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Husky Men's Basketball

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

February 21, 2010 at 1:48 AM

UCLA post-game analysis: Pondexter says so long to Hec Ed

Pondexter hugs Romar.JPG
The Huskies closed out the season at Edmundson Pavilion with a 17-2 record after demolishing UCLA 97-68, for a 29-point victory that was the most lopsided win for Washington in a series that began in 1937.
This game was all about Quincy Pondexter who wore a white tuxedo t-shirt to his post-game press conference, which seemed strangely appropriate considering the night he had.
“This is my formal attire for today,” he joked. “I knew it would be a little professional at the end so I had to bring out best.”
Pondexter may have been joking, but he was right. He delivered his best in the what was likely his final game at Hec Ed. He was emotional and teary-eyed during a pregame Senior NIght introduction ceremony.
“He was crying like a little baby,” Isaiah Thomas joked. “But after that, it was game time. He turned it on, made his first shot and it was on from there.”
When told Thomas was ribbing him about crying, Pondexter said: “Send me the video from his Senior Night and then we can talk. Yeah some tears flowed. But it was magical.”
Coach Lorenzo Romar said Pondexter has an amazing ability to focus “and when he’s focused, he’s very, very good.’
UCLA coach Ben Howland said: “Pondexter is just such a special player. He came out and hit a couple of big shots to get them off to a great start.”
Pondexter scored 10 of his 20 points in the first five minutes to put UW ahead 12-4 and the Huskies never looked back. They quickly turned the game into a series of highlights, including Pondexter’s steal and two-hand, windmill jam early in the second half. The dunk was the No. 7 play of the night on SportsCenter.
After the game, Pondexter’s father Roscoe said his son’s four-year career has been “a wonderful ride” and described Saturday night as “bittersweet.”
After the game, Pondexter talked about waking up in the morning and looking at the calender that read: Feb. 20, 2010.
“I thought about my jersey number (20) and thought about all the other little things that come about and everything was equaling 20,” he said. “I was like thank you God. This is the day. And it was funny, I got 20 points. It was one of those days you just got to go with.”
Photo credits: AP Photo and

— The game belonged to Pondexter and lost in the hoopla was Justin Holiday who would have been the star on any other night. He stuffed the stats again finishing with 11 points, seven rebounds and five assists. It was the first time in his career he’s had at least five in all three major categories.
It’s been fun watching Holiday gain confidence in his jumper. He sank a three-pointer tonight – his third of the season – and connected on another longer jumper with his foot on the line.
— Early in the week, Romar said if Matthew Bryan-Amaning could continue his hot streak against USC and UCLA, then he’d be willing to admit the junior center has finally turned the corner.
Bryan-Amaning followed a 14-point, 7-rebound performance against the Trojans with 12 points, five rebounds and three steals against the Bruins. It should be noted he scored all of his points in the second half when the Huskies had a huge lead.
Said Romar: “He is doing what we’ve been wanting him to do. He’s been performing the way we need him to perform. He’s been doing a really good job consistently and we talked Friday that this was going to be a good test for him to play against these bigger front lines to see if he’s turned the corner or not and I’ll say he’s been pretty consistent. He’s playing the most consistent ball in his career.”
— Thomas bounced back from a five-point outing on Thursday and scored 17, including three consecutive three-pointers. He also had six rebounds, three assists and held UCLA’s leading scorer Michael Roll to just six points on 3-for-10 shooting.
Venoy Overton drew praise from Howland for his defensive work against Malcolm Lee. Pondexter and Thomas took care of the scoring while Overton disrupted UCLA’s defense. He finished with seven points, two assists, two steals and two turnovers, but his impact doesn’t show up in the stats.
“When [Venoy] Overton came into the game we just had such a hard time getting the ball over half-court,” Howland said. “Their pressure again just took us out of everything we were trying to do. I just thought their defensive pressure and their ability to deny passes is something that we can’t simulate in practice. We just don’t have the kind of quickness and speed that they have.”
Tyreese Breshers played just six minutes, but he finished with two dunks, six points and most importantly just one foul.
— Washington’s Wonder Twins (Scott Suggs and Elston Turner) each finished with nine points. I noted during the game thread it’s shocking that Turner is 50 percent on free throws (13 of 26) considering his reputation as a three-point specialist.
Abdul Gaddy committed a career-high six turnovers and was one of two players, including walk-on Brendan Sherrer, who did not score. Gaddy took just one shot in 25 minutes and connected on four assists. At least two turnovers could have been given to teammates who had the ball bounce off their hands.
— From the overheard department: ESPN analyst Jay Bilas said the Player of the Year candidates in the Pac-10 are Stanford’s Landry Fields and Pondexter. He didn’t mention California senior guard Jerome Randle who scored 16 points to lead the Bears in a 69-64 win at Oregon.
— The GameDay crew were treated to a great game from UW, however, Bilas and others routinely said this could be the year the Pac-10 sends just one team to the NCAA tournament.
When asked the significance of GameDay’s visit, Romar said: “GameDay doesn’t get us into the NCAA tournament. It doesn’t get us an extra win at all, it doesn’t change our record this year, it doesn’t change the fact that we’ve won one road game. I thought that it was awesome this morning to see the University of Washington, where I went to school, is one of eight stops for ESPN GameDay. That they thought enough of us to come here. It makes you feel good about your program in terms of maybe we’ve built up a bit of credibility. Again, it’s more important to win games but when you receive little bonuses like this it’s encouraging.”
— It was cool to eavesdrop on a conversation between ESPN analyst Bob Knight and former Husky star Bob Houbregs. Knight quizzed Houbregs about his time at UW and joked about his jersey that hangs in the rafters.
— On a night of many wonderful moments, perhaps the cutest scene was Husky recruiting prospect Terrence Jones chasing assistant coach Raphael Chillious’ little daughter Zaya-Joy across the Hec Ed floor after the game in an near empty arena.
Jones, who stars for Jefferson High in Portland, made a recruiting visit – not sure if it was official or unofficial – this weekend as did 7-foot junior college center Aziz Ndiaye, Garfield High junior Tony Wroten Jr., Kentridge High junior Gary Bell Jr. and Terrance Ross, a Portland-area prospect. reported Kevin Davis was also on campus. I don’t know much about Davis.
It was also interesting watching Romar on the court showing some moves to Jones. It looked as if they were talking about ways to drive to the basket and free up space when you’re standing at the elbow. Maybe that’s a sign of things to come.

Comments | Topics: Abdul Gaddy, Quincy Pondexter, Scott Suggs


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