by: Griffin Bennett
The outcome of this game was never in doubt. Stanford never looked in the game and they seemed almost happy to just keep it within 20. The Huskies struggled to keep a rhythm and the refs, combined with the lighting problems, didn’t help. While I wanted to see the Huskies with their foot on Stanford’s throat, I was pleased to see that their defense was back at it’s high level. The Huskies contested shots and defended the post spectacularly. It was another step in the right direction and let’s hope this new Husky march and continue next week into the Arizona road trip.
Stanford was just too young and, regardless of Jeremy Green’s impressive 24 points and 12 rebounds, they couldn’t match up with the depth and skill of the Huskies. The Cardinal’s recent hot three-point shooting hand went cold as they shot only 8 of 21. Green was very impressive and IT’s determination to defend the 6’4 guard was not enough. Unlike the ASU game against Ty Abbott, Thomas active defense was not enough to overcome the height difference. Green shot over Thomas early in the game and it became apparent that he would struggle all night. Luckily, Thomas was going shot for shot with Green all night. Let’s take a look at how the Dawgs performed during the win.
- Venoy Overton – Welcome to the 2010-11 season! He had his best game of the season as he scored 12 points, 4 assists, 1 steal, 1 block and ZERO turnovers. He looked to have his defensive legs back and ran the offense well when Isaiah headed to the locker room. Great to see you back, VO.
- Team Defense – It was a great effort from the entire squad and their 6 steals and 6 blocks show as much. They destroyed Stanford’s young players and refused to allow points in the paint. Let’s hope the defense is here to stay.
- C.J. Wilcox – Glad to see you back in form, as well. What was more impressive was that Wilcox showed his improved defense while playing 16 minutes. He stuffed the stat sheet with 10 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals, and 1 block while shooting 2 for 7 from three. It’s great to see that Wilcox can contribute to the team while he is missing his shots. Two of them were blocked and probably should not have gone up.
- Terrence Ross – While he only scored 4 points, it was the most impressive 4 point outing is recent Husky memory. The kid can jump and through down two thunderous dunks. One of them was a tip-dunk, but he jumped so high that he was able to re-cock the ball and slam it through. His four points were accompanied by 6 rebounds and 3 assists. He seems to be struggling to find his niche in the offense but continues to contribute after the shot goes up. I’m starting to love his motor and energy.
- Isaiah Thomas – While he closed out the second half completely en fuego, the rest of his night was sub-par. He made 4 straight threes during his amazing ending to the first half, but missed his other 6 and finished 4 of 10. He did have 22 points but only added 1 assist while turning the ball over 5 times. That’s not the IT that we’ve come to love. He only played 27 minutes but his hot streak saved him from a worse performance.
- MBA – 15 points and 6 rebounds were nice, but he turned the ball over 6 times. He continues to struggle from the free-throw line with his 3 for 7 night. He continues to impress with his post moves and his finishing is improving.
- Darnell Gant – He didn’t shoot a three and had 5 rebounds. That is a step in the right direction. He didn’t score but his 5 rebounds, 2 assists, and 1 steal were great.
- Rebounding – The Huskies lost the battle of the boards, 30-34. It wasn’t Owens or Powell that dominated the boards, but rather Green as the Cardinal guards cleaned up the long rebounds. The Husky guards may need to do a better job in rebounding in the future. The Huskies didn’t run a zone (that I saw), so the lack of rebounding seems strange. Let’s hope this trend does not contribute.
- Scott Suggs – He ended with 7 points, 2 assists, 1 turnover and 5 fouls. Just an off night and he struggled on defense. I still can’t believe that he fouled out.
- Assist to turnovers – The Huskies finished with 16 assists and 15 turnovers. It wasn’t the best passing night and Thomas’ outing did not help. These numbers won’t win a tough game in Tucson next Saturday.
- Pac-10 Refs – Can we start a fund where fans can donate money to pay for better refs? I’ll donate the first 5 dollars.
From tip-off to the buzzer, the outcome was never in doubt and it was just a matter of time. Stanford did not want to win that game and they seemed happy to just not get blown out. The Huskies, in response, lost their killer instinct after about 2 minutes into the second half. I don’t like to see the Huskies switching their intensity on and off as one of these times they won’t be able to switch it back on when they need it.
It’s hard to see if the “big picture” has changed after the Huskies impressive wins against the NoCal schools. It was great to see that the problem wasn’t anything more than road struggles, but that still doesn’t mean that next week will go differently than the Oregon trip. I saw great things from them tonight but I’ve seen great things from them at home all year. I hope that what I saw this week will continue into the next, but I need to see it to believe it. The Huskies schedule gets real tough from here on out and they can’t afford to stumble, outside of Tucson.