Back to New York! Dawgs beat the Ducks, 90-86


by: John Chase

Dean Rutz - The Seattle Times

Oregon sealed their 4 point defeat with a last second tip-in following a series of made free throws by C.J. Wilcox. The Dawgs and Ducks battled back and forth all night with 10 points being the greatest differential achieved during the match but the Huskies pulled out the win.

The night started out rough for the Huskies who saw Oregon take another early lead. Slowly, but surely, the Dawgs started connecting on their shots and played a little tougher defense, allowing the Huskies to go into half down only 4 points.

The second half brought more energy and the crowd, who was already the loudest I have heard all season outside of the WSU and Cal games, got louder and more excited. The players fed off this and highlight plays started accruing.

Terrence Ross and Tony Wroten were aggressive all night leading to a combined 46 points from the duo, while C. J. Wilcox came off the bench to provide 17 critical points including a stellar 6 of 6 performance from the free throw line, all of which came in the final 30 seconds of the game.

The two teams provided one of the most even match-ups of the season with neither team dominating any one particular category. The Dawgs out rebounded the Ducks 37-34 with a 14-12 advantage on the offensive glass. Both teams made 7 3-pointers, though it took the Ducks an additional 6 attempts to achieve the same results. The Ducks made 3 more field goals than the Dawgs, but the Huskies attempted 13 more free throws than the Ducks and made 10 more overall. Both teams dished out 17 assists and had their steals and blocks combine for 6 each. The Ducks had 7 turnovers and the Dawgs had 8. As I said, an even game.

What makes games like these so exciting and fun to be at is not only the rivalry, but the pace at which the game is played. Teams like Utah, USC, and ASU drive me nuts due to their slow down, mind numbingly boring type of basketball. The Ducks play at a high rate, they love the transition, and can really push this Husky squad to be their best.

This Husky squad played one of their best games of the season and no surprise, a large part of this had to do with the aggressiveness of our guards. Abdul Gaddy had one of his best nights as a Dawg, tallying a double-double with 11 points, 10 assists, and an impressive 7 rebounds.Gaddy helped the Dawgs execute their half-court offense with supreme efficiency.

The team as a whole used the shot clock well, but Gaddy excelled in finding the open man after driving into the lane late in the clock. Gaddy also converted 4 shots at the line during 6 attempts. What changed in Gaddy’s mind during the last 2 weeks is beyond me, but this aggressiveness and desire to not only play, but to win, has been missing most of the year and, in my mind, is a big reason this team is now winning games they would have struggled through early this season.

Aziz N’Diaye had a quiet night due to foul trouble. He attempted only 2 shots and made 1. N’Diaye was a solid 3 of 4 from the line and collected 7 rebounds during his limited 20 minutes. Tony Woods was next to impossible for N’Diaye to shut down, especially once the fouls started racking up. Thankfully, Austin Sefarian-Jenkins was able to play 15 minutes of relief during which ASJ picked up 4 hard fouls of his own. The man loves to foul and I’m OK with this. ASJ is a back-up player whose fate ultimately lies on the gridiron. Any foul he picks up is one less for N’Diaye. Desmond Simmons played only 5 minutes in the first half and that was all the game time he saw.

Darnell Gant was excellent on the offensive glass tonight picking up 7 total boards and 5 on the offensive side. Gant shot reasonably well hitting 3 of his 5 attempts and finishing with 6 points on the night. After picking up 15 points in the first half, E.J. Singler was held to just 4 points in the second and fouled out, due in large part to the handcuffs put on him by Gant and the Huskies.

C.J. Wilcox saved the game with his clutch free throw shooting, but he should also be recognized for his aggressiveness in the paint and his sharp shooting performance. Wilcox was only 4 of 10 from the field, but was 3 of 6 from deep. Wilcox’s shooting allowed his teammates to get open looks by spreading the floor and threatening to shoot. Terrence Ross and Tony Wroten saw many great looks inside the paint due to Wilcox sitting on the perimeter, forcing the Duck defense to stay honest and defend the outside shot.

Terrence Ross had another career night finishing with 24 points on 9 of 18 shooting. Ross’ outside shot was a tad below average with only 3 makes on 8 attempts, but his inside drive was as dangerous as ever. It seemed as though any set where the clock was running out, Ross or Wroten had the ball in their hand, looking to drive inside for the basket. Ross finished 3 of 3 from the foul line and also picked up 3 rebounds.With 4 other Huskies grabbing 7 boards, Ross did not need to be as aggressive on the glass.

