Category Archives: Game Preview

Pre-Game: @ Texas Tech

Washington (5-0) @ Texas Tech (7-0)

Players to Watch

John Roberson: The key matchup of the game could be how Venoy Overton can hold his ground against Tech’s pure guard Roberson who is one of the most efficient players at the point in the nation. The offense will be orchestrated by Roberson, and with the Red Raiders almost certainly going to implement a zone defense against the Huskies after the success Montana had in Seattle a few days ago. If Overton can eliminate the source for the Red Raider’s offense, than the Huskies should cruise to victory in their first road game of the year. But watch out for Roberson’s deep ball shooting which allows the Red Raiders to play a more spread out offense.

Tyreese Breshers: Romar has not confirmed yet whether or not Breshers will be starting again, but no matter what the play of the redshirt freshman is vital for the Huskies to perform well in their first road game of the year. Based on the post play that the Huskies have had over the past few games, there needs to be a force to step up and take control of the post. Since it will get tiring to name Matthew Bryan-Amaning as this player every week, Breshers s the logical next guy since he, like MBA, has had a game where he shined for Washington.

Notes:

  • Texas Tech has yet to leave the state of Texas for a game yet this season, so the Red Raiders will be playing in very familiar territories, while it is Huskies’s first game outside the state of Washington
  • The Red Raiders return three starters off of last year’s team, although that raises the question of whether or not that is a good thing seeing as they went 14-19 last season
  • Washington has never lost against Texas Tech in Lubbock

Projected Lineups

Washington: G: Venoy Overton G: Isaiah Thomas SF: Quincy Pondexter PF: Tyreese Breshers C: Matthew Bryan-Amaning

Texas Tech: G: John Roberson G: Nick Okorie F: Mike Singletary F: D’Walyn Roberts C: Darko Cohadarevic

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Pre-Game: Montana

Washington (4-0) vs. Montana (4-1)

Players to Watch

Anthony Johnson: Local hoop heads will remember this name as Johnson is a former student of Stadium High School and took the junior college route. Last season he was the Big Sky Newcomer of the Year and has only built off of last season’s success with a hot start. Johnson currently is leading the Big Sky in scoring at 22.0 PPG, free throw percentage, and minutes played. It should be an interesting battle between Johnson and Isaiah Thomas to see who can take over the game from the guard position. It should be noted how efficient Johnson can get his points, such as his 3/6 shooting night Oregon last week. However Johnson managed to end the night with 20 points after converting 14/15 free throws. Washington needs to keep tight defense on Johnson and make sure they rotate well to ensure there are no stupid fouls against what appears to be a machine at the line.

Matthew Bryan-Amaning: We know that Thomas and Quincy Pondexter are going to get their points, but today MBA will be going against a pretty talented Montana front line. MBA will be dealing directly with Brian Qvale, who has managed to put together a successful season so far with 11.6 PPG and 7.6 RPG. MBA holds no size advantage over Qvale as the Montana big man stands at a large 6’11, 255 pounds, so MBA will have to utilize his post moves to get his baskets as opposed to overpowering his defender.

Notes

  • Montana was one of the teams that handed the Pac-10 one of its many non-conference losses, defeating Oregon 68-55
  • The Grizzlies has former Husky walk-on commit Jack McGillis
  • Washington should face a tougher defensive team today, Montana has allowed only 58.6 PPG so far

Projected Lineups

Washington: G: Venoy Overton G: Isaiah Thomas SF: Quincy Pondexter PF: Darnell Gant C: Matthew Bryan-Amaning

Montana: G: Anthony Johnson G: Ryan Staudacher G: Will Cherry F: Jack McGillis C: Brian Qvale

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Pre-Game: San Jose State

Washington (3-0) vs. San Jose State (1-0)

Players to Watch

Adrian Oliver: Oliver will be facing his former team tonight as a member of the Spartans. One of the praised recruits in the highly talked about 2006 class, Oliver was one of the three to leave Seattle after a year. Spencer Hawes left for the NBA, Phil Nelson wanted to be closer to home, and Oliver had family issues back home. We never learned what those issues were, which is fine, but it appears that Washington missed on having a great player. Oliver tore it up at times for San Jose State before injuring his knee, foot, and ankle. He should face a hostile Dawg Pack, but it should be entertaining to see Oliver play again. Supposedly he still has a close relationship with Lorenzo Romar and Quincy Pondexter, so there is no bad blood between the parties.

