by: Griffin Bennett
There are ugly games and then there was last night’s game against USC. I’m not sure if I’ve seen a worse Pac-12/10 team in the last decade than that Trojans team I witnessed last night. The Huskies kept roughly a 10 point lead for most of the game and that seemed like an insurmountable deficit for a USC team that almost looked as if they didn’t want to be there.
USC’s offense consisted for shooting poor jump shots and staying away from the paint as if it were the plague. This is when the rebounding drill began for the Huskies. USC was 1 for 16 from three which is just incredible. Combine poor shooting with a lack of big men and you have a recipe for disaster. The Huskies absolutely dominated the boards, recording 52 total.
The Huskies, once again, played down to their opponents which wasn’t surprising but disappointing to see. It was a great opportunity for the Huskies to work on limiting their mistakes and and score effectively, but sloppy play seemed unavoidable at times. We’ll get into that later.
On the positive side, the Huskies used their deeper bench to run away with the game late which helped the final score look a little better. The Trojans seemed to either tire out or give up during the final 5 minutes and the Huskies aptly seized the opportunity.
Time to get critical:
- The Bench – USC only has 6 scholarship players so using the Huskies fresh legs off the bench helped push the lead to 28 at the end. Wilcox, Kemp, ASJ, and Gant were highly effective in limited minutes. The Huskies finished with 29 bench points compared to USC’s 0.
- Darnell Gant – While I just mentioned him, he deserves his own shout out. He played fantastically and his new role of 6th man off the bench might just best suit him and this team. He finished with 8 points and 7 rebounds in only 21 minutes, which is more than the starter Desmond Simmons.
- Rebounding – This was just a destruction. 52-23 may be the largest winning margin that I have ever seen. As I said earlier, USC wasn’t even attempting to get in the paint and contest them.
- Aziz N’diaye – He took advantage of a smaller Trojan team and scored 9 points on the night. While his numbers weren’t that impressive, it’s his new found agility and skills at finishing (and catching) around the hoop which is great to see. He is definitely the most improved player so far.
- Tony Wroten – The kid can finish. With a team high 13 points, he added 8 assists, 6 rebounds (5 offensive), and only 1 turnover. Also a good sign, his free throw shooting seems to be improving as well.
- 3 Point Shooting – This game could really have been a destruction is the deep ball was falling for the Dawgs. What happened to Gaddy’s million shots he took over the summer? His shot looks worse than ever. He shot 4 early threes in the game, trying to get more aggressive as he promised, and it wasn’t falling. Wilcox and Ross also couldn’t figure it out as they each went 0-3.
- Turnovers – It’s killing this team. It kills all momentum and gets UW out of the high paced game that they prefer. With 17 on the night, the Huskies need to be more careful with the ball. If they just limit their poor passes, the number can become more manageable.
I’m not sure what we learned about this Husky team in this game. This Trojan squad is really really REALLY bad.
Where does that leave us? The Huskies are still a game up on Cal and Colorado in the conference standings with a road trip to Oregon next week which hasn’t been kind in recent history.
Let’s go get us some more road wins! Bow Down.