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Husky Men's Basketball

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

January 15, 2010 at 2:19 AM

Stanford’s post-game analysis: “We all we got”

Quincy dunk.JPG
PHOTO CREDIT: Cliff DesPeaux
Sitting next to Justin Holiday, the unsung hero of Washington’s 94-61 victory over Stanford, Isaiah Thomas finished his post-game comments answering a question about why he chose to announce this week that he’s not making an early bid to the NBA.
Thomas’ answer gave a little insight into the team, which seems to have closed ranks and grown closer after its recent three-game losing streak.
“You guys always want to hear that,” he said. “I want to win the national championship. However long that takes, I want to do that. It’s about this team. It’s not about me going to the NBA or anything like that. It’s about us.
“Our team motto is: ‘We all we got.’ We’re against the world. Our backs are against all of you guys. And we feel like … it’s just not about me. No matter what is is. Nothing is about me. It’s about us.”
And with that, it felt as if the Huskies unburdened themselves of an anchor that might have sank their season. They played much looser than they had in any conference game this season. And in the end, they laughed and joked for the first time in about three weeks.
With Holiday and Venoy Overton leading the charge, they were aggressive defensively. They challenged every dribble, pass and shot. They switched aggressively on screens, pressured full court at times and trapped in the corners and along the sidelines.
Making his first career star, Holiday, who missed the two previous games because he was ineligible, set the tone. In the first five minutes, he forced Stanford’s Landry Fields into an offensive foul, grabbed an offensive rebound, threw an assist on UW’s first goal, hit a jumper, blocked a Fields shot and finished an ally-oop layup from Overton.
Washington, which had been troubled by slow starts in the past two games, never trailed and led 22-6 after 10:20 minutes to take control of the game.
Pondexter said Holiday is “a defensive general on the court. It’s like Ray Lewis in football.”
Give credit to coach Lorenzo Romar for recognizing Stanford’s weakness at guards and instructing the Huskies to attack the ball handlers. UW forced with 20 turnovers, which is the second highest for an opponent. Every Stanford starter had at least one turnover.
And credit Romar for making the switch in the lineup and inserting Holiday. It was Washington’s sixth different starting lineup and it appears as if Romar has found a lineup he likes. He also appears to have limited the rotation to nine players. In the first half he used 10, but it seemed as if Darnell Gant only played because Breshers was in foul trouble.

— Stanford played a 2-3 zone, but its nothing like Arizona State’s zone. The Huskies had no problems penetrating the defense finished for 42 points in the paint. UW sank 47.2 percent of its shots in the first half and 50 percent in the second half.
— With his family watching from the front row in the Dawg Pack section, Quincy Pondexter (above) bounced back from a pair of subpar outings. In most games, he’d be the star after finishing with 27 points on 13-for-16 shooting and 10 rebounds, both game highs. Pondexter had more offensive rebounds (7) than any Cardinal had rebounds. He also sank two three-pointers, blocked three shots and dished out two assists.
— UW is 6-0 when Thomas has at least three assists. Tonight he had seven. He also had 15 points and took nine free throws.
Abdul Gaddy reached double digit scoring in consecutive game for the first time. He followed a season-high 13 points at Arizona with 10. Gaddy also looks as he’s found the touch on an awkward-looking short runner that floats over defenders and finds the bottom of the next.
Scott Suggs led the reserves with 10 points. He sank three treys, while UW’s other long ball specialist Elton Turner converted 1 of 9 supporters.
— And then there’s Matthew Bryan-Amaning, who had a strange game. Six points, six rebounds and three steals. He flushed a dunk over Stanford’s Drew Shiller and got posterized by forward Landry Fields. The plays tied for second on ESPN’s top 10 plays.

— Breshes, who is struggling to play defense without fouling, provided the only sour note. He is dealing with the loss of his grandmother.
— And finally, the Huskies had a destructive game plan for Stanford, but Romar admitted they won’t be able to do these things against California. He said UW wouldn’t trap the Bears because point guard Jerome Randle can dribble out of pressure.

Comments | Topics: Abdul Gaddy, Scott Suggs


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