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Husky Men's Basketball

The latest news and analysis on Husky men's hoops.

December 17, 2005 at 12:28 AM

Grounding the Eagles

Some leftover notes, quotes and observations after Washington’s 91-74 win over Eastern Friday night…
I focused much of my game story on the fact that Brandon Roy made a concerted effort to be more aggressive offensively and take more shots.
It was interesting to see because I’ve heard some conjecture this week on radio talk shows, chat rooms and elsewhere about whether Brandon can really be the go-to guy this team needs. I’ve never doubted it and have never heard any concern about that from anyone at UW, either.
Sure, it was Eastern Washington, but Brandon showed again tonight why everyone at Washington has so much confidence in him. He scored 25 points on 10-for-16 shooting in 29 minutes and seemed to do much of it effortlessly.
That he does seem to get his points so fluidly – a contrast to some of the players off last year’s team – may be what leads some to wonder if he’s really capable of being the go-to-guy when needed.
“Nate (Robinson) did it with so much excitement,” said UW coach Lorenzo Romar.
“Brandon, at times he is exciting, but he just sticks with it and puts the pressure on you and after it’s all said and done, he’s got the same amount of points.”
Also worth remembering is that Brandon was UW’s leading scorer in the NCAA tournament last year, averaging 15.3 points and shooting 63.3 percent in the three tournament games.
Notes
EWU coach Mike Burns, whose team also played UW last year, was the latest opposing coach to say the obvious – while the Huskies may not be as dynamic in the back court, they are a lot better up front.
“They are different than they were last year. They are bigger and more physical in the interior,” he said. Burns also said he was impressed with how Huskies players “have a high self-esteem” on the court.
The Huskies had an easy time of it despite getting only six minutes from Bobby Jones, who tweaked an ankle he had injured against New Mexico. Roy said he definitely noticed a difference.
“He just gives us that extra little bit of energy,” Roy said.
I talked with Jones briefly after the game and he said he should be fine by next week. Washington will take the weekend off, giving him a while to rest the ankle.
One thing I continue to be impressed by is how the Huskies don’t seem to overlook anybody. This would have been an easy game to have a letdown after the last two big wins in high-profile settings. But Burns said he thought the Huskies “just gave a greater effort than we did.” That speaks a lot to the leadership of Romar and of the team’s seniors.

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