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

January 23, 2010 at 1:00 PM

WSU-UCLA game thread

POST-GAME WRAP-UP — Not much too add. Got to hustle across town for the UW game. Check back later and I should have some observations.
IT’S OVER — UCLA 74-62.
TURNING INTO A ROUT — It was a matter of time. UCLA is making just enough free throws and WSU has cooled off on its three-point shooting. Less than a minute left. UCLA 73-60.
MISSED FREE THROWS — UCLA is 11 of 20 at the line, which is making this game more exciting than it probably needs to be. UCLA 67-60.
BRUINS IN DOUBLE BONUS — Not sure if the Cougars can recover now. UCLA will take two shots every time its fouled. Plus Dragovic just knocked down yet another three and the crowd is really into it now. Just 3:37 remain. UCLA 63-49.
PECULIAR STRATEGY — With 4:48 left, Bone has decided to foul intentionally when UCLA gets the ball. Honeycutt missed the front end of a 1-and-1. Come to think of it, the strategy is sound. Bone wanted to put the Bruins at the line before they were in the double bonus. UCLA 58-49.
FOUL PROBLEMS? — Lee picked up his third foul, which could present problems for UCLA because he directs the offense. The Bruins can turn to Abdul-Hamid in a pinch, but he’s better off the ball. UCLA 55-43 with 5:55 left.
APOLOGIZES TO LEE — Maybe Lee is a point guard after all. He’s displaying fine ball handling skills under pressure. Against UW he three harmless turnovers and today he has two, but the turnovers weren’t awful. He was trying to make a couple of plays. Still wonder why the Cougars don’t make someone else handle the ball. UCLA 53-39.
WSU TRYING TO TRAP — Perhaps recognizing they need to speed up the pace of the game, the Cougars are trapping Lee in the backcourt. They’re bringing Casto up and forcing Lee to work harder than he had earlier. UCLA 52-39.
COUGARS PANICKING — Thompson and Moore threw up awful three-pointers early in the shot clock. That’s what WSU’s offense has degraded to. They’re a mess right now. Totally out of sync while UCLA is being patient and creating uncontested dunks for Reeves and treys for Dragovic. UCLA 47-33.
BACK BREAKER — Dragovic drained a contested three-pointer. The crowd is going crazy. Timeout WSU. Still just one basket for the Cougars after 6:30. Not looking good for WSU. Thompson has just six points and he has not been a factor. Bone has got to diagram a play to get him a good look. Not sure if anyone other Cougar can score enough points to get them back in this game. UCLA 42-33.
BACK TO ZONE — WSU switched back to zone, but it didn’t prevent Nelson from flushing a dunk. UCLA 39-33.
WSU STRUGGLING — Just one basket in the first 4:30 for the Cougars and that came off of a Moore three-pointer. Not sure how much longer WSU can live on the trey. The Cougars are getting absolutely nothing inside and in transition. UCLA is wearing them down with Dragovic and Nelson. Hate to sound like a broken record, but I feel like I’ve seen this game before. WSU is 1 for 6 shooting after intermission. UCLA 36-31.
SECOND HALF — Same starters.
A FEW WORDS ON MOORE — Someone suggested during the Live Chat yesterday that UW was interested in Moore. Well I’ve asked around and folks at the game told me the timing was always awkward with Moore in terms of recruiting because he reneged on a commitment to Fresno State. It seems UW was talking to him early in the process, but the Huskies believed they nabbed their point guard of the future when they secured Abdul Gaddy. And I’m hearing Moore decided to go elsewhere at that point as well. Ken Bone swept in quickly recognizing the talent in Moore and it looks like he made a very smart decision.
HALFTIME OBSERVATIONS — Thompson gets the publicity, but I’m not so sure if Moore isn’t WSU’s best player. He’s got all the tools for a freshman. He has a silky jumper that extends to the three-point line. He handles the ball well. He’s an adequate defender. And he runs the team nicely. Thompson has developed into a really good shooter, but I haven’t seen a whole lot of versatility in his game as of yet.
As for the Bruins, I’m starting to like their team. They play well together. Nothing too flashy. The defense is solid inside the zone and offensively, everyone knows their role. Roll is a good shooter. Lee is playing out of position at PG and everyone knows it, but he doesn’t try to do too much. Nelson is a bull beneath the glass. Dragovic is a good shooter with a few low post moves. And Honeycutt is probably the real prize. Reminds me of a more athletic Austin Daye. Honeycutt is going to good. He needs to get more aggressive on the offensive end because his length makes him difficult to defend.
HALFTIME STATS — Click here.
UCLA GOES MAN — The Bruins changed to man-to-man on final possession. The switch caught WSU by surprise. Moore matched up against Abdul-Hamid and he missed a long jumper.
NELSON IS A HOSS — The more I see him, the more I like him. He’s a load. And he’s crafty around the rim. Reminds me of a young Jon Brockman. UCLA 30-24.
CAREER HIGH FOR ABDUL-HAMID — His career best is 10 points. Looks like he might get that before halftime. UCLA 28-21.
ABDUL-HAMID PUTTING ON A SHOW — Looks like UW might have ignited Abdu-Hamid’s season. He’s on fire. He’s got 9 points. Looking to see what his season and career highs are. UCLA 26-21.
CAPERS MAKES A HIGHLIGHT — Xavier Thames missed a three-pointer from the top of the key and Capers cleaned up the rebound with a putback dunk. Howland was not pleased. He called timeout and chewed out the Bruins. UCLA 23-21.
BONE GOES ZONE — WSU switched to a zone and the Bruins have no immediate answer. Not sure if they were prepared for this switch. UCLA 16-12.
BIG APPLAUSE FOR ABDUL-HAMID — Thursday’s star Mustafa Abdul-Hamid just entered and the crowd cheered wildly for the Bruin who sank the game-winner vs. UW. He missed his first shot. UCLA 15-10.
LOOKS FAMILIAR — Just like Thursday, WSU is having trouble getting a good look against the Bruins defense, which floods the middle with tall defenders and runs out quickly on the shooters. Moore drained a three-pointer, but I suspect coach Ben Howland will live with that just as he didn’t mind UW shooting 6 for 12 on treys in the first half. Thompson has gotten just one good look and he missed a three. UCLA 6-3.
BRUINS IN ZONE — UCLA starts out in its 2-3 zone and forces turnovers on WSU’s first two possessions. UCLA 2-0.
STARTING LINEUPS — UCLA: G Michael Roll, G Malcolm Lee, F James Keefe, F Tyler Honeycutt, F Nikola Dragovic.
WSU: G Reggie Moore, G Klay Thompson, G Marcus Capers, F DeAngelo Casto and F Abe Lodwick.
A BIT OF A SURPRISE — Anyone out there? Hey folks. Thought I’d do a little double duty today and blog from the Washington State-UCLA game.

Comments | More in Game threads | Topics: Abdul Gaddy, Reggie Moore, UCLA


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