UW Defeats UCSB: Day After Thoughts


The Huskies were able to out last and out run the UCSB Gauchos last night in UW’s 87-80 win. This team took a solid step forward this week in their progression and this was even without their top rebounder, shot-blocker, and defensive force in the paint, Aziz N’Diaye.

Here are my thoughts on each player that received minutes (in order of least minutes to most):

Hikeem Stewart (2 min)

  • He came in with 2 goals. 1 was to give the guards a little bit of a rest.
  • And 2 was to pester the heck out of their point guard. He was all over him on defense. Essentially shut him down from being effective at all.
  • While Stewart did not even touch the ball on offense, he was very admirable on defense.

Martin Breunig (5 min)

  • Took a huge charge and so obviously he is picking up on how to do that without fouling.
  • However, was not able to do anything against the huge 7’3 Greg Somogyi. He was Romar’s first option but after just being man-handled in the paint was quickly taken out for Shawn Kemp Jr.
  • He did record an assist.

Shawn Kemp Jr. (10 min)

  • Besides the obvious, I was easily most impressed with Kemp. He came in and was able to contain Somogyi.
  • He showed some impressive defensive plays with a big block and a rebound.
  • While he had some freshman mistakes, there was probably no one that watched him play that didn’t walk away thinking he had some real potential. And he has already grown so much in the last few weeks.

CJ Wilcox (25 min)

  • He was in foul trouble most of the game and like most players in foul trouble you ride the bench.
  • When you ride the bench you obviously are ineffective.
  • He only had 7 points and 2 assists, he was 1-3 from three and 2-5 from the field.
  • However, he was able to sink a couple important free throws down the stretch.
  • Overall, this wasn’t a great game for Wilcox but he was able to see others on the team step up and fill the void.

Desmond Simmons (25 min)

  • Scrappy. Simmons is just constant in the paint. He will fight for the rebound until it is securely in his hands or he can no longer reach it.
  • He had 8 rebounds and was able to play some solid defense.
  • He made a huge 3 and contributed to the team total with 9.
  • Simmons is definitely a spark off the bench that UW needs. No one plays harder or with more energy off the bench than Simmons. He is just an animal.

Darnell Gant (31 min)

  • He held down the best he could in the block but he is just not a typical big man.
  • He loves to play outside and not inside. He can play inside but it doesn’t look as natural for him.
  • Gant may be the senior leader but many may be asking if he needs to start. With Wroten playing the way he is and N’Diaye coming back eventually, does Gant become the 6th man?

Abdul Gaddy (32 min)

  • Looks like Gaddy found a way out of his slump.
  • He was aggressive and was able to control the turnovers and make smart plays.
  • He scored 17 points and looked like he was in control of the offense.
  • However, the irony is that he seemed to play better when Wroten was on the court. The double point-guard attack.

Tony Wroten (34 min)

  • Completely took over the game. He was the fuel to the fire that caused the Huskies to win.
  • He tied Isaiah Thomas’ freshman record of 27 points in a game for the Huskies.
  • He looked like Thomas out there with the swag, the energy, the leadership, and the way he put the team on his back when they needed a lift.
  • He still had a few freshman mistakes out there but it didn’t frazzle him, it may have even motivated him to go on a tear.
  • The free throw stripe continues to be his demon. He acknowledges it and has said he is going to work on it. However, he does seem to be figuring out a rhythm at the line. It isn’t perfect yet but if you watch from the beginning of the season to now– he has a much smoother shot at the line.

Terrence Ross (36 min) 

  • There is still so much from Ross that we are all just waiting to see. He was basically non-existent in the first half on offense.
  • Not sure what sparks him to turn it up a notch, to score, and score at will but whatever it is- he needs to find it early.
  • Ross and Wroten are clearly the most talented duo on the court but Ross doesn’t always show it.
  • That being said he ended the game with 16 points, 5 rebounds, and went 4-4 from the free throw line.
  • Fans/Scouts/Teammates are salivating over what Ross can do but at the same time they need to see it on a consistent basis.