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Husky Men's Basketball

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

November 5, 2007 at 10:02 PM

SPU post-game

This is why they have exhibition games, UW coach Lorenzo Romar said tonight after the Huskies beat Seattle Pacific 86-77 in a surprisingly competitive contest at Edmundson Pavilion.
SPU had a one-point lead twice at about the seven-minute mark of the second half before the Huskies rallied, which not so coincidentally was about the same time that Jon Brockman re-enetered the lineup. Brockman sat for about 11 minutes of the second half after picking up his fourth foul.
“That’s one of the worst feelings in the world,” Brockman said. “You feel like an idiot, first of all, for making stupid fouls. It’s nobody’s fault but my own. I’ve just got to be smarter with my fouls.”
Brockman scored 10 points once he returned to allow UW to pull away and avoid what would have been an embarassing start to the season.
He also showed again that he is the one sure thing about this Husky team.
But the rest of the game showed that the Huskies have a ways to go to make that No. 8 pick in the Pac-10 pre-season media poll look bad.
The Huskies have talked about playing better defense and decreasing turnovers, but neither was really evident tonight. UW had 22 turnovers, and while some were the result of new guys playing their first game — the four true freshmen combined for nine — there were still simply too many.
“We’ve got to treat the ball like it’s our prized possession,” Brockman said.
Said Romar: “I think we were so anxious to play, come out and do a good job, that a lot of our guys wanted to do it themselves. We didn’t share the ball like we needed to share the ball. We weren’t patient. We tried to make the home run play too fast, too early. And that hurt us. Our best basketball tonight was when we shared the ball and moved the ball and went inside to Jon Brockman. It’s part of learning what we’ve got to do to be successful.”
Defensively, UW allowed SPU forward Rob Diederichs to score 36 points on 15-23 shooting, the highest total for any UW opponent since Adam Morrison’s memorable 43 in 2005.
“That’s a lot of points to give up to one guy,” Romar said.
SPU seemed to catch UW off-guard a few times with its Princeton-style offense. But Brockman also commented that “we’ve got to tighten up our defense everywhere and we’ve got to do a better job of crashing the boards. I don’t know what the rebound margin was but with our length and athleticism, it’s got to be more than that.” UW had a 42-34 rebounding edge.
— Romar said the Huskies had a lot of combinations of players on the floor that won’t be out there for counting games. Judging by the minutes played, guys who may be on the outside are Artem Wallace, Darnell Gant and Justin Holiday, though the latter two are obviously true freshmen growing into their roles.
— SPU coach Jeff Hironaka sounded a few notes of caution about the Huskies: “They’re young. It’s going to depend on their perimeter guys and how well they can handle the pressure themselves. I know they are going to put pressure on but at the same time, they are goigin to have to handle teams that are way more athletic than us and probably put a little bit more heat on them. I think they are solid with Jon in there, but after him, those other guys are pretty young. They are a young squad, so who knows. If they get it going, they could be fine. But if they don’t, it just depends on where their confidence is. At some point, if they happen to lose a couple, can they sustain and what can they do?”
— Overton and Justin Dentmon played quite a bit together in the backcourt and Hironaka liked the looks of that. “Venoy showed some brilliance there at times, just running the show and not doing too much. Having him and Dentmon there at least will give them another guy to run the point. I think the one thing they are missing is Appley. They need that three-point shooter.”
— Romar said the fact that Overton played 33 minutes said all you needed to know of what they thought of his play. “Venoy makes things happen with the basketball. He’s constantly looking up the floor. Did he make mistakes? Yes/ But at the same time, he helped us in a lot of ways. I thought he did a good job.”
— On the other freshmen, Romar said: “Justin (Holiday) didn’t play a lot tonight so it’s hard to talk about what he did. Matthew (Bryan-Amaning) has an array of moves. Sometimes he tries to use them all in one possession. The trick is just to get Matthew to slow down and pick his spots because he’s very talented. Darnell Gant I thought did a good job while he was in there.”
— Diederichs told some good stories afterward of how he’s a big-time Husky fan who attends every football game he can in the east end zone and was once a ball boy for the UW hoops team back in the Todd MacCulloch-Donald Watts era. “I didn’t want to score 36, I just wanted to play well,” he said. “It’s definitely fun.”
— Apparently Holiday’s brother Jrue, who has committed to UCLA, was there as well. I’m told not to read anything into it. Justin Holiday said recently he had no indication his brother was thinking of changing his mind.

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