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Husky Men's Basketball

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

November 18, 2007 at 8:01 PM

Eastern post-game

Sorry for the delay, but had some complicating factors today.
The basic theme after this one was that the Huskies didn’t play their best game, and while UW coach Lorenzo Romar said he didn’t think his players were distracted by the impending trip to New York, Jon Brockman thought they might have been.
“I think there is a lot of excitement amongst our team looking forward to going to New York, looking forward to playing in the NIT,” Brockman said. “That makes it difficult to play in a game like this when you’re already thinking about something that’s coming up, but it’s not an excuse at all. Basketball is basketball; you should be ready to play whenever.”
So maybe that explains the the sometimes sloppy affair — UW had 19 turnovers and is averaging 17 for the season in what may be the biggest negative to date.
Brockman was the star with 26 points and eight rebounds and Justin Dentmon had another solid game with 16 points and seven assists. Asked about his new role playing alongside Venoy Overton, which allows him more time at shooting guard, Dentmon said “I’m loving it.”
Romar also praised the play of Tim Morris (eight points, five assists in 22 minutes) while Joe Wolfinger also had a pretty productive nine minutes with eight points and an assist and a rebound. He hit two three-pointers that were sure-as-silk with the crowd seeming to rise its voice in anticipation of the second one.
Here are a few quotes from Romar, including an explainer of Adrian Oliver’s situation:
General Statement: “I was asked before to talk a little bit about Eastern Washington and I think I described them as quick and scrappy and they were. I thought we did a pretty good job in the first half and I thought, without discounting Eastern Washington at all, we lost a little concentration in the second half. That was disappointing but it’s behind us and now we’ve got a big challenge in front of us in New York.”
On letting the lead get cut down to 10: “We played a few more guys that hadn’t played that many minutes just to let them play through their mistakes tonight. If you want to point to anything maybe that’s what happened in the second half, but you don’t want to say that. Everyone’s in there and is making a case that they believe they should be a starter.”
On Adrian Oliver: “He didn’t practice the last few days because he had strained his knee. He’ll be fine for New York.”
On Justin Dentmon and Brockman’s chemistry: “They’ve played a lot of games together, so you’d hope at this point that would start to happen with those guys. I think Justin playing off the ball has helped him tremendously and that he doesn’t have the entire company in his hands, like he’s able to delegate now. Other people can do some things and he can concentrate in some other areas.
As I wrote earlier, Oliver said he sprained his MCL and also hurt some tendons in his hamstring, but should be fine for New York.
I see there’s been some discussion on here about Artem Wallace, who played just two minutes. Eastern isn’t a big team and one of its big guys played out at the perimeter a lot, so Romar might not have felt there were many matchups for Wallace. But there’s also simply the fact that Matthew Bryan-Amaning played 24 minutes today — those minutes come from somewhere, and right now, Wallace looks like the odd man out with both MBA and Wolfinger in the rotation ahead of him, two players who weren’t on the active roster a year ago.
The team leaves for New York and the NIT tomorrow. I’m actually not going, staying home to tend to Apple Cup duties. Columnist Steve Kelley will cover the games in New York and has plans to fill in on the blog. But I will also chip in with some news, notes and observations throughout, as well.

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