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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.
Posted by Bob Condotta at 9:37 AM
The answer to the question of the time of the rally for Kevin Durant at Green Lake is Noon, today.
Among those expected to attend is UW coach Lorenzo Romar. Others expected include J.J. Putz, Slick Watts, Spencer Haywood and Bob Blackburn.
Posted by Bob Condotta at 1:09 PM
A lot of you have asked about Washington's 2007-08 schedule, and a tentative one has finally been released.
It provides no surprises in terms of opponents, but does give some dates, and also includes the Pac-10 conference schedule.
Day Date Opponent Location Time
Dick's Sporting Goods NIT Season Tip-Off Regional Site TBA
Sun. Nov. 18 EASTERN WASHINGTON Seattle, Wash. TBA
Dick's Sporting Goods NIT Season Tip-Off Madison Square Garden, New York, N.Y.
Mon. Nov. 26 LONG BEACH STATE Seattle, Wash. TBA
(The asterisk indicates a Pac-10 game).
You'll note that the Huskies are still looking for an exhibition opener, and I think they are also still searching for one more non-conference home game, as well.
Also, the Pac-10 schedule has some interesting quirks, as UW will open and close the regular season against Washington State. UW will also have four straight Pac-10 home games, but will then close with five of seven on the road. So a quick conference start is going to be a necessitiy since that season-ending stretch won't be easy.
But the non-conference schedule should definitely make the Huskies more battle-tested than they were a year ago, with the trips to Oklahoma State and LSU, as well as a possible (and actually, probable) trip to New York for the semi-finals and finals of the NIT.
Posted by Bob Condotta at 11:40 AM
While Sacramento Kings' fans wanted a big man, a lot of them also wanted a lot more than just Spencer Hawes, if the thoughts compiled here are any indication.
The author calls it "a questionable move'' and that it doesn't exactly excite the fan base to draft a player who has been called "the next Todd Fuller.''
As I pointed out in my story today, the hard part for Hawes comes now --- proving he was worth the No. 10 pick in the draft.
Making it even dicier for Hawes is that he's obviously somewhat of a project who may not provide the immediate bang-for-the-buck of a lot of other players, which could prove frustrating for a fan base hoping the Kings can begin to turn things around.
Here's more reaction from Sacramento from the Sacramento Bee, though all of these stories require registration.
Posted by Bob Condotta at 7:39 PM
Washington coach Lorenzo Romar spoke with the media a little while ago concerning the drafting tonight of Spencer Hawes.
Here are some of those quotes:
On his overall thoughts: "We're just pumped. That was a place he was familiar with and it was on the West Coast. ... He's very analytical and he studied all the teams quite a bit in depth that he thought he may have a chance to go to and Sacramento was one of those that he thought, in regards to location and how they played in the past and what type of bigs have been successful with them, that it was a place he thought he could do well. So he's excited."
On whether being picked 10th justifies Hawes' decision to come out when he did: "I think so. Early on, people questioned why he would do it and people would say he's not ready yet. You know what? Physically, he may not be ready at this point. He has some things he has to learn. But as I continue to say, the NBA is going to help him with that and they believed that and backed that up by picking him 10th. He can definitely play in the NBA. I don't think we've seen the finished product of Spencer Hawes yet. And that's what I mean when I say maybe he's not ready yet. But he can definitely play in the NBA and the Sacramento Kings certainly think so.''
On Washington's budding repuation for sending guys to the NBA: "With Spencer, this is five years now and we've had five players in the NBA, and the last three year's we've had first-round draft choices and two lotterhy choices. So playing at Washington is definitely not going to hurt your chances at all.''
BY THE WAY, might want to check out the Kings' website here.
Posted by Bob Condotta at 7:24 PM
Spencer Hawes just talked to reporters on a conference call from New York and said he was ecstatic at being selected No. 10 by the Sacramento Kings.
"Can't wait,'' he said, when asked how anxious he is to begin his career.
Hawes said he had a pretty good idea he wouldn't slip past Philadelphia, which had the No. 12 pick in the draft, but that "there are no guarantees until they call your name.''
Hawes said he had figured there was a good chance the Bulls would take him at No. 9 after the team invited him in for a second workout earlier this week.
He said he was "a little bit'' surprise that the Bulls didn't take him. "But I'm happy where I'm at so I'm not going to focus on that,'' he said.
The call included a lot of the same questions regarding Hawes' game, so I won't get into those.
He was asked, however, if being picked 10th justified leaving UW after one season.
"I think so,'' he said. "This is a great culmination to all the hard work I've put in.''
Hawes also passed along some praise to UW when asked about the fact that the Huskies have now had first-round picks each of the last three years --- Nate Robinson in 2005, Brandon Roy last season and now Hawes.
"That just shows how much the program has grown and what Coach (Lorenzo) Romar has meant to it,'' he said.
We'll have some reaction from Romar soon.
Posted by Bob Condotta at 5:32 PM
The Sacramento Kings just picked Spencer Hawes with the 10th pick of the first round of the draft, seeming to justify his decision to leave early.
It struck me as funny, however, that since Hawes' UW legacy may be that the Huskies lost to Washington State three times in his lone season (granted, he only played in two of those games) that ESPN seemed to show almost nothing but highlights against the Cougars.
Kind of wish ESPN would have asked Hawes about being picked by the Kings instead of the same old questions we've heard a million times about his athleticism. Hawes gave the same old answer, that "it's still a game of skill'' in the end and that he thinks the rebounding and athleticism will come as he matures.
Hawes will likely get a two-year guaranteed contract worth at least $1.6 million.
I know Hawes wasn't the most popular topic on this board the last few weeks, but if you've got some thoughts, post them here.
We'll have more later, including some comments from Hawes.
Posted by Bob Condotta at 11:52 AM
We're about five hours or so from the NBA Draft, and when we'll begin to see just how good a decision Spencer Hawes made to leave UW after his freshman season.
