Game Preview: Seattle University


by: John Chase

First things first. Two “big” pieces of news in the Pac-12. ASU’s leading scorer, Keala King, was dismissed this week following a suspension before the LA trip (leaving the Sun Devils with 6 scholarship players for the trip as two other players were suspended as well) due to team conduct violations. Big loss for the Sun Devils as King averaged nearly 14 points per game.

The second big piece of news is standout freshman tight end, Austin Seferian-Jenkins, will official join the basketball squad today, but will likely not see play time for a few weeks at minimum. At 6-6, ASJ is not a tall player, but he weighs in at a very muscular 260lb that makes him a beast to deal with inside. ASJ averaged over 20 points and 8 rebounds per game for Gig Harbor High School last year. ASJ is the fourth player in recent history to play both basketball and football for the Dawgs.

UW arrives back home after another dismal road trip. Getting beat by 20 by Colorado is just plain ugly and atrocious. The players showed zero heart and drive. Beating Utah by 4 is pathetic. The Huskies should have won by 30 or 40. Utah is a terrible team, but like I said in my preview it wouldn’t matter and it didn’t. The Huskies have the most talent in the Pac-12, yet they lack the mentality and attitude to put it into action.

C.J. Wilcox started off 0-8 against Utah. Zero. For. Eight. I don’t care how many shots are made after that, the momentum is not on a team’s side when one of our premier shooters is that cold. As I’ve said before, Wilcox is a streaky shooter. He’ll have 3 or 4 games where he can’t miss followed by 3 or 4 games where everything misses. That is mental, pure and simple. I put that on not only Wilcox, but the coaches as well for not helping their player combat whatever mental issues are holding him back from being one of the nation’s top scorers.

I don’t know what is missing from this team that makes them such a terrible shooting team on the road, yet still finding so much success at home. I wish I could spend time with the team before games and see what kind of preparations they are going through and what exactly it is that the coaches are doing differently in each setting. Whatever it is, it needs to change. On to Seattle U.

Seattle U is bad. 3 and 10 bad. Right on par with the Utah team the Huskies narrowly escaped. The big difference? The Redhawks average 10 more points per game than Utah. What that means for the Huskies is a more developed and therefore dangerous offense that spells bad news, especially when one considers the type of wins the Huskies have had recently over SU and the vengeance the SU players will want to achieve.

Seattle U is on a two game losing streak after suffering defeats at the hands of San Jose State and Utah Valley. Luck for the Dawgs, the Redhawks give up an average of 75 points per game. What this means for the Huskies is a chance to get some scoring down and perhaps continue to develop an offensive rhythm that might, just might, carry on through the next road trip.

What Seattle U does best is rebound. The Redhawks grab nearly 40 boards per game and do it behind a number of solid player. Eric Wallace, Aaron Broussard, and Clarence Trent (formally of UW) combine for 19 of SU’s 40 rebounds per outing. What is somewhat crazy about these three guys is that not one of them is listed taller than 6-6. In fact, the entire SU line-up is short, with their tallest player listed at 6-9 and their tallest contributor is one of the three above at 6-6. To say UW will have a size advantage is an understatement. Regardless of height, the Huskies will have to work hard to prevent SU from cleaning house on the glass. What the Redhawks lack in height, they make up for in tenacity and go-getter attitude, something the Huskies could learn from.

Aaron Broussard is built like Tony Wroten, but has a better 3-point shot and a much better free throw shot. Broussard is averaging 17.2 points to lead the Redhawks and is second in rebounds with 6.1 per game. Broussard is most certainly a shooting guard and is all about creating plays for himself rather than passing it off. Broussard averages less than 1 assist per game, while also averaging 2 turnovers per game. Broussard helps make up for his turnovers with his defensive efforts, picking up nearly 2 steals per game. Looks for Broussard to start the game with a pair of 3-point attempts to open up drives in the paint. Aziz N’Diaye will need to clog the lanes and put the fear of god into Broussard.

After Broussard, the scoring drops off a small bit. Clarence Trent is second in scoring with 11 per game and is third in rebounding with 5 per game. As when he played for UW, Trent is most comfortable in the short to mid-range and thrives on flashy plays. Trent was a very athletic player when he played for the Huskies, but his overall game was still developing. The year off seems to have done him some good and helped him develop a better shot. While Trent is still shooting only 25% behind the arc, its an improvement that he is even taking those types of shots and finding decent success. I suspect Terrence Ross will be matched up against Trent. That is a ton of athleticism going at it right there. I hope Ross takes this game as a challenge to show up and play like a man against someone who plays a fairly similar game. Ross has a small disadvantage in terms of strength as Trent weighs in around 30lbs heavier. Depending on the line-up that the Redhawks throw on the court, this defensive assignment could very well go to Desmond Simmons (who I suspect will start over Darnell Gant and Wilcox).

