Thoughts and Observations on the Huskies' 84-69 Win Over Cal


Huge win. Potentially a season-changing win for the Dawgs who know now that, at their best, they can beat anybody.

Scroll down for our game story, but here’s some more thoughts and observations on Saturday’s big win:

Not to start off on a negative, but Venoy had zero steals again against Cal… He’s only got two in his last five games, and seems generally less active on the defensive end. Not sure if this is the result of more focus on playing under control or what. But, I miss the peskiness a bit.

Also, Venoy almost got Quincy killed when he overthrew him on an alley-oop that (thankfully) turned out fine, especially since Quincy got the foul call. Quincy’s dad did not look thrilled at the play either — an interesting reminder of how much trust is put in the passer on a play like that to lead his man to the hoop safely.

It’s so easy to take Isaiah for granted — he piles up 18- and 20-point games like they’re nothing — but when he plays defense the way he did this week, there isn’t a better guard in the league.

I don’t mind 29 fouls in a game like this. The Huskies are committing themselves to a “no easy baskets” approach, which I like. They’re working hard, and if it’s going to mean more fouls, fine. I just wish we had another reliable post player so we don’t wind up with Clarence Trent, who’s just not ready yet, on the court at crunchtime of a big game.

That said, the Pac-10 refs have been atrocious so far. One example: Scott Suggs got called for an intentional foul with the team up more than 20 in the second half. Call it a flagrant if you must (which it wasn’t), but when there’s absolutely NO reason for an intentional foul, nor had the game gotten chippy, you can’t call that.

Gaddy and Overton combined Saturday for a nice point guard performance: eight points (four each), eight assists (five for Gaddy, three for Venoy), two turnovers (both by Gaddy).

Matthew Bryan-Amaning had a bit of a bounce-back game with 10 points and seven rebounds. But a lot of his production was against beanpole Max Zhang. I want to see MBA do it against a tough opponent, when the chance to get hit in the post actually exists. I’ll take what I can get from Matthew, but felt like he was taking advantage of a terrible defender more than really changing his game.

The lineup looks set for now, and Coach said he didn’t see any reason to tinker at this point: Gaddy, Isaiah, Holiday, Quincy and Tyreese start. MBA, Suggs and Venoy are the key reserves. And Darnell Gant, Elston Turner and Clarence Trent seem destined to see ten or less minutes per game for the time being unless a specific situation calls for them to see more.

Coach Romar mentioned after the game that he didn’t really think UW matched up well with Cal, and it’s true. Our starting five against their big scorers is a big minefield of defensive mismatches, but today only one of Cal’s big guns ever got going.

This could easily go the other way when we go down to Cal, but if the Huskies play with this much emphasis on defense the rest of the way, they’ll win the conference — no question.