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Husky Men's Basketball

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

November 6, 2008 at 9:52 AM

Game tonight

First time we’ve been able to say that in seven months.
So even though it’s just an exhibition against Western Washington, the first chance in any season to see a new team brings with it a little extra excitement.
And interestingly, UW coach Lorenzo Romar seems more content than anxious heading into this season, saying the other day he doesn’t necessarily have a great curiosity about what he will see tonight, instead feeling pretty confident about what he has.
Indeed, the UW coaches seem the most confident heading into a season as they have been since 2005, when Brandon Roy and Bobby Jones were seniors.
There was a lot of hype in 2006, but I think everyone always had a concern how all the new pieces would fit together. As it turned out, not so well. And last year became something of a building season when Spencer Hawes left early and Phil Nelson and Adrian Oliver transferred.
But while the coaches may have a good idea what they are going to see, I have a lot of my own curiosity:
— Is this really the year Quincy Pondexter truly fulfills all the hype? He came on at the end of last season and the early reports are that he has picked up where he left off. But Pondexter is notoriously hard on himself and the best thing that can happen is to get off to a good start and get his confidence rolling.
— Will Isaiah Thomas really be able to contend for Pac-10 Freshman of the Year honors? Some think he can, even though this is another strong year for freshmen in the conference. We will begin to find out tonight.
— What of the rest of the new guys? Darnell Gant is the latest to apparently take a big stride in earning playing time, and Elston Turner and Scott Suggs will also make their debuts tonight. All should see some significant playing time tonight.
— How will the Huskies play defense? Word is that the scrimmage against Wyoming was pretty high scoring — each team over the 100-mark. And there has been lots of acknowledgement that defense will be the major issue for this team this season. It foreshadowed some defensive issues to come when Rob Diedrichs of Seattle Pacific scored 36 against UW in an exhibition game to kick off last season.
— How will the team shoot free throws? Romar has continually said he’s not worried about it, saying the team has been much better in practices, due in part to the fact that all the new guys are pretty good shooters. Still, Romar admitted this week the real test comes when the lights go on. The best thing that can happen is for the Huskies to start making them at a healthy clip and eliminate the questions early.
— How will the new-look backcourt of Thomas and Justin Dentmon, the latter now primarily at the two guard, come together? And how will Venoy Overton rotate in? The Huskies need a big year from Dentmon shooting from the outside to replace some of Ryan Appleby’s production.
— How much improvement will we see from Matthew Bryan-Amaning? Expectations are pretty high after he had a solid off-season with the British national team. We’ll begin to see tonight how that paid off.
The answers begin to come tonight.

Comments | Topics: Scott Suggs

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