There's lots of Hawes-related material out there today, including this column from our own Steve Kelley, who is in New York to cover the proceedings (Hawes and Rodney Stuckey are among the players who are there). Kelley's column focuses on the friendship between Hawes and Kevin Durant, something that shouldn't be underrated as a reason for why Hawes decided to leave.
I also found this from a media person in the Twin Cities who is beseeching Minnesota to not take Hawes.
Despite that view, consensus remains that Hawes won't last past the Bulls with the No. 9 pick, though ESPN's Chad Ford predicted today that Hawes won't be taken until the No. 16 pick by the Wizards.
Ford wrote that Hawes "isn't a great rebounder or shot blocker.'' Even Hawes would concede that his rebounding needs a lot of work. But I think Hawes' shot blocking may be a bit underrated. He ranked tied for second in the Pac-10 this year, averaging 1.83 blocked shots per game, the same as Stanford's Brook Lopez and trailing only Robin Lopez (2.38), both of whom are considered steller defensive players.
We'll have continuing coverage of the draft throughout the day on this blog and elsewhere on SeattleTimes.com.
Posted by Bob Condotta at 9:53 PM
Catching up on a few Husky-related items:
First, Elston Turner Jr., and Isaiah Thomas, who have each committed to sign with UW as part of the Class of 2008, had impressive showings recently at the NBPA Camp, which is put on by the National Basketball Players Association. The camp, in Charlottesville, Va., is regarded as one of the best in the country for high school players.
In summarizing Turner's game, Rivals wrote that Turner "showed he could run the point, score as a two guard, rebound like a small forward and he defended well at all three positions.''
Thomas also attended the camp, and recruiting analyst Van Coleman of CSTV wrote in this piece that Thomas showed "he can pass as well as score ... something many of the scouts courtside thought could never happen.''
Finally, Andy Katz is reporting tonight that Spencer Hawes is "fairly confident'' he will be taken with the No. 9 pick by the Bulls after having had another workout with Chicago on Tuesday. Hawes is in New York already where he will attend the draft on Thursday.
Posted by Bob Condotta at 11:43 AM
It's the day before the NBA Draft, and the only thing there may be more of right now than the various rumors floating around the league are presidential candidates (couldn't they all just wait until 2008?)
Spencer Hawes is right in the middle of many of them --- maybe he's going to Minnesota at 7, or Chicago at 9, or Sacramento at 10, or maybe if the Sonics deal Luke Ridnour for Atlanta's pick at 11, the hometown team can get him (course, he'll probably have to move in a year).
What I found more interesting than any rumor was this breakdown of the draft by ESPN.com's John Hollinger.
I'm not sure you can access this unless you have the Insider package so I'll summarize it briefly.
Hollinger, a longtime NBA numbers guru, analyzes all of the prospective top picks based on a points rating that is an accumulation of a number of different statistical categories.
In the final rating, he has Hawes as the No. 30 player available in this draft (Kevin Durant is No. 1, followed by Greg Oden. He has Rodney Stuckey at No. 9, with Hawes also behind the likes of LSU's Glen Davis (12), Arizona's Marcus Williams (26) and Pitt's Aaron Gray (28). Having seen Hawes go head-to-head against Davis and Gray and pretty much dominate, I'm a little dubious. (Worth pointing out that the same system a year ago had Brandon Roy No. 3 behind Tyrus Thomas and Shelden Williams).
Hollinger writes that Hawes is a player "best to be avoided'' who looks like "a solid second-rounder.'' He further states that it's a "huge red flag'' that Hawes had such an unimpressive rebound ratio "considering he was bigger than everyone he played against.''
He also writes that Hawes had a "run-of-the-mill'' true shooting percentage of 55 percent, which he says is at odds with all of the talk of Hawes being such a skilled player.
In conclusion, Hollinger writes of Hawes that "a lot of folks think he can become a quality pro post player; based on his numbers, I just don't see it.''
The Pro-Hawes camp, of course, could point out all that impacted those numbers this season, namely the knee injury and the illness, as well as an offensive system that sometimes seemed at odds with his talents.
Among other intersting comments, Hollinger writes that "the two USC guys (Nick Young and Gabe Pruitt) look like total busts'' and that "Rodney Stuckey looks like the real deal.''
Hollinger says that if Young is such a great athlete "how'd he have only 27 steals and 10 blocks (this year)?'' He also says Pruitt's stats come nowhere near to justifying how high he may be picked. But Pruitt missed about a third of the season, which I thought made it impossible to really judge his play (I think he could be pretty good).
And I like Stuckey, but I still wonder how he couldn't even get his team to finish in the top six of the Big Sky this year (maybe the firing of coach Mike Burns explains it).
As for Hawes, I think he's better than Hollinger thinks he is. But until Hawes proves it, those memories of being shut down by the likes of Robbie Cowgill will linger.
Posted by Bob Condotta at 1:58 PM
Here's a solid breakdown of the top center candidates in the NBA Draft, including Spencer Hawes, from DraftExpress.com.
Hawes doesn't necessarily rate real well in a lot of these categories, but the reasons for some of that are well-traveled territory --- his sickness and pre-season knee surgery, etc. Also, always worth nothing that all drafts are as much about potential as they are production at a player's previous level (Sene, anyone?).
Still, interesting reading.
Posted by Bob Condotta at 3:10 PM
Jrue Holiday, a guard the Huskies are avidly recruiting, put up some impressive numbers in the just-concluded USA Men's Youth Development Festival.
You can read the details on the final game here, including the note that Holiday led all players with an average of eight assists. Holiday had 19 points, seven assists and six rebounds in the final game and had a triple-double with 28 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists in a preliminary game.
There are rumblings that Holiday is close to announcing his choice of college, which is down to UCLA and Washington. The rumor mill continues to hint that Holiday is likely headed to the Bruins.
Posted by Bob Condotta at 6:50 PM
Word is Kevin Durant, in town for a few days training while preparing for a workout with the Sonics Sunday, played in a pickup game at Hec Ed the other day with a few of the Huskies.
Durant is especially close with Spencer Hawes as the two have known each other since their days together on the AAU circuit and has been hanging out a bit with Hawes.
