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Husky Men's Basketball Blog

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

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May 30, 2007

Gant qualifies

Posted by Bob Condotta at 9:27 PM

Darnell Gant said tonight that he has received a qualifying test score and will arrive at UW July 8 to officially begin his Husky career.

Gant, a 6-8 forward from Crenshaw High School in Los Angeles, admitted it was touch-and-go for a while on whether he would get a qualifying test score and is relieved it has worked out.

"I was really worried about it,'' he said. "There was a lot of prayer and taking some time off from some other things, sacrificing a lot of other things. But I came out and got a good test score and I know where I want to be. Now I just need to concentrate on my academics and it will be all right.''

Gant said he is due to graduate from Crenshaw on June 20. He will come to UW in July to enroll in the freshman bridge program and work out informally with the team.

Gant said he averaged 22 points, 14 rebounds and five blocks this season for Crenshaw.

As for what he may do as a freshman this season for the Huskies, he said "I want to play but my playing time depends on how hard I'm willing to work and how much time I'm willing to put in the gym.''

The news on Gant means only Franklin High's Venoy Overton remains unqualified among UW's four incoming freshman for next season.

Are these the new uniforms?

Posted by Bob Condotta at 2:52 PM

Thanks to a reader who pointed me in this direction, I think we've found what Washington's new basketball uniforms will look like.

Click on this link here to see what apparently are the new uniforms. The link comes from theNike Team catalog for the winter of 2007.

The school has said that it will have new uniforms for the men's and women's teams this season and that they will be officially unveiled this fall.

Look carefully at that page, however, and it's apparent that maybe Nike needs to spend just a little of its money hiring people who know how to spell. Last time we checked, Husky was spelled without an E --- or maybe that's just a sign that the company's influence is about to spread more widely than we thought possible.

Draft camp info

Posted by Bob Condotta at 8:50 AM

There probably won't be a whole lot of Spencer Hawes-related news coming out of the Orlando Pre-Draft Camp with Hawes doing nothing more than taking a physical.

Our Percy Allen filed this report today which includes some news on players with local ties such as Aaron Brooks and Coby Karl.

Another good source of draft-related news is HoopsHype.com. That site continues to have Hawes going to the Bulls with the ninth overall pick.

May 29, 2007

Hawes heads to Orlando

Posted by Bob Condotta at 8:45 AM

Today marks the beginning of the Orlando Pre-Draft camp and our NBA writer, Percy Allen, is there and will file reports every day. His story on the camp, featuring a little bit of info on Spencer Hawes, is here.

The conventional wisdom remains that Hawes is gone and only something that indicates he's staying would be regarded as real news at this point.

One veteran NBA watcher told me last week that the surest sign yet that Hawes is gone is the fact that he isn't working out at Orlando but rather is simply there to
take physicals. If he really were interested in assessing his position, this person said, wouldn't he work out? Only guys who know they are in the draft and want to protect their draft position avoid working out, he said.

Another person pointed out to me recently that Hawes, who had knee surgery last year and the noted virus that caused him to lose 20 or so pounds, is more worried that he might suffer another health setback that could cause his draft status to fall if he came back for another year rather than thinking he might be able to move up a few spots if he returned.

Speaking of Hawes, here's an interesting scouting report from a guy who thinks Hawes is going to be a good pro.

I know some of you are weary of Hawes' situation but I still think it's worth noting in this space, so I will. But I also promise to have some non-Hawes info on here soon, as well.


May 25, 2007

New uniforms coming

Posted by Bob Condotta at 3:27 PM

I seem to remember a few pretty strong comments from some readers of this blog last March about the new uniforms being worn by schools such as Arizona, Ohio State and Florida during the NCAA Tournament.

Well, get ready, because the Huskies will soon have a similar look.

A school spokesman confirmed today that the Huskies will unveil a new style that is part of the same Nike line for next season.

The uniforms are part of Nike's new System of Dress design which the company says is comprised of "a Nike Fitted Jersey --- a lightweight, breathable, form-fitting top --- and long, lightweight, loose-fitted shorts."

You can read a Nike press release about the new style and look at some examples here.

Here's an Associated Press story from last March that also gives a lot of detail about the new uniforms.

