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Husky Men's Basketball

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

August 2, 2011 at 5:15 AM

Team Thomas-N’Diaye demolishes Team Ross-Wroten

Only in Seattle? Maybe. Maybe not. Still, not sure how many other places are able to attract a standing-room-only crowd of about 400 fans that included two NBA players to watch a Monday night summer league basketball game featuring one former Washington star and several current UW players.
It felt like an old-fashion hoops hothouse at the North Seattle Community College gym. The bleachers were packed and spectators leaned over the upper-deck rails to get a good view of the action. Atlanta Hawks guard Jamal Crawford watched from above alongside former UW stars Will Conroy and Tre Simmons while Oklahoma City Thunder guard Nate Robinson grabbed a seat on the floor under one of the baskets. Eldridge Recasner, the Husky Hall of Famer and former NBA player, was also in the building.
They came to watch a team comprised of Terrence Ross, Tony Wroten Jr., Shawn Kemp Jr., Hikeem Stewart and Jernard Jarreau take on a squad that featured Isaiah Thomas, the UW star drafted in the second round by the Sacramento Kings, Husky junior center Aziz N’Diaye and Seattle University guard Sterling Carter.
Ross and Wroten provided a handful of awe-inspiring plays for the Black team, but Thomas and N’Diaye carried the White squad to an easy 77-52 victory.

Anticipation was high because the day before Thomas playfully called out Wroten via Twitter and apparently the two had a friendly wager on the outcome. Both teams played hard in the opening minutes, but the White team led 37-27 at halftime and turned the game into a rout shorty after intermission largely because it played a little bit more defense.
Perhaps somebody needs to tell N’Diaye that summer league games are glorified pickup games because the Senegal native plays at one speed — all-out-relentless. In the early minutes, he stonewalled a hard-charging Wroten – knocking him to the floor on a drive – and argued with officials who called a blocking foul. He contested nearly every shot at the rim and barked at teammates who didn’t run the floor.
Thomas wore a grin for most of the game, but it was obvious he wanted to win. Each time Ross had the ball, Thomas yelled ‘right to left’ to indicate the UW sophomore likes to dribble right before crossing over to his left hand where he pulls up for a jumper or drives to the rim.
Paired against Wroten, the 5-foot-9 Thomas gave the 6-5 freshman plenty of space on the perimeter and dared him to shoot off-target jumpers. When Wroten did drive, Thomas stayed low and often deflected the ball for a turnover. Wroten had success in transition or when he simply backed Thomas into the post and floated in a soft jump hook.
Otherwise Thomas dominated their matchup. He repeatedly used high pick-n-rolls or a crossover dribble to drive to the rim where he finished in traffic with assists, layups or dunks. Yes, dunks. Three as a matter of fact. Thomas flushed a one-hand slam against a set halfcourt defense (above). In the second half, he hammered in a pedestrian dunk and bounced a pass to himself on a breakaway for a two-hand jam that pleased the crowd.
Still it wasn’t the showcase slam of the night. Those honors went to Ross, who took off outside the lane and sailed to the rim where he flushed a windmill jam that created a loud chorus of oohs, which reverberated throughout the crowd. That play was worth the trip, but unfortunately for Ross he didn’t have many moments to shine and appeared disinterested during the lopsided second half.
The Black team had trouble generating easy points and scoring in the halfcourt while N’Diaye had little difficulty dunking whenever he wanted against Kemp and Jarreau thanks to Thomas who constantly fed him with assists beneath the rim. When the incoming freshmen forced the 7-foot center outside the lane, he missed a few jump hooks and a wild short jumper on the baseline. Still, N’Diaye’s best offense were putback dunks and he had plenty of those.
Kemp (6-9 and 265) had a solid outing in the post and ran the floor well, but Jarreau (6-10, 195) lacked the girth and strength to defend the 260-pound N’Diaye. The Black team could have used fifth-year senior co-captain Darnell Gant and it would have been interesting to see the 6-8, 230-pound forward against N’Diaye.
The scariest moment of the night came midway in the second half when Wroten attempted to toss the ball off the glass for a putback jam. The maneuver might have worked if N’Diaye wasn’t in the way. He ducked and tried to avoid contact, but undercut a high-flying Wroten who crashed hard to the court. The gym fell silent for several long moments as Wroten lay motionless. After a minute or so, he got up walked gingerly to the sideline holding his right (non-shooting) wrist. He did not return in the final eight minutes.
— With Ross at small forward and Wroten at point guard, it’s difficult to get a gauge on Stewart in this type of setting. He plays a shooting guard role, but just doesn’t get enough touches or shots. His best play came in the second half when he scored on a driving floater.
— Junior co-captain Abdul Gaddy watched from the sideline.
— A team comprised of Washington freshmen Desmond Simmons, Andrew Andrews, Martin Breunig and Clarence Trent, the former Husky who transferred to Seattle University lost 68-65. It was a close game until the end, but the team comprised of UW players didn’t have a go-to guy at the end. Andrews played well for most of the game, but in the final minutes he deferred to Trent wo tried to carry them to a victory. Simmons and Breunig were literally all over the place. They’re versatility is an asset and a liability. They have a vast array of skills, but on the offensive end they would have been better served to pick 1-2 maneuvers and work exclusively on those moves. But then what better place to experiment than in a summer league game?

Comments | Topics: Abdul Gaddy


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