Category Archives: Post Game

Weekend In Review: Athletes in Action

Three games in three days for the Huskies to open up the season, and things went pretty much as planned for Lorenzo Romar’s team.

Some basic thoughts that I wrote down after all of the games combined into one post…

Wright State

  • Isaiah Thomas may have gave us a sneak peek on his upcoming season by putting up a carer-high 30 points. While it is nice to see Thomas have such a strong game, there needs to be more offense coming from more guys on the team. Quincy Pondexter was the only other Husky to be in double digits with 12 points, the big men like Matthew Bryan-Amaning need to step up if the season will be as special as last year. MBA will likely improve and help keep pressure off of the guards and Pondexter, but only putting up three points is unacceptable.
  • Romar may have given us a preview on the rotation this year, and if so that means that Husky fans should get used to seeing Scott Suggs on the floor a lot more than last year. Suggs had nine points in eighteen minutes, easily his career high. What is most interesting is how he played more than Elston Turner who only played ten. Suggs may have passed Turner in the rotation, something that is unexpected given that so many people had high hopes for Turner entering the season. Its still to early to judge, we should see as the weekend unfolds.
  • The play of Abdul Gaddy was somewhat disappointing, but the freshman should improve as the season goes along. We may have set to high of expectations for a seventeen-year-old, but I would rather judge his play after the entire weekend. But Gaddy only earning 16 minutes is somewhat surprising.
  • Only having 12 turnovers is encouraging, that has been a problem for the Huskies over the past few years. In a fast paced offense like the Huskies, turnovers are bound to happen, but the less they have in their offense the more likely a victory.
  • Obviously you would like to see a better result than a five point victory over Wright State, but the Huskies had built a large lead only to see it whittled down to the ending five. Of course it is disappointing to see the lead cut, but for now I would attribute it to being the first game of the season and a time when the Huskies are still coming together as a team. A fair judgement should occur during the Portland State game.

Top Performer: Isaiah Thomas

Stat of the Game: 12 turnovers compared to 19 forced on Wright State

Belmont

  • Matthew Bryan-Amaning needed to step up to help keep Husky fans worries in check, and he definitely did that with tonight’s performance. 23 points, 7 rebounds, 5 blocks, 11/14 shooting only shows what MBA’s potential is this season. I’m sure he came out with a chip on his shoulder to perform, and he did everything and more. Obviously it would be unfair to expect this every night, but cut the points in half with the same rebounds and that is something Washington fans should expect from their British big man.
  • Isaiah Thomas put in another great game with 23 points, and he has given evidence for the second straight night to expect a monster season from the sophomore. If Thomas continues at this rate than it might be hard to expect him to come back for a junior season.
  • Quincy Pondexter delivered a great game to show that he is prepared for a big season as well. Yesterday he was the only other Husky besides Thomas to be in double digits, but tonight he lead the game in scoring with 25. Kind of funny that I would list him third when he had such a great game, but I guess it has gotten to the point where when Pondexter breaks out with a big game it is not as surprising as it used to be. We almost expect now.
  • Venoy Overton and Darnell Gant both disappointed, Gant for the second consecutive night. If Gant continues at this rate he could see his starting spot disappear, he needs to step up in the next few games as Tyreese Breshers continues to works towards being 100% (although it appeared he tweaked a finger tonight, he still pulled down four rebounds in only nine minutes).
  • Scott Suggs for the second consecutive night played a fair amount of minutes and pulled down a respectable five rebounds while Elston Turner again disappointed.
  • Overall it was a much better game for the Huskies than yesterday. It would have been nice to hold Belmont to fewer points, but whenever the Huskies put up 96 its likely that they will win most games.

Top Performer: Matthew Bryan-Amaning

Stat of the Game: 86.2% Free Throw Shooting (25/29)

