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Monday, May 17, 2010
Washington's Gaddy working on his shot

By Diamond Leung

Washington point guard Abdul Gaddy was ESPNU's No.14-ranked recruit in 2009, and in the age of one-and-done expectations, his freshman season was seen by some as a slow first step to stardom.

Gaddy averaged 18.2 minutes in his 29 starts, scoring 3.9 points per game and shooting only .150 from 3-point range. In the offseason, he'll be looking to fix his shot by working with Ryan Appleby, Washington's all-time leader in 3-point shooting.

It's early, but consider this tutorial a critical part of the offseason for the Huskies, who are coming off a Sweet 16 appearance and expected to go into the coming season hyped as the favorite in the Pac-10.

A big jump as a sophomore for Gaddy could free up Isaiah Thomas to carry the scoring load for the team, which will need to replace Quincy Pondexter's output.

Appleby directly impacted this year's team by training Pondexter, helping turn him into a Pac-10 player of the year candidate by establishing a more consistent release point. Appleby's latest pro bono project is Gaddy, whose shot frankly needs some fixing as Appleby told the Seattle Times:
"He consistent in a lot of areas that make you miss consistently. I guess that would be the best way to put it. A lot of the things that he does are actually really easy to fix and I think he's seen that so far to where he's become a lot more consistent of a shooter. I think throughout the summer if he keeps working on some of those things he does inconsistently, then he should be fine when the season comes around this year."

Gaddy will have a chance to test things out and come back to campus a more mature player after training with the U18 national team next month.

Coach Lorenzo Romar has said that he expected Gaddy to come into next season with more confidence. Tell Romar that Gaddy had a rough first season, and he brings up another former guard with Seattle ties who began a career with shooting struggles.

That would be Gary Payton, who as a rookie for the SuperSonics averaged 7.2 points per game and went only 1-for-13 from beyond the arc while starting for the entire season.

"You can’t find a guy with any more confidence," Romar said of how Payton eventually turned out.

"I equate that with Abdul’s freshman year. It has nothing to do with where he’s going to finish."