I don't know the particulars of what happened in the game, though the unofficial word is that Durant looked as good as advertised.
Posted by Bob Condotta at 1:10 PM
As I mentioned in a previous post, I watched a little of the team's afternoon run Monday, so I thought I'd pass along a few observations:
--- All the talk about Justin Dentmon's physical transformation is for real. "He's completely changed his body,'' Jon Brockman said. Indeed, Dentmon looks much trimmer and appeared quicker and faster on the court. And while making grand observations based on a half-hour or so of a summer pickup game can be dangerous, it also seemed like Dentmon was much more involved vocally in what was going on. Lorenzo Romar used the term "rejuvenated'' to describe Dentmon the other day and that's definitely how he seemed from what I saw.
--- Don't underestimate what Tim Morris may bring to this team. As evidenced by the fact that his teammates elected him a tri-captain (along with Brockman and Ryan Appleby) he has made an impact in leadership, even though he has yet to play a game. And leadership in the backcourt seemed to be something this team lacked at times last season. But Morris has also spent the off-year working on his offense, which he also feels will improve simply by getting into an up-tempo system that better suits his talents than did the system when he was at Stanford. The Huskies will obviously move even more in that direction now that Spencer Hawes is gone. In the time I watched, Morris seemed confident taking the ball to the hole and shooting from the outside. Also worth remembering is how well Morris knows this system even though he's yet to play in a game in it due to his familiarity with UW coach Lorenzo Romar, who is his second cousin.
--- Also don't underestimate the massive improvement Quincy Pondexter may make next season. Remember how Brockman essentially doubled all his stats from year one to year two? Pondexter, who averaged 10.7 points last season, may not quite do that, but he could come close. He looks to be in good shape and by all accounts is more assured and confident and ready to become a go-to scorer. For as lost as he appeared at times last season, he still shot 49.8 percent from the floor overall and 37.5 percent on three-pointers. And he also had the amazing half against Arizona (when he scored 21 points, finishing with 25.)
--- Incoming frosh Justin Holiday is here and working out with the team and the first word that comes to mind when describing him is "long.'' The second is "skinny.'' He obviously needs to put some more weight on his 6-6, 180 frame. But his length and athleticism should immediately help UW's perimeter defense.
--- Brockman says he's working on his perimeter game. If he can really develop more confidence in his outside shot, it will obviously make him just that much more valuable.
--- Joel Smith and Joe Wolfinger weren't there, and neither were the other three incoming frosh, so I don't have any updates on them.
--- Overall, I get the sense this could be a tighter, more determined team than it was a year ago. That's not to cast any aspersions on Hawes, and there's no question UW would be better if he stayed. But I also think that his departure will allow for more players to step into bigger roles, something they figure to embrace enthusiastically. Hawes was a dominant presence on last year's team, both in talent and in personality. But I think the fact that he was hurt early on, missing the first month with a knee injury, then hurt and sick at mid-season, never really allowed for all of that to come through as well as it could have. At the same time, I think a lot of players deferred to Hawes and weren't necessarily ready for those games when Hawes wasn't able to carry the load. This year, I think there will be a clearer designation of roles and style of play from the start, and that should help this team.
--- What I also think will help are the lower expectations greeting this team. The Huskies aren't likely to be picked in the upper division of the Pac-10 by too many people heading into next season --- though this from CBSSportsline is a notable exception --- and that underdog tag could suit this team well. "We're going to be a lot tougher team next year,'' is the way Brockman put it. "We would have been if Spencer had stayed. But we're going to be tougher. We won't have to rely on young guys as much as we did this year.''
Posted by Bob Condotta at 8:09 PM
Some final thoughts on Spencer Hawes and then we'll begin moving on.
In fact, I went to see the team conduct its afternoon run today in an effort to get some player reaction to Hawes' departure and came away with lots of thoughts on what I saw that I will share in a day or so (for the record, Justin Holiday is the only true frosh on campus right now; all the vets were there but Joe Wolfinger and Joel Smith, who have returned home for a little while).
There was nothing earth-shattering in Hawes' comments on why he's leaving. He's leaving basically because it makes the most financial sense, especially since he said he never considered the thought of coming back so he could move up a few spots next year. Hawes said that wouldn't be worth it since he'd just be worrying all year about where his stock was. But there's also a thought out there that Hawes would never be a top five pick or so, so if he's going to be in the top 10 or so now, why take any risk? As Hawes said "if you go 6-8-10, what's the difference?"
As for why go now, he said "I looked at it as an opportunity to provide for myself and my family for the rest of my lifetime.''
And while some of you have remarked how he doesn't really need money since he lives on Queen Anne and all that, there's a difference between that money and the $4 million or so guaranteed he's about to get.
One interesting thing Hawes said was when he was asked if he had talked to Brandon Roy and Martell Webster --- the questioner obviously was hinting that the two players have had differing NBA careers and that each might have given Hawes cautious advice.
But Hawes refuted any suggestion that Webster had made a mistake coming out when he did, saying "both of them made the best decisions they could have made.''
Hawes also defended his athleticism, saying he thinks he's more athletic than he's given credit for; and also defended himself against the reports of his physical at Orlando noting that Kevin Durant also did poorly in some of those tests and that "it's hard to judge how you play basketball based on how high your vertical is or things like that.''
He agreed that he needs to get stronger but indicated he doesn't think that will be much of a problem, noting natural growth could take care of a lot of it.
As for where he'll be picked, he said he hoped to go in the lottery but he wasn't going to drive himself crazy thinking about it.
As I wrote in an earlier post, he also discussed that it will always "eat at me'' the way his season went. He also said he planned to come back to UW to finish his degree.
He also said he anticipated UW being a more up-tempo team next year without him.
I spoke primarily with Jon Brockman at the workout today, and he said that the news wasn't a shock.
"I think a lot of us had kind of been expecting it,'' he said.
Brockman said he thought Hawes was legitimately torn in what he wanted to do at times during the process, saying Hawes "wishes he could do both (stay at UW and turn pro) but he knows he can't.''