Isaiah Thomas: For most of the previews Thomas could be the guy to watch for the Huskies (I’d bet him and Matthew Bryan-Amaning lead at the end of the year), but Thomas is the guy because he will be going against San Jose State’s best player in Oliver. A lot of points should be scored between the two.

Notes

  • The Spartans return four starters from last years team. That could either be a really good thing or really bad because of last season’s 13-17 record.
  • The Spartans defeated an NAIA school for their first victory, so nothing to really judge them from.
  • Center Chris Oakes should provide an interesting matchup for MBA, Oakes stands at 6’10 and pulled down 7.6 boards a game last season

Projected Lineups

Washington: G: Venoy Overton G: Isaiah Thomas SF: Quincy Pondexter PF: Darnell Gant C: Matthew Bryan-Amaning

San Jose State: G: Justin Graham G: Adrian Oliver SF: Chris Jones PF: C.J. Webster C: Chris Oakes

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Exhibition Today, Overton Named Starter

Today finally brings the day MFB and the rest of Husky basketball fans have anxiously waited for, and that is the return of Husky basketball.

Sure its in the form of an exhibition game against an inferior Central Washington, but any college basketball should commence celebration, especially in Seattlle where there is no longer any professional basketball.

The preview will be short because it is an exhibition and against a small school opponent like CWU, but here are some things to look for during the game…

  1. How does Matthew Bryan-Amaning play as a starter? His play could be the difference between a deep tourney run and a season that ends sooner than it should, the Huskies need MBA to step up down in the paint and replace some of the post scoring lost in Jon Brockman’s departure.
  2. How does Abdul Gaddy handle playing off the bench? Today delivered the somewhat surprising news that Gaddy would start on the bench, something few projected although Romar has said all along that Gaddy and Overton were battling for the final spot. He says Gaddy, Overton, and Isaiah Thomas should be considered three starters, but it will be the first time in a long time that Gaddy has not started for a team, should be interesting to see how he reacts.
  3. How will Tyreese Breshers play in his first game back in over a year? Breshers is going to have to step up this season and help in the replacement of Brockman. His style of play is very similar to Brockman’s so maybe he will excel, but we will no know till we see him on the court.
  4. Will free throws be an issue? This was the problem that plagued the team two years ago and then was fixed for the most part last season. But for a team as highly regarded as Washington, they must maintain their free throw success to build towards a deep tournament run. Last season they fixed it by getting to the line often and converting, but this season sees the departure of the best free throw shooter on the team last season, Justin Dentmon. At the end of games someone will have to step up and be that guy to take those crucial free throws at the end of games.
  5. How will Scott Suggs play? There may not be a more intriguing story line to follow this season than the development of Suggs. He came in last year as the highest ranked incoming recruit, but saw the least amount of time out of the entire group of freshman who were eligible to play (Breshers obviously redshirted). Suggs admitted that he though of transfer at one point, but has come in this year greatly improved according to coaches and teammates. Tonight could be the preview of him writing a new chapter in his Husky career.

Just to touch on the Gaddy/Overton situation a bit more; it really should not be a big deal in the end Husky fans. It was known from the beginning that the three guards would play a huge amount of minutes, so starting really is not that big of an issue when all three will receive such heavy minutes. But I must admit, I like the idea of having Overton come off the bench and be the energy to help turn around games. There has been no one else on the internet that has praised Gaddy the way I have over the off-season, so this was something I was not necessarily anticipating. But in the end it should just be small potatoes.

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Georgetown Provides Interesting Test For Huskies

News came out recently that the Huskies will play Georgetown in the John Wooden Classic, an interesting matchup to say the least.

The first reaction to the news is that the Huskies will be playing a quality opponet, and someone who could be a sleeper team for the upcoming 2009-2010 basketball season.

Georgetown has flourished ever since John Thompson III arrived and introduced his Princeton offense. While last season was a struggle for the Hoyas, nobody can really blame them for such a difficult season when they played in the Big East, aka Death to Hopes and Dreams Conference.

The Hoyas will be bringing a more than solid team when they face off against Washington, and are someone that could be a dangerous team and difficult team to matchup against.

There will be one key to the game, and that is how Matthew Bryan-Amaning plays that night.

