bench before pac 10 play even starterd this year.....siva will go to zona I think if gaddy stays. oh well peace out fellas. ill take isiah and suggs all day over both of them

Posted by Dave " The Meatball" Armistead

3:06 PM, May 12, 2008

Mattysimone- There you go making all kinds of sense again??? Let's take a look a quick look.....

Isaiah Thomas: No. 92 overall, No. 14 PG

Scott Suggs: No. 97 overall, No. 24 SG

vs

Abdul Gaddy: No. 14 overall, No. 2 PG

Peyton Siva: No. 31 overall, No. 4 PG


Your first problem is that these recruits are from two different years, but putting that omission aside, why exactly would you want 2 guys ranked in the high 90's vs 2 guys pretty much ranked in the Top 30 of their respective classes? Add in the factor that Isiah Thomas barely can pass his highschool classes, I'm not sure why you would make such comments. Are you upset that Lute is continuing to pick the only ripe fruit from your backyards?

Seriously, for those realistic fans out there how does a coach like Romar allow Top Recruits like Gaddy and Siva to leave the state? Shouldn't that speak volumes about his recruiting ability? Every once in awhile (Spencer Hawes) he keeps the best highschool talent in the state of Washington in house, but seriously how long is the Husky AD going to allow Romar this free range on the program? (2) Sweet 16's and that buys him immunity? Why?

Posted by mattysimone

8:07 PM, May 12, 2008

I guess time will tell huh meat

Posted by Trevor

10:12 PM, May 12, 2008

Sad that the UW isn't able to competitively recruit local stars. I guess that moment was pretty brief.

Posted by jed

10:12 PM, May 12, 2008

Dave,
Romar has consistently recruited better including local recruiting than anyone has previously done at UW. So as to the question of whether Romar is a good recruiter the answer is a resounding YES.

UW is a program that despite some ups and downs is steadily showing an upward trend. During the latter part of the B. Roy years they were consistently beating Arizona and most other teams. They have fallen off but as I said the trend over the long haul I believe will be upward. Its true they do not have the two decade history of UA and Lute. Nevertheless even the best coaches do not get all the players they may want in their home areas. Even Ben Howland who I personally believe is probably the best coach in the conference (yes currently superior even to your beloved Lute) still loses great players to other programs(e.g. isn't Budinger from Southern CA).

UW is getting enough good talent to be competitive if they achieve to their potential. My sense about it is that UA for the last several years has probably underachieved considering the level of talent they have had.

Posted by Royal

2:35 AM, May 13, 2008

I agree with MattySimone and Jed. It would be nice to get them all but that aint gonna happen.
.
Personally I am surprised that the Huskies are still being mentioned by all of these players.
.
My personal feeling is that a single recruit is not going to save the U.W. Remember how the Huskies played when Jones. Roy, Robinson and Conroy were all underclassmen. Good but not "special"
.
Then recall how the Huskies played in Spencer's freshman year.
.
Though I personally did look at the Cactus Classic stats and made sure to check out Josh Smith and Tony Wroten's stats.
.
Its my guess that the Huskies will be fine they just have to win about 65% of their games.

Posted by Willy "Weiner Roast" Randolph

4:12 AM, May 13, 2008

Hi Bob, can we get a breakdown on the top BB recruits coming of out WA by class (both boys and girls)? Seems like our kids are getting a lot of attention.

-WR

PS Thanks for keeping the blogs active; I look forward to them more than the articles...

Posted by MT Husky

8:27 AM, May 13, 2008

Martell Webster
Jon Brockman
Spencer Hawes
Isaiah Thomas

I’d say for a basketball program that lacks the reputation and notoriety of UCLA, AZ, Kansas, Duke, etc. that’s a pretty impressive in-state recruiting list.

As has already been said, there is no way Romar is going to land every top WA recruit. And when he is competing against established, historically elite programs as referenced above, I am excited about the quality (in character and ability) players that are and will be Huskies for the next several years. The fact is, I doubt anybody could do a better job recruiting at UW than Romar has done.

Further, Meatball mocked Matty’s excitement about Suggs and IT, but I’m with Matty on this one, I love the Suggs, Thomas, Bresheers, Holiday, MBA (etc.) type players that will stick around for 3 or 4 years and allow us as fans to watch them and watch their games develop (how much fun has it been rooting for Brockman!?) as opposed to players who view their collegiate career as a brief jumping point to the NBA.

Would I be pleased if Gaddy or Siva selected UW? Sure I would. But I’m also thrilled with the above scenario. And I’m not convinced that the current group of players that have selected UW won’t end up doing more for building a top-notch b-ball program then certain hopeful ‘one-year’ wonders would.