Brockman, Hawes' closest friend, had held out hope that being a college player was growing on Hawes and might convince him to stay. But Brockman said that from his view, the more Hawes got into the draft process "he started leaning toward the NBA thing.''
While some of you have expressed unhappiness, and even anger, over Hawes' decision, that's not something you'll get from any of the players.
As Brockman said "that's the goal of all of us.''
Brockman added that he was "proud of him'' and that "I have no doubt he will be a success. But he'll still be around. He's still a part of our team. He's still a Husky.''
JONES RETURNS TO OREGON STATE: I'd almost forgotten that OSU's Marcel Jones was still considering heading to the NBA (sources have indicated to me this was more serious than a lot of people might have thought). But he decided today to return, as is detailed in this story, and that will only help the Beavers next season and make the Pac-10 that much tougher.
Posted by Bob Condotta at 5:26 PM
For those who want more on Spencer Hawes' decision today, GoHuskies.com has audio available from today's teleconferences from both Hawes and UW coach Lorenzo Romar.
Posted by Bob Condotta at 2:05 PM
Spencer Hawes just concluded a teleconference with local reporters to discuss his decision to leave UW and stay in the NBA Draft.
Among the highlights:
--- Hawes said he has yet to hire an agent, saying "that's the next step in the process.''
--- He will likely attend the NBA Draft in New York on June 28.
--- He will likely have at least one more workout, with Atlanta, which has the No. 3 and No. 11 picks in the draft.
--- Despite the thought that this was pre-ordained almost from the moment he arrived at UW, Hawes insisted he didn't finalize the decision until just hours ago.
--- Hawes said the thought of returning for another year to try and improve his stock was something he never really gave consideration, saying that can be something that only adds pressure and causes distraction for a player. But he did say returning to improve his legacy at UW was a motivating factor to return, though ultimately not enough. "That's something that still eats away at me now and I think it will continue to for the rest of my life,'' he said. "But when it came down to it and weighed everything, in my mind, I made the best decision for me and my situation and I can't look back at what could have been or would have been.''
--- UW coach Lorenzo Romar spoke after Hawes and said that while they hoped Hawes would return, they had been planning for his leaving for quite some time. He said Joe Wolfinger is running and playing two-on-two and three-on-three and should be ready to go for the trip to Greece in August. That will be a critical trip to see just how ready Wolfinger is to be a major contributor next season.
--- Romar indicated that UW isn't likely to add any more players for next season, saying "if you just look at our numbers, they are where they need to be.'' As we detailed earlier, UW now has 13 players on scholarship for next season, which is the limit.
Posted by Bob Condotta at 12:31 PM
The University of Washington finally made it official that Spencer Hawes is turning pro. You can find the complete release here at gohuskies.com
Comment: Overton, however, has yet to get academically qualified. And don't expect anything significant to come from Wallace's legal issues, certainly nothing that will impact his status with the team.
Comment: As of today, Huskies right at the limit. But a lot can still change, which is why the Huskies continue to actively recruit for this class. Jrue Holiday is the obvious top target right now, though there are strong indications he's favoring UCLA.
Posted by Bob Condotta at 12:03 PM
No sooner had I posted a story saying Cal's DeVon Hardin was leaving for the NBA. when ESPN.com published a story saying he's staying in school for another year.
That's big news for the Bears, who will look dramatically different if Hardin returns and stays healthy.
Don't expect a similar turnabout today for Spencer Hawes, however. He is due to officially announce his decision a little later and sources say he will say he is staying in the draft.
Posted by Bob Condotta at 11:20 AM
The deadline for Spencer Hawes to pull out of the NBA Draft is now just about two-and-a-half hours away and there remains no official word from anybody.
However, sources continue to indicate that Hawes will stay in the draft.
But once there is official word, we will pass it along here and elsewhere.
Posted by Bob Condotta at 9:08 AM
Washington apparently may not be the only Pac-10 team losing its center.
The San Francisco Chronicle is reporting that DeVon Hardin will stay in the draft, as well.
The 6-11 junior missed much of last season (he didn't play in either game against UW) and many thought that would entice him to come back. Instead, he had some good workouts and has apparently moved into the low first-round, which is enough for him to stay in.
UW's Spencer Hawes is also expected to decide today that he will stay in the draft.
One thing is certain ---- after the air clears today it will be a little easier to begin making some guesses about the Pac-10 next season.
Posted by Bob Condotta at 8:09 AM
The Spencer Hawes-NBA saga will end today as the deadline for pulling out of the draft arrives at 2 p.m.
Times columnist Steve Kelley is among the many, however, who are sure Hawes is staying in, stating that thought in this column today. Kelley talked to Hawes for a while last night, but Hawes maintained he has yet to fully make up his mind.
Conventional wisdom, however, remains that Hawes is staying in.
We'll have more later.
Posted by Bob Condotta at 4:07 PM
The 11-foot exhibition game ended in a 90-60 win for the Black team, which obviously doesn't mean anything unless you watched and knew who any of the players were.
But that was kind of the point. The result was irrelevant. What mattered was the game itself.
Hard to say if the game persuaded very many people that the rules need to be changed so dramatically, but it was certainly a worthy experiment by all involved. Some players felt the higher hoop really didn't change much at all, while others thought it did, and some thought the effects were subtle that might lessen with more time practicing.
Certainly, the players tried to get the ball inside more, and there were no dunks and less reliance on the three-point shot.
I'll have more on the 11-foot game in Sunday's paper.
For UW fans, the most interesting sight might have been watching Husky coach Lorenzo Romar and Spencer Hawes engage in a rather long conversation in the stands behind one basket. Hawes attended most of the game after arriving back in town last night from his workout with Sacramento on Friday.
Neither coach nor player, however, revealed much about Hawes' future. Hawes said only that he has yet to officially decide anything, though he will soon as the deadline is Monday afternoon. Romar, as expected, said he had nothing definitive to report, either.
Romar, however, did say that the team recently elected captains for next season in a vote of players. The three elected were Jon Brockman, Ryan Appleby and Tim Morris. Last year, only Brockman was a captain.