Georgetown will more than likely rely on super sophomore Greg Monroe, arguably the top recruit in the country just a year ago.

Monroe is a 6’11” “true big man” in my opinion who will be a handful for Amaning to matchup against. Monroe brings great post moves and a polished game to the court, and will undoubtedly be the focus of Lorenzo Romar’s gameplanning.

Outside of Monroe the Hoyas will be bringing up two guards who should create an interesting matchup with Abdul Gaddy and Isaiah Thomas.

Austin Freeman is one of the more talented guards in the country and should be the second option behind Monroe for Georgetown. Freeman will likely be defended by Gaddy because of Freeman’s height (6’4”) which should provide an early preview on Gaddy’s defensive ability as Freeman will be one of the first tough guards he will have to defend.

The Hoyas’ third option is likely another guard in Chris Wright, the leading distributor for Georgetown and third leading scorer from last season (DaJuan Summers, the leading scorer, left early for the NBA).

Freeman and Wright are an interesting to evaluate because of their shooting abilities. Both posted very impressive three point shooting percentages their freshman season, but fell off completely in their sophomore year. The shooting was sorely missed by the Hoyas as the three ball was their biggest liability and reason why they failed to do much in conference play.

Freeman shot a very impressive 40% his freshman year, but dropped ten percentage points to 30% last season.

Wright, who did not play as much as Freeman his freshman year, posted an absurd 47% in 17 valuable minutes per game. Somehow he managed to fall all the way down to 32% last season, which is absurd in its own right.

What the Huskies will have to worry about is how much these struggles can be attributed to a sophomore slump. Should Freeman and Wright find their stroke again, paired with Monroe they could form a lethal inside-out combo.

Georgetown could also dictate the tempo of the game and kill any momentum the Huskies will have. The Princeton is about as organized of an offense as they come, with Jon Brockman gone the Huskies are likely to play even more fast break basketbll than before. How much Georgetown’s tempo changes the way they play could determine if it is a win or a loss for Washington.

Personally when I heard the news about Washington playing Georgetown, I was ecstatic. In all honesty, Georgetown is the only other basketball team I have ever rooted for. While there is no question that I will be rooting for the Huskies (let me emphasize that), it will be enjoyable to see them play a difficult and challenging opponet that should measure where the Huskies stand nationally come tournament selection time (let me emphasize my fandom for the Huskies one more time).

But this will be an exciting game with incredibly interesting matchups. For all of us Husky fans it could be the time where we finally get a true indication of where MBA stands with the team and his future as an impact player.

One interesting sidenote, this will be Georgetown’s first game on the west coast in over eight years, they needed a quality opponet to come out west.

Looks like the Huskies are continuing to build towards some national prominence ladies & gentleman.

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USC’s Lewis to Play Thursday

In a teleconference on Tuesday, USC head coach Tim Floyd announced that Dwight Lewis will attempt to play on Thursday when the Trojans travel up to play Washington. Lewis leads the Trojans in scoring at 15.8 per, so for the Huskies it would have been nice to see him sitting on the bench. However it appears that Lorenzo Romar & co. will now have to focus not only on Lewis, but freshman Demar DeRozan as well when originally it appeared as if Lewis would not be a factor. So far this year DeRozan has not lived up to the lofty expectation set for him, only magnified by the fact that Floyd infamously brought in Percy “Lil Romeo” Miller on scholarship because of his close relationship with DeRozan. 

DeRozan of late seems to be getting in somewhat of a groove after his 22 point, 8 rebound effort against UCLA last week. This is much better than him “absolutely sucking,” which one of my USC friends proclaimed. Seems as if DeRozan is somewhat of USC’s Quincy Pondexter this year, in that he is held to a much higher standard than what he actually produces. 

With Lewis coming back, expect to see Justin Holiday getting more playing time to contain either DeRozan or Lewis. With this sudden change, it also could lead to Elston Turner making his first significant appearance since his ankle injury almost three weeks ago. DeRozan and Lewis would be difficult to defend for the two guard whenever Romar uses the small guard combo involving Justin Dentmon, Isaiah Thomas, and Venoy Overton.

After last season’s loss at home to USC, it would be nice to see this rebound season continue with a win over a talented Trojan team. By splitting against the two Los Angeles schools this week, it could push Washington into the Top 25.

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