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Husky Men's Basketball

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

February 28, 2009 at 5:07 PM

Arizona post game

So how does it feel to be Pac-10 champions again? There’s still so much to be decided, but things should become a little more clear after tonight’s UCLA-Cal game.
In terms of seeding for the Pac-10 Tourney, Husky fans will no doubt root for the Bruins because a tie with the Bears gives them the No. 1 seed if UW loses Saturday and Cal wins out. However, if Washington and UCLA are tied, then things are much trickier and tend to fall in favor of the Huskies.
We’ll dissect the tie-breaker scenarios later. For now, the Huskies will enjoy their first title since 1985. Not surprisingly, Jon Brockman and his family were the last to leave the arena because he had a slew of media commitments.
Some fans joked with him if he’ll win the Pac-10 Player of the Week award after finishing with 19 points and 11 rebounds Saturday and 21 points and 11 rebounds Thursday. Brockman seemed to grin and shrugged sheepishly. Knowing him, I don’t think he cares, but it’s interesting to see what happens. Got to believe the candidates include Cal’s Patrick Christopher, UCLA’s Josh Shipp and WSU’s Taylor Rochestie.
Here’s some links from today’s coverage. I wrote the game story, Steve Kelley takes you into locker room with a detailed account on how Lorenzo Romar may have saved the game with an impassioned speech to the senior co-captains and Bob Condotta did a great job explaining how the UW locked up Nic Wise.
As for Saturday’s game, well, it may have been ugly at times, bu the final numbers suggest the Huskies followed the script perfectly. They survived Jordan Hill’s 27 points even though it seemed at times they should have came with the double team earlier rather than allow Brockman to defend him alone. But by not double teaming, the UW limited UA’s supporting cast to spectators. Chase Budinger had 20 points, but no one else was a factor.
Credit Venoy Overton for taking Wise out of the game mentally and physically. Overton and the raucous Husky crowd got to Wise who picked up two quick offensive fouls in the first half. Without Wise, Arizona became predictable. And when Hill suffered a left ankle injury, Budinger took it upon himself to score and tried to do a little too much.
Bad for the Wildcats, good for the Huskies.
Also give credit to the coaching staff, particularly assistant Cameron Dollar for insisting Isaiah Thomas and Justin Dentmon to attack the middle of the Wildcat defense. I spoke with him after the game and Dollar said he knew Arizona was susceptible to penetration because it was in foul trouble. He scolded Dentmon for settling for a long three-pointer and applauded Thomas for driving into the lane and picking up a foul after converting a layup.
Coach Lorenzo Romar also spent a great deal of time working the officials as well. It will be interesting to see if officials from another conference who haven’t seen the Huskies play will allow them to play their nose-to-nose defense in the NCAA Tournament.
Some quick notes:
— Dentmon has struggled shooting for the second straight game, which is probably nothing to worry about. Shooters have to shoot themselves out of slumps. More importantly, he’s doing other things on the court. Against Arizona, he had five rebounds, four assists and two steals for one of his better all-around games.
— Was that Matthew Bryan-Amaning? Yup, sure was. His monster dunk in the second half reminded many of the guy we all saw early in the season. And even though the refs called his block a goal tending, UW assistants cheered his defensive effort. MBA finished with nine points on 4-for-5 shooting (the most he’s scored in nine games), two assists and two blocks. Now if he can only increase the glass work. Seems like he should average more than 4.4 rebounds per game.
— Speaking of sightings, was that a three-pointer from Elston Turner? Yup. The long-ball specialist had gone five games without making a trey. Saturday, however, he drained 2 of 4 from behind the arc for six points in 12 minutes.
— It was good to see Thomas regain his nerve and attack the paint, but he had no explanation for his 3-for-10 free throw shooting. Let’s call it an abberration and move on.
— Overton had some great moments, but I thought the biggest play of the game was Brockman throwing a no-look pass while falling out of bounds to MBA who flushed a two-hand dunk that pulled the UW to 62-58.
Quote of the day — Wise on Overton: “I didn’t have this much trouble with him at all (last game), so maybe he feeds off the crowd at his home court. He’s a great defender though. He’s the first person that our coach talked about on defense. He and Dentmon both have quick hands. He said, ‘Watch it when you have the ball.’ He was our main focus in the scouting report.”
Finally, Romar said he’ll treat Tuesday’s non-conference game against Seattle University like any other game. He has no plans to lengthen the rotation or rest players, but if the game is a blowout expect to see the reserves get plenty of minutes.

Comments | Topics: UCLA

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