On Wednesday night, the Huskies opened up the season in exhibition style against the Vikings of Western Washington. Assistant coach, Brad Jackson, in what must have been a very surreal experience, sat opposite the team he coached – with a great deal of success – for 27 years. This game was also the debut of the Huskies’ high-post offense, marking a departure from the motion set fans have been accustom to in previous seasons.
Needless to say, the Vikings gave the Dawgs all they could handle, at least for a while. The Huskies appeared to suffer from momentary lapses, watching their once comfortable lead of 13 dwindle down to a 69-69 tie with 6:44 to play. Eventually, however, UW was able to outlast their opponent, notching an 88-78 win.
Andrew Andrews – He spelled Gaddy from time to time and also shared the floor with him, particularly in the second half. Andrews finished the game with 14 points. For anyone who hasn’t seen his game, do yourself a favor and check him out.
Hikeem Stewart – He just may be the defensive spark off the bench the Huskies need. His athleticism and heart should serve the back court well throughout the season.
Shawn Kemp – From all accounts, he looked good tonight. A promising sign for a Husky front court looking for compliments to the play of Aziz N’Diaye and Desmond Simmons.
Abdul Gaddy, Scott Suggs and C.J. Wilcox – Undoubtedly this trio is (the?) key to the success of this team. Gaddy was aggressive in the second half, Suggs steady and accurate and Wilcox led the team with 21.
In an interview earlier this week, Gaddy repeatedly said that the team’s goal is to “get better” every day. With a new offense and some new players in the mix vying for minutes, day to day improvement is indeed a key. Expect the offense, as the team gains familiarity and a certain level of “trust” with it, to serve the Huskies well. I think this year’s personnel is well suited to extract the best elements of the high-post set, ball sharing and getting the right shot at the right time, by the right person. The Huskies open the season on November 11th against Loyola (MD) Greyhounds. Bow Down!