Exactly what UW's version looks like won't be made public until the fall, when the Huskies will officially introduce them. The new uniforms have already been approved and ordered. The UW women's team will also wear a version of the new look.

The uniforms drew some mixed reviews last March when Ohio State and others wore them throughout the tournament.

Here's a columnist from the AP who wrote then that she thought the new unis "are yet another good idea gone bad.''

May 24, 2007

Brockman to try out for Pan American Team

Posted by Bob Condotta at 4:22 PM

Had a chance to talk with Jon Brockman today for some stuff that I'll hopefully get on the blog soon.

But one thing he said I wanted to pass along immediately is that he will try out for the United States Pan American Games Team later this summer.

Tryouts for the team will be held July 12-14 at Haverford College in Haverford, Pa. If Brockman makes the team, he will then play July 25-29 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Here's a fact sheet on the Pan-Am Games explaining that the games are held every four years in the year prior to the Olympics and include teams from North, South, and Central America and the Caribbean.

Here, also, is a schedule.

And here is a list of coaches, showing Villanova's Jay Wright as the head coach.

Brockman was an All-Pac-10 player as a sophomore for UW last season.

UPDATE --- As one reader noted, Washington State's Derrick Low and Kyle Weaver have also been invited to try out for the Pan Am team. Here's a story on that with some more details on the process.

The story says 35 players have been invited and 12 will make the final team so it figures to be pretty competitive.

Brandon Roy interviews

Posted by Bob Condotta at 3:39 PM

Brandon Roy's appearance at the NBA Lottery yielded a number of interviews with the former Husky star.

Here are two:

This one from HoopsWorld where Roy gives a plug for Husky coach Lorenzo Romar and talks about Spencer Hawes being a lottery pick this year.

And this one from DraftExpress (it's after the Kevin Pritchard interview) that focuses mostly on his rookie season with Portland.

May 23, 2007

Hawes a Bull?; other notes

Posted by Bob Condotta at 10:13 AM

Seems to be the consensus that Spencer Hawes won't get past the Chicago Bulls, who were awarded the No. 9 pick in the draft in Tuesday's lottery.

Here's one mock draft sending Hawes to the Bulls, a team that has made it known it is looking for a big man, as this story from the Chicago Sun Times again makes clear.

Hawes' competition also got a little lighter with the news that Georgetown's Roy Hibbert is apparently pulling himself out of the draft. Hibbert says he's rather stay another year and take a chance on moving up to one of the top three spots, something that hasn't seemed as important to Hawes.

Hawes has said the overall situation is as important as how high in the draft he goes, and Chicago would seem to be something that he'd likely consider a good fit.

Even before the lottery was held Tuesday, however, I had one person who is pretty knowledgable tell me that he'd be "shocked'' if Hawes were to return to UW.

MORE NOTES

Some of you have said you're tired of Hawes talk, so I'll throw in a few other notes I've gotten in the last few days:

---- The team isn't doing much right now with the end of school approaching. Mostly, players are doing conditioning work in the morning and then informal pickup games in the afternoon. Things will pick up a bit more in the summer when some of the incoming players are expected to arrive.

---- Adrian Oliver has been absent from some of the recent work with a stiff back.

---- The players catching people's eyes in the informal games are Justin Dentmon, who has lost some weight and appears back to his freshman form; and Quincy Pondexter, beginning to more consistently flash some of his obvious talent. With Hawes likely gone, the focus of UW's offense will undoubtedly shift more in Pondexter's direction, and if the Huskies return to their more uptempo ways, Pondexter could flourish.

---- Joe Wolfinger continues to progress from his foot injury, but he's still a ways away from being able to compete fully. The hope is that he will be able to play in the games in Greece in late August and early September. How he does there will more accurately determine what kind of role he will be able to play next season. Everyone remains hopeful he will recover, but his injury is a tricky one for big men (it's basically what Bill Walton had) so it's still pretty early in the process to assume how much he might be able to do next season.

---- As I wrote in the comments section a few days ago, there are lots of rumors out there that Artem Wallace wasn't driving the car and that his status at UW likely won't be impacted much by his recent legal situation. However, the police are still investigating and that, obviously, is the only official word. That investigation isn't expected to be completed until next month, at which time charges could be filed.


May 22, 2007

Dollar's brother named at LSU

Posted by Bob Condotta at 6:05 PM

Washington's visit to LSU next Dec. 29 will now be something of a family affair.