Posted by Bob Condotta at 1:08 PM
The 11-foot hoop game we've written a lot about here the last few weeks is just about to tip off.
You can watch it on FSN or listen on KJR-AM.
If you're watching, let me know what you think and I'll check in with a few observations of my own during the game.
Posted by Bob Condotta at 2:24 PM
A few of you have asked about the 2007-08 schedule in the wake of the school putting out notices for season ticket renewals this week.
What I've heard is that the entire schedule is not completed yet as the Huskies are still attempting to find one more opponent for a home game. Also, the field for the pre-season NIT is not yet set. The Huskies will host two games in the tournament, likely on Nov. 12 and Nov. 13, but the opponents are still to be determined (Utah is a possibility but not yet set).
So until all of that is completed, the final schedule is unlikely to be released. But the key parts of the schedule remain the same --- a home game in December against Pitt, as well as home games against the likes of Eastern Washington, Long Beach State and Portland State, and road games at LSU and Oklahoma State.
AS FOR JRUE HOLIDAY, I know he was here on Thursday and played informally with a few current team members and alums who were around. One person who saw him play Thursday (no one affiliated with UW) compared him to a young Mitch Richmond.
As for judging the visit, I'd say that's pretty tricky in any circumstance --- I've almost never heard a recruit say he hated a visit or anything like that --- but seems especially so in this case as Holiday has been very circumspect in everything he has said during the recruiting process.
He is expected to be in Portland today for the beginning of the Rose City Showcase. I won't be able to attend, but the Oregonian promises full coverage of the event, including a live blog that may be worth monitoring for news on Holiday.
ALSO, I wrote yesterday that former Husky Donald Watts was expected to play in the 11-foot hoop game being held at Edmundson Pavilion Saturday at 1 p.m. I'm told today he won't be playing. As of now, the only two players with Husky ties expected to participate are Brandon Burmeister and Sterling Brown, who was a member of a few Bob Bender-era teams.
Posted by Bob Condotta at 8:37 AM
Spencer Hawes will work out today for the Sacramento Kings (it had originally been scheduled for Thursday), which will apparently put an end to his pre-draft tyrouts.
News of that workout is near the bottom of this story from the Sacramento Bee.
After meeting with the Kings, who have the 10th pick, Hawes has the weekend to finalize his plans as the deadline to pull out of the draft is Monday.
Hawes is widely expected to remain in the draft, however, especially since it appears that his stock has improved a little bit --- and has at least remained the same --- meaning he seems almost certain to be picked in the mid-to-lower reaches of the lottery. That figures to be good enough to stay in.
Posted by Bob Condotta at 3:55 PM
Spencer Hawes was expected to work out for the Sacramento Kings today, though I've yet to find any word on how that might have gone.
He was in Philadelphia Wednesday working out for the 76ers. And, as it turned out, the Boston Celtics were there, as well. Here's another story about the Celtics' involvement in yesterday's workout, which includes some details on how the rules involving these trips, which some of you have asked about.
The Celtics have the No. 5 pick in the draft, indicating that interest in Hawes may not be limited just to teams near the lower end of the lottery.
Hawes has been reported to be pretty impressive in the workouts he has had thus far, and maybe that's why DraftExpress.com has moved him up to No. 7 in its latest mock draft.
Posted by Bob Condotta at 10:40 AM
The Washington Huskies won't have to worry about finding a new assistant basketball coach.
Jim Shaw said this morning he is withdrawing as a candidate to become the new head coach at Eastern Washington.
"I've got a good job here, I'm happy where I'm at and I've got a son in high school,'' Shaw said. "I just didn't think the timing was right.''
Shaw was one of four candidates to replace Mike Burns, who was fired late last month. He had an official interview on Tuesday in Cheney.
The other three candidates who interviewed at Eastern were UNC-Wilmington assistant Kirk Earlywine, Seattle Pacific head coach Jeff Hironaka and former Boise State head coach Rod Jensen.
There are indications that Earlywine is the favorite for the job.
UPDATE 3 P.M. --- Also, to answer several questions, Jrue Holiday is in Seattle today, visiting his brother and UW coaches. He is expected to head tomorrow to Portland for the Rose City Classic. I would imagine any comments he would have about anything would come from down there, but I wouldn't think he would say anything definitive for a little while yet. What I have heard, however, is that UW has some work to do to keep Holiday from attending UCLA.
Posted by Bob Condotta at 9:05 AM
Here's our latest story on the exhibition game Saturday at Hec Ed featuring 11-foot hoops.
Two former Huskies have agreed to play in the game --- Brandon Burmeister, who was at practice on Tuesday and is quoted in the story; and Donald Watts, who is expected to join practices later in the week.
Burmesiter said he still has two quarters to go to finish his degree, so he'll be hanging around UW for a while yet. He said he was glad to get another chance to play a game at Hec Ed after he was denied what he figured would be his last home game when the NIT decided not to invite the Huskies.
Like a lot of the players in the game, Burmeister said he has long known event organizer Tom Newell, a former Sonics assistant and the son of legendary Pete Newell who now does a lot of personal coaching in the area and was more than happy to help out Newell.
Watts has been playing for the Everett Explosion in the International Basketball League. Here's a good overview of Watts' entire career.
Tipoff Saturday is 1 p.m. The game is free, though a canned food donation for Northwest Harvest is requested. The game will also be televised on FSN and broadcast on KJR-AM.
I'm planning on doing some blogging from the game and afterward so I'll be interested in hearing your opinions.
Posted by Bob Condotta at 2:54 PM
I almost hesitate to post Spencer Hawes news these days since much of the feedback I get is from people saying they don't care anymore.
But here goes for those of you still keeping tabs on the big guy.
He worked out for the 76ers today, and according to this story on the team's official web site, did pretty well.
Team president Billy King is quoted as saying that Hawes is "very skilled, very skilled for his age. For his size, to be able to handle the ball, display a good shooting touch and post-up moves, he's got a lot of potential.''
There's also the obligatory quote from Hawes saying he hasn't made up his mind yet about staying in the draft, though it's taken as a foregone conclusion by almost everyone.