Thus far in the tournament, Ross had averaged just under 27 points per game, 11 points above his season average. This shows just how talented Ross can be when he plays hard during both halves. If Ross stays another season, he may very well be one of the nation’s leading scorers.

Tony Wroten now hold the freshman scoring record for UW, surpassing Isaiah Thomas. Wroten now holds a 9 point advantage and will certainly add more as the NIT continues. After a 5 shot game against Northwestern, it was almost a certainty that Wroten would be aggressive once more. Sure enough, Wroten attacked the Ducks early and often leading to 22 points on 6 of 15 shooting.

The best part of Wroten’s night? 10 of 14 at the foul line, an impressive stat for a player who has struggled throughout the season. If Wroten can come back next season and be a 75% free throw shooter, he will battle Ross for the leading scorer title. Wroten’s speed and agility causes supreme difficulty for his opponents and often leads to foul calls. Being able to convert his foul shots is just one more step in becoming a true superstar.

What Needed Improvement:

  • First Half Defense - It is really hard for my to criticize much from the game. I thought the Dawgs performed pretty well throughout the night. My only complaint going into half time was about a few lapses in defensive rotation that led to wide open shots by the Ducks. Overall I felt the execution by the Dawgs went well through the nights. The Ducks were often forced to take contested shots and ultimately that is the best you can ask of a team. Good shooters will make shots over their defenders.


What was Good:

  • Offensive Execution - The Dawgs were unusually patient in the half-court and found success. The team moved the ball well and Gaddy led the way by finding the open shooter time and time again. The Huskies limited their turnovers, they made smart plays, and took smart shots. There were very few times I found myself asking why a particular shot was attempted. This patience is something the team has lacked all most of the year and again, a big reason why the Dawgs are now winning games that would have been chalked up as losses earlier this year.
  • Attitude and Aggressiveness - This team wanted to win. They wanted to play. The first game of the NIT was tough for both fans and players, but after the win I think everybody decided to let bygones be bygones and celebrate the fact that we get to see our team play a few more games, at home none the less. The players came out with smiles on their faces, they pumped their fists, and raised the roof. Just about everyone aggressively attacked the rim and found ways to make their mark on the game. The Huskies need to carry this momentum and attitude to New York.

Final Thoughts:

I know this may be looking a bit too far ahead, but I can’t help but get excited for a potentially exhilarating match-up between UW and the University of Massachusetts in the NIT finals. For those who don’t know, UW and UMass play one another in the NCAA championship during the movie “The Sixth Man.” This movie is about the Husky basketball team winning a national title. If you haven’t seen it, check it out. It’s awesome and a Husky fan must.

The Dawgs have been playing the type of basketball fans have been expecting to see all season and now look to win a championship, though not of the caliber they initially set eyes upon. Regardless, this team now gets another week to play and practice together, a huge asset for a team so filled with youth and inexperience. I am excited to see how this team does in New York and am hopeful that they will bring home the banner.

Go Dawgs!

Tags: John Chase NIT Post Game Terrence Ross Tony Wroten

  • Chris

    John – that video of you at the beginning of the season made you famous enough that I’ve recognized you in the middle of the Dawg Pack throughout the season. Thanks for BRINGING it every game. An engaged Dawg Pack helps the team and makes the game experience that much better for all of us fans. Hopefully there’s some predecessors lined up ready to lead the pack going forward. Go Dawgs!

  • http://uwbasketblog.blogspot.com John Chase

    That video will haunt me til the day I die haha. I’m just happy to be out there doing my part. I’m sad to be graduating as I won’t be able to get into the Dawg Pack anymore (well, I can probably convince Jim to let me in here and there). There should be some energetic people taking over next season, hopefully those around me and those coming in will get excited and keep rebuilding the student section back to its former glory.

  • dawgiedaddy

    I have a question for anyone at Montlake Madness, who might know something about this.

    In recent days and weeks I have started to notice a consensus among all of the local media types covering UW hoops, regarding the status of Terrence Ross and Tony Wroten. Pretty much everyone from KJR to Percy Allen to Francis Williams seems to think that it’s a given that Ross and Wroten are both gone after this year.

    Now in Ross’ case, I totally get it, and from an outsider’s perspective, I would think that yes, the NIT probably is his swan song (and he’s been playing like it is). Ross is a solid mid-first rounder, w/ a pretty complete skill set for an NBA two-guard. He looks to me like he’s not only ready to get drafted, but ready to play in the League, as is. And he doesn’t really stand to raise his draft stock much, if at all, by staying another year. I’m not sure that TRoss is quite top-ten material, and as we saw w/ Terrence Jones, if you stay and don’t make gains, the pro scouts will hold it against you, and your draft position can actually fall. So yeah, I can see why most people in the Seattle sports media think Ross will declare for the draft after this season. I agree.

