UW Routs McNeese St: Game Wrap

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by Griffin Bennett

If you were worried that the Huskies were going to play flat against a weaker opponent, your worries were over after the first few minutes. To say that this was a blow out would be an insult to the beat down that the Dawgs administered on Saturday. McNeese State was not able to handle UW’s deadly combination of size and speed. The Huskies dominated every facet of the game and the outcome was well in hand.

With 5 minutes left in the first half, the score was 53 to 9. Yeah, you read that right, 53-9. With such a dominant first half and the game well decided, Romar tried to spread out the minutes as no one played more than 23. It gave us a chance to see many different line-up varieties as well as giving the younger guys a chance to show what they can do. Can we play Kentucky yet?

Positives:

This list could be quite hefty, but I will try to keep it nice and short.

  • Three-point shooting continues to be a major weapon for the Huskies. They were 12-30 (40%) and it doesn’t look like it will be stopping anytime soon. It will be raining all winter in Seattle.
  • With the Huskies being out rebounded against Saint Martins, they Huskies responded with 69 total rebounds, winning the battle 69-32. No matter the opponent, it’s good to see the Huskies execute in the paint effectively.
  • The front court depth problem that everyone was worried about appears to be under control as long as Darnell Gant stays healthy. His 18 minutes helped immensely and allow Aziz and MBA to become less worried about their foul situation.
  • Not only can this team shoot, they pass amazingly well too. With a team total ratio of 24 assists to 12 turnovers, they are showing that this veteran team knows where to find the open man. Isaiah Thomas, especially, is showing that he can play point guard exceptionally well.
  • This team’s overall team depth is amazing. With seven different players scoring in double figures, the possibilities are endless. Go big, go small, go defensive, go shooters, go fast, go faster… this is a coaches dream.
  • Aziz N’Diaye showed that he can have a huge impact on the game. While I won’t be as bold to say that he was the MVP of the game (it was MBA), his 13 points and 15 rebounds in 15 minutes was very encouraging. If he can build on this outing, then this team’s ceiling just got higher.

Negatives:

  • Free throws are the bane of my existence. How many years in a row will this be the Huskies’ Achilles heel? Aziz and MBA were a combined 8-27 and the team was 20-42 (47.6%). I hope that this was just a bad night, because those missed points will cost the Dawgs a game down the road.
  • This game wasn’t on TV but the Gonzaga/Southern game was? Who can I blame for this?

What we learned:

  • Desmond Simmons will red-shirt this year. Apparently his off-season knee surgery is causing some discomfort and Romar made the decision to let it heal fully. I think this is a good call and Romar has the luxury of being safe rather than sorry.
  • MBA has first team All Pac-10 written all over him. His post moves are polished and supremely dominant while his strength and dunk-power are jaw dropping. His game high 28 points came in only 23 minutes. Prepare for a Pondexter/Roy-like senior year from MBA.
  • Venoy’s defense is just as effective as ever, but his shooting still needs work. He looked rusty as he was only 1-8, but scoring from Overton would only be a treat. His on-ball defense was incredible and he made the McNeese guards look like YMCA pick-ups. The addition of Venoy and Gant truly complete this team.
  • The back up shooting guard battle between Suggs, Ross, and Wilcox appears to be settling. Suggs continues to be the favorite with Ross and Wilcox picking up the remaining minutes.
  • McNeese State is not only not a state; they’re not very good either.