Hawes is still expected to work out for the Sacramento Kings. He has until June 18 to pull out of the draft.
EASTERN UPDATE: Also, UW assistant Jim Shaw conducted an official interview with Eastern Washington officials Tuesday in his quest to become the new head coach there.
According to this story in the Spokesman-Review, a decision is expected by the end of the week.
Posted by Bob Condotta at 11:26 AM
As I was reading yet another story about the declining TV ratings for the NBA Finals, I thought it might be interesting to ask the loyal readers of this space whether any of you are watching the Cavs and Spurs.
Have to admit I haven't been, other than the last five or so minutes of Game Three last night switching back and forth from the M's game after finally walking in the door.
It's not really on purpose. Though I cover college basketball, I've always liked the NBA just fine --- the first pro sporting event I ever attended was a Sonics game in 1970 and I have great memories of following the league in that era.
But as I suspect is the case with a lot of others, there's nothing compelling me to make sure I get home in time to watch any of this series.
But I admit I actually have a little trouble figuring out why.
LeBron James is obviously exciting to watch, and the Cavs are a nice underdog story as they attempt to become the first team from their city to win a pro title since 1964.
And while the Spurs are darn methodical in their approach, you have to respect their greatness --- they are about to become the unquestioned team of the decade. And if you're one of those who say you don't like the NBA because no one plays the game the way it should, you can't say that about the Spurs, whose key players --- notably Tim Duncan --- are about as fundamentally sound as they come (I always marvel at his bankshot).
But something's just missing right now, that something that says you've just got to watch this.
I'd be curious to hear what you think.
Posted by Bob Condotta at 2:53 PM
Here's the latest on Spencer Hawes --- he's expected to work out tomorrow (Wednesday) with the 76ers. Here are the details from phanaticmag.com.
Here's another take on Hawes meeting with 76ers from the Philadelphia Daily News with the interesting note that Hawes' father, Jeff, is handling the details of setting up the workouts.
Hawes has also been expected to work out with Sacramento on Thursday.
Posted by Bob Condotta at 4:34 PM
I had a chance recently to talk with Jon Brockman about last season, how off-season workouts are going, and what life might be like without
So here we go:
Question: What are your personal goals for the off-season?
Question: That (defense) was something that the coaches wanted you to do?
Question: So you're saying your personal focus is on expanding your perimeter game?
Question: What is the attitude of the team like as you go through off-season stuff.
Question: How long did it take you to get over what happened with the NIT?
Question: So what do you think happened last year, anyway?
Question: You mentioned being a little bit tougher. Do you think that was an issue for the Huskies last year?
Question: A lot of those games you mentioned were all close games. Why do you think you had trouble winning close games last season?
Question: So who has been looking good during your off-season workouts?
Question: Can you elaborate on Dentmon. He was obviously the focus of a lot of criticism last season.
Question: So how much have you seen Spencer Hawes since he made his announcement about exploring his NBA options.
Question: What did the team think of Hawes' decision?
Question: How do you think the team will change next year if Hawes doesn't return?
Question: What are your thoughts on your team's trip to Greece in August.
Question: And with you going to try out for the Pan-American games team, it sounds like it will be a busy summer for you. (Brockman will try out for the team in Pennsylvania in early July and if he makes it, will play in games in Rio de Janeiro in late July).
Posted by Bob Condotta at 9:39 AM
A tentative roster for an exhibition basketball game set for Saturday at Hec Ed that will feature 11-foot hoops has been released. UPDATE: Game time is 1 p.m.
The game is the brainchild of former Sonics assistant Tom Newell, who is also the son of legendary coach Pete Newell, who thinks that the game may be better played with higher hoops, which would decrease the reliance on the dunk and three-point shots and increase passing and teamwork.
Here's the roster as of Monday:
1. Eric Sandarin 6'10 SPU/European Pro
2. Kendrick Holley 6'7" Northwest University, Kirkland '07
3. Tony Binetti 6'1" SPU/Italian League Player
4. Dustin Bremerman 6'5 SPU All American '07
5. Ryan Webb 6'2 Seattle U All American '07
6. Ryan Coldren 6'8" Seattle U '08
7. Tyler Besecker 6'7" Stanford U/ WAC National Player
8. Ryan McDade 6'8" U of Northern Arizona/European Pro
9. Brandon Burmeister 6'5" UW '07
10. Ryan Rourke 6'8" Cornell U/ European Pro
11. Brayden Billbe 6'11 American U
12. Jay Anderson 6'8" U of Oregon/ IBL/European Pro
13. Adam Zahn 6'8" U of Oregon '07
14. Andrew Zahn 6'10" U of San Diego/ Japan Pro
15. Robbie Will 6'10" Seattle Pacific University '08
16. David White 6'10" Seattle U '07
17. Shamgod Wells 6'2" Providence/ NBA/Chinese League
18. Alex Hartman 6'8" Portland State/IBL Vancouver
19. David Lucas 6'8" OSU/IBL/South American Pro
Also, it's possible that former Huskies Tre Simmons and Doug Wrenn will participate, as well.
Former Husky Hans Gasser had initially been listed as a possible participant, but won't be able to after having had shoulder surgery following the season.
In another change, former Sonics coach Bob Hill, who had been planning to coach one of the teams in the game, won't be able to participate due to a family conflict. Taking his place is former UCLA coach Jim Harrick, who is a mentor of UW coach Lorenzo Romar --- Harrick gave Romar his college coaching start by hiring him as an assistant at UCLA in 1992.
The game is free to attend, though organizers are asking for a canned food donation for Northwest Harvest. It will also be televised live on FSN and broadcast live on KJR-AM.
Posted by Bob Condotta at 10:07 AM
Dave Trimmer at the Spokesman-Review was able to nail down the names of all four finalists for the coaching vacancy at Eastern Washington, again confirming that UW assistant Jim Shaw is on the list.
