It is clear that Abdul Gaddy was severely overrated by the so called "experts" coming out of high school as the nations #2 ranked point guard behind current NBA star John Wall. However, the young Gaddy was still a solid player who could have had a better college career. He arrived at Washington as a 17 year old freshman who clearly was not ready to be a big-time college point guard, he needed to develop both mentally and physically. Husky coach Lorenzo Romar, along with many in the media, was blinded by Gaddy's high school accolades and Romar handed him the keys as a starting point guard from day one. It's understandable for Romar to make the mistake of throwing him into the fire from the start based on his high school reputation, but not to keep him in the fire for the long run and let him flame out.
Gaddy averaged 18 minutes, 4 points and 2 assists as a freshman starter while shooting just 56% from the free-throw line and 15% from 3 point range. Stats that a decent college walk-on might be able to put up in the same amount of minutes if given the chance. A couple college coaches at other schools said privately that Gaddy bought into his own high school hype and stopped working as hard as he should have been. Whatever the reason, he did not live up to expectations and understandably lost confidence as a freshman. He needed to toughen up, and handing him a starting spot for his entire career was not the way to do it. Coach Romar has been great at developing future pro players but should have made Gaddy fight for his playing time and prove himself, which would have forced him to become tougher or sit on the bench behind the usual strong crop of Husky guards. Gaddy did show improvement early in his sophomore season before tearing his ACL, which was a big setback for a guy who wasn't a super-explosive athlete in the first place. After the injury, Isaiah Thomas took over as point guard and led the Pac-12 in assists and the Huskies to the NCAA tournament, proving further that Gaddy should not have simply been given the starting job. Coming off the knee injury as a junior, instead of having to prove his recovery was complete and his game improved, he was given 34 minutes per game, the most on the team despite shooting just 40% from the field; the worst on the team of those receiving significant minutes. He averaged 8 points and 5 assists a game. His senior season production was not any better, although he showed a flash of greatness here and there, and he finished up his career in disappointing fashion.
It was easy to see from the start that Gaddy lacked the mental toughness and assertiveness to become a great college player on his own, what most don't realize is that he also could have used better guidance along the way by coaches that would make him fight and earn everything he was given, forcing him to toughen up in the process. Abdul Gaddy is a good guy, and he took a lot of heat from fans for not living up to expectations set by others, and handled it very well. A combination of his own doing, coaching, unreasonable expectations, and injury led to an unspectacular college career, but don't be surprised if you hear his name in the future as he puts those things well behind him. He is just 21 years old and the pro basketball world will force you to toughen up or go home. A few recent Husky guards have been successful at working their way up through the professional ranks and there is at least a chance Gaddy could be next. He will to have to find the fire within himself, and find a coach that will light it.