Follow us:

Husky Men's Basketball

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

January 21, 2010 at 10:47 PM

UCLA post-game analysis

mustafa.jpg
Photo credit: AP PHOTO – Gus Ruelas
Update 3:38 AM: Added a video link at the end of this post courtesy of FSN and the Los Angeles Times.
Just when you thought it was safe to believe in the Huskies, that happened.
And by that I mean a 62-61 shocking defeat at UCLA.
I’m not sure what was more shocking, that Mustafa Abdul-Hamid, a former walk-on, hit a 19-footer under duress with time expiring? Or that the Huskies missed 19 of 27 shots in the second half and could not figure out how to decipher UCLA’s 2-3 zone.
Obviously emotions were running high after the game.
Quincy Pondexter was red-eyed and tearful. Venoy Overton, normally soft spoken, barely raised his voice above a whisper. And Isaiah Thomas, blamed himself. On his Twitter account he said: “I take the blame 4 this 1.. Didn’t have my troops ready 4 war from the tip. Will NEVER EVER happen again PROMISE u that.. God is with us!!!”
Coach Lorenzo Romar gave some advice to his team: “We have to grow up, re-group and mature as a group.”
He didn’t go into specifics about who needs to mature, but normally Romar shies away from making any bold statements immediately after intense games like this one.
Still, it’s clear he’s starting to believe the Huskies lack the mental toughness to win on the road. All week Romar talked about playing the same whether at home or on the road. He believed UW turned the corner after a pair of blowout wins at home against California and Stanford.
But you knew this game was going to be different in the opening minutes when UCLA unveiled a 2-3 zone and Justin Holiday made a turnover on a ill-advised pass. In fact, UW had turnovers on three of its first four possessions as UCLA raced out to a 6-0 lead.
Even after the Huskies sank 6 of 12 three-pointers in the first half, the Bruins stayed in the zone and gambled the Huskies would go cold from the outside and the gambit paid off. Washington missed 6 of 7 treys in the second half. In fact, it missed 19 of 27 shots and never found any offensive rhythm other than Pondexter, who finished with a game high 23 points.
“We got to put this one behind us as quickly as we can,” Overton said.
But I got to believe this one sticks with them for awhile. More bad news for the Huskies, they have one day to prepare for USC, which lost tonight to Washington State.
MORE OBSERVATIONS:


— UCLA’s zone took UW’s big men out of the game. Tyreese Breshers was 1 for 2 for two points and four rebounds. Matthew Bryan-Amaning played just four minutes. He didn’t take a shot. Didn’t score a point and didn’t grab a rebound. Darnell Gant was also scoreless in 14 minutes.
— The Bruins negated Overton’s defense when they brought a big man up to set a screen in the backcourt. Overton’s pressure was non existent and often he looped around the screener to avoid contact. One time when he did that, Lee pushed hard at the defense and connected with Tyler Honeycutt for a three-pointer.
Overton played just 11 minutes. He might have been the hero after racing the length of the court and sinking a layup with 3.2 seconds left. Instead, he was the goat and got a good look at Abdul-Hamid’s game-winner.
— The Huskies should be troubled at the ease in which Nikola Dragovic (11 points) and freshman reserve Reeves Nelson (16) scored on the inside. The Bruins were efficient. They shot 54.5 percent in the first half and 52.9 percent in the second half.
Elston Turner and Scott Suggs, who were brilliant in the first half, didn’t make a shot in the second half. Suggs was 3 for 4 and Turner 2 for 4 before the break. They both took two shots in the second half.
— And lastly, the melee at the end of the game spilled over into the UW broadcast. After Abdul-Hamid’s buzzer beater, a fan ran out of the stands and tried to jump over the table and in between Bob Rondeau and Jason Hamilton. A security official pushed the kid back and he tried it again.
This time Rondeau got involved and he was spotted shoving the kid into the crowd. Hamilton told folks after the game he thought he may have injured his hand.
— Here’s the video link. Check out the clock. It doesn’t start when Overton begins his drive for a layup. And when it does start, the clock runs off a few seconds. UW coaches talked about this after the game, perhaps believing something fishy had happened.
After watching the replay several times, I don’t think the UW has a grounds for an appeal. The clock didn’t start on time, but it seems as if time was taken off when it finally did start.
 

Comments | Topics: Scott Suggs, UCLA

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►