In case you missed it, LSU this week named Chad Dollar, the older brother of Washington assistant Cameron Dollar, as an assistant coach for the men's basketball team.

Here's a link detailing Chad Dollar's new job. Here also is his bio.

As the story reports, Chad Dollar --- who is about four years older than Cameron --- worked at Murray State last season.

UW will have a couple of other interesting coaching matchups next year, as well, with Portland State and former UW assistant Ken Bone and former Husky player Curtis Allen coming back; and Long Beach State, now coached by Dan Monson, the former Gonzaga coach who was offered the Husky job before Lorenzo Romar took it in 2002.


Sports Guy has Sonics winning lottery, Hawes to Hornets

Posted by Bob Condotta at 9:34 AM

Fun read from ESPN.com's Bill Simmons on tonight's NBA Lottery as he predicts that the Sonics will win it and select Greg Oden.

He also has the Hornets getting the 13th pick and selecting Spencer Hawes.

Also, here's a take from the Chicago Sun-Times on the top 10 players available for the draft, listing Hawes at No. 9, though not seeming to do so with much enthusiasm.

May 21, 2007

Hawes on "physical-only'' list for Orlando

Posted by Bob Condotta at 10:33 AM

FoxSports.com is reporting that it has the official list of those players invited to the Orlando Pre-Draft Camp and that Spencer Hawes is on the list of players who won't play and instead will only take a physical.

Nothing really new there as Hawes said as much the day he announced his intentions. But interesting that these players are regareded as the likely lottery picks (also interesting is that the story says 10 players have been invited to take only physicals, but then lists 11 players).

Hawes' decision-making process will enter a slightly different realm when the positions for the lottery are determined tomorrow. As we've mentioned here previously, Hawes has said the overall situation is as important as how high he will be selected, and once the lottery order is determined, it'll be easier for him to figure out where he might actually go.

Speaking of Hawes, here's a list of potential lottery picks from The Sporting News with the comment that "good workouts will bump'' up his stock. I would expect that's exactly what will happen as Hawes has apparently put back on much of the weight he lost during the season --- which will alleviate that concern a bit in the eyes of NBA scouts --- and his skill-set will likely impress more in person than it does on tape.

Here's another story indicating that the Bulls would be interested in Hawes. I would imagine Hawes would be pretty intrigued by that possibility, as well.

May 18, 2007

Pruitt hires agent

Posted by Bob Condotta at 1:16 PM

USC guard Gabe Pruitt has hired an agent, which ensures that he will remain in the NBA Draft.

That means the only Pac-10 players who have declared for the draft but have yet to close the door on coming back for another year are UW's Spencer Hawes, Cal's DeVon Hardin and Oregon State's Marcel Jones. Jones is almost certainly coming back, however, with Hawes considered leaning toward leaving and Hardin more uncertain.

Here's a list of underclassmem who have declared from DraftExpress.com.

Pruitt's decision means USC has lost its entire regular starting backcourt --- Nick Young also declared for the draft while Lodrick Stewart used up his eligibility.

The Trojans will counter the loss with the addition of several talented freshmen, most notably O.J. Mayo. But Mayo seems like such a wildcard that it's hard to know exactly how it will all fit togther for the Trojans. For now, USC looks as if it has fallen back into the second division.


May 17, 2007

Interesting mock drafts

Posted by Bob Condotta at 3:31 PM

For those still keeping tabs on Spencer Hawes, here are some interesting mock drafts from HoopsWorld.com.

All four have Hawes going from 12-15 in the draft. Of more interest may be the teams they have selecting Hawes (though the official order has not yet been set). As I've pointed out here before, Hawes made it clear that situation and fit will be as important as how high he thinks he'll go in making his ultimate decision. I would bet he'd really like the chance to play for a team like Detroit, even if it is with the 15th pick.

Also an interesting comment in there from Tommy Beer that the stock of the big players in the draft figures to increase as the draft draws near. That is something you often see as big guys take sudden leaps in value (Kwame Brown comes quickly to mind).

May 15, 2007

Pac-10 coaches recommend reconfiguring awards

Posted by Bob Condotta at 10:21 AM

About the biggest news to come out of the Pac-10 basketball coaches' annual meetings earlier this month was a recommendation to change the way the conference hands out its annual player awards.