Portland State

  • Washington may just be incredibly good or Portland State is really bad. Most likely it is a combination of both because tonight proved that Huskies will be a force to be reckoned with nationally. Tonight was what should be expected from the Huskies in terms of production of individual players, everything went according to plan for Lorenzo Romar.
  • Quincy Pondexter put in his best game as a Husky with 29 points, 13 rebounds, and a memorable dive in the second half that will likely be a talked about at all the water coolers. What is even more incredible about his performance is how efficient he was, going 11/12 from the field and 7/8 from the line. It is unfair to expect that every night, but tonight Pondexter showed why he will be expected to lead statistically and through example.
  • Isaiah Thomas had 21, another night another high scoring game. Not much else to report. Overall all the guards played well. Venoy Overton rebounded from last night with 11 points, 6 assists and 3 steals. Then Abdul Gaddy put in the type of game that would make him a starter soon by managing the game well with 9 points, 4 assists, 3 rebounds, and only 1 turnover.
  • It should almost be made official, Scott Suggs will earn playing time this year while Elston Turner will be watching more from the bench. For the third consecutive game Suggs played more minutes than Turner and outplayed him. Personally I am happy for Suggs just because of how disappointed in his performance last season and worked hard to make his mark on this season, which he is doing. But you hate to see a guy like Turner struggle when so many had high hopes for him this season to the point where some thought he should start. Its still way to early to officially write him off, but at some point Romar will settle into a rotation and Turner might see himself out of it.
  • Justin Holiday delivered tonight in every facet of the game. He provided the same great defense we are used to, made some nice passes and got five assists, and put in the usual great scoring game. Wait. Thats not right. Holiday showed off a much improved offensive game tonight, especially his three point shooting by going 2/2 from deep. That is absolutely huge for the Huskies if he can keep it up since the three ball is expected to be a weakness for the team. If he keeps this up, the season will be better than last year’s second round exit. It is guys like Holiday stepping up that is the difference between a great season from a legendary one.
  • Phil Nelson came back to a hostile crowd, and while starting off hot in the first half, cooled considerably.
  • Overall this is the best possible outcome for the Huskies, everything went right tonight. The only difference would possibly be more rebounding from Darnell Gant, but outside of that it was a perfect game for the Huskies. Gant should start performing at a higher level soon though, especially with Clarence Trent coming in and impressing with hustle and 4/4 of shooting in only eight minutes. Its highly unlikely he will unseat him as a starter, but more minutes could come Trent’s way with Breshers still working towards 100%.

Top Performer: Quincy Pondexter

Stat of the Game: 44-13 rebounding advantage compared to Portland State

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The Morning After: Central Washington

Since this was an exhibition, here is a condensed version of what will be the usual next day coverage of the Huskies after a game. We’ll start off to see if yesterday’s questions were answered.

How does Matthew Bryan-Amaning play as a starter?

The play of MBA left something to be desired offensively, although his rebounding play was very strong with 10 boards, an encouraging sign that the team will maintain their high rebounding abilities from last year despite the loss of Jon Brockman. But in order for the Huskies to make a deep run, there needs to be a legitimate low post scoring threat to keep the pressure off of the guards on the perimeter, and MBA is the most logical guy to fill that role. MBA needs to pick it up offensively, but for rebounding it was an encouraging night.

How does Abdul Gaddy handle playing off the bench?

The play of Gaddy is what should be expected the entire season, and that was running the offense and dishing a high amount of assists. The play of Overton showed why he is starting, but it still would not surprise to see Gaddy starting the games soon. Its certain though that the play of the guards is the strength of the team as Gaddy, Overton, and Isaiah Thomas were often the best players on the floor. Any combination of the three will work it seems like.

How will Tyreese Breshers play in his first game back in over a year?

The play of Breshers was perhaps the best part of the night as Husky fans saw his Brockman like ability down in the paint. Breshers hustled and fought for baskets and rebounding, at one point leading the Huskies offensive charge. Along with MBA, Breshers will need to step up to replace the presence of Brockman, and if last night was any indication, Breshers is headed in the right direction.

Will free throws be an issue?

The least encouraging stat of the night, Washington shot just 18/37 from the line, bringing back memories of 2007/2008 when the poor shooting from the line literally killed their season. This has to be fixed if the Huskies are to repeat as Pac-10 champions, its called the charity stripe for a reason.

How will Scott Suggs play?

Suggs’ play was encouraging. He was able to hit a three pointer and put down another two points, ending the night with five points on 2/6 shooting. It should be interesting to see how much he plays in the first few games, only then will we get an indication as to how much he is going to play and how much his abilities have grown.

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Post-Game Reaction: Oregon (Game 2)

This game was an obvious win for the Huskies before the game, at the beginning of the game, in the middle of the game, and at the end of the game. There was never any question that the Dawgs would not come away with the win against the hapless Ducks.

