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Husky Men's Basketball

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

January 24, 2007 at 10:05 AM

A Young solution?

Watching Washington State’s offense tear through the Huskies time and again Saturday, I couldn’t help wondering how things might have been different had Washington been able to sign Blake Young last spring.
That’s a topic I addressed in this story today.
Young, for those who remember, is a 6-foot-2 guard who last spring was one of the top junior-college recruits in the country out of Tampa, Fla. He visited UW in April and was regarded as something of a lock to become a Husky at the time. Then Kansas State and new coach Bob Huggins lured Young to become a Wildcat, in part by hiring his JC coach to be K-State’s new director of basketball opernations. To be fair, the coach, Brad Underwood, was a former K-State player.
Here are Young’s numbers for this season and they may not look like much on paper. But as noted in the story today, he had knee surgery in mid-December which has limited his play ever since.
And what the Huskies wanted out of Young most was defense.
As UW assistant coach Jim Shaw told me this week, “He would have made a bigger difference for us than where he’s at. He would have given us a speed guard and he would have made us older.”
Washington players and coaches maintain their bigger problems are on defense, despite the poor offensive showing against WSU. The numbers bear that out. The Huskies remain in the top five in the Pac-10 in scoring offense (second, 81.4), field-goal percentage (fourth, 47.3) and three-point percentage (third, 38.5). Washington is even second in assists (16.56) despite all the talk that the team is suffering at point guard.
But the Huskies are lagging greatly in most defensive categories, ranking ninth in field-goal percentage allowed (44.6), seventh in three-point percentage allowed (33.9) and seventh in steals (5.56).
I also wrote today about the fact that Aaron Brooks cannot play Thursday for Oregon.
And here’s some more on Brooks from the Eugene Register-Guard, including this column by Ron Bellamy Bellamy and others in Eugene have better access to Brooks this week than we did, so he has some more in-depth material on Brooks’ thoughts on the matter. Brooks was not allowed to speak to Seattle media this week.
Here’s another story from the Register-Guard on how the Ducks plan to fill the void created by Brooks’ absence Thursday. The story also includes the information that Oregon’s Adam Zahn, the team’s main big man off the bench, will miss the game with a concussion suffered in practice this week.

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