As was said above, “we’ll see”.

Posted by Dave " The Meatball" Armistead

8:51 AM, May 13, 2008

Yup, we shall see.....

Posted by MT Husky

9:01 AM, May 13, 2008

Hey Meatball,

As I said up top, apparently Darius Morris was there who apparently has interest in both UW and WSU.

Did you see/notice him at all? If so, what did you think?

Posted by mattysimone

10:12 AM, May 13, 2008

I truly believe suggs and Isiah could turn out to be top players in there class....Im not saying wooden award but I would not be afraid to put them in the top 20 when its all said and done. Honestly I dont think we have ever witnessed a player like Isiah and Im very excited to watch this kid....From people that have watched him play in person ive heard...iverson stroke with nate robinson hops....how can he go wrong? It sucks to lose gaddy and siva, but I think siva would just have to much competition to play only one or two years so hes lookin to go where he can get great TV exposure with not a ton of competition. with Turner, Thomas, Overton and suggs he wouldnt be playin even 30 mnutes a game. If Romar can land Smith and Wroten then job well done. He CANNOT lose either of those two or we do have a problem. Wroten was rated as the top freshman in the nation. anyone gonna go to the rotary tournament over memorial day weekend? should be some great players on hand...anyway bob could you find out what teams will be there?

Posted by jdawg

10:57 AM, May 13, 2008

Bob,
What is going on with UW's recruiting efforts? It looks like all of these players, even though they are in state, are looking elsewhere. Not a good sign. Last year it looked like we had a good shot at Gaddy, Siva and Bradley and now who knows.
What players are actually interested in UW and if we miss on those three what are we left with???
Thanks!

Posted by mattysimone

11:08 AM, May 13, 2008

my buddys little brother is a sleeper outta rogers...remember the name garin peyton.....I have a feeling hes gonna light it up at rotary classic.....hopfully he gets to play against rotary one that includes siva, smith an wroten..... I dont think gaddy is on that team.... how would u like that team....

Posted by Dave " The Meatball" Armistead

2:25 PM, May 13, 2008

MT- Sorry, I didn't really see him play.

Posted by Formerly Guest

2:38 PM, May 13, 2008

Isiah is short.

I suspect he may be a liability defensively.

I think it is a real bad sign not to get Siva. He can play right away here. Overton should be a link for him to come here. Losing him looks really really bad. Really bad.

We can rationailize losing Siva as much as we want with "well he is 1 and done anyway." Personally, I think he will need to stay aorund 3-4 years to have a chance in the pros. Also, Wroten is more of a "1 and done" than Siva. So if "1 and done" means Siva isn't a "must-get" recruit for us, then Wroten can't be a "must-get" recruit for us.

The cupboard was not that bare at UO when they lost out on Love. The cupboard is a lot more bare up here while we are losing Gaddy and Siva.

If Romar knows something about these guys that is making him pull back, more power to him. I thought it would look bad when he lost the Stewart twins, but he looked smart after the fact by pulling back. But right now our team is not too good, and it seems like he has put all his efforts into Siva. After losing Jrue Holiday to UCLA despite taking his brother, that will hurt VERY BADLY to lose Siva.

Posted by jed

4:19 PM, May 13, 2008

Ex-Guest,
I don't think there is any shame in losing Jrue Holiday to UCLA. He is from California and UCLA is a great school and Howland is a great coach. Jrue has the ability to excel there.

Siva has seemed pretty set on going to Louisville for quite a while. I'm sure the UW staff has worked hard to recruit him but some will be taken with aspects of another program. The likelihood of playing early here is a strong selling point and Romar is generally very well liked but that won't be enough for everyone.

What is most important at this point regarding ongoing success with recruiting is starting to win again. After the B. Roy et al years and Spencer Hawes was recruited there was an optimism that the program was on the way to being an elite program; some of that feeling is starting to wane.

Romar gets it and despite the two recent disappointing finishes there were signs of serious improvement in the areas needed to compete so overall I am optimistic.

Posted by Formerly Guest

5:11 PM, May 13, 2008

Jed,

I did not mean to imply shame in losing Holiday to UCLA. "Losing" is not accurate, as he was in their backyard, so they had that natural advantage. But he has commented that he went really hard after Jrue, and it hurt to lose him. My fatalistic sense as a know-nothing fan is that if we couldn't entice him by giving him the chance to play with his brother...there is not mich chance for getting a guy like him in the future.

I had always assumed Siva would come here...foolishly. He could play early, play with Overton, press and run a lot in this system, play in front of family.

I agree that sometimes an aspect of another program will grab a kid and not let them go and maybe that happened with Siva.

