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Husky Men's Basketball

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

December 22, 2010 at 9:45 PM

Isaiah Thomas: “The real season starts now”

Thanks to Justin Holiday (left), Aziz N’Diaye and Terrence Ross there were plenty of reverse jams, putback flushes and alley-oop dunks during Washington’s 90-60 victory over Nevada.
There was fancy dribbling from Abdul Gaddy, dominant performances in the paint from Matthew Bryan-Amaning and N’Diaye and outstanding perimeter shooting from Isaiah Thomas, Scott Suggs and Holiday.
Even without injured guard Venoy Overton, this game was a summation of Washington’s previous six home games. It was all smiles, good times and another very satisfying blowout win.
We’ll have to wait and see what it all means in terms of winning on the road when the Pac-10 season begins next week at USC and UCLA.
The Trojans will put up a stiffer fight than Nevada. The Huskies know it. Whether they can do anything about it remains to be seen. In their three road games, UW is 1-4.
“No disrespect to any of the teams we have played, but we just know obviously the level is going to go up game in and game out,” Bryan-Amaning said. “There’s not necessarily going to be any blow outs.”
Nevada may as well have been San Francisco or Portland or Long Beach or any other team that came into Edmunson Pavilion this season. The Wolf Pack put up a fight for about 10 minutes before falling behind by 10 points (24-14) midway in the first half. At halftime, UW’s lead was 20 points (47-27). The Huskies increased it to a 30-points lead (66-36) with 11:59 left and their margin got as high as 39 (83-44) with 7:07 left.
After committing just four turnovers against San Francisco on Saturday, Washington had five tonight.
“With as many possessions that we have each game, we’re okay with 13 turnovers in a game,” coach Lorenzo Romar said. “We don’t want any more that, but anything under we’re comfortable considering the possessions we have. When you get it into single digits, you’re doing a really good job. You have to give the credit to Venoy, Abdul, and Isaiah. They’ve been doing a great job of taking care of the basketball.”
Nevada coach David Carter tried to look for the silver lining after a 30-point defeat.
“I told the guys that Washington is a top 25 team,” he said. “They are very strong and battle tested. You don’t put your head down after getting beat by a great team. I mean it is embarrassing, but you have to keep your head up and learn from it, because one day that is where you want to be. It isn’t like we just got beat by the little sister of the poor; I mean they have some future NBA players on their team.”

— It will be interesting to see whether Thomas continues to play like he did tonight. He was clearly the best player on the court and he dominated with his will and desire to make plays at times when it seemed like there was nothing there. Thomas took 19 shots, which was a season high and converted nine for a season high 24 points. He also collected a season-high eight rebounds. In the post-game interview, Thomas was asked whether the team is in Pac-10 games if he’s scoring and taking over like he did tonight.
“I feel like that’s the right thing to say,” he said. “Not that I have to go out and score 25. I just have to be highly aggressive every time out, every play to make plays. To make the right play. Coach has always been in my ear to make the right play and I got to do it. I always say the guys feed off me so if I’m highly aggressive, they’re highly aggressive.”
— Bryan-Amaning finished with his first double double in nine games. He missed several short hooks and layups, which ruined his shooting percentage, but he padded his rebounding statistics and converted many of his missed shots into putbacks. Bryan-Amaning had 16 points and 11 rebounds, which is the second most he’s had this season. Perhaps just as impressive, he blocked four shots, snagged two steals and helped negate Nevada’s frontline which had 22 points.
— N’Diaye played 20 minutes after logging 22 minutes in the prior outing. He also had a double double (11 points and 10 rebounds), which is his second as a Husky. N’Diaye did a great job playing defense and not getting into foul trouble. He’s rotating defensively and one time he collected a foul on a bad call because it seemed as if he feet were set outside the invisible arc when the Nevada player ran into him.
— The only blemish on the game was the sight of Holiday walking out of the building on crutches. Not sure why he was in the game when the Huskies were up by 34 points (83-49) with 5:57 left. That’s when he twisted his right ankle and limped off the court. He underwent an X-ray exam after the game. Romar said he didn’t know the results of the test, but said he believes Holiday will be ready next week. He said the seven days off should be enough to rest the ankle. Holiday played well in spurts. He hit two three-pointers in the first half and finished with 12 points and nine rebounds. He did his best work on the defensive end shutting down Duke transfer Olek Czyz, who finished with six points on 1-for-7 shooting.
— Tough night shooting for Gaddy.Maybe the Seattle Times cover jinx got him. Or maybe he just had an off night. Whatever the case, he missed five of six shots and was hampered with four fouls. He also had five assists.
— Ross might have played the best game of his young career. He’s scored more points, but during a stretch in the first half when it was still a relatively competitive game the freshman he was on the court when UW turned the game into a rout. Ross sank jumper that gave the Huskies their first 10-point lead. Minutes later he drained a three-pointer and minutes later he snagged a steal and threw a pass to Holiday for a breakaway dunk. On UW’s next possession, he sank two free throws putting the Huskies ahead 33-18. Ross finished with nine points on 3-for-7 shooting, four rebounds and two steals.
— Romar said Suggs has played well in three of the past four games. Tonight he connected on two of three treys and it’s getting to a point where you think he should take 4-5 three-pointers every game. Suggs, however, doesn’t look for his shot and the guards don’t necessarily look for him either. He tends to get open through movement. He’ll set a screen and flare to the wing. And when the ball finds him. he’s usually open for a jump shot.
C.J. Wilcox hit a crowd-pleasing three just before time ran out in the first half. Otherwise it was a forgettable night for the redshirt freshman who missed six of seven shots, including three of four three-pointers.
Darnell Gant collected four offensive rebounds in 14 minutes, which bodes well for his future in the rotation. He also sank a three-pointer and was a willing defender in the post.

— Walk-ons Brendan Sherrer
and Antoine Hosley each played two scoreless minutes.
— Romar said Overton could have played if needed, but everyone decided it was better for him to rest his hyperextended left knee.

Comments | Topics: Abdul Gaddy, C.J. Wilcox, Scott Suggs


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