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UW Basketball: Gilles Dierickx Transferring to UW

Belgian Center Gilles Dierickx (not pronounced how it looks, or even remotely close) has decided to transfer to the University of Washington, starting in the 2013-14 season. He must sit out the 2012-13 season per NCAA transfer rules.

Dierickx (I am going to hate typing this name in the coming seasons) attended Florida International last season as a Freshman, playing in 29 games, starting 15. Despite his seven foot frame, Dierickx is not a banger. He is not a back-to-the-basket scorer.

From the Seattle Times:

Dierickx likened himself to former UW standout Spencer Hawes while Todd Wolfson, his former coach at West Hills (Calif.) Chaminade, compared him to a "poor man's Dirk Nowitzki."

"If you're looking for a guy to sit in the post and work block to block, that's not his game," Wolfson said. "He's got good moves when he gets the ball, but he's more of a catch it and face up. More of a typical European."

A "poor man's Dirk Nowizki?" That is some lofty praise for a player who averaged a sliver under 15 minutes for a team that went 5-11 in the Sun Belt.

This is from an NBC Sports article about the announcement:

"Gilles is a very skilled post player that can step outside as well as play on the block. Romar said in a statement. He is someone that has potential for a lot of growth and gives us some size at 6-foot-11."

Reports conflict, but let's feel good about ourselves and take Romar's words at face value.

Dierickx is much more of a role player than a stud player. He is someone who could come off the bench and provide some offense. He is also a good shot blocker, which should be a given standing seven feet tall, as he averaged .6 blocks per game last season with FIU. If we stretched out his minutes (14.9 last season) to Aziz N'Diaye's 23.3 per game average last season he averages .9 blocks per game. N'Diaye averaged 1.0 blocks per game last season.

His career high for points is eight, same with rebounds. He even has a four-block game on his resumé.

I personally have to wonder if this is going to hurt the case to land one of the five star recruits Lorenzo Romar is attempting to persuade to attend. Landing four five-star players was not going to happen, but there are also four-stars looking at Washington as well. This takes up a scholarship spot that could be used to lure a very prestigious recruit. There were four spots open after the commitment of Nigel Williams-Goss, now there are three.

This was supposed to be the biggest recruiting class in Romar history. As it stand right now, there is a four-star point guard and a two transfer frontcourt players, the other being Perris Blackwell. If Romar can still land some other big names, but I was really hoping for the last four spots to be taken by four-and five star recruits. Maybe my head was a little bit in the clouds but consider me underwhelmed.

I am not disappointed in this development, in fact I think that Dierickx would be a perfect man to have as a "stretch four" player. A stretch four is a big man who has the ability to stretch the defense a little bit. Dierickx is not a three-point shooter, but European big men have the ability to hit the mid-range jump shot. When your bigs have the ability to pull their man just a little bit closer to the perimeter it opens up driving lanes for the other players exponentially.

All-in-all a solid land from Romar that could pay dividends down the road.

Also from the Seattle Times Article:

He considered the University of San Francisco before taking a trip to UW on Wednesday. That night he agreed to play for the Huskies.

"I made my mind up pretty quick," he said. "I just knew once I got here."

Maybe I am reading too much into a 14-word quote, but one cannot help but be encouraged by the fact that as soon as a "recruit" came here he committed. Maybe the University of Washington is becoming more and more of a destination for recruits. We can only hope.