Huskies shoot down Pilots 93-63

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by: Griffin Bennett

It doesn’t get much better than that, folks. After hearing about the less-than-perfect outing last night against FAU, I expected to see a work in progress from this Husky squad. Instead, we were treated to an offensive and defensive clinic. While it wasn’t all perfect, I wasn’t expecting anything close to what I saw out of those Dawgs tonight.

Portland seamed shell-shocked from the opening tip as the shooting ability and defense of the Huskies stymied them all night. They Pilots lack a true star player like they had in Sikma and it definitely showed on the court.

The game was never close and it was great to see the Huskies come out fired up at halftime and continue to extend their lead.

“I didn’t think anyone had their own agenda.  I thought we all just played Husky basketball and those were the results,” Romar said after the game.

That pretty much sums it up.

Positives:

  • C.J. Wilcox and Terrence Ross – Wilcox, who won the “tournament” MVP after the game, and Ross were sensational tonight. They were 9 of 13 combined from three and scored 17 and 24 respectively. Wilcox has shooting down to a science this season and he requires a double team every time he gets the ball on the perimeter. Not to be outdone, Ross’ defense tonight was arguably even more impressive than his shot. Romar had this to say about Ross’ defense after the game: “I don’t know if I’ve been more proud of someone on the defensive end than Terrence Ross.”
  • Abdul Gaddy – You watch him and you can’t help but wonder what could have been if he didn’t get hurt last year. He’s the definition of a floor general. He’s like a little Coach Romar on the court. He understands what needs to be done and find the open man. 15 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, and 1 turnover. Whenever a player would make a bad play or get out of position, Gaddy would grab that player at the next stoppage and coach him up. When Gaddy would leave the game, the offense began to stagnate which is the true test of how much Gaddy matters to this team.
  • Tony Wroten – The most electric Husky that I’ve ever seen. He is a highlight waiting to happen at all times. His passing borderlines on absurd and his creativity is something that comes along once in a generation. With that said, he is VERY raw. His shot needs a lot of work and his free throw shooting is “terrible” as Wroten put it after the game. And you know what? I don’t even care.
  • Team Defense – It wasn’t just Ross who was a defensive stud tonight. Wroten reminded me of Venoy at times with his on-ball defense and 3 steals. Shawn Kemp Jr. impressed me a lot with his post defense. He had great body position all night and altered countless shots with his size and perfect footwork. Very impressive from the freshman big man. UW held Portland to 34% shooting.
  • Aziz N’diaye – Leaps and bounds. That’s what he’s made since last season’s end. He looks like an NBA player on the court in terms of his size and build. His hook shot needs (a lot) of work but at least he has a hook shot this year. He can catch the ball and even finish at the rim every now and then. His 11 points were great but I’d like to see more than 7 rebounds against a team like Portland.

Negatives:

  • Offensive Boards – Portland had 20 offensive rebounds to UW’s 10 and had 17 second chance points to UW’s 9. UW had great defense to force bad shots but struggled to box out their men which led to way too many second chance points. “Teams are getting a lot of rebounds on us. We need to box out and be more scrappy, especially our guards,” Abdul Gaddy said after the game.
  • Points in the Paint – Portland led UW 32 to 28 in this category which is unacceptable with the size advantage that UW had tonight. This is partly due to some easy baskets given up late but it’s still not a good sign for when UW runs into some bigger front court teams.
  • Free Throws – Aziz and Wroten, this one’s one you two. They shot 11 of UW’s 18 free throws and only made two of them. Yep, they were 2 for 11 combined. The rest of the team was 7 of 7.

Summary:

It’s great to have Husky basketball back. I’ve missed it so much. I walked into Hec Ed not knowing what I’d be seeing. The team is young but very talented so I didn’t want to get myself too excited. If that was only game three, I can’t imagine how this squad will look in late February/March. With the news of UCLA’s Reeves Nelson being suspended indefinitely and Arizona struggling early with it’s youth, the Pac-12 is wide open and ready to for the Huskies to rise to the top.

Can you tell that I’m excited? Regardless, this is going to be a very fun team to watch. Bow Down.