The game featured prolific scoring from Justin Dentmon, Isaiah Thomas, Jon Brockman, and Quincy Pondexter. All four are the main glue guys on the team who should be the ones producing the most, so it is nice to see all four of them scoring efficiently this late in the season in the middle of a Pac-10 title race. All four were able to score over 20 points, which may be a first in Husky history according to the stat people.

The first half for the Dawgs was about as well played as you can get. The second, err; not as much. Allowing over 80 points to the Ducks when you had allowed just over 20 in the first half is inexcusable.

Of course Tajuan Porter became ridiculous in the second, but there is still no way that Oregon should have finished with 84 points when they only scored 25. A problem for the team this year is that they have not played an effective “40 minutes of basketball” consistently, so seeing the second half struggles may be a little cause of concern here in the stretch run for the conference title.

Detmon should win Pac-10 Player-of-the-Week for his efforts. He shot efficiently, found players for assists, and nailed the long ball at a high percentage in both games. Of course Arizona is scorching at the moment, so Nic Wise or Jordan Hill could come in and take it at the last second.

For Isaiah… FOUR MORE YEARS!

Next up we have the LA area schools, and a win over UCLA would be absolutely huge towards winning the conference title. USC is losing its chance at the title after falling to ASU tonight, so a loss there would not be devastating. The Dawgs need to come away with at least one victory though. It is one of those situations where you would take a split in a nano-second.

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Post-Game Reaction: Arizona State (Game 1)

I mentioned previously that I believed the same as Lorenzo Romar when he says that he has never been more proud of player than Justin Dentmon. While I’m sure that JD could care less about my opinion when comparing it to Romar’s, I still will come out and say that Dentmon has become one of the best stories in UW Basketball history with his drastic turnaround in play this year.

Watching JD play, all I see now is confidence when in years past a saw a player hesitant to make a decision. Ever since Dentmon has made this change, the entire team has jumped on for the ride and become a true threat to become Pac-10 champions. Who would have thought that at this point in the season Dentmon would be our best and most reliable player? An argument can still be made for both Jon Brockman and Isaiah Thomas, but it’s impossible not to give credit to JD for keeping the team in competition for the Arizona game and winning the Arizona State game. 

In just Pac-10 play, Dentmon now leads the ENTIRE CONFERENCE in scoring. That’s ahead of names like James Harden, Darren Collison, Jerome Randle, and Brockman. To conclude the Dentmon lovefest in the article; just keep it up JD. Your on the fast track to becoming one of the all time beloved players in UW history because of this turnaround. It’s already the leader for my feel good story of 2009 in Seattle sports.

In terms of the game, it was an excellent display of the Huskies’ talent up until the middle of the second half. Nearing a 20 point lead the team got a bit lazy (highlighted by one stretch of five consecutive turnovers), but I was impressed with the composure at the end when the team hit buckets when needed. Dentmon and Thomas both hit clutch free throws, Quincy Pondexter hit maybe the two most crucial shots of the game to keep a safe Husky lead, Justin Holiday provided great defense and rebounding (although his free throw shooting was disappointing), and of course Brockman came back from a tough battle with Jeff Pendegraph to contribute some clutch plays. 

Perhaps the best thing to come away with from the game is how the team rebounded from the dreadful defensive performance against Arizona. Giving up 106 points is absolutely unacceptable, but the team was able to hold ASU to 71 points and kept James Harden under wraps for the majority of the game. 

Speaking of Harden, what a talent. While thats a damn obvious statement that really does nothing to add to this article, but I have a point. What I love about his game is his ability to draw fouls and head to the line. But it’s safe to say now he gets a few of those “superstar calls” that so often plague the NBA. There were two or three times a very ticky-tack foul was called on UW because Harden was driving. These were all occurring when ASU was making their comeback at a very crucial part of the game, it was just disappointing to see Pac-10 refs continue to suck this year. But props to Harden for playing to his strengths.

Speaking of things sucking, the commentating was just dreadful. Never has there been such an obvious bias to one team, it was painful to listen to. God I wish FSN would just sign Calabro to do all Husky games.

Anyway, excellent win by the Huskies. I promise a better effort for these in the future, but I’m going off memory and just watched a very exciting Super Bowl where unfortunately the Steelers won another title.

