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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Elite PG commits to hoops

    Abdul Gaddy
    Abdul Gaddy

    Point Guard U may have found the newest member of its elite club.

    Abdul Gaddy, a five-star point guard in the class of 2009 from Tacoma, Wash., verbally committed to the Arizona basketball team yesterday after spending last weekend in Tucson for the program’s Elite Camp.

    Gaddy, the class’s No. 2 point guard and No. 14 overall prospect, according to recruiting Web site www.rivals.com, became the first player to commit to Arizona’s for ’09 and the only player among Rivals’ top 49 players to commit.

    It took the Wildcats until April 29 of last year to secure their first commitment for the class of 2008.

    The school’s reputation as a haven for point guards played a big role in Gaddy’s decision, said Gaddy’s AAU coach, Gary Ward.

    “”He got a chance to see (Damon) Stoudamire and (Jason) Terry and (Mike) Bibby and (Gilbert) Arenas and understanding all those guys came through Arizona,”” Ward said. “”The majority of the guards that go to Arizona usually end up in the NBA. He sees himself being in the NBA one day and wants to be associated with people like that. A lot of those guys happened to come from the University of Arizona.””

    Gaddy became the third major guard prospect to commit to Arizona in the past three years, following the class of 2007’s Jerryd Bayless (No. 3 shooting guard) and the class of 2008’s Brandon Jennings (No. 2 point guard).

    Rivals analyst Jerry Meyer called the commitment an “”unbelievable gift”” for the program, especially in the event that Bayless and Jennings jump to the NBA before he arrives on campus.

    “”I don’t think you can deny that Arizona is Point Guard U,”” Meyer said. “”There’s been a lot of great point guards at the other schools, but the string of point guards Olson has coached is truly amazing. I think they got one that’s going to fit into that tradition.””

    Ward called the commitment “”an actual commitment,”” adding that no other school can talk him out of it because it’s a “”100 percent commitment.”” Ward said this would not be the case without assistant coach Josh Pastner.

    Gaddy, a 6-foot-3, 170-pound athlete from
    Bellarmine Prep, dreamed about playing for Arizona his entire life, Ward said, having grown up watching the Wildcats make deep NCAA Tournament runs.

    Arizona faced stiff competition, however, from the in-state Washington Huskies – the other finalists for his services.

    Arizona’s Elite Camp last week sealed the deal for Gaddy, who watched current and former Wildcats scrimmage in McKale Center, giving perhaps a taste of what he can become.

    “”It’s a great get,”” said analyst Greg Hicks of recruiting Web site www.scout.com, “”especially considering they didn’t have the hometown advantage on this one. Anytime you go into a place and beat out a guy like (Washington head coach) Lorenzo (Romar) on his home turf, that’s a big get.””

    Both Meyer and Hicks likened Gaddy to the Utah Jazz’s Deron Williams, just without some of the strength of the 205-pound pro. The recruiting experts complimented Gaddy’s size for a point guard, as well as his feel for the game and ability to play the position.

    Hicks said he needs to work on his shot but that Williams, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2005 NBA Draft, did not shoot well at this stage of his development, either. Meyer added that Gaddy could use some work on the defensive end.

    Still, Scout’s Dave Telep summed up Gaddy’s high ranking by calling him a physically developing player who possesses an elite skill set, being able to pass the ball and run a team at a high level, whereas fellow top guards Bayless and Jennings grade out more as scorers.

    Hicks called Gaddy a “”true point guard”” because he’s unselfish and understands his role.

    “”This is a guy when you look across the 2009 class at point guard, the scenario nationally is he’s on a very short list of a handful of guys at his position, and as a prospect has as big of window as anyone else,”” Telep said. “”At the end of the day, and at 6-3, it’s difficult to fathom a system he didn’t plug into well.””

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