by Craig Yamada
Redemption belonged to the Huskies on Saturday afternoon with a 108 – 79 blowout of Texas Tech. From top to bottom, UW dominated the Red Raiders in all aspects of the game. Justin Holiday proved to be the scoring output in the early going as he scored 13 of UW’s 14 first points. He went on to score a career high 20 points. Romar praised the efforts of Holiday’s effort: “Phenomenal job. He is a stat sheet stuffer. He shot the ball well.”
Red Raider Coach Pat Knight quickly noted that this wasn’t the same Husky team he faced in Lubbock last year. “I think they are better than they were last year. They pass the ball a lot better. Last year they relied on a couple of guys more than they do this year. I mean they have five guys out on the floor who are a threat. Especially deep threats.” The Huskies followed up a game where they made 14 from deep with another strong performance with 9 threes on Saturday.
Isaiah Thomas had his way with Texas Tech’s defensive effort today. Thomas was able to get into the lane at will as he used his hesitation move to get to the rack for easy lay ins. Thomas finished the game with 16 points tonight. MBA, came off the bench yet again with Aziz starting in his stead. MBA had his way in the post on Saturday. He was the recipient of several nice passes from IT, Holiday and Overton for easy jams. MBA finished second on the team in scoring with 18 points off the bench.
Yet another game where the Huskies eclipsed 100 points. Should this be an expectation moving forward? Isaiah Thomas feels they have the capacity to do this every game if “they are shooting well.” Thomas went on to say that the Huskies “have a lot of weapons that [they] can use and a lot of scorers so it should be like that.”
If that holds true, Romar will have a good problem on his hands trying to cut his rotation from 10 players to 9 before Pac-10 play begins. With Suggs back in the lineup, all three swingmen got decent burn today and all played well. CJ Wilcox was the first option off the bench garnering 19 minutes and 11 points to show for it. Suggs was the second option with 13 minutes and 8 points. Ross was the last off the bench with 10 minutes and 6 points. But if you ask someone who watched the game, Ross was arguably the most impressive with the way in which he scored. Ross was able to juke his defender on two different occasions by clearing space with a jab step and stepping back for a sweet jumper. Kobe-esque if you ask me. Ross also had a thunderous jam in transition that brought the crowd to its feet. Wilcox played a great game from beyond the arc and had an impressive showing on defense. Ross still has some work to do in closing out his man, but the potential is definitely there. Right now, Wilcox should be option 1, Ross option 2 and Suggs option 3. But Romar is looking to lean toward his upperclassmen for more PT early in the season.
Let’s take a look under the hood:
- Transition Game: UW looked amazing in transition tonight, especially in the first half. They filled the lanes and played unselfishly all game.
- Rebounding: UW owned the glass early and often, mostly in part to great effort by N’Diaye, Gant, and Justin Holiday who accounted for 18 offensive rebounds. UW won the rebounding battle 39-33.
- Forcing Turnovers: UW forced their normal quota of 20 turnovers tonight as they were able to jam the passing lanes and force Texas Tech into making bad passes on the perimeter.
- Free Throw Shooting: Saturday Headline: Isaiah Thomas went 6 for 6 from the stripe tonight. UW shot 74% from the line as a team.
- 3 Point Shooting: UW shot 53% from the arc tonight as they were successful in stretching the defense all game long.
- Sharing the ball: UW accrued 21 assists tonight as they made the extra pass all night tonight to help cruise to an easy win on Saturday.
- Offensive Turnovers: Romar won’t be happy with the 14 turnovers UW surrendered on Saturday. Luckily Texas Tech was unable to capitalize often on their TO’s.
- Interior Defense: If there was any knock on the Dawgs tonight, it was their interior defense. Roberson was able to get into the lane at will which opened up the bigs as the defense collapsed. The bigs had a lot of open layups as a result. Even with that said, UW garnered 8 blocks tonight.
Game Ball: J-Holla wins this for the Dawgs with IT coming close in second. Holiday filled up the stat sheet tonight with 20 points and 9 rebounds. Definitely a career game for the senior.
Play of The Game: Pick one
PS. Kudos to the UW Athletic department for the fabulous show at half time. The Panther unicyclers were a step up from bowling at halftime. Way to step up your game boys.