    But w/ Wroten, I don’t see it as an obvious decision at all. Yes, he’s a first-rounder, and he’ll get the guaranteed money if he goes this year. But all the mock drafts that I’ve seen have him among the last 12 picks of the first round. Does anyone seriously think that 20-something is Tony Wroten’s draft ceiling!?!

    To be honest, right now, Tone is a pretty easy cover for an NBA point guard. He has no jump shot from any distance, no right hand (he can’t even drive right, let alone finish), no runner, floater, teardrop, two-foot jump-stop, or any other kind of mid-range shot that I’ve seen, and if you foul him, well, he’s a 50-something % free-throw shooter. And at the other end, his defensive fundamentals, and committment to off-ball D are pretty suspect at this point. His greatest weapon at the college level–his ability to follow his own misses and get putbacks–will not not work at the next level. I’m afraid that if he goes this year, he will likely end up riding the pine in the NBA, or getting optioned to the D-league.

    Tony Wroten is a case of the NBA drafting purely on potential, because his upside is John Wall on steroids. W/ all that athletic ability, size, handles, court vision, IQ and intense will to win, he could be one of the greatest players of his generation IMO. If he can develop all of the skills that he lacks. But if he could correct even a couple of these flaws as a collegian, I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that he could be a top-5 pick next year, and be a franchise player that a team builds around. And the difference in his rookie contract, and in immediate PT (and thus faster development and a better second contract) would far outweigh the lost income and pro experience that he would get by going a year earlier.

    And w/ a cousin in the NBA and his name all over the draft boards, I would think that Tone would have no trouble at all, getting a sizeable catastrophic-injury insurance policy. So the risk of injury isn’t THAT big of a factor.

    Yet despite all of these fairly obvious facts, I keep hearing knowledgable basketball people who are close to the program, almost universally expecting TW to go. Since I seriously doubt that I’m the only one who sees this, why does everyone seem to think he’s leaving?

    Is it simply because he’s a slam-dunk first-rounder, so everyone just assumes he’ll go? Because I don’t buy that, and what signs I’m seeing from the program don’t lead me to believe that either. Remember Senior Day? Romar pulled Ross out of the game w/ the seniors in the final minute, so he could take his curtain call. He didn’t do that for Wroten. Notice the way Ross is taking over in the NIT like he rarely has in his UW career. He’s playing like he knows this is his last chance to impress the NBA scouts before the draft camp. Wroten, on the other hand, seems to be playing loose, and appears happy to dish out assists to his teammates, and just do whatever it takes to win. He’s not playing like a guy in his last collegiate games. So again, from an outsiders’ perspective, I don’t see that Wroten is 100% gone at all.

    Of course, it may be that there’s an open secret around the program that only those in the know are privvy to. Maybe Tone has already made up his mind. Maybe he’s not keeping his grades up. Maybe he’s been talking to agents. I wouldn’t know about any of that.

    So my question is, do the local media people know something about Tony Wroten, that isn’t known by the general public, and if so, is that the basis for the widely-held presumption that he won’t be back next year?

    Because I can’t really find any other explanation for this, and it does seem to be the feeling of almost everyone in the local sports media.

  • http://uwbasketblog.blogspot.com John Chase

    I honestly don’t think either of them will leave. Maybe it is hopefully and naive optimism, but I think both of these players have a lot to do in terms of not only their legacy, but in their skill sets.

    I won’t cover Wroten’s game because dawgie did a good job of covering the major points. Ross is still an underdeveloped player, in my opinion. He needs to put on a good 20lbs, he needs to develop first half consistency, and he needs to attack the rim. He is too passive, doesn’t demand the ball, and usually shies away from contact. He is extremely athletic and can tear apart the paint like Wroten does, actually better because he can finished with both hands.

    I think both will return. I think they will see how great this team could be next season with essentially everyone returning.

  • dawgiedaddy

    “I honestly don’t think either of them will leave. Maybe it is hopefully and naive optimism…”

    I agree. It is hopeful and naive optimism. I disagree about Terrence Ross. None of the issues you mention with Ross are concrete skills, and most of them aren’t even applicable to the pros, because he’s not going to be an NBA team’s #1 scoring option, or probably even a starter at first. I do agree that he could use some more muscle, but I don’t see that a few more pounds would improve his draft position significantly, so why not get paid to hit the weights instead of doing it for free, and why not spend more time in the weight room as a pro, and less in the classroom as a collegian?

