PurpleDawgs Crush GoldDawgs at UW Basketball's Midnight Madness Event

MMadness on ESPN
In the fan’s first look at this season’s UW Husky Basketball Team, the PurpleDawgs defeated the GoldDawgs, 35-20, at Bank of America Arena on Friday night. /

The Basics:

The PurpleDawgs team consisted of Abdul Gaddy, Quincy Pondexter, Darnell Gant, Tyreese Breshers, Elston Turner, and C.J. Wilcox.

The GoldDawgs Team consisted of Scott Suggs, Venoy Overton, Isaiah Thomas, Matthew Bryan-Amaning, and Clarence Trent.

Hec Ed was crowded, but not full. Our women’s volleyball team is very, very talented. Anytime you have the opportunity to see the 3rd-ranked team in any sport, it’s worth the time.

The scrimmage was only 10 minutes long, played with a running clock that only stopped for free throws.

Here’s an (unofficial) box score I put together based on my notes, and consulting a couple of other stories, all which seem to disagree on the scoring:

MMadness Boxscore copy
MMadness Boxscore copy /

Impressions and Extras:

Poised Purple and Go-go-Gold: Not sure how the teams were chosen, but there was a clear contrast in styles between the PurpleDawgs poised, structured attack, and the run-and-gun effort by the GoldDawgs. The more controlled team won, but the lopsided-ness was due mostly to the best guy on the court playing for the PurpleDawgs.

Elston Turner: Sure, it was only a scrimmage, but Elston Turner looks good. Real good. Turner, Gaddy and Pondexter kept the ball moving at midseason form, finding the open man and taking advantage of Elston’s hot shooting (he went either 5-6 or 5-7 from the field, with three three-pointers). Based on the small hints Coach Romar gave during his Media Day press conference, I have to believe Elston Turner may contend for a starting role on this team (likely with two smaller guards, Quincy Pondexter, and one traditional big man).

The Venoy/Gaddy Matchup: This was the marquee one-on-one battle of the evening, and, if only for the final score, the slight edge goes to Abdul Gaddy tonight. Venoy had one nice steal which started a fast break, ending with a redonkulous dunk by Clarence Trent. Otherwise, though, Abdul controlled the tempo and was able to run the offense despite Venoy’s pesky D.

Gaddy had one jaw-dropping, thread-the-needle pass out of traffic from right under the basket to a wide-open Quincy Pondexter.

Clarence Trent: Trent is very active, but doesn’t look as big as I’d expected. Maybe it’s seeing him next to Breshers, Gant and MBA that’s throwing me off. Time will tell, but his frame, and his game, are reading more to me like a small forward’s than a big man’s.

Scott Suggs: I’m hoping we’ll get early evidence that Scott Suggs is going to be more aggressive and take control of whatever minutes he’s given on the court. It didn’t happen tonight, but hopefully tomorrow when real practices begin, a terrific sophomore year will start to take shape for Suggs.

Justin Holiday: Justin didn’t compete in the scrimmage, the dunk contest, or the three-point shootout, as he’s still recovering from hernia surgery. However, I did see him warming up in the gym before the event, and he’s moving pretty well.

Overheard after Tyreese Breshers missed two free throws: “Maybe he’s taking those Jon Brockman comparisons too far.”

The Dunk Contest: Isaiah took the slam dunk event, despite some tough competition from MBA and Venoy. According to Assistant Coach, Raphael Chillious, this was the first time he’d ever seen Clarence Trent lose a dunk contest.

The Three-Point Shootout: C.J. Wilcox defeated Elston Turner, but each was paired with a UW student as a teammate. I watched C.J. shoot for a bit in the gym beforehand, and his form is just so consistent. It’ll be interesting to see whether he can create his own shot this season though, or whether he’ll need some seasoning before he can show off his stellar form consistently in games.

ESPN2’s coverage: ESPN2 did a couple of minutes on the program as part of their 30-minute Midnight Madness show. They highlighted Coach Romar, (calling him a “rising star”) and the Huskies perimeter players. ESPNU isn’t available in my area, so I have no idea how much of the two-hour show was devoted to the Dawgs.

Coach Chillious on what ESPN choosing UW for its Midnight Madness program means to the team: “I think what it does is validate the successful season we had last year. And, hopefully, it gives us momentum moving forward. We know that’s not what’s going to make us a good team. And, y’know, the rest of the nation doesn’t get to see the teams in the Pacific Northwest that often, so this is just a jumpstart.”

Terrence Jones and Tony Wroten: Both stud recruits were there. Jones was on his official visit and sat on the Husky bench. He didn’t look too enthused, but I’m not going to read much into the facial expressions of a 17-year-old kid.

Real Practice Starts Saturday at 1 PM: With 31 days until the regular season opener at home against Wright State, the Huskies get back to full practices tomorrow afternoon.