The Lorenzo Romar Era has more or less been defined by his guards. Romar runs a three-guard system, often employing two point guards at the same time. This is typically an aid when it comes to ball control, although in recent memory we have had point guards (Venoy Overton, Tony Wroten) who had some turnover tendencies. The overall skillsets of these two players made them invaluable to the team and in Venoy's case, invaluable to women everywhere. (I do not condone the actions of Overton, just to make that clear.)
This year the Huskies return two point guards from a season ago. The first was seen as a one-and-done type of player out of high school, but a struggle to adapt to the college game and subsequent injuries has "allowed" Abdul Gaddy to play the full four years here at the Udub.
Gaddy is a personal favorite of mine. He is able to get to the rim without the high-level quickness possessed by the aforementioned Wroten and Overton; another player that used a combination a quickness and strength to get to the rim that you may remember is a guy by the name of Isaiah Thomas. You may have heard of his exploits in the NBA.
Back to Gaddy. As I have mentioned before Gaddy uses a different style to reach the rim: he fools his defender, using deception as opposed to pure quickness. With his quickness returning after recovering from his ACL tear last season he will become a handful for any defender who wants to keep him out of the lane. Gaddy also has surprising strength that allows him to use his body to shield the ball when he finishes around the rim, or he is in the lane at all.
His strength also helps him in being an above-average on-ball defender. The fact that Gaddy does not have elite-level length or quickness also forces him to play "position defense." I heard that term in talking to the current women's head coach at Everett Community College and former Husky basketball player Chet Hovde. When he played he was not the biggest, fastest or strongest player on the court but he did his best to stay in front of the defender. Exactly what I see Gaddy doing. He does not reach in for steal often, but does not let his man past him with much frequency.
The main job for a point guard is to get the offense going. Gaddy is the "Calm in the storm" as coined by Romar. A floor general. He does an excellent job of getting the offensive players in position. If a player is not paying attention or is too busy complaining, he will get their head in the play. This takes more moxie than one would believe. Telling another player "Come on man, get your butt over here," can put a player with a bad attitude in an even worse mood, especially towards the point guard.
The other returning point guard is true Sophomore Hikeem Stewart. Judging by the "Huskies All Access" shows on Root Sports he is well-liked in the locker room. For a point that is important. He is the main ball-handler. If you like a guy you will be more willing (typically) to put up with mistakes than if you do not. Obviously nobody is perfect and there will always be mistakes. With the point guard being the main ball-hander there are more opportunities for mistakes. Stewart seems to have that likable personality. That could never seem to hurt a locker room.
Stewart showed a tendency to defer in his limited action. That is okay. A true Freshman point guard on a team with uber-talented wing players should be allowed to kick the ball around a little bit. He needed to get his feet wet.
According to his high school scouting report on ESPN Stewart is an athletic scorer who relishes scoring in transition. He fits Romar's system like a glove. A talior-made glove. That expression makes little sense. What if the glove is too small? It could cut circulation to your hand and you could lose your hand! That glove would not fit very well. I do not think I will use that phrase again.
Stewart's "passing prowess is underrated" which means that he can capably play the point guard position despite the fact that he was recruited as a shooting guard. I did not know that Stewart was recruited as a shooting guard. Romar must have seen something in him as a point guard, as that was Stewart's primary position in his limited game action.
I cannot comment on his defense, as I did not watch him close enough defensively to make any sort of statement, definitive or vague.
For what it is worth, ESPN had him listed as a four-star recruit, Scout as a three-star, and Rivals as a three-star. He has the potential to be an impact player for the Huskies, or at the very least a solid role player. His contribution may not be that big this upcoming season, but with the upcoming graduation of Gaddy, it will have to be him or Andrew Andrews, another combo guard, to fill the void.
Andrews is listed as a point guard, but personally I see him fitting as more of a combo 1-2 kind of guard. Similar to what Thomas was for the majority of his Washington career. That is my personal view. He is viewed as a scoring guard with elite level quickness. I mentioned before how he was blowing by opponents, starters no less, in practice all season long. This screams combo guard in my head. That is the thought in my head. The two current Huskies with the ability to play point guard two years from now are true combo guards. Yes, that is an oxymoron considering that a combo guard is a mix of two positions, not a "true" point guard or a "true" shooting guard.
Two years down the road there are some pretty interesting point guard prospects considering the Dawgs, but decisions are about a year down the line.
The only point guard Romar is recruiting for the class of 2012 is another combo guard. Versatility is key, right? Jaylen Beckham is another guard with skills attacking the rim and is able to find teammates from within the lane. He has less of a jumper than both Stewart and Andrews however, and that may limit Beckham's ceiling if he cannot develop a consistent jumper. Of course, this is all moot if he does not choose the Dawgs as his school of choice.
The point guard situation is handled for the immediate future, with Abdul Gaddy entrenched at the position for one more year. Beyond that the Huskies are lacking a true point guard unless Romar decides to move Hikeem Stewart to a full-time point guard position.