Daniels REALLY that big a loss?; UW wins AGAIN?

I must have missed the part where Antonio Daniels was the key reason this team won the division last year?

Let’s look at the facts:

1) AD averaged 11 points and 4 assists last year, per game, in 27 minutes. Nice #’s, really, from a backup point guard. But break it down a little further –

  • A) He shot 27% from 3, his worst percentage since he broke into the league. Basically he gets his points going to the hole or shooting from 15 feet, provided he can break his man down or benefit from being wide open off Ray’s or Rashard’s constant double-teams.
  • B) He was, on average, 3 of 8 from the field on a nightly basis, equating to 43%. Not bad, but consider that it was the worst field-goal % of his career.
  • C) His 4-1 assist-to-turnover ratio was very strong, probably the best stat about him and a luxury coming off the bench.

Now, all that said, ask yourself this – do you really believe he wanted to return here to be the backup to Luke Ridnour as Luke’s game is on the rise? Luke averaged 31 minutes a game last year, and as a player coming into his 3rd year, he must continue to learn and build and bottom line, be THE MAN from here on out. Would Daniels really want to come back here to play, barring injury, what will likely be 10-15 minutes a night? Because that’s what the situation was on the table.

Now, compare AD to Luke. Luke is:
1) a better free-throw shooter than AD, at 88% last year, compared to 81% for AD.
2) Their assist-to-turnover ratio is nearly the same, AD averaged 4 assists and 1 TO a game to Luke’s 5.9 and 1.8, so that’s nearly a wash (slight lean to AD, but VERRRYYY slight).
3) Luke shot 37% from 3 point land, a little better than 1-for-3. Pretty respectable, and certainly better than AD’s 27%.
4) For the concern about Luke’s durability, well, Luke played in all 82 games last year….starting all 82. Yes, he was hobbled by various ailments, but who isn’t over the course of 82 games plus playoffs? Everyone is beat up, but it really didn’t have a negative impact on his game (see 20 points in the Game 4 win over the Spurs minus Rashard and Vladi, WOW).

The opportunity was NOT here for AD. Not next year, not the year after that, and probably not the year after that.

I’m not trying to slam AD on his way out of town, and I am really grateful he played his butt off this year. As much as I loved what we saw out of Luke this year, there were many moments that he played like a kid learning the game in his 2nd year, and it was nice to have AD out there to keep things under control.

But we need to get off the idea that he was the glue to this team. They said the same thing about Bones last summer, oh woe is me, whatever will we do without Bones?? Things worked out just fine. There are plenty of PG’s out there, both on the free-agent market and in possible sign-and-trade scenarios, that could produce very similar to what AD gave us for one year.

I’ll just flat-out say it from a completely different angle – in pure NBA standards, Antonio Daniels is a BUST. Don’t forget, this guy was the #4 overall pick from Bowling Green back in 1997 by the Grizz. The #4 pick overall, and the Wiz will now be his 5th team already!!?! If he was so great, why did all the other NBA organizations, including the best of all, San Antonio, miss out? Or are the Wiz just that much smarter than every other organization? The word is the Sonics had a 3 year deal on the table, for a very fair $3 – $5 million per year, based on performance. Very fair money for 10-15 minutes a night.

To give him 5 years at $30 million is just as bad as rewarding Big Snacks for 3 years of mediocrity with 1 good week against the man with one leg! Unbelievable. Bravo, Wally World, you guys made the right decision once you cut through the sentimental garbage.

Now the bad news – Another big win for UW in the recruiting wars. A 4-star, all-state CA running back, James Montgomery, verballed to Ty and co. Here’s a quick bio:

As a junior, he led the Sacramento area in rushing with 1,915 yards on 215 carries with 35 touchdowns. He also saw spot-duty at as a nickel back where he recorded 10 tackles. He ran for 380 yards and 9 TDs in a game against Vacaville. Montgomery was named the Sierra Valley Conference Offensive MVP and was a first team all-city selection by The Sacramento Bee, first team Sac-Joaquin all-section pick, 2005 Scholar-Athlete by the Sacramento Valley Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame.
Montgomery reports a 2.6 GPA/19 ACT–June retest/March 12 SAT scores unreported.

I’ll now fully admit it – WE’RE OFFICIALLY GETTING OUR ASSES HANDED TO US by Willingham! Come on, Dobes, let’s get some verbals ourselves.

The weird thing? I talked to Mead just yesterday about this, and the UW faithful are just as shocked as everyone else. They were blown away that they got a commitment from Elisara, especially, not just from the WSU angle, but from all the other schools too. The fact he picked a 1-10 team is just amazing. He also went on to say that Willingham is on par with Lambo as being a flat-out TERRIBLE recruiter! But, the flip side is that they got lucky on a few assistants and that has been huge. One guy, Lapano, was just a huge get for them and has been making huge inroads on top guys, and the work he’s put in on recruiting is remarkable.

The best news though is that Steve Shilling, the all-everything o-lineman from Bellevue, is probably headed to USC. Pete Carroll was up here two weeks ago, took him to dinner, worked him out, the whole 9. Turns out Shilling’s brother went to USC and he’s been down there several times, so the odds are very strong he’ll go down there. Mead went as far as to say we’ll probably see an early verbal to USC by Shilling, so at least UW won’t keep him in-state!

I also found out that there are 4 absolutely top, vital guys in the state that UW has targeted from the first day Willingham took the job. Shilling, Elisara, Taylor Mays of O’Dea and the biggest fish of all, Jake Locker, the tremendous QB from Ferndale. The UW camp now thinks that they will get 3 of those 4, losing out on only Shilling.

I know, I know, I’ll calm down. Even in the worst of times, UW has always out-recruited us in regards to “stars” and that will never, ever change. Not unless we can get that stadium renovation off the ground, which sounds pretty bleak depending on who you ask. We always have been able to turn over stones to find some real gems, so I’m not going to worry too much here. Then again, USC gets serious rock stars to commit, and they seem to work out just fine, so there might be a real good reason to fear what is going on over there!

Finally, caught a few minutes with Troy Bienemann on FSN last night. He said that “our goal is to win the Pac-10 and go to the Rose Bowl, period.” And the host goes “realistically, what are your goals?” And he repeated it, Pac-10 title and Rose Bowl. Why not have the ultimate goal!? Hell, that should be your goal every year, whether you are Stanford or the Beavs or Cougs or whoever. Anyway, a good thing was that Bienemann reported that EVERY single player on scholarship, plus several walk-ons, have been in Pullman all summer long, working out 6 days a week, doing drills, you name it. That stuff that Mkristo and Bumpus have been writing about summer drills, that stuff is all true.