Since the 1979-80 season, the Pac-10 has named one 10-man all-conference team in a vote of the conference coaches (except for a couple of years, like last season, when only nine were named --- rules stipulate that players must receive votes from at least 50 percent of the coaches to make the team).

But Pac-10 coaches are recommending that format be changed to instead name a first, second and third team with five members on each team, as well as a Player of the Year that won't be a part of any of the teams (previously, the Player of the Year has also been on the all-conference team).

Coaches feel that change would be a way to honor more players --- 16, obviously, as opposed to 10, on just the all-conference teams. But it would also force the coaches to make some tough choices as to who belongs on the top five, the second five, etc. (It's unclear whether the teams would simply include the top five or be selected by position, such as a center, two forwards and two guards).

The coaches would also like to add such awards as a Sixth Man Award, Defensive Player of the year and Comeback Player of the Year (would Justin Dentmon be a prime candidate for that next year, or what?) The conference did briefly hand out Defensive POY and Sixth Man awards for a few years in the mid-1980s but did away with them.

Since then, the conference has handed out Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year awards and named a 10-man all-conference team and a five-man freshman team, and that's been it.

The conference has also often named a Newcomer of the Year, an award given to the top transfer. But that has not been an official conference award, instead given out by the conference's broadcasters. It wasn't awarded this year since it was felt there wasn't a large enough field of contenders, but could return in the future.

The coaches would also like to continue naming a five-person All-Freshman team but also make the change that the Freshman of the Year stand alone from the All-Freshman team, so as to add one more player to the mix.

None of this has yet been approved, however, as it will have to be voted on by the Pac-10's Awards Review Committee sometime this summer. One sticking point is that the conference likes to have its awards be uniform, so if men's basketball were to change its awards structure, women's basketball might have to, as well.

But many other conferences hand out a number of different awards, which only adds to the interest and fan discussion. Certainly, UW would have probably added a lot of additional hardware the last few years had any of those awards been in place. Bobby Jones likely would have had a two-or-three-year lock on the Defensive POY, and Tre Simmons and Brandon Roy might have been back-to-back winners of the Sixth Man award in 2004 and 2005.

May 14, 2007

Artem Wallace update

Posted by Bob Condotta at 11:12 AM

Actually, not an update in terms of their being any new news, but just to keep you abreast of where things are in the process since I've gotten a few e-mails from people wanting to know what happens now.

As a refresher, here's the story on Wallace's arrest.

Word from the Seattle Police Department is that the case will remain under active investigation for another three weeks or so before it will be sent to the prosecutor's office to determine whether charges will be filed.

If charges are filed, the charging papers would include all the relevant details, namely, exactly what Wallace's involvement is alleged to have been on that night. Until then, there doesn't figure to be any official word on the case. And until the case is settled one way or the other, there doesn't figure to be any decision on whether Wallace's status with the Huskies will be impacted in any way.


May 13, 2007

DeAngelo Casto transferring to Franklin?

Posted by Bob Condotta at 6:46 PM

A few of you have asked about rumors about Ferris of Spokane star DeAngelo Casto --- who is likely to be a target of UW recruiting efforts for the Class of 2008 --- transferring to Franklin of Seattle.

There doesn't appear to be anything official.

But Vince Grippi of the Spokane Spokesman-Review addressed those rumors in his SportsLink blog the other day, and you can find that here.

You'll see that Grippi quotes a Ferris source putting the chances of the 6-8 Casto returning to the school as "not good.'' But he also posits the theory that Casto may transfer to another school in the Spokane area or also out-of-state.

So doesn't sound as if there is much definitive there at all yet.

As for how this affects UW, obviously it would seem that it would be easier for Casto to end up a Husky were he to play this year at Franklin. It would also simply make the Quakers the team to beat in the state next year with high-scoring guard Peyton Siva also returning.

May 10, 2007

Jrue Holiday says it's UW or UCLA

Posted by Bob Condotta at 4:42 PM

Highly-touted guard Jrue Holiday of Campbell Hall High in North Hollywood, Calif., has narrowed his choice of colleges to UW and UCLA, according to a story published today by the LA Times.

