Welcome to a new feature here at Montlake Madness called “Glass Half Full/Glass Half Empty.” We’ve asked two writers to do some analysis on the Huskies’ 82-70 win over Oregon State on Saturday night, one focusing on the positive, and one on the negative.
As I’ve written, you’ll be seeing some new voices on Montlake Madness in the coming weeks as I try to make the site more of a team effort and keep the information and opinion flowing, even as I have less time to personally devote.
Tonight, we welcome “Griffin” and “WhoLetTheDawgsOut,” both making their Montlake Madness debuts. Agree with their points, or not? Let them hear you in the comments section. And, thanks to both guys who we hope to see plenty more from in the future.
Glass Half Full, by Griffin:
Abdul Gaddy: He scored seven points on 3-4 shooting, had two assists, two rebounds, a steal, and only one turnover in 23 minutes. It’s not his box score that shined against the Beavers, but his on-court leadership, considering he’s still only a freshman. Early on, MBA scored and drew a foul and did his “mean-mug” where he gives us all two tickets to the gun show. Gaddy ran up to him, put his hand on MBA’s head and told him to calm down and get re-focused. His leadership skills and knowledge of the game may be second only to Quincy’s on this team. . . and he’s only 18.
Assist-to-turnover ratio against the zone: 17 assists and only seven turnovers on Saturday night. The Huskies will make it to the Pac-10 championship game if they can limit themselves to only seven turnovers when they see a zone defense. I realize that Oregon State’s zone isn’t as good as ASU’s, but the Beavers threw the kitchen sink at the Dawgs, with a 1-3-1, a 2-3, and I may have even seen a 3-2 at one point.
Isaiah Thomas: He shot 66% from the field and 2-5 from three-land. He got into the paint at will and abused the Beavers whenever a mismatch presented itself. If you consider his five assists and only one turnover, I would argue this was his best game in the last month.
MBA: What more can be said? 20 points and 11 rebounds against the Beavers tonight. “Domination” is my word of choice. He’s averaging 13.3 points and 8.1 rebounds in the last eight games. This is a completely different player. He’s like Claire from “Lost”. He started out as a horrible role player that backed away when things got tough. Now? He’s a beast, and everyone needs to keep an eye on him when he’s on the court. Is he the best big man in the Pac-10? Over the last eight games, there’s no question that he is.
Glass Half Empty, by WhoLetTheDawgsOut:
As a fan, it’s hard to be a Debbie Downer after UW’s fourth straight road win, but there’s always room for improvement.
The Dawgs looked like they were scrambling for defensive boards today as Roeland Schaftenaar, Seth Tarver and “Big Baby” Burton pounded away on the offensive glass getting 2nd and 3rd opportunities which kept OSU competitive. Our bigs need to do a better job of getting a body on their defensive assignments in order to go further into the Pac-10 Tourney.
So has been the story all year long, inbounding under our own basket continued to be our Achilles heel as we have been notorious for turning the ball over in these situations. Today was no different with a turnover in the first half and a near-five-second call in the second. Coach Romar must develop a simple inbounds play to set a screen, freeing one of our guards. We don’t need anything flashy. We just need to get the ball in consistently.
The one particular sequence which had me on edge was mid-way through the first half when Romar went with a frontline of Tyreese Breshers and Darnell Gant. During this two-minute stretch, UW looked discombobulated on offense and struggled to find fluidity. Coach experimented with this combo for a couple of minutes, but didn’t repeat this mistake again in the game.
Last but not least, free throws continue to haunt Isaiah Thomas. His 1-3 from the line was the only damper on a brilliant game he played today.
The only other thing I can say for IT is not a hit on his game, but on his swag. We all love his confidence, but can’t quite seem to fall for his Kid ’n Play mini-fro, or the hand running through his hair at the end of the game. Somewhere Will “Confident Not Cocky” Conroy is smiling.
Thanks to Griffin and WhoLetTheDawgsOut. Great job guys!
And, thanks for coming!