by John Chase
Who: UW vs SU
When: Tuesday, 7:00 PST
Where: Key Arena
TV: FSN NW
After a tough, close loss to Arizona, the Huskies have a fairly quick turnaround to face Seattle U on “the road” at Key-Arena. Last year was a blowout, 123-76, in a game that saw the Huskies get up by 19 before SU could even score. Seattle also finished with 4 players on the court as Cameron Dollar’s game plan out of halftime was to foul all the damn time.
By the way, Joe Lunardi has the Huskies still as a 7 seed with a possible match up against San Diego State in the second round. Arizona moved up to number 10 in the polls and will likely break the top 10 before season end if they win out in conference.
Seattle University is 10-16 on the year and is still without a conference this year. I believe next season they will join a league. They have 2 nice wins over Oregon State and Virginia. They also have several bad losses including a 29 point loss in their opener against Maryland and a 30 point loss to Fresno State.
SU is averaging 68.7 ppg on the season, 38.7 rpg, 11.0 apg, and a measly 39.1% shooting. 4 players are averaging double digits for the Redhawks: Aaron Broussard leads with 15.0, Sterling Carter with 13.5, Alex Jones at 11.2, and Cervante Burrell at 10.7. Broussard also leads the Redhawks in rebounding at 8.1 per game followed by Garrett Lever with 5.6 boards per outing.
Turnovers have been a big problem for Seattle U this season. They are averaging about 18 per game and have 2 players with more than 3 turnovers per game (Carter at 3.3 and Burrell with 3.2).
The Redhawks run an 8 man rotation with 3 other players having limited roles and playing in about half of their games thus far. If the foul-a-thon happens again we could see all 11 players enter the game and bout 7 of them foul out. I hope this isn’t the case. I like a good, quick game not slowed down by fouls left and right.
Let’s take a look at the starting line up for Seattle U.
Aaron Broussard is the most important and dangerous play on the Redhawk squad. At 15 points and 8 rebounds per game he can do it all. He is a 6-5 205lb forward. He has improved his numbers every year going from 5 points per game his freshman year to 10 his sophomore season and now 15 his senior year. He has scored in double digits in all but 3 games this season and has 5 20+ point games. He also has 9 games with 10 or more rebounds. He is also a dangerous defender with 5 games of 3+ steals. He is not very good at handling and distributing the ball. He averages 1.1 assist per game and 2.6 turnovers. Strong defensive pressure will be key in shutting him down.
Galvin Gilmore is a 6-8 220lb forward whose numbers have decreased since his last season. He is averaging 15 minutes per game and is scoring 2.4 points and picking up 2.6 rebounds per game. He does not have strong defensive stats either (blocks, steals) and is not a passer. On the other side he does not turn the ball over as much as a large majority of his team (.4 assists, 1.4 turnovers). Matthew Bryan-Amaning will have a great size and skill advantage should this be his match up.
Alex Jones is a 6-8 215lb senior forward. 11.2 points and 3.9 rebounds per game. .2 assists and 2.0 turnovers per game. Like the rest of the Redhawks, Jones is turnover prone. He has 12 20+ point games on the year and a season high of 29 points. He fouls a lot. 16 games with 4+ fouls, including 6 foul outs on the year. If we can put pressure in the post and force him to foul MBA or Aziz we will remove him from the game quickly and can really gain a huge advantage in the frontcourt.
Sterling Carter is a freshman guard standing at 6-0 200lb. He is picking up 13.5 points and a very respectable 3.3 rebounds per game. He is a stronger passer with 2.1 assists per game, but also suffers from freshmen mistakes and turns the ball over about 3 times per game (10 games with 4+ turnovers). Carter can be a very prolific scorer with 7 games of 19+ points and a career high of 28 points. 6 of those 7 games he hit 4 or more 3 pointers, including 1 game with 7 makes on 15 attempts. Against Eastern Washington he dealt out 13 assists. With a very experienced and seasoned backcourt we can force a lot of mistakes through Carter by pressing hard defensively and not allowing him to get in a shooting rhythm.
Garrett Lever rounds out the starting 5. He is a 6-0 180lb guard in his senior season. While not a great scorer, 3.7 points per game, he does grab 5.6 rebounds and dish out 1.8 assists to his 1.4 turnovers. Like Carter, Lever is fairly strong on defense with 6 games with 4+ steals with a season high of 7 against Maryland.
Starting Line Up Predictions:
Garrett Lever 6-0 180lb G
Sterling Carter 6-0 200lb G
Aaron Broussard 6-5 205lb F
Alex Jones 6-8 215lb F
Galvin Gilmore 6-8 220lb F
Isaiah Thomas 5-9 185lb G
Venoy Overton 6-0 185lb G
Justin Holiday 6-6 185lb F
Matthew Bryan-Amaning 6-9 240lb F
Aziz N’Diaye 7-0 260lb C
As a side note, Aziz did not start versus Arizona due to being late to the team bus. Not the reason we lost, but an unnecessary distraction.
Keys to the Game
After a very poor showing versus Arizona, the Huskies are looking to return to their strong rebounding ways. MBA played a great game and picked up his portion of the work load, Darnell Gant did his share of the rebounding, we just lacked it from other players. We match up fantastically against Seattle U and should have no problem boxing out and getting the boards. Last season we only won the rebounding battle by 1, 44-43. That is likely to change this year as MBA has been great on the glass and both Aziz and Gant have shown great promise. Our rebounding by committee has been wonderful the majority of the year and I expect no less tonight.
Free Throw Shooting
I expect us to see the line more than a few times in this game. While the 45 fouls Seattle U had last time is a bit unreasonable to expect again, I would not be surprised to see 30 to 35 fouls. With WSU, UCLA, and USC on the horizon we need to get our free throw form in shape and ready to go. This should not be a close game, but that is no reason to slack on the line.
Carter can get hot from outside and Broussard is decent in his own right. 4 players have 15+ makes on the season and Carter is by far the specialist and focal point with 65 makes on 191 attempts (34%). Extend out pressure, prevent the 3 pointers, and force turnovers.
We can easily force the Redhawks into 20+ turnovers if we play defense as strong as we have been. Hell, we forced Arizona into 18 turnovers and they are a much, much, much better team offensively. Seattle U plays an uptempo game like us and is ranked 4th in the adjusted tempo category according to Ken Pom (UW is 9th). For a large majority of the year Seattle U was ranked number 1 in this category. By handling the ball well, we can move in transition and score in boat loads.
Push the Middle
MBA and Aziz should have a field day. Thomas and Holiday should excel. The biggest problem should be not enough possessions to go around rather than any sort of competitive problem. MBA should get 30 points and 15 boards if he can maintain his high level of play. If we can force Seattle U into a zone early we will see our outside shot open up and this will force the Redhawks to extend their pressure, opening up the middle for penetration by our guards who can either score or dish it out down low.
Avoid the Letdown
It would be easy for the Huskies to overlook this team, especially following the close loss to Arizona. It is extremely important to treat this game seriously and not have our heads towards WSU on Sunday. This should not be a close game. This should be a blow out. This is not a game to lose. The Huskies must come out of the gates firing on all cylinders.
Seattle U is an up and rising D1 team. They are a fair few years away from being competitive at this level again, but they are making progress. Their wins over OSU and UVA show this. Cameron Dollar has them headed in the right direction, its just a matter of time and players’ talent levels. UW should have no problem with this game. We just need to bring the right mental attitude to the game.
Final Score Prediction
PS. I think T-Ross is already comfortable with Key Arena. Check this out.