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Husky Men's Basketball

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

December 22, 2009 at 11:56 PM

Update on Derrick Roland; Texas A&M postgame analysis

Roland.JPG
Photo credit: AP PHOTO – Elaine Thompson
Andy Katz at ESPN.com reports Texas A&M senior guard Derrick Roland (above) had surgery Tuesday night at Harborview Medical Center to have a rod placed in his broken fibula and tibia.
The Aggies were scheduled to leave their hotel at 5:30 a.m. for the airport, but several players want to stay with Roland, who will spend Christmas in Seattle, until his mother can arrive from Dallas. Texas A&M is having difficulty getting her on a flight because of the holiday travel.
A&M Coach Mark Turgeon told Katz: “Derrick was the heart and soul of this team. Everyone is devastated. Our guys had their eyes swollen in the last five minutes of the game. They were crying during the game. They never came out of it.”
POST-GAME ANALYSIS:
It’s a little unfair, but you got to put an asterisk on Washington’s 73-64 win over No. 19 Texas A&M.
I’m sure the Huskies don’t feel that way. They’ll say a win is a win.
They’ll say no one will remember the circumstances of the game in March.
And they’re right.
But after watching how things changed so drastically after the Aggies lost Roland, it’s impossible to say his injury didn’t change everything about this game. He was A&M’s best perimeter defender, second leading scorer and he played more games (103) than any other Aggie.
Washington led 34-33 when Roland landed after jumping for a rebound and fractured his lower right leg with 17:30 left. Losing Roland left the Aggies visibly shaken. Several players were fighting back tears, including senior guard Donald Sloan, Roland’s high school teammate, best friend and A&M’s best player.
After the injury, UW went on a 19-6 run and Texas A&M never fought back until the late minutes when backup guard B.J. Holmes hit a couple of three-pointers. A&M closed to within five points before Venoy Overton salted the game away with five free throws.
Before the injury, no team led by more than six points. Before the injury, this game looked as if it was going to be decided on a last-second shot.
Give Washington credit for maintaining its focus during the 8-10 minute injury break. And give Washington credit for sensing A&M was down and increasing its defensive intensity.
But I’m also giving Washington an asterisk for a win that was marred by a horrific injury.
SOME MORE OBSERVATIONS:


— If not for Roland’s injury, the story of the game might have been Quincy Pondexter and how UW’s senior captain carried the Huskies to its first win against a ranked opponent. It was obvious Pondexter had a size advantage and he exploited it. He sank 10 of 17 shots for a game-high 25 points. He also had a game-high 13 rebounds, three blocks and two assists.
When it looked as if UW might lose control of the game in the first half and trailed by six with four minutes left, Pondexter scored four points including a layup at the buzzer to keep the Huskies close.
Isaiah Thomas didn’t shoot well (3 for 13) and didn’t score in double figures for the first time this season. Still, he found a way to be productive. Thomas, who had nine points, also had seven rebounds, which was the second highest among the Huskies. He also had five assists, which negated three turnovers. And the 5-8 guard had one of the best blocks – rejecting a layup from 6-9 Bryan Davis – of his career. At the end, Thomas lost track of Holmes several times and gave him room for his three-pointers.
— Strange game from Matthew Bryan-Amaning. It looked as if he was on his way to breakout performance when he collected two quick steals and played aggressive defense on Davis. But he collected his second foul less than three minutes into the game and went to the bench. Bryan-Amaning played just 16 minutes and had seven points and four rebounds. He connected on 3 of 5 free throws. The five FT attempts were a season high as were his three steals.
— Foul trouble also plagued Abdul Gaddy, who played just nine minutes and went scoreless for the second straight game on 0-for-3 shooting. He committed two turnovers and had four fouls. In the past three games, Gaddy has 11 fouls, eight turnovers, seven rebounds, five assists and two points.
— Solid game for Darnell Gant, who had seven rebounds and five points.
— Overton is like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. The good Overton collected seven rebounds, dished four assists, pressured the Aggies defensively and sank five free throws to ice the game. The bad Overton played a little reckless and committed four turnovers.
— Three weeks ago, coach Lorenzo Romar kept Tyreese Breshers out of a similar uptempo-game like this against Texas Tech. Tonight, he played 10 minutes, which shows how far he’s progressed in his recovery from leg injuries. For a few minutes, it looked as if Breshers would use his size advantage to dominate in the low post. The Aggies couldn’t stop him and were forced to foul him, sending him to the free throw line four times.
— You only needed to see Scott Suggs on the court in the final minutes as UW fought off the Aggies to witness how much he’s improved. Who would have imagined he would be in this role a year ago when he was at the end of the bench? Suggs is getting time on the floor because he’s the only Husky who can hit a three-pointer. UW connected on 2 of 12 behind the arc and he sank both of them.
— Finally, the Huskies won this game with their defense. They ourtrebounded the Aggies 55-45 and held A&M to 30.3 percent shooting from the field. Both teams took 66 shots, but UW made 24 and A&M sank 20. Washington converted on 23 of 31 FTs, which was also helped. And UW had just 14 turnovers.
SOME QUOTES:
Romar:
(Opening statement)
“The last time that I was involved with a situation like that, I was at Saint Louis and we played Cincinnati in the conference tournament. Kenyon Martin broke his leg, same deal, you just feel for him. It’s hard for his teammates, how do you respond to that? It’s a tough deal. That kid’s a senior. He’s going through all this and when you’re a senior, this is [your] last year and [you want] to get the most of this and something like this happens. We’re still in non-conference. It’s sad to see something like that.”
(Are you finding an identity yet?) “I think we’re coming close to that. I think we’re getting there. That’s what we talk about. Our identity can’t be how many baskets we make, how many time we dunk or how many times the crowd applauds, it has to be our defense. We shoot 36 percent tonight and we won the game by almost double digits because of our defense. And our rebounding, that’s part of defense, we outrebounded that team by 10. That’s a pretty good job because that’s a good team.”
Pondexter:
(Did they have anybody that could defend you?)
“They tried a few different things. They did a great job of trying to contain me, and there were spurts where I couldn’t get any rhythm, or touches because they did a great job of defending me. I got some great looks from my teammates, they found me in open spots when I could get the ball and go up. They made the game much easier for me.”
Gant:
(On Derrick Roland’s Injury)
“That was gruesome. I was right there when he went down, but I didn’t see it. Someone said `get a doctor here,’ then I looked down and it was just a bad sight to see.”
“I thought I was there and got the rebound, and I was close…I heard him fall. He didn’t scream or anything so we kept going, I thought he was going to get up. But by the time they blew the whistle, he was still on the floor. It seemed like he wasn’t in that much pain because he was just laying there, like he just needed some help, but you could see that his leg looked out of order.”

Comments | Topics: Abdul Gaddy, Scott Suggs, top 25

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