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Husky Men's Basketball

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March 2, 2010 at 2:03 AM

Time to revisit painful early season loss to Oregon

So what’s happened to Oregon guard Malcolm Armstead (above) and center Michael Dunigan (below)?
Against Washington, they looked like the Pac-10 version of Gary Payton and Shawn Kemp while dicing the Huskies in a early season 90-79 defeat on Jan. 2 at Edmundson Pavilion, which snapped UW’s 18-game home winning streak.
For many it was the first real glimpse of Armstead, the sophomore JC transfer from Florence, Ala., and he looked like one of the best guards in the conference after torching UW with a team-high 21 points on 9-for-17 shooting. He also had six assists and three steals.
I remember talking with UW redshirt freshman Tyreese Breshers after the game and he was brutally honest saying the Huskies hadn’t prepared very much for Amstead.
“I never even heard anything about him until now,” Breshers said after the game. “There’s so many good guards in this league, he just hadn’t really stood out until today.”
On his weekly radio show Monday night, coach Lorenzo Romar said: “Malcolm Armstead, I thought he was a guy that would be getting looks from the NBA. He’s very talented. He’s only a sophomore, but he played so well against us that night. Venoy Overton is usually able to disrupt the guy he’s guarding somewhat. That night Malcolm Armstead just played basketball as if we didn’t exist.”
Since the Huskies game, Armstead failed to reach double-digit scoring in nine of the next 14 games. He’s averaging 10.6 points and 4.4 assists.
Malcolm 2.jpg
Dunigan’s fall to Earth has been just a dramatic and created a wide-range of problems for the Ducks, who believed they’d discovered their center for the future. The 6-10 sophomore from Chicago destroyed the Huskies, particularly Matthew Bryan-Amaning, for 20 points and 14 rebounds. A few days earlier, he tallied 22 and 12 in a win at Washington State.
After the UW game, Dunigan won the Pac-10 Player of the Week award, while Bryan-Amaning lost his starting job the following week.
Since their last encounter, Dunigan has scored in double figures just once and has been bothered by a sore hip that forced him to miss two games and reduced his playing time.
Said Romar: “When we played them last time, Mike Dunigan scored about 21 points and I think Matthew may have had one point that particular evening. Things have changed now. I don’t know if Mike Dunigan has been as consistent as he was that night, but I know Matthew Bryan-Amaning is playing definitely at a higher level than he was then.”
Oregon is 4-10 since their win at Washington and it’s beaten just two other teams, USC and UCLA.
The Ducks (14-14, 6-10 Pac-10) are last in the conference and they’re a desperate group. With a pair of wins, Oregon could climb as high as fifth in the standings and would be seeded fifth in the Pac-10 Tournament.
“Let’s understand that Oregon did beat us at our place this year, which already makes it a tough matchup for us,” Romar said. “Oregon has a lot more talent than their record might suggest. When we played them here, they played really good basketball. They were really solid. I thought they probably would win more games.
“With that being said, when we go to Oregon, we understand it’s going to be a tough, tough ball game for us.”
In the 11-point UW defeat, the Huskies looked as if their defense was geared to stop senior Tajuan Porter and he still finished with 16 points. The Ducks shot 53 percent from the field largely because Armstead escaped backcourt pressure, penetrated the defense with dribble drives and either scored or connected with Dunigan for dunks and layups.
Isaiah Thomas scored a game-high 25 points while Quincy Pondexter added 16 and Overton 14. Bryan-Amaning and former starter Darnell Gant combined for six points and six rebounds during a time when the Husky front line was widely criticized for its minimal contributions.
“We were an entirely different team,” Romar said. “We had different players in the rotation. We’re playing now with a lot more confidence.”

Comments | Topics: top 25, UCLA


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