Eric Wallace is the only other Redhawk in double digits with just over 10 points per game. Wallace also averages a team best 8 boards per game. Wallace is not a long range shooter in the slightest, having attempted only 11 3-pointers on the year, making 3. He is also an horrendous 52% from the FT line. If Wallace gets hot for some reason, a “Hack the Shaq” type scenario is certainly worth while. I hope it doesn’t come down to free throws, but if UW needs to foul someone, this is their guy. Wallace finds success using his larger frame to bully defenders out of his way down low (6-6 233lb).

Sterling Carter is the top 3-point threat for the Redhawks with 23 makes on the season, though his 84 attempts are twice as many as any other player on the team. Carter is not a great shooter from anywhere on the court, hitting only 29% of his shots. Carter is currently averaging 80% from the FT, which is only slightly redeeming as he is only 8-10 on the season. Despite his poor shooting, Carter is averaging 7 points per game, which I find fairly impressive. I suppose when one considers the sheer volume of shots Carter attempts, it is not surprise that he is able to average that high of scoring.

The two assist leaders for the Redhawks are 5-10 170lb Cervante Burrell with 2.8 per game and 6-2 205lb Prince Obasi with 2.6 per game.

Predicted Starting Line-Ups:

Seattle University:

Cervante Burrell 5-10 170lb
Sterling Carter 6-0 200lb
Aaron Broussard 6-5 205lb
Clarence Trent 6-6 225lb
Eric Wallace 6-6 233lb


Abdul Gaddy 6-3 185lb
Tony Wroten 6-5 205lb
Terrence Ross 6-6 195lb
Desmond Simmons 6-7 220lb
Aziz N’Diaye 7-0 260lb

Keys to the Game:

  • Rebounding – This is the one area that the Redhawks can statistically compete in and cause problems for the Huskies. For some reasons, smaller teams seem to do more damage on the board than taller teams. To m, this screams mental once more and judging by how this team has been playing, I’m 99% confident that I am right. Second chance points kill us and we allow far too many offensive boards. The Huskies need to use their vast height advantage and grab every bounce and rouge shot in sight. I think starting Simmons could really set the tone and tempo for what type of rebounding effort is expected of the team.
  • Shooting – If I have to watch another ice-cold shooting night from these guys, I’ll turn out for the team. I can take bad shots and miss all night too. For Wilcox to go 8 of 11 one night to a combined 8 for 29 the next TWO games is beyond me. Here is another stat for you. Wilcox has made 23 straight free throws, but during that same time he is failed to attempt a free throw in SEVEN GAMES! The only game Wilcox missed a free throw in was against Florida Atlantic in November when he went 6-8 from the line. Our shooters need to get going. No altitude excuses, no tired legs, no hangovers, no NOTHING!
  • Offensive Movement – The Huskies thrive when they pass the ball well and often. On the next road game I plan on tallying how many passes are made every play and the result of each offensive possession. I have a very strong feeling that plays with 5 or more passes will have a success rate at least twice that of under 5 passes. Shooters get open looks when defenders get lost on screens and quick movement. That only happens when the Dawgs can get the ball swinging fast around the perimeter or kick out on drives by our guards. Speaking of driving, Gaddy needs to get in the lane. In the first half of the game against Utah, Gaddy refused to penetrate the middle and struggled to find offensive consistency. In the second half, Gaddy began to drive and score. Simple as that. Drive and score or sit on the perimeter and waste away. It is easy to defend a team when all they do is sit outside the 3-point arc and let loose terrible shots.

Final Thoughts:

Hec-Ed has always been good to the Dawgs and it should continue to be that way. While I expect SU to give the Huskies a bit more of a run than in previous years, their lack of big men will hurt. While I don’t expect N’Diaye to have a huge game, he certainly has a chance to put up some big points and boards if he can use his size against SU effectively. Last year, N’Diaye struggled against small posts, while this year has been a step forward in the right direction. I’d really like to see a double-double from two players tomorrow, N’Diaye and either Ross, Wroten, or Simmons. Hopefully ASJ really challenges the other Husky bigs and that his skills in high school are able to translate to the D1 level the same way his football talents did. I don’t expect to see ASJ unless we are in blowout mode, but who knows, he could be a great surprise.

Final Score Prediction: UW-81 SU-70