The blog’s been a little empty of late due to the holidays, but we’ll try to pick it back up regularly now that Pac-10 conference action is upon us.
And thank goodness there are no more games on UW’s schedule like Monday night’s 87-71 win over
As UW coach Lorenzo Romar put it – “we won the game and it is time to move on.” That’s about the best that can be said about this one other than the fact that it allowed Jon Brockman to regain some confidence.
The freshman had 17 points and a career-high 12 rebounds in his best all-around game since he was named MVP of the Black Coaches Association Classic in mid-November.
Brockman is the focus of my story in Tuesday’s Times so I won’t go into that much here. But here are some other notes:
Here’s what he said: “I think we are a pretty good team. I think we have the capabilities to have a very successful season if internally we can understand that you have got to play the game for 40 minutes. That is probably what we took away from it the most.”
That’s an obvious reference to the fact that Romar felt the team let up in the opening minutes of the second half and allowed Arizona to crawl back in after being down 13 at halftime.
It’s not the first time UW has let that happen this season – New Mexico comes to mind as well – so expect Romar to harp on that until the Huskies show they have learned their lesson.
Asked, however, if he anticipates making any changes in the wake of the Arizona loss, Romar said no.
That shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. I think UW coaches are more than pleased overall that their team is 12-1 right now and ranked in the top 10. I think they feared in October that they could have suffered two or three losses by now so one defeat – in double-overtime at that – isn’t going to cause any panic.
Not after what the Washington sophomore guard did in the first half against Arizona Saturday, when he made 4-of-5 3-pointers, including two in the last two minutes that helped the Huskies build a 13-point halftime lead.
With the Wildcats finally alerted to his shooting ability, Appleby could barely move in the second half without an Arizona defender attached to his hip, no matter how far away he was from the hoop.
And he was able to get off just two shots in the final 22 minutes he played after halftime of the double-overtime loss to the Wildcats, one coming on a desperation heave as time ran out.
“They did a good job switching downscreens on me so every time I came up to pop open they had a guy standing there waiting, so it was hard for me to get the ball on the wing,” Appleby said.
It’s nothing that he wasn’t expecting, just something he knows he now has to prepare for happening again. One adjustment he said he has to make is to “pay more attention to the guy that is guarding the screener. … I’ve got to make it harder on them, make it a longer time to switch so the guy who set the screen can get an easier shot. It may not be me getting a shot, but maybe he can get more open.”
Appleby didn’t get a ton of looks against Cornell, either, going 2-of-5 overall and 2-of-4 from the three-point line, but considering the blase nature of the game, it’s hard to know what to make of it.
If you’ve gone to the games, you’ve seen Hawes sitting behind the bench for almost every game. He was there again Monday night. And the other day on a non-gameday, I saw Hawes walking around Hec Ed like he was just one of the players.
Webster, on the other hand, was never around last year and attended only one game – the season finale against Arizona. And that, apparently, only after the coaching staff really encouraged him to come. That lack of real connection to the team made it that much easier for Webster to turn pro when the time came.