by: Griffin Bennett
More of the same. While any road win is a good win for the Huskies this year, the Dawgs scored a season low 22 points in the first half and continued to struggle to find any kind of offensive rhythm against a poor and short-handed Sun Devil team.
Tony Wroten put the team on his back and provided much needed energy and scoring that kept the Huskies from losing another road game. He got into the paint and finished at the rim including a MONSTER DUNKFACE on ASU’s Jonathan Gilling that will be replayed many times over. I hope the Wroten-makes-this-team-worse people will now go away.
It was great, and surprising, to see C.J. Wilcox back on the floor tonight. He looked a little slow and uncomfortable out there. Let’s hope that it’s only rust and not due to any pain or lingering injury-related cause.
For the second game in a row, Austin Seferian-Jenkins was a beast on defense and on the boards. He’s just a physical player that brings a new facet to this team. He had a few freshman errors and struggled at scoring but you have to expect that. Anything he brings to this team is just a bonus.
The Sun Devils are not a good team and the Huskies played down to their level. The Dawgs struggled shooting the ball all night and couldn’t buy a bucket from anything outside of the paint. Ross didn’t have a breakout second half like he has in the past which was disappointing.
Like I said, a win is a win, beggars can’t be choosers, and other idioms of that sort.
- Tony Wroten – Easily the MVP tonight. He brought the heat all game, on both ends, and stuffed the stat sheet. He finished with 22 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, 1 block, and only 2 turnovers. As soon as I get a link to a video of the dunk, I will pass it along.
- ASJ – His real impact doesn’t show up in the box score but everyone who watches the games knows that he is a true positive out there. He finished with 4 points (his first as a Dawg), 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block, and another 5 fouls.
- Defense – Given, it was a bad ASU team, but the Huskies were swarming around the ball tonight. There were a couple more poor rotations but overall, it was a good night. They recorded 7 steals, 5 blocks, and forced 15 turnovers.
- Points in the Paint – The Huskies did their work down low with 34 points in the paint, with most of them coming from Mr. Wroten. Even with a couple of 7 footers roaming around, the Huskies made their presence known.
- Offensive Rhythm – It’s just not there on the road. Everything just looks disjointed and chaotic. Just when you seems some good movement off of the ball, the handler gets congested and puts up a poor shot. Wroten’s ability to create his own shot was a huge help. The first half, especially, was ugly.
- Pace – The Huskies only had 2 fast break points. Gaddy doesn’t seem to want to press the issue when he has numbers on the break and it’s infuriating. It played right into the hands of ASU who falls back into their zone and force UW to shoot jumpers. Even if it’s a sloppy break, you’d like to see the Dawgs speed things up.
- Leadership – I just didn’t see it out there. None of the captains seem to get the team together and on track. Usually a leader would have appeared by now but it doesn’t seem like anyone wants it.
- Assists – Only 11 in the game. People try to create their own shots and getting a nice pass seems like a rarity. You’d wish Gaddy would step it up in this department.
It wasn’t pretty but the Huskies grabbed a share of the Pac-12 Conference lead with the win. You would have liked to see UW finally put together a dominant road win against an inferior team but it seems like that won’t happen this season.
I keep waiting for Terrence Ross to put together a solid 40 minutes but he can’t quite figure it out. He’s a hard worker and puts in the effort but his on court leadership and killer instinct have yet to develop.
This all sets up a big time game in Tucson against the Wildcats which will feel like a rivalry game. It will be hosted by ESPN’s College Gameday which brings back memories of last season’s “white out” game at Arizona where the officials botched Derrick Williams’ block of Gant’s shot for the win. And yes, I’m still bitter.
Can’t wait for Saturday’s match up. Bow Down.