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Husky Men's Basketball

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

January 17, 2008 at 9:40 PM

Sweet relief for Huskies

Make no mistake that this was the biggest win of the season for the Huskies.
The LSU game was big in its own way, but an 0-4 conference start would have been really tough to overcome in any meaningful way.
Now Oregon State comes in giving UW a chance to take a weekend sweep on the road to Arizona State and Arizona next weekend.
“It’s kind of a ‘monkey-off-the-back’ type of deal,”’ said UW forward Jon Brockman. “Now we’ve got to keep bringing it.”
Maybe they can if they keep playing the way they did tonight.
A few keys from this eye:
— UW had just 11 turnovers, their third-lowest total of the season, despite playing at one of its fastest paces of the year. Critical to that was the play of freshman Venoy Overton, who looks like he’s on his way to locking up the starting point guard position for maybe the next four years. He had five assists and 11 points and while he also had four turnovers, he made a lot of key plays and also chipped in with a dunk — which he said was his second of the season (also against Texas A&M). The odd man out in this could be Justin Dentmon, who played just 14 minutes and is back on the bench after having started last Thursday against UCLA. But this performance will speak loudly for Overton.
— The revival of Ryan Appleby was obviously huge. The heightened pace of the game surely helped him, but it also seemed like the Huskies simply set better screens for him. There was one time when he curled off a screen and got the pass in the corner and hit a three and Oregon’s Bryce Taylor punched at the air in frustration. Appleby also hit the clutch three at the end of the game (1:15 left) on a great pass from Overton. UW coach Lorenzo Romar afterward called that the key play of the game.
— The Huskies hung tough throughout what was an intense game something that Brockman said later he thought last year’s team might not have been able to do. He said when Oregon cut the lead to three that last year’s team might have folded at the end but that this team instead “dug in its heels and said ‘that’s enough.” Brockman also stood up to Oregon’s Malik Hairston during a brief staredown. Brockman said Hairston told him that he was going to be there all night. Brockman said he answered back that “I’m not going to go anywhere.”
— The Huskies thrived against what was pretty much a straight-up defense by the Ducks, who decided not to double-team Brockman a lot but instead just to front him. “That was a different look,” said Brockman, who responded by making 7-10 shots and scoring 21 points with 16 rebounds. Unlike a lot of recent games, however, Brockman got most of his points and shots out of set offense instead of just from putbacks or in transition.
Matthew Bryan-Amaning continued to emerge as a regular contributor. He played 20 minutes, his third straight game playing 17 or more, and had six points, three rebounds and a momentum-turning block. Romar said later that MBA was more patient on the offensive end which he thought led to better shots. Indeed, MBA had a number of close looks that he just barely missed on that you figure that he’ll start making with a little more experience.
Now comes a game against Oregon State, a team the Huskies always seem to find more troublesome than they should.

Comments | Topics: UCLA


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