Here’s the links…

Post-Game Links

Seattle Times: Bob’s Game Story

ESPN: Ted Miller’s Analysis

Arizona Republic: UW Tears Through ASU Defense

Sports Network: Dentmon Leads Huskies over ASU

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Being Facebook Friends With the Huskies Has Benefits

Such as, did Matthew Bryan-Amaning injure his toe in yesterday’s game against UCLA? Here was his status when I logged onto Facebook and saw my news updates…

Matthew is HURTING…i swear my toe is broken…but we got it done n e way…#1 in the pac10 sounds good 2 me!!

If so, this is the first time I have broken any type of Husky basketball news before the big guys. Beating out the relentless Bob Condotta might become one of my greatest accomplishments if this ends up being true. Hopefully it isn’t because losing MBA for next weeks games would hurt our inside game (especially with the monster that is Jordan Hill ready to play next week), but what the hell, I’m breaking some type of news and its cool.

If this trend continues, this blog may have a short life because ESPN will want someone who breaks real news before Ed Werder and Chris Mortensen continue to make up fake stories to be the “first ones” to report them.

But I hope MBA recovers quickly, we got a first place standing to defend.

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Post-Game Reaction: UCLA (Game 1)

Thank god for Justin Dentmon.

After the last two seasons, who would have ever thought that any Husky fan would make a statement like that. Despite the fact that he faced foul trouble throughout the game, Dentmon as able to stick the UCLA Bruins for 16 points (in 17 minutes) and 2 steals to spark another Husky victory. Lorenzo Romar spoke highly of Dentmon after the game in his press conference saying that he has “never been more proud of a player.”

In some funny way, I feel the exact same as Romar. One reason why I love seeing guys stick around for four years is that you truly see them evolve as a player. Not only physically, but mentally as well. Compare film of Dentmon from last year and Dentmon from this year and you have a completely different player. Romar also said that right now Justin is playing at the level of an All Conference player; and it is hard to disagree with him on that. But that’s another article for another day.

This 86-75 victory will most definitely put the Huskies into the next Top-25; how high in the poll is the only question that remains. Beating the Bruins in this type of fashion will do nothing but good things for the Huskies. If anything they showed that they have the ability of beating what was the most praised team in the Pac-10 at the beginning of the year handily. Never would I have been able to predict that a team that lost to Portland would be atop the Pac-10 standings.

Isaiah Thomas continued to prove he is the top freshman in the conference, scoring 24 points and igniting the Huskies in the second half which would lead to victory. His three second half three pointers are what really got the team moving, as well as his excellent read to find Justin Holiday in the corner for a buzzer beating three at the end of the first half to pull the Huskies to within one. 

It’s a beautiful sight to see Isaiah already making a significant footprint in the Pac-10 when after this season we are likely to have him for another three seasons. Talk about a program changer.

One more round of applause has to go to Jon Brockman, who after a dreadful game against USC, went for 18 points on a very efficient 5-8 night. To further prove he had forgotten about the game on Thursday, he was able to convert 8-10 free throws. His defense on Alfred Aboya was crucial to allow the Huskies to dominate in the paint. 

While I give player of the game to Dentmon, all three Husky guards may deserve MVP. Along with Isaiah and Dentmon, Venoy Overton was ruthless in driving to the rim and drawing fouls. This would lead to 43 attempts to the charity stripe compared to UCLA’s 15.

While many UCLA fans complained this was because of Dave Libbey, it was quite obvious during the game that the foul calls were warranted. Ben Howland even echoed everything I’m saying in his press conference. If anything, Libbey and his crew thought that Quincy Pondexter has lethal hands because of how many hand checks they called on him. There was a point where three consecutive fouls were called on Q in a very short sequence.

Overall it was an incredible game. I didn’t think the Huskies would end up winning so convincingly seeing as how back-and-forth it was till halfway through the second half, but that demonstrates how different of a Husky team this is compared to the last two seasons.

Up next is a road trip to the Arizona schools. Should be an interesting week as the media begin to take a closer look at this first place team.

Post-Game Links

Seattle Times: Bob’s Game Article

Los Angeles Times: UCLA Only Half-Hearted in 86-75 Loss to Washington

ESPN: Thomas, Dentmon Spark Huskies to Fifth Straight Home Win vs. Bruins

Yahoo: Washington Upends #13 UCLA

BruinsNation: Can’t Take the Easy Way Out

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