Interestingly enough, the story is actually dated May 11 --- tomorrow (maybe time moves faster in LA).

The story quotes his mother, Toya, as saying that her son --- a 6-4 guard generally regarded among the top several recruits in the country for the Class of 2008 --- has whittled his list to just those two schools, each of which holds an obvious pull.

His older brother Justin Holiday, a 6-6 swingman, has already signed to play at UW beginning next season, while UCLA is the hometown school coming off two Final Fours.

The story further states that Jrue Holiday will take an unofficial visit to UW on June 10. He also visited UW in December when he accompanied his brother to a Husky basketball game.

UW and UCLA also were among the finalists for forward Drew Gordon of San Jose, who this week chose the Bruins.

May 9, 2007

Some better news

Posted by Bob Condotta at 8:10 AM

Not anticipating anything new on the Artem Wallace front for a while, so we'll move on to some better news coming out of Montlake.

UW coach Lorenzo Romar on Tuesday confirmed much of what we'd seen and heard anecdotally about guard Justin Dentmon returning to his former shape.

"He's got his weight down and he's got his quickness back and he's been doing real good,'' Romar said.

Dentmon said near the end of the season that he thought an attempt to put on weight to add some muscle and bulk was a major factor to his struggles (you can read more about that here).

Dentmon will face some stiff competition to keep his job next season with Venoy Overton arriving and Tim Morris and Joel Smith also back in the mix, so getting, and staying, in shape figures to be critical.

Romar also gave an encouraging report on center Joe Wolfinger, who missed last season with a stress fracture in his foot.

Romar said Wolfinger is "just starting to run full speed now and he doesn't have any pain and he looks good. He's just continuing to rehab. He hasn't had any setbacks.''

Wolfinger is far from out of the woods on this, but Romar said the plan remains for him to be able to participate fully when the team heads to Greece in late August. That trip, obviously, figures to be a key barometer of where Wolfinger is in his recovery.

Wolfinger is attempting to overcome the injury, suffered last fall, without surgery. He has said he had surgery scheduled twice but each time the date neared, the foot began to feel better so the surgery was called off.

Speaking of the Greece trip, final plans are being made for that right now, but it is likely to begin around Aug. 26 and last until right around Sept. 4.

Also, expect an announcement soon that the Huskies will be the hosts for an opening round of the pre-season NIT at Edmundson Pavilion, along with expected opponents. It's apparently all but done.

Among the other hosts of the opening rounds are expected to be Ohio State and Syracuse, meaning those are among the teams UW could face if it were to win its two opening-round games at home and then advance to the semifinals and finals in New York.

Some of you have asked about rest of the schedule for next season, but it won't be released until the announcement of the pre-season NIT, at the least. But among the known non-conference games are the Big 12 Challenge at Oklahoma State on Dec. 1, a game at LSU on Dec. 29, and a visit by Pittsburgh, also in December.

UW is also expected to again host Portland State, coached by former Husky assistant Ken Bone (though Phil Nelson won't play since he would be sitting out as a redshirt) and Long Beach State, where former Gonzaga coach Dan Monson is the new coach.

UPDATE ---- The Pitt game at home will be Dec. 8. UW will also host Portland, Eastern Washington and Idaho State and is still looking for one more home game against a similar-type opponent.

It's a schedule that could give UW four marquee road games before the Pac-10 season starts --- at Oklahoma State, at LSU and two games in the NIT if UW advances that far. And that would be a schedule that would undoubtedly get the team ready for conference play, an obvious criticism of the schedule the Huskies put together last season.

May 8, 2007

Romar on Wallace

Posted by Bob Condotta at 2:59 PM

In a statement released through the UW athletic department, Husky coach Lorenzo Romar says he will wait until all the facts are in before deciding what course of action to take concerning the situation involving Artem Wallace.

Here's the full statement:

"I am aware of the situation and have talked with Artem. He is cooperating
with the investigation. I am still in the process of gathering all the
facts. When all of the information is available, I will determine an
appropriate course of action. Until that time, I will not have any further
comment about the situation."


Some bad news for UW

Posted by Bob Condotta at 11:18 AM

UW junior-to-be Artem Wallace allegedly ran into some trouble over the weekend, and we recently posted a story about his situation on our web site.

I don't have much more to add at the moment than what is in the story so I'll simply link it here..

