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Husky Men's Basketball

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

January 14, 2006 at 6:19 PM

Bruin up a big win

LOS ANGELES – I think any doubt as to whether this team has what it takes to have a really solid season should be laid to rest by now.
Sure, UCLA has some players out. But the Bruins still have a lot of good players left, and this is never an easy place to get a win in any circumstance. Nor is sweeping this trip ever easy in any circumstance.
UW has some issues – suddenly, Justin Dentmon’s turnovers seem worrisome, to name just one.
But many were questioning how together this team was after the loss last week to WSU and going on the road and winning two should answer that.
UW coach Lorenzo Romar said he knew there were some doubters, but said he felt that “if we played tough basketball, we had a chance to get out of this hole no matter who we were playing, or where.”
The Huskies did just that on this trip.
I’ll have complete coverage on-line and in the pages of the Times on Sunday.
Here are some other notes and observations on UW’s first win here since 1987

  • Brandon Roy scored just 10 points and said UCLA defended him as hard and as well as any team has all year. “Every time I came off a screen, there was a 6-8 dude there defending me,” he said. But as they did against Gonzaga when Roy was shackled due to foul trouble, his teammates stepped up, leading a balanced attack.
    “I think that says a lot about us,” Roy said.
    Roy also said he was concentrating more on defense – he and Bobby Jones essentially shared responsibility for defending UCLA’s backcourt of Jordan Farmar and Arron Afflalo.

  • Romar acknowledged that Dentmon was struggling a little bit – he scored the first two points of the game then never scored again. The two points is a season low. But he said the fine play by Ryan Appleby had as much to do with why Dentmon played just 21 minutes as anything else.

  • Even when UW was down by 15 in the first half, it seemed like a comeback was possible. The Huskies just weren’t hitting shots early, going 12-of-33 in the first half and 1-of-11 from three. Many were contested, but a number were simply missed. As Jones said “you know that’s going to change” if you keep rebounding and playing defense, which is exactly what happened. UW hit 16-of-25 shots – 64 percent – in the second half.

  • Mike Jensen is beginning to really help this team. He had just five points, but he hit a three-pointer in the first half to keep hope alive and provided some really solid defense – always the most underrated of his contributions. His 26 minutes tied a season-high and is probably about what to expect from him for now.

  • Jamaal Williams led UW with 14 points and hit 7-of-11 shots. But he also had just one rebound, the main reason he played just 24 minutes.

  • We all felt at home since it rained here today. Maybe that made a few people decide to spend the day indoors watching basketball. When I arrived and was going through security, one of the guards pointed at the line of students waiting to get in and said it was the largest he had seen all season.

  • Driving in, I heard that Miami had beaten North Carolina, and the first thing that came to my mind was – how nice would it be for UW right now if the Huskies had been able to play, and beat, the Hurricanes? The value of such victories is that every time that team then wins a game the rest of the year, it helps your team’s RPI – as well as just your overall image.
    Alas, Miami foiled UW’s plans by losing to Air Force in the second round of the BCA Classic, in part because the Hurricanes’ point guard was injured and didn’t play.

    Comments | Topics: UCLA


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