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…
- 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
- 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)
- 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