Follow us:

Husky Men's Basketball

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

January 7, 2012 at 4:18 PM

Terrence Ross leads UW to win at Utah

terrence vs utah.jpg
Regardless of what happens tonight and Sunday, Washington will be in second place in the Pac-12 standings next week with a 3-1 record.
The Huskies’ first conference road trip to the mountain-area schools could have gone a little better, but Lorenzo Romar is focusing on the results. The old Pac-10/12 adage says you want to split on the road when you make a Thursday-Saturday trip.
And that’s exactly what the Huskies did.
Romar isn’t going to dock UW style points after its ugly and hard-fought 57-53 win at Utah. In fact, he was particularly pleased the Huskies won an ugly slugfest. It didn’t matter the four-point victory came against a team that was picked to finish last in the Pac-12 and lost at home to Montana State and Cal State Fullerton.
“I know what the thought is about Utah right now – they’re struggling,” Romar said. “But I don’t think they’re as bad as some might think. I said that before the game. I thought they’re going to play good defense. They’re going to take good shots. They are, however, like us they’re a better home team than a road team right now. Don’t slight Utah. Don’t slight the job they’re doing.”
Considering Washington had a five-game road losing streak and a 0-3 record in afternoon games, the Huskies are thrilled to beat anyone under those conditions. It hardly mattered to them Utah trailed by two points with 12 seconds left.
“If they would have hit a shot at the buzzer to win the game and (the officials) would have reviewed it, called it off and we won I would felt like we won by 50,” Romar said. “I’m just happy we were able to come out with a victory.
“This is a huge win for us. It’s our first road win. … If we can continue to learn our lessons like we did tonight, I like the direction that we’re headed.”
For the first time this season, Washington won in spite of its offense, which scored the second fewest points this season. While Tony Wroten Jr. and C.J. Wilcox disappeared offensively, Terrence Ross took over the scoring while Desmond Simmons was the unsung hero once again.
