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Husky Men's Basketball

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

March 13, 2009 at 10:06 PM

ASU post-game

Well, the good news is that unlike the last two times when the Huskies left this building in defeat, they know what will happen next.
No worrying about the NIT or the CBI,
“We’re fortunate that we have this opportunity on Sunday that our name is going to be called and wherever we are sent, whoever we will play, we’ll just have to make the best of it,” UW coach Lorenzo Romar said later.
Romar said later that he expects UW to be either a three or four, that anything else would surprise him.
For the details of the game, check my game story here, which should be updated soon with post-game reaction.
I also have a separate notebook with details of the skirmish in the second half. Here’s the link.
The general reaction afterward, however, was that it was just something that happened in the heat of the moment and that it wasn’t that big of a deal. James Harden and Isaiah Thomas shared what appeared to be a pretty convivial chat afteward, for instance.
“I thought what went on is the same thing that goes on sometimes in practice,” Romar said. “Two teams really competing — at that point really competing — and neither wanted to give the edge to the other.I don’t think anyone lost control, so I just think it was two teams competing really hard.”
I have lots of player reaction on the skirmish in the notebook and I don’t want to repeat that all here so I’ll link that here once it’s on-line.
As for the game, Romar had this assessment of how ASU built the big early lead:
“We came out with great energy on the defensive end.I thought we were rotating well, we were moving our feet, we were quick to the ball. Arizona State just did a great job of maintaining their pose throughout that and they just chipped away and chipped away and we had difficulty putting the ball in the basket early. With that combination they were able to slowly jump out in front of us.”
Romar and UW players said the main culprit was some bad shot selection against ASU’s 2-3 zone.
“We were just rushing our shots,,” said guard Justin Dentmon. “Sometimes in the zone you get an open look and it’s like ‘wow, I’m open. But against the zone it’s rare that you get open looks if you don’t move the ball.”
That’s been a common theme of UW’s few losses this season, most notably the defeat at Cal. UW began to rally in the second half when it began to be more patient and also get the ball inside more.
UW was 7-30 in the first half and even though the Huskies were 17-34 in the second they finished at 24-64 for the game, 37.5 percent, the third-lowest percentage of the season.
“We got frustrated a little bit but we knew we had another half to go,” Dentmon said. “So we were just trying to maintain and make sure that lead didn’t get crazy. So we contained it a little bit and once we got into halftime we talked it over and we knew what we had to do to come out and cut it down. Just take baby steps.”
UW did just that, taking the lead on three occassions. UW coaches felt later the game turned a bit on the possession with 5:50 to go when the Huskies were up two and ASU missed a shot but UW couldn’t control the rebound and then Derek Glasser hit a three. That gave the Sun Devils the lead for good.
“They came through when they needed to,” Romar said of the Sun Devils.
Romar felt good that the Huskies rallied at all, saying that as the team reviews the game it will focus on the second half while remembering what happened in the first half.
Romar also said he thinks the Huskies can work out the kinks of an offense that is struggling a bit of late.
Only Jon Brockman of the regulars made more than half of his shots, going 6-10. Some of the others were ugly — Isaiah Thomas was 6-15, Dentmon 3-11, Quincy Pondexter 3-8.
The Huskies were also outrebounded for just the fourth time all season, 36-33, due in large part to all those misses — ASU had 29 defensive rebounds to UW’s 21 with the Huskies getting more offensive boards (12-7).
As for the Devils, they tried to downplay what it meant to beat the Huskies though their play made it obvious it meant a lot.
“We have great respct for them as individuals annd as a program,” Glasser said. “They are our conference champions. A great team. We knew coming in it would be an unbelivable battle, how intense and how hard-fought the game was in Seattle and we knew we would have to match their intensity. I think we did that.”

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