New Husky Hooper: Nigel Williams-Goss

As you may have heard, Lorenzo Romar and company have picked up a commitment from point guard Nigel Williams-Goss. Goss is the first Husky commit for the class of 2013. He is a consensus four star point guard, ESPN lists him in their ESPNU 100 at number 57, and has him listed as their 10th best point guard prospect. Rivals is much more bullish, with him cracking the top-40 as the 39th player. Scout has the lowest position rating on him, as he is listed as their 19th rated point, even with his four-star rating.

Goss is a pure point guard that has been atypical of the Romar style. Romar tends to run with combo guards at the point guard position, as characterized by the Nate Robinson and Isaiah Thomas eras. It could be argued that until Abdul Gaddy fell into Romar's lap the most "pure point guard" was Venoy Overton. Overton, as you may remember was on the court more for his defensive capabilities than his ability to run an offense.

Scouting reports: here (and here if you have ESPN Insider)

He is not the most athletic player, which is a surprise given Romar's system. Romar always emphasizes length and athleticism. This year he had much more size at the guard position than he has been used to, so he changed his defensive gameplan a little bit, utilizing more zone (I could not find the gohuskies article that talked about this). That trend of size at the guard position is continuing, as Williams-Goss is a 6-3 point guard.

Williams-Goss does a good job of getting into the lane, and has developed a floater which will prevent the defenses from collapsing on him until he is behind the backboard similar to how Tony Wroten was defended towards the end of last season. Once he is in the lane, Williams-Goss does a good job of finding teammates, whether they be on the perimeter or cutting to the basket.

While not blessed with superior quickness defensively, he does a fine job of sliding his feet defensively to keep good position defensively and has quick hands. He may have trouble dealing with smaller, quicker guards due to the lack of pure explosiveness.

He does have several weaknesses offensively. He struggles when shooting, whether the shot is a mid-range pull-up jumper or a set three-pointer. His jump shot could definitely use some work, as he needs to add lift and consistency. When defended by quicker guards he has a tendency to become turnover-prone. Despite changing speeds well, he does not have that highly-coveted second gear.

A final positive is that he seems to be a natural leader and is very vocal on the court. This will be a very underrated yet supremely important asset to the team as the loss of Gaddy to graduation (and hopefully the NBA) will be felt due to the loss of on-court leadership.

He seems to be a natural successor to Gaddy, and also may signal a small shift in Romar's philosophy. As noted above, Romar typically runs with converted combo guards. Maybe after having a pure point guard (and a good one at that) he is starting to see the benefit of having a true floor general on the floor and likes the idea of keeping more on the roster.

WIlliams-Goss maintained a 4.0 GPA in high school and was torn between Harvard and UW. He eloquently wrote this guest post at National Recruiting Spotlight as to why he chose to become a Dawg. He talks about how he is going to try and help with the recruiting for the class of 2013. He specifically mentioned five-star recruits Aaron Gordon and Isaac Hamilton along with the newly offered teammate of his Marcus Lee.

Williams-Goss has the ability to be a four-year contributor. He may need a little time to develop his Freshman year, but he could become a solid starter over the course of his tenure at the University of Washington, eventually developing into a true impact player with the potential to become an All-Pac level talent.

Woof!

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