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Husky Men's Basketball

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

February 18, 2010 at 11:00 PM

USC post-game analyis

mba vs gerrity.JPG
Photo credit: Seattle Times – Cliff Despeaux
Washington’s 67-64 loss to USC left the Huskies deflated, dejected and not entirely certain about the future. When asked about Pac-10 title and NCAA tournament, coach Lorenzo Romar and a couple of players said all they were concerned about is the next game: UCLA.
That’s probably a good idea to keep things simple because it really does the Huskies no good to look at the big picture or try and speculate what they have to do earn an at-large bid to the tournament.
“Just trying to get some wins,” Matthew Bryan-Amaning (above, left) said. “That’s what we’re really focusing on.”
One of the few positives from the loss was Bryan-Amaning, who thoroughly outplayed counterparts Alex Stepheson and backup Leonard Washington. Bryan-Amaning converted six of seven field goals for 14 points. He also had seven rebounds, two steals and a block that overshadowed two turnovers.
Bryan-Amaning, who was re-inserted in the starting lineup last week at Stanford, said he hasn’t been doing anything different lately. “My shots are just falling for me now,” he said.
Aside from Bryan-Amaning, the Huskies can take pride in their spirited second-half comeback attempt that cut a 16-point deficit with 9:05 left to one point with 1:27 remaining. Alas, they couldn’t get over the hump.
Surprisingly the defeat hurt Washington’s NCAA tournament hopes more than its chances of winning the Pac-10 title because California lost at Oregon State, which dropped the Golden Bears to 9-5 in the conference.
With four games left, the Huskies are still two games behind Cal. That’s the good news. The bad news, they’re in sixth place and they play just one team (UCLA) that’s ahead of them.
Anyone who scoffed at the college basketball pundits who said the Pac-10 would only send one team to the Big Dance needs to send Joe Lunardi and the other bracket gurus an apology.
Got to admit, I don’t see the selection committee rewarding the regular-season champion with an at-large berth. And if USC, which is 1/2 game behind Cal, can somehow win the conference, then that would be fitting wouldn’t it? You’ll remember the Trojans are banned from post-season play.
One last note on the title race, the conference champion had five Pac-10 losses just once since the league expanded to 10 teams. That was 1985 when UW and USC did it. The Pac-10 has never had a champion with six or more conference defeats.
Got to believe that’s going to happen this year?
MORE OBSERVATIONS:


— So who is your Pac-10 Player of the Year? Is it still Quincy Pondexter? Is it Cal’s Jerome Randle? What if the Bears don’t finish first, then who? Arizona State’s Ty Abbott?
Maybe we saw the POY tonight in USC senior guard MIke Gerrity (above, right). I’ll admit, he’s not my choice, but it was a fun topic among the writers after tonight’s game. Gerrity put on a show and you’d be hard-pressed to find a better player on the Trojans roster.
Dwight Lewis scored more points (22), Nikola Vucevic is a double double machine (13 points and 10 rebounds) and Marcus Jonson (10 points) hits big shots, but Gerrity is the straw that stirs the drink.
And tonight, he was marvelous while dissecting UW’s defense and dribbling around around the Huskies as if the were the Washington Generals.
Said Justin Holiday: “He was pretty much able to do whatever he wanted really. Get in the key and dish off or make the easy bucket. That’s pretty much all he did all might. We had problems keeping him in front of us.”
— It should be noted the lineup that nearly won the game for UW was Overton, Holiday, Bryan-Amaning, Pondexter and Elston Turner. I don’t remember this grouping doing anything spectacular in previous games, but maybe they’ll play more together in the future.
— Initially I thought Romar decision to switch to a full-court press was a desperation move, but he needed to do something to speed up the game’s tempo and it turned out to be a brilliant decision.
— In a three-point game, you look at every statistic searching for reasons for the loss. And in this case, the free throw shooting really jumps off the page: 11 for 18. At the time, the missed FTs didn’t seem so bad. In hindsight, shooting 61.1 percent from the charity stripe at home is atrocious. Even more distressing, USC was 12 of 14.
— Just an off night from Isaiah Thomas, who tallied five points on 2-for-5 shooting. He managed four assists, but he also had three turnovers while playing 26 minutes.
Abdul Gaddy appeared as if he was headed to a big night before he sat down. When he re-entered the game, he wasn’t the same. In his first rotation, he was aggressive with the dribble and his shot, scoring four of Washington’s first eight points. He finished with six points and one assist in 16 minutes.
— Holiday also had a forgettable game. He’s been so good lately, but tonight he couldn’t contain Lewis or Gerrity. Making matters worse, Holiday committed a career-high five turnovers, which was more than he had in the past five games.
— Romar explained the officials were looking at a possible scuffle between players late in the second half when they held up the game while looking at the replay monitors for several minutes.
— And finally, there’s about 15-20 tents setup outside Hec Ed. Immediately after the game, students began forming a line outside the building for Saturday’s home finale against UCLA. That’s crazy.

Comments | Topics: Abdul Gaddy, UCLA

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