    If his legacy is the most important to him thing to him, then yes, he’ll stay. He would surely have an opportunity to play on a great team next year. But it’s a rare kid whose priorities are like that. From a business and professional standpoint, it’s probably his time. And again, Romar’s move on Senior Day suggests very strongly to me, that that’s the direction Ross is leaning.

    But at any rate John, your answer to my question is obviously no, there is no open secret or rumor going around campus about Tony Wroten, that you are aware of, right? As a member of the sports media, the university and the dawgpack, you would be well-positioned to catch wind of any kind of inside dirt; so if you haven’t heard anything, maybe there’s nothing to hear.

    Has anyone else at MM heard anything that isn’t public knowledge, that might indicate that Wroten is going, or leaning that way? I’m not asking for details. I don’t need to know what the rumor/secret is (if it exists); simply the presence or absence of such.

    Because again, I don’t really get why there’s such a broad consensus among the sportswiters and sportscasters around the program (other than JC), that BOTH players are leaving. Maybe it’s just the “first round=leaving school” mindset. That does hold true for most college players, but IMO Tony Wroten is an exceptional case.

    Anybody else out there know anything about this? Maybe I’m reading too much into it?

  • http://uwbasketblog.blogspot.com John Chase

    The only thing I have heard wind of is hardly concrete evidence of anything. Supposedly Ross was talking to some football players and said at that point he was staying. This was, of course, before the NIT so this very well could have changed especially given that he is averaging 27 points in the post season.

    I agree there is a lot for both players to gain by leaving for the NBA, namely money, and that Ross is much more prepared than Wroten. That has been my sentiment all year long and is to be expected when comparing sophomores to freshmen.

    I really haven’t heard much about Wroten, which to me is a better indication that he is staying. I can’t imagine that draft position in the first round is a major issue for either player. The difference in pay in pretty minimal to my knowledge, I don’t really follow the guaranteed money to lottery picks versus the other first rounders.

    I would bet that Ross is a 60-40 or 70-30 (60% NBA, 40% UW) whereas Wroten is closer to 50-50, maybe 40-60. I would imagine the further this team goes in the post season the higher the chance is that Ross leaves.

  • http://www.huskydigest.com Jim Basnight
  • Noamjg

    Check out this article about Tone and Ross from Brooklyn:
    http://brooklynfans.com/2012/03/nit-stars/

  • Husky808

    A few weeks ago, Donald Watts said that he doesn’t know Ross so he doesn’t know his intentions. However, Watts does know Wroten and said that it’s been his dream, and his goal, and intention to be one and done both in his mind and in his family’s plans.
    Watts also said that although this draft is loaded, it’s light on Point guards. Now, I’m of the opinion that at this point in Wroten’s development he is nothing close to a PG, but again, he’ll be drafted as a player that would be that in the future and he would be a truely unique PG
    .
    I 100% agree with your assessment of Wroten’s game dawgiedaddy. He seems to be 5% of the player he COULD be right now.
    I’ve also heard there isn’t that big a difference in the money a lottery pick gets and a late 1st rounder gets so you take the guarenteed money. What I heard from someone else (I forget who) is that the NBA isn’t ALL about your first paycheck but the 2nd. Because you want to stick in the league and not flame out. Just from a purely maturity standpoint, it would benefit Wroten to stay in college under the guidance of a coach like Romar who really mentors his players.

    On Friday, I heard Ryan Divish talk about Ross on KJR and it looks like he’s 99% gone. Seriously, don’t hold out hope for him.

    Also, it’s just TOO naive to talk about players’ legacies at a school, the success of the team next year etc etc as serious considerations for going or staying. When you’re talking about not thousands but MILLIONS of dollars all the sentimental, John Wooden-era ideals play no part. Times HAVE changed, kids have changed and when there’s mixtapes being made about you when you’re a freshman in high school that get hundreds of thousands of views on Youtube how can you expect anything less than the NBA? Most college players today do think they will make it into the pros, however unrealistic that is.
    I’m not trying to say that today’s players are somehow worse (I’m their age myself). Sometimes we as fans forget that the players don’t owe the school anything. They SHOULD be looking out for themselves and their family. I just think its terribly naive to think they care about or have their NBA decisions be influenced by records or school program success anywhere close to as much as us the fans.

  • ddogg

    both are gone – which is cool, still think we have a strong class returning. If one does stay – WOW, we have a loaded team next year. But hey – recruits want to see a program get dudes to the NBA – so that is cool to see for our 2013 class right?