But from the outside it looks like Lousville and Arizona are going to continue to have a pipeline for every athletic guard that they want coming out of Seattle-Tacoma, and it was the lack of such players that killed us the last two years.

I still think Romar is a very good coach, and we are traditionally at best a .500 program over time. But sometimes your rep is built on early momentum, and he had it originally with his recruiting. Now it is gone, poof...and it only looks like it is getting worse.

I don't see Wroten wanting to come here now, or anyone else locally in the top 25 in the next few years. Hopefully I am wrong and your optimism bears out to be true.

Posted by jed

7:55 PM, May 13, 2008

Formally Guest,

All that you say makes sense. I totally agree that the lack of high quality guards has been a major "achilles heel" the last two years. I also agree that there was a crest of momentum that the program was riding and some of the wave has broken.

Like you I also believe in Romar. The only way to build momentum again is to return to winning. I think there is enough foundation to bring that about.

Posted by jed

8:06 PM, May 13, 2008

That should have read, "Formerly Guest".

jed

Posted by SouthSoundDawg

8:47 PM, May 13, 2008

I am new to this forum so my first question is, is this Meatball character for real or some type of joke. If real he definitely reaffims my past suspicion of Arizona Bball fans, they really do think they are entitled to everything and that Saint Lute is god.

"Seriously, for those realistic fans out there how does a coach like Romar allow Top Recruits like Gaddy and Siva to leave the state?"

"how long is the Husky AD going to allow Romar this free range on the program?"

What exactly does this mean? Are you implying that Romar has simply given up on recruiting these kids and just allows them to go to out of state schools? I am sure Lorenzo is doing everything within the rules to try to get these kids. Did it ever occur to you that these kids don't grow up dreaming to go to UW like they do the Duke, NC's, UCLA and Arizona's of college basketball. Recently Romar has landed big recruits like Brockman, Hawes and Webster from those big schools. The only major players that I can think of who got away from Romar that have gone on to star elsewhere were, maybe Aaron Brooks, possibly Steven Gray of Gonzaga. Other than that, he has pulled in just about every in state recruit that he has targeted so I am not sure what your statements are based on. Oh thats right, they are based on recruiting battles that are not even close to being over yet. I will come back and eat crow if Siva, Gaddy and Bradley all get away but I have a feeling things are far from over.

Don't worry too much about UW Meatball, you should be keeping an eye on senile Lute to see what he will do next. Can't wait to see him back on the court this year, literally, standing in the middle of the court crying to the refs. Or maybe we can watch out for what assistant coach he is going to turn his back on next. I am sure there is no shortage of excitement in watching Lute fall apart in the desert.

It will be interesting to see where Gaddy ends up when he finally comes to his senses and realize the coach he is going to go play for is likely not to be around very long. I would put money on Gaddy not ending up at UA.

Also, nice shot at Thomas not being able to pass his high school classes, I am sure Brandon Jennings is having a good laugh at that one.

So I guess still working under the assumption that your posts are real and not a joke, you should probably be a little more worried about what is going on down there at UA, than what Romar is doing at UW

Posted by MT Husky

10:46 AM, May 14, 2008

Thank you Meatball for responding.

According to scout.com it appears he's big on Michigan anyways.

Posted by mattysimone

11:29 AM, May 14, 2008

No shame on romar for losing siva, I go to all the home games and he was at every game until the start of pac 10 play. Im sure he wanted to play for romar and his boy overton, but cmon guys, the lure of two huge hoops programs and many others calling you everyday and getting letters must be so overwhelming! Think about it.....hes talk to romar or dollar on the phone and the signal beeps through...he looks..... and oh right it on its coach PITINO! haha what would you do as a 17 year old kid. They have to be true fans of the dawgs not to let a school, coach, or location change there mind, otherwise the udub has no chance.....sad but you have to agree

Posted by Dave " The Meatball" Armistead

11:30 AM, May 14, 2008

Mt Husky- No worries...there were just so many kids to focus on, and unfortunately he didn't stand out to me.

SouthSound- You pretty much proved everything the Meatball has been saying for a long time on this blog. Many posters on here have unrealistic dreams of the Huskies playing deep in the NCAA tourney every year, but it sounds like you are comfortable where the program is at...which is squarely at the bottom tier of the Pac-10. Many of your colleagues feel that Romar has brought the program to elite status, but I've always contended that he had a bit of luck with Brandon Roy for a few years, and that everything will get back to normal. Well guess what Southsound, reality has set-in and Washington hasn't been to any post Season Tournament (outside of the FBI pick-nick game) in the last few years. The honeymoon is over, and Washington is holding on strong to the bottom tier.