The obvious basketball-related question is whether this could impact Wallace's standing with the Huskies in any way, be it simply a minor suspension or something more. I don't know, and it's not really appropriate to speculate.

But we'll keep you posted as more comes to light.


Where to now?

Posted by Bob Condotta at 9:00 AM

In the wake of Drew Gordon's decision Monday to bypass UW and a few other schools to instead commit to UCLA, thought it worth it to review where the Husky roster stands.

Here's how it looks for next season:

07-08 roster

SENIORS
G - Ryan Appleby
G - Tim Morris

JUNIORS
G - Justin Dentmon
F - Jon Brockman
F - Artem Wallace
G - Joel Smith

SOPHOMORES
C - Joe Wolfinger
C - Spencer Hawes
F - Quincy Pondexter
G - Adrian Oliver

FRESHMEN
F - Matthew Bryan-Amaning
F - Darnell Gant
G - Justin Holiday
G - Venoy Overton
TOTAL 14.

Comment: Assuming probable departure of Hawes and UW has no scholarship issues.

08-09 roster

SENIORS
G - Justin Dentmon
F - Jon Brockman
C - Artem Wallace
G - Joel Smith

JUNIORS
C - Joe Wolfinger
C - Spencer Hawes
F - Quincy Pondexter
G - Adrian Oliver

SOPHOMORES
F - Matthew Bryan-Amaning
F - Darnell Gant
G - Justin Holiday
G - Venoy Overton

FRESHMEN
G - Isaiah Thomas
G - Elston Turner
TOTAL 14.

Comment: On paper, that puts UW over the limit. But little chance Hawes is still around, giving UW at least one open scholarship, and the Huskies are obviously recruiting as if they will have room for more, their standard protocal --- as has been discussed here often, spots always seem to open up.

So who else is UW looking at for the Class of 2008?

Among those prominently mentioned are 6-3 guard Jrue Holiday of Campbell Hall High in the Los Angeles area --- he is also the younger brother of Justin Holiday; 6-7 forward Tyreese Breshers of Los Angeles; and DeAngelo Casto, the 6-8 forward from Ferris who was the breakout star of the 4A state tournament this season.

Holiday is obviously the biggest potential catch as he is rated as the No. 2 shooting guard in the country Scout.com. Breshers and Casto are each players UW has appeared to show a little more interest in of late.

We also mentioned last week James Rahon, a guard from Encinitas, Calif., who has been attracting more attention from recruiters in recent weeks, apparently having also drawn the eye of UW. Here's a FoxSports.com story that mentions Rahon.


UPDATED --- Someone pointed out I forgot to include Overton on the 08-09 roster initially so I've fixed that.

May 7, 2007

Drew Gordon press release

Posted by Bob Condotta at 2:06 PM

Now that he's not going to become a Husky, I'm sure there's probably not a lot of interest left in Drew Gordon.

But his family just released a statement explaining his decision so I'll pass it along here:

DREW GORDON ANNOUNCES COLLEGE COMMITMENT
SAN JOSE, CA, MAY 7, 2007: Drew Gordon, Archbishop Mitty High School class of 2008 and top 15 nationally ranked basketball recruit, announced today that he is verbally committing to accept a scholarship offered by University of California Los Angeles, beginning with the 2008-2009 season. Drew, a 6'9", 235 pound power forward, chose UCLA after considering several top programs nationwide, including North Carolina, Duke, Arizona, Washington and Cal Berkeley. Drew is excited to be a part of the highly successful UCLA basketball program and hopes to have an immediate impact as a member of the team.

A RIGOROUS SELECTION PROCESS

Drew considered several criteria in his selection process. His relationship with the coach and coaching staff, the quality and strength of the program both historically as well as projections for the future, and the academic aspects of each school were part of the process. He was able to visit each campus, learn about the programs and watch games or play in an open-gym environment. He was impressed with UCLA's coaching staff, their performance during the NCAA playoffs, the campus environment and their plans for his development and role with the team. He is looking forward to working with Coach Howland and the coaching staff.

"I am excited for the recruiting phase to be over for me, and I can't wait to get to UCLA, even though I have another year of high school," Drew stated. "I want to thank all of the schools who were interested in me. It was an honor to be recruited by such top level programs. I appreciated getting to know all the coaches and players, and I look forward to competing against them as a Bruin."

