The Big 12 Conference's decision to discontinue its basketball series with the Pacific-10 Conference apparently will not cause Washington to resume its basketball rivalry with Gonzaga.
“No,” UW athletic director Scott Woodward said Tuesday. “We will probably do what we did with the Big 12 series: schedule some nice BCS-style teams to do home-and-away with – we just won’t do it within the purview of the Big 12 hardwood classic. So, we’ll probably play some Big 12 schools, maybe look at playing an SEC school or a Big Ten school or a Big East school, ACC – we’re open. We obviously consult on it, but I give that authority to (coach Lorenzo Romar) to schedule.”
This will be the fourth and final season of the Big 12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series, which paired teams from each conference in home-and-away games over successive seasons. This season, UW is scheduled to play two Big 12 teams – Texas Tech at home on Dec. 4 and a visit to Texas A&M on Dec. 11. The same schools met last season with UW losing to the Red Raiders at Lubbock, Texas, and beating the Aggies at Hec Edmundson Pavilion.
The Big 12 went 9-3 in the series last season, taking a 20-16 lead overall.
However, tensions between the conferences seemed to grow this year when the Pac-10 lured Colorado away from the Big 12 and made a run at four other Big 12 schools, including Texas, which could have caused the demise of the conference.
That apparently contributed to the Big 12’s decision to discontinue the series.
Romar did not fully rule out a resurrection of the Gonzaga series, which UW ended after the 2006-07 season. But while that did not appear to be his first option, he did agree with Woodward that the lost Big 12 dates should be filled with high-quality opponents.
GADDY 4TH STARTER
When the Huskies reported to camp, Romar said he had an idea of three likely starters.
On Tuesday, he named a fourth: Point guard Abdul Gaddy of Tacoma will join Isaiah Thomas, Justin Holiday and Matthew Bryan-Amaning on the floor Saturday when UW makes its 2010-11 debut with a home exhibition game against Saint Martin’s University.
“I never doubted that at all,” Gaddy said before practice Tuesday.
“ I feel like I’m playing a lot better. I stepped up my game a lot and I’m ready to go out and play.”
Gaddy, a sophomore from Bellarmine Prep, started 29 games last season. However, an expected challenge from senior Venoy Overton hasn’t materialized because of a hamstring injury that will keep Overton out of full practices until next week.
“I know Abdul has played really well,” Romar said. “He’s been playing pretty consistently. He’s an improved player from last year. Whenever Venoy is in the game, he’s going to create havoc for the opposition. Whenever Abdul is in there he’s going to make sure we run offense, make sure we get good shots, take care of the basketball, things of that nature.”
Romar said the fifth starter will be determined by what style of team he wants for the opening minutes.
“I think where we’re at now is: Do we go big or do we go small – to begin the game, because throughout the game we’ll do both,” he said. “ We play a team with a huge front line, we’ll probably be bigger. If we play a quick, smaller team we’ll probably go small.”
Don Ruiz, 253-597-8808 firstname.lastname@example.org blog.thenewstribune.com/uwsports