    Personally I would like to see each make it a point to stay and be a top 5 pick next year… I am talking – 100% bringing it next year to everyone on the schedule. Head into the tourney ranked in the top 15, get a top 4 seed, play out west until the final 4 and get drafted in the top 5.

    Do they see it like that?? Probably not.

    I really think Ross has the ability next year to be a number 1 pick… yea I said number 1 pick! With 15lbs more on him and a post up game – kid would average 22 a night plus 8rebs a night. He could be a BROY with more athletic ability – scary right.

    TW has more development in my opion. Will probably go this year, but see him as a late 1st rounder. His shot is so off right now, no GM is going to gamble a top 15 pick a kid that shoots 10% from three and 60% from the line. He will seriously need to prove his shooting ability in a pro league next month – which I don’t think he can do.

    Should be fun! Bow Down

  • http://uwbasketblog.blogspot.com John Chase

    I’m with you ddogg, though I would say our class will be much weaker next year compared to this without Ross and Wroten. Wilcox and Gaddy just aren’t as skilled and aggressive (yet, perhaps) as the a fore mentioned duo and I hardly think that Andrews and Jerreau can serve as suitable replacements. Without any freshmen stars on the horizon (no incoming recruits to my knowledge) I see us placing in the middle of the Pac next season and likely head to another NIT bid.

  • RossB

    Here is the same topic as explored on HuskyHaul: http://thehuskyhaul.com/2012/03/25/what-are-the-pros-and-cons-of-ross-and-wroten-declaring-for-the-nba-draft/
    I made comments there, which I won’t repeat here (they are long).

    Here is another take on the subject:http://brooklynfans.com/2012/03/nit-stars/
    A bit harsh, but rather amusing (I guess that is Brooklyn for ya)

    The only thing I would add is that even without those guys, we will be fine at guard. Remember, we will have a healthier Wilcox, along with Suggs and Gaddy. That right there is a pretty talented set of veteran guards. Stewart is likely to mature quite a bit (he is already a decent defender) and Andrews could be really explosive off the bench. If anything, we might have the opposite problem if both guys come back. That is the type of problem that every coach wants, but keeping everyone happy will be tricky. The nice thing is, an overabundance of quality guards fits Romar’s style really well. Have each guard go at it with abandon knowing they can rest at any time (unlike this year, where guys really have to pace themselves).

  • chillinvillin

    Wilcox was averaging over 15.9 points per game before the injury and is averaging over around 17 per game in the last 10 games or so. This kid still gets no respect. I guess it is really easy to average 15 plus in PAC-12. You have to have 5-star by your name I guess. No one seems to be excited about him next year.

    Is there no excitement for him next year?

  • http://uwbasketblog.blogspot.com John Chase

    I am excited, but I’m not convinced he has the explosive ability of Ross. He has had some great games, no doubt. I guess he does get overlooked a bit. The best example of his explosiveness was the 24 point half against UCLA last season. That was impressive. I suppose I should wait to pass judgement on him. I would like to see him take more midrange shots as I think he could be extremely effective there. Wilcox rarely plays into contact in the paint, which is a problem as attacking guards create the most problems for the opposition. If he can improve there, I think he will help fill the gap left by Ross.

  • chillinvillin

    I agree with your assessment. Ross did not play into contact this year at all either. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that CJ is better than Ross. I think Ross is a beast.

    I am just shock that it is almost as if CJ does not exist on this team with the media. I guess he is not as exciting I guess. He just quietly averages 17 points a game.

  • http://www.huskydigest.com Jim Basnight

    Not with me, as far as C.J. He is a huge part of UW’s success. If Gaddy can have a break through senior year and Wilcox makes the kind of forward progress that he did between his freshman and sophomore years, they could be an improvment over this year’s back court. Finding solid production from Suggs, Andrews and perhaps a recruit (McLaughlin?), with hopefully improved play from up front and UW could be a lot better.

  • RossB

    I’m definitely excited about Wilcox next year. He is still injured and doesn’t hit the shots that he normally hits. Despite that, he manages to adjust his game and get better shots (shots more likely to go in). His defense has improved, as has is midrange pullup jumper. He could some work finishing around the rim, but I could see that improving as well. He has surprisingly good hops, which he has shown on the defensive end (his ability to block layups is remarkable). I think he could easily have a fantastic season next year.

    I also think Gaddy could do the same thing, making it possible that we have another couple of guards go into the NBA next year. Of course, if Wroten or Ross stay, that might mean more than those two. Suggs might be a bit of a stretch, but you never know.