Huskies beat the Panthers 91-74

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by: John Chase

Solid night for the Huskies as C.J. Wilcox led the way with a game high 22 points on 8-12 shooting, 5-8 outside the arc. Wilcox also added in 6 rebounds, 3 assists, and 0 turnovers. It was a stellar performance that helped make up for Terrence Ross‘ somewhat quiet night.

Tony Wroten Jr. and Darnell Gant each dropped 18 on the board. Gant had 10 of UW’s first 13 points and shot 7-8 from the field, 2-3 from range. 18 is a career high and Wroten’s performance has to be one of the best career starts for a freshman in UW history. Wroten again showed how good he can be with some nice assists, but he also showed how risky his gameplay can be with 4 turnovers. Wroten had a very nice block on a GSU break away that ended with the Panther player suffering what looked like a broken arm or wrist. Tough break, no pun intended, if the GSU player does indeed have a broken bone as this was the first game of the season.

Aziz N’Diaye had a dominating defensive effort tonight and showed why he is such an important player to our team. He had a game high 8 rebounds and tied his career high with 5 blocks. N’Diaye had a devastating block as a GSU player tried to drive the baseline. N’Diaye stepped across the key, jumped straight up and smashed the ball and player to the ground. N’Diaye later got T’ed up after throwing a ball into the oppositions face. The other player was T’ed as well for pushing N’Diaye.

Abdul Gaddy had a game high 6 assists and an uncommon 4 turnovers. He shot decently on the night scoring 7 points on 3-9 shooting. Gaddy played a team high 32 minutes and was one of the few seasoned players on the court at the end of the game.

Other notable highlights from the night include Alex Wegner, the new walk-on from Vashon Island, hitting his first points as Husky with a nice 3 pointer. He went 1-3 overall, 1-2 from the 3-point line. Brendan Sherrer nearly scored as well but threw up a rather ugly shot. It looked as if he wanted to dunk, but was too far out and had to try for a bank shot instead.

Rashaad Richardson of GSU hit 7 3-pointers and was one of the few Panther players with any real offensive rhythm throughout the game. Josh Micheaux had 8 rebounds for the Panthers and added 9 points.

What Needed Improvement:

  • Free Throws – The Huskies were noticeably rough around the edges when it came to the charity stripe. If there is one area that Wroten can improve in, its free throws. He was 4-8 on the night. Wroten has a really hard shot that could be improved with adding more arc or a softer touch. Ross, on the other hand, was 4-4 from the line. Desmond Simmons went 4-6 and looked solid on the floor tonight.
  • Ball Control – UW only managed 15 assists on 32 makes. Slightly lower than the usual output for the Dawgs. This goes hand-in-hand with the 12 turnovers the Dawgs had. While 12 is not terrible, several were due to silly mistakes and overplaying the ball. The Huskies need to reign in their handling a bit to reduce unnecessary errors.

What was Good:

  • Rebounding – While it was not a completely dominating effort, 44-36, UW controlled the glass fairly well. GSU did manage some lucky offensive boards in the second half that bumped up their stat line. Gaddy and Wroten picked up an impressive 7 boards apiece. UW did manage to get 11 offensive boards, though 15 or 17 would be much better in my opinion.
  • Scoring Options – This is not something I would normally write about, but I think its important to note who were the high scorers for the Huskies. Wilcox led all scorers, no big surprise there, but the fact that Gant and Wroten were right behind is fantastic. This should give Husky fans some hope for nights when Ross or Wilcox can;t get in a groove. UW should be able to get in the lane or find production from other players. Hikeem Stewart also came out and drilled his first shot, a 3 pointer.

The most noticeable thing from the night might have been the absence of Jernard Jarreau. Despite the blow out and both walk-ons playing, Jarreau did not step on the court. This implies two possibilities, either Jarreau is hurt or he is redshirting. The later seems more likely as I suspect we would have heard about an injury.

-EDITOR’S NOTE- Lorenzo Romar said after the game that Jernard Jarreau will be redshirting this season.

Final Thoughts:

UW struggled a bit on defense in the first half. GSU tied the game at 23 thanks to good shooting and poor defensive switches. In the end they got their act together and used their superior depth to wear down the Panthers.

Shawn Kemp Jr., Hikeem Stewart, and Martin Breunig all saw between 7 and 10 minutes, but didn’t have much of an impact stat wise. The Dawgs got the win they needed and looked fairly solid throughout.

I predict Wilcox will lead the Dawgs in scoring for the first few games of the season as teams try to shut down Terrence Ross. Wilcox showed the ability to drive the lane and score against the post. Wilcox also has the ability to catch and shoot quickly with skill and precision, which opens up a lot more shot opportunities. If there is a dark horse candidate for Pac-12 POY, its C.J.

Aziz showed himself to be effective against smaller players and zone defenses, something he struggled with last season.

I got to Hec-Ed early and watched the University of Portland-Florida Atlantic game. Portland won 70-65, but FAU should have won. The Owls (FAU) made silly mistakes at the end of the game that came back to bite them in the rear.

The Owls were led in scoring by Greg Gantt who had 18 at half time and 23 when the final buzzer sounded. FAU’s diminutive point guard, Raymond Taylor, absolutely refuses to dribble when he has the ball at the top of the key. He continuously would stand at the point and wave players towards him to run the offense.

This is great for UW as backcourt defensive is our specialty and should be able to really harass FAU through their point guard. I predicted a 94-60 win for the game tomorrow against FAU, but after seeing both teams in action tonight I would be surprised if UW didn’t drop 100 on the Owls and win by 40+.