Other finalists are Seattle Pacific head coach Jeff Hironaka, UNC-Wilmington assistant Kirk Earlywine and former Boise State head coach Rod Jensen. Earlywine has been considered the favorite in some circles due to his close ties to EWU interim athletic director Michael Westfall.
Shaw is attractive to Eastern due to his long ties in the area --- he's a native of Chimacum and has been an assistant at Idaho State, Oregon State, Portland and Montana State as well spending the last three years at UW.
HAWES AMONG A NUMBER WHO SHRUNK: Here's a good roundup of the players whose vital statistics changed more than a little bit after they were tested at the pre-draft camp last week, including UW's Spencer Hawes. Hawes, listed at 7-feet all year, and judged to be the 11th 7-footer in UW history, actually measured 6-10-and-a-half without his shoes.
Hawes' next move is a workout with the Sacramento Kings on June 14.
Posted by Bob Condotta at 10:38 AM
Here's what I'm hearing about Jrue Holiday's planned unofficial visit to Washington this week.
Reportedly, while the rest of the family is traveling this weekend to help older brother Justin --- who has already signed with UW and will be a freshman for the Huskies next season --- move to Seattle, Jrue isn't coming up just yet.
Instead, Jrue is expected to visit his brother and the rest of the family in Seattle on Thursday, then head to Portland to play in the Rose City Showcase next weekend (more details on that event here).
Jrue Holiday is rated by Scout.com as the No. 3 player in the country for the Class of 2008 compared by to Dwyane Wade in style.
There had been speculation that he would spend much of the week in Seattle, or at least this weekend or next weekend. But I'm not sure if the fact that it sounds like he may be here only a day or two at most means anything.
He has said that his two finalists are UW and UCLA, though there have been reports in recent days that he is a strong lean toward UCLA, especially after having recently had a visit to Westwood. But Jrue Holiday himself has said little to publicly to indicate a favorite one way or the other --- in fact, the story that he'd narrowed his list to two came from his mom, and not Jrue.
Posted by Bob Condotta at 8:50 PM
The Spokesman-Review is reporting that Washington assistant Jim Shaw is a finalist for the head coaching vacancy at Eastern Washington. Here's that report in Dave Trimmer's blog.
The newspaper also reported that one of the expected leading contenders for the job, former San Diego coach Brad Holland, has withdrawn from consideration.
Shaw said tonight that he is interested in the job and expects to find out more over the weekend about whether he will officially interview for the job. A search committee was formed late this week and will conduct interviews next week.
Shaw has been at UW the past three seasons, coming to Washington before the 2004-05 season. He is a native of Chimacum and has also been an assistant at Idaho State, Montana State and Oregon State, giving him a wide breadth of experience in the Northwest.
Shaw has gained notice for his work with UW's big men and coordinating the team's rebounding attack --- the Huskies led the Pac-10 in rebounding margin last season by a wide margin and were among the best in the nation.
Posted by Bob Condotta at 1:57 PM
Spencer Hawes is in Chicago today working out for the Bulls alongside Florida's Joakim Noah.
Here's an interview with Hawes from the Bulls' official website conducted after the workout.
Nothing earth shattering, but obviously interesting.
Among the things he says is that he has two or three more workouts to go, including one with Sacramento and possibly Atlanta and Philadephia.
He says again that he hasn't made up his mind, but also says at the end that he thinks the Bulls "would be a good fit for me personally'' and would be "a great situation.''
There is also this story here from the Daily Herald previewing today's workout that includes an interesting note that might debunk any thought that Hawes' weight numbers from the Orlando camp will hurt his status. As the story says, Dwight Howard, now known as one of the best power forwards in the game, had fewer reps at 185 pounds when he entered the draft than did Hawes.
Posted by Bob Condotta at 2:11 PM
Checked again with the Seattle Police Department and the official word is that the investigation into the case involving UW center Artem Wallace remains active. A spokesman for the department said charges could be filed in a week to 10 days. At that time, who did exactly what will --- in the eyes of the police, anyway --- will become clear.
However, the growing conventional wisdom around UW is that Wallace is likely to emerge relatively unscathed. Nobody will go on the record and say that Wallace wasn't the driver of the car, but that's whispered pretty strongly behind the scenes.
If so, any punishment coming Wallace's way figures to be fairly minimal. At the least, however, the case appears ready to take on more definition fairly soon.
Posted by Bob Condotta at 9:18 AM
For those still following Spencer Hawes' situation, here are a few stories.
First, this report from Chicago, where Hawes and Joakim Noah will each work out with the Bulls on Friday after having been in Minnesota together on Wednesday.
Next, this writeup on the Bulls' draft prospects from Hoopsworld.comthat calls Hawes "the most fundamentally sound big guy'' in the draft.
Finally, this listing of the top centers available from Jeff Goodman at Fox Sports which has Hawes ranked second behind Greg Oden.
Posted by Bob Condotta at 9:03 PM
Doesn't sound as if Spencer Hawes did anything to hurt his draft status during a workout today with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Minnesota GM Randy Wittman told Star-Tribune columnist Sid Hartman that he "liked what I saw'' out of Hawes, who was one of four players who worked out for the team Wednesday. Florida's Joakim Noah was one of the others.
Of Hawes, Wittman said "Hawes is a young kid that's going to have to develop his body a little bit from a strength standpoint, but has got great skills, great feet, great ability to score on the inside.''
Minnesota has the No. 7 pick in the draft.
HOLIDAY VISIT UPCOMING: It's been well-reported here and elsewhere that Jrue Holiday, UW's top remaining recruit for the Class of 2008, will be taking an unofficial visit to UW this weekend. He'll be accompanying his older brother, Justin, who has already signed with UW and is coming up this weekend to begin summer school and workouts.
Brian Dohn of the Los Angeles Daily News reported recently in his blog here that Holiday visited UCLA last weekend and that things went so well, many in Westwood are considering him just about a lock to end up with the Bruins.
OTHER NOTESTo answer a couple of questions that came up in the comments section:
--- Rosters are not yet completely set for the exhibition game featuring 11-foot hoops set for June 16 at Hec Ed. They should be shortly and I will report on them here when they are. Brandon Burmeister is expected to play but he may be the only ex-Husky. Hans Gasser had been hoping to play but apparently can't after having shoulder surgery to repair the injury he first suffered last summer during workouts.