Drew's high school coach Brian Eagleson was instrumental in the recruiting process, fielding phone calls and visits. Brian says "I fully support Drew's decision. UCLA has a great program that will push him to become an excellent player and will develop him as a student athlete. We reviewed many aspects of the programs on Drew's list, and UCLA fits him as a player and as a person."

Gordon to UCLA

Posted by Bob Condotta at 1:03 PM

Many other sources are now saying that Drew Gordon is headed to UCLA, including this report on Scout.com.

That confirms what we wrote here last night that a source had told us Gordon was likely headed to UCLA.

Washington had been on the final list of schools for Gordon, a 6-8 power forward generally considered among the top recruits in the country for the Class of 2008.

May 6, 2007

Drew Gordon announcement imminent?

Posted by Bob Condotta at 4:45 PM

One of Washington's top targets for its recruiting Class of 2008, forward Drew Gordon of Archbishop Mitty High School in San Jose, is reported to be close to making a decision, possibly as early as Monday.

Gordon is one of the top seniors-to-be on the West Coast, and rated as the No. 16 player in the nation for the Class of 2008 by Rivals.com.

Message boards have been running rampant with rumors about where Gordon is heading, with some insisting that UW is the leader.

Gordon, however, was pretty secretive in the most recent interview I could find with him, printed by Scout.com on Friday, when he said he wouldn't even reveal which schools are among his finalists.

Arizona, Cal and UCLA are among those generally considered as Gordon's other favorites.

Arizona, however, has gotten two commitments in the last week (read about those here) which have caused some to wonder how that might be impacting UA's recruiting of Gordon.

Whatever he decides, sounds as if we'll find out soon, and if he picks UW, this will be another big catch for Lorenzo Romar.

UPDATE: Scout.com is reporting tonight (7 p.m.) that Gordon will have a press conference Monday at 3:30 p.m.

For what it's worth, one person told me tonight there are indications that Gordon is headed to UCLA. But everyone agrees this has been a hard one to read and we'll all find out for sure Monday.


May 4, 2007

A couple links

Posted by Bob Condotta at 8:43 AM

I'll pass along a few things to read today:

First, here's our story on the proposed new three-point line for the 2008-09 season from Bud Withers that includes a few quotes from UW coach Lorenzo Romar who expresses his approval.

Next, here's a column from Frank Burlison of the Long Beach Press-Telegram that includes two interesting items.

First; there is a mention of Romar among those who was impressed by the play at a tournament in Las Vegas last weekend of James Rahon, a 6-3 junior guard at Torrey Pines High in Del Mar, Calif., "as the best jump shooter'' at the event. Here's a scouting profile of Rahon that lists UW as a school of interest.

Burlison also writes that USC may have another guard who graduates early from high school, ala Daniel Hackett this season, to help replace Gabe Pruitt should he follow through on plans to leave for the NBA. The guard in question is Angelo Johnson.

Lastly, here's a column from Jeff Goodman at FoxSports.com listing Romar as one of 10 college coaches who are ready to go pro.

But I wouldn't worry about Romar heading to the NBA anytime soon. I know I've written before saying he's about to sign an extension of his current deal that was agreed on last fall, but my understanding is that it really is due to happen soon --- among the things apparently delaying it was the situation with women's basketball.

Romar also has said many times he really isn't interested in coaching in the NBA.

He said last year flat out that the NBA isn't an option unless he were to be fired and need work - that having played in it satisfied any curiosity about that league.

"I've said this and I really believe this --- if it were just about winning and losing, it would get old,'' he said at the time. "Because the way we operate as humans, the more you win, the more you want to win. The more money you make, the more money you want to make. That's a never-ending chase. But when you talk about helping change someone's life or investing in someone's life for the rest of their lives, that's priceless. That is worth more than any amount of wins. Any amount of money you can make.''

May 3, 2007

NCAA considering longer three-point line

Posted by Bob Condotta at 9:37 AM

Real interesting news from the NCAA today as the men's basketball rules committee is proposing that the three-point line be extended to 20 feet, nine inches beginning with the 2008-09 season.

You can get more info here.

The proposal won't be official until approved by the Playing Rules Oversight Panel on May 25. If approved then, it won't be enacted for a year to allow for everyone to adjust to the change.