As for my Wildcats, things are in the works that Lute will live up to his nickname of "Midnight Lute" again and will pull DeMar Rozan from USC. Lute has brought in some top level Assistant Coaches to replace past players that are near and dear to the program, but lacked in experience and effectiveness. The Coaching circle is as strong as it's been since 97'.

Couple the coup of Rozan, with Brandon Jennings, Chase Budinger, Jordan Hill, Nic Wise, Jamelle Horne, Jeff Withey, Emmanuel Negedu, Fendi Onobon, Zane Johnson, and Jacobsen UofA will have Top 5 talent in the Nation and will have some serious depth. So thanks, SouthSound, for allowing your meatball wannabe eyes to peruse the screts that I hold so that you can now walk around with a little bit of knowledge. The Husky's will remain irrelevant, while my Cats will return to dominance. You shall see my meaty little friend, you shall see!

BTW: Glad you feel confident enough in yourself to take shots at a HOF coach. You must have accomplished quite a bit in life to maintain that amount of arrogance. No surprise though, typical UWashington response. Once you get more sprinklings of meatball mania, you will realize that you were once a lost child and now you see!

Posted by mattysimone

12:09 PM, May 14, 2008

wow meat thats alot of big predictions hanging in the wind with you.....Rozan huh.....that would be huge but makes sense at the same time as if I were a recruit i wouldnt touch usc with a stick right now. hopefully that kid has the same HS agent as OJ did so he takes you guys down too......remember he is goin to usc :) GL with that

Posted by SouthSoundDawg

2:31 PM, May 16, 2008

Haha, thanks for clearing things up a little meatball, I now see that you are somewhat of a joke, but somehow I get the impression you still take yourself serious.

While there are many delusional UW fans out there that feel entitled to go deep in the tournament every year because of those 2-3 good years (see current Coug fans), there are still many of us who are very greatful for what Romar has been able to accomplish since coming here. We realize that UW is not historically a basketball school and only the elite programs can expect to make a run in the tourney every year (and in case you are wondering I dont consider Zona elite).

Romar will have this team back to being a contender in the pac-10 in no time with the type of players he is bringing in. A couple of years of recruiting mistakes and some bad luck in player development/transfers caused this team to have to play a style that Romar is just not comfortable with or well suited for. For the many great things about him, he is just not a great X's and O's coach that can rely on running a half court offense. With players like IT, Suggs, Turner and Breshers coming in to go along with Overton, MBA, Gant and Holliday this team is becoming a more athletic, diverse, run and gun bunch that will play solid defense and rely on the transition game. I am also hoping like heck that Romar can land Bradley as IMO he has the biggest upside of the big 3 (Siva, Gaddy and Bradley), although Gaddy would not be out of the question either as I don't think he is a lock for "Midnight Lute". Our biggest problem will be our size or lack thereof in being able to match up with the teams like UA. But somehow, Romar seems to be able to knock off Arizona every year so I am not too worried about that.

As for Lute, I used to have tons of respect for the guy until I was a student at UW and witnessed his childish antics first hand. Constantly on the court, baiting, whining and crying to the refs which somehow always leads to him getting calls and not technicals. I also don't have much respect for a coach that relies on poaching other schools to get last second recruits. I am not a coach but I would think that would have to be pretty disrespectful in the coaching circle. But hey, if UA ends up with Derozan I have a feeling that Lute's coaching is going to be very well tested with the set of egos he has put together. Budinger, Jennings, Derozan, Hill thats a lot of me first guys on the court at the same time. I love the games of Hill and Horne and would take them every day of the week though, they are some solid players but I don't know much about the rest of them, except for Jacobsen who is a stiff. He and Wolfinger would be a hell of a matchup.

Anyway, Meaty, I look forward to further banter with you. I think you will find I am a pretty reasonable UW fan who does not have the arrogance and sense of entitlement many of my brethren have. In fact, UA was my favorite team as a kid as I used to watch Miles Simon play at Mater Dei when he occasionally played my hometown high school. Simon, Bibby, Terry, Dickerson, Ben Davis among others were all some of my favorite players and that national title team is still my all time favorite teams believe it or not. I have since acquired a disdain for everything Arizona because of how arrogant their fans have become. It seems the whole pac-10 has a pretty egotistical fan base these days but thats another topic altogether.

Recent entries

Aug 18, 08 - 08:22 PM
A couple updates

Aug 15, 08 - 10:18 AM
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Aug 14, 08 - 09:24 AM
Roy to have surgery

Aug 12, 08 - 09:44 PM
Former Husky Femerling in Olympics

Aug 11, 08 - 12:42 PM
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