--- Speaking of Gasser and Burmeister, they are not expected to make the trip with UW to Greece. Such foreign trips are designed for the team's current roster and coaches seek these trips out to help prepare their team for the coming season so while graduating seniors may be eligible to go, they usually don't. Incoming freshmen are not eligible to go on such trips.
--- I don't know of any plans for live TV or radio coverage of UW's games in Greece and I'm not sure any school gets live coverage of such trips --- I haven't heard of any coverage for WSU's trip to Australia. It would cost a lot of money to cover what are exhibition games and the time difference would also likely mean the games would start in pretty non-prime time hours.
Posted by Bob Condotta at 8:59 AM
Here's our report today on some of the more interesting numbers from the NBA Pre-Draft Camp, courtesy of Times NBA writer Percy Allen, who covered the event last week.
First is the story with details, including the fact that Spencer Hawes officially measured 6-10-and-a-half without shoes. Hawes also was reported to have the second-highest body fat percentage of any prospect.
Here, also, is a PDF file with all the results.
None of the news on Hawes is expected to dissuade him from declaring for the draft, however. One source told the Times this week that the fact that he hasn't hired an agent yet "is just a formality.''
Still, Hawes maintains he has yet to make a decision and will wait to do so until after his individual workouts with NBA teams, which are expected to begin with a session today in Minnesota, which has the No. 7 pick.
Posted by Bob Condotta at 3:58 PM
Here's the latest on Spencer Hawes --- he's scheduled to work out for the Timberwolves on Wednesday.
The Timberwolves have the No. 7 pick in the draft and may go big --- they are also bringing in Joakim Noah (It would be fun to see those workouts, wouldn't it?).
If Minnesota drafts Hawes, it'll be the second straight year the Wolves take a Husky in the first round. Or had you forgotten that Minnesota actually drafted Brandon Roy with the No. 6 pick before trading him to Portland for Randy Foye (yet another reason Kevin McHale, who runs the team's basketball operations, ought to be fired).
Posted by Bob Condotta at 8:20 AM
So far, Eastern Washington's search for a new basketball coach hasn't touched UW, and it's uncertain if it will.
Today's story from the Spokesman-Review again mentions UW assistant Jim Shaw, but also says again that he hasn't been contacted. There is no mention of Cameron Dollar and he apparently isn't on the radar.
It appears that Eastern is more interested in coaches with head coaching experience, and you also see several coaches there with ties to Rick Majerus, who is a favorite of athletic director Michael Westfall.
Posted by Bob Condotta at 8:26 PM
I've written a couple of stories about an experimental basketball game slated for Edmundson Pavilion on Saturday, June 16 that will feature 11-foot rims, a 30-second shot clock and no three-point line until the final quarter.
It was announced today that FSN will air the game live at 1 p.m. with Brian Davis behind the mike, so those of you not able to attend will be able to see it, as well.
The game is the brainchild of former Sonics assistant Tom Newell, who is the son of legendary coach Pete Newell, who said he hopes to demonstrate how the game of basketball would be affected by modifying the existing standards and rules.
FSN also announced that it will bring statistics and analysis gathered in a unique way during the exhibition which includes the use of a handheld interactive device for those in attendance and an online voting website for those watching on FSN.
Admission to the event is free, but a suggested donation of canned food to benefit the Northwest Harvest Food Bank of Seattle . The exhibition will also be replayed on Monday June 18th at 12pm on FSN.
Posted by Bob Condotta at 12:56 PM
Don't know if this indicates what way the Sacramento Kings are leaning, but the team's official website right now has a picture of Spencer Hawes on its front page.
Hawes is scheduled to work out for the Kings in a week or two --- you can find more details on that in this Sacramento Bee story here. He's apparently back on campus this week finishing up finals.
Hawes is also mentioned in this blog from Dime Magazine, which reports he was "impressive'' in a short individual workout the last night of the Orlando camp.
UPDATE --- Also worth noting on the Hawes front is Andy Katz's blog today where he includes Hawes among fence-sitters likely to head to the NBA. His blog requires a subscription, but in a nutshell, Katz says that with Hawes likely to go as high as No. 9 to the Bulls "it seems less likely he would ereturn to Washington.'' Katz wrote last week that Hawes wanted a guarantee of a lottery spot to stay in the draft.
Posted by Bob Condotta at 9:45 AM
The rumors about DeAngelo Casto transferring from Ferris to Spokane to Franklin are now much more than that as Casto's mother, Stacy, told the Times the family is definitely making the move to Seattle.
You can read the story by Craig Smith, confirming Casto's transfer to Franklin, here.
As the story reports, Casto is playing for Franklin in a summer tournament this weekend.
Casto continues to be a recruiting target of just about every school in the Northwest.
Posted by Bob Condotta at 11:12 PM
It figured that the names of Washington assistants Jim Shaw and Cameron Dollar would come up in connection for the suddenly vacant head coaching job at Eastern Washington.
And both are indeed mentioned in this story from the Spokesman-Review, which will run in Saturday's editions.
Not much real news on either, however, as Shaw states he hasn't been contacted and Dollar essentially declined comment. (I had heard earlier there hadn't been any contact between anyone at Eastern and UW so I decided not to write about nothing happening, but figure it's worth mentioning now that their names are in another newspaper.)
All possible candidates, however, might become a little less interested on Saturday when the Spokesman will apparently report on some possible NCAA violations in the Eastern program. Spokesman reporter Dave Trimmer mentions the upcoming story in his blog here.
Posted by Bob Condotta at 8:09 AM
Spencer Hawes met with reporters Thursday at the NBA pre-draft camp, with Percy Allen filing a story on it for our paper from Orlando.
In it, he says he's leaving the door open to return to UW, but also seems to all but slam it shut with one of his final comments when he mentions having played at Washington in the past tense and talks about having a "once-in-a-lifetime'' opportunity to play in the NBA.