As expressed in the media release linked above, the committee feels moving the line back "will provide more space between the perimeter players and post players.''

What I'm sure they are hoping that will do is make it harder for teams to double-team in the post without giving up open shots, and maybe creating a more even-up, wide-open game.

If you read further down in the release, you can also see two other proposed changes --- not using the first lane space nearest the basket on free throws, and requiring use of the video monitor to determine if a flagrant foul has occurred.

Also, the release states NCAA officials will continue to put emphasis on the block/charge call near the basket, palming, the behavior of coaches and rough post play.

My quick two cents on the new three-point line is that it could benefit the major powers in the game for two reasons: it would increase the value of having a good big man, always easier for the elites to attract; and by making the three-point shot harder to convert, would make it that much more difficult for those mid-major schools that seem to come to prominence every March featuring a bevy of good three-point shooters.

On the other hand, maybe players today will easily adjust to a one-foot longer three-point shot.

Certainly, this seems like a rule that would have benefitted the Huskies as they were constructed last season as those opponents that liked to double-down inside but still get outside to defend the three-point shooters would have had a more difficult time doing so. Conversley, that three-point shot will now be that much harder to make.

Lastly, I'm wondering if Phil Nelson knew about this before he left. Seems like his value just went up quite a bit.


May 2, 2007

One more Hawes story

Posted by Bob Condotta at 9:15 PM

I'm getting the sense some of you are weary of Spencer Hawes stories right now, but here's one more, this time from ESPN's Andy Katz.

Again, nothing earth-shaking, though Katz does a nice job of laying out how the new rules will impact Hawes' decision, something I'd been thinking of doing once it got a little closer to the time of the pre-draft camp. But with all these Hawes' stories elsewhere, there's almost nothing left to write about..

The most telling quote about the diection this all appears headed may be from Hawes' mother, Lisa, who says scouts "may be surprised to see him (Spencer) at the camp and in individual workouts.'' Doesn't sound as if she's got any apprehension about Spencer turning pro.


Roy wins NBA ROY Award

Posted by Bob Condotta at 10:19 AM

After a season's worth of speculation, today comes proof that the Roy in Brandon Roy really does stand for Rookie of the Year.

The award is being announced today and this story from NBA.com states that Roy is the winner, having received 127 out of a possible 128 first-place votes.

Roy averaged 16.8 points and 4.0 assists for Portland this season.

This is one of the highest NBA awards ever won by a UW alum. Detlef Schrempf won consecutive awards as the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year in 1990 and 1991.

Roy is also a graduate of Garfield High in Seattle.

He left UW as the 10th-leading scorer in school history, averaging 14.3 points for his career, and 20.2 as a senior in the 2006 season, then came the No. 6 pick in the NBA Draft.

That made him the second-highest pick of any UW player following Bob Houbregs, who was the No. 3 pick in 1953.

UPDATE --- And here's Jason Quick's blog from the Oregonian with some details on the one person who didn't vote for Roy, Toronto play-by-play announcer Chuck Swirsky.

As Quick points out, Roy could have been the third unanimous pick in NBA history (the others being Ralph Sampson in 1984 and David Robinson in 1990) if not for the vote of Swirsky.

Interestingly, this bio of Swirsky points out that he was, in fact, born in Seattle.

Equally interestingly, as of 11:25 a.m., that Wikipedia bio had already been amended to include the line that "after the 2006-2007 season, Chuck gained noteriety as a homer for being the only NBA post-season awards voter on the entire panel not to vote for Brandon Roy for rookie of the year, instead voting for his Raptors' Andrea Bargnani.''

I'll let you decide how unbiased Swirsky might have been, but it seems a little disingenuous to suggest he didn't have just a tiny bit --- tiny bit being a relative term, of course --- considering his close association with the Raptors.


May 1, 2007

Draft Express Hawes interview, part two

Posted by Bob Condotta at 9:06 AM

Here's the rest of DraftExpress.com's interview with Spencer Hawes.

Most interesting to me may be Hawes' reflection that he could have been a better team leader this season and tried to carry the team on his back more.

Otherwise, nothing new on whether he's leaving UW for good, though as I've been saying here for a while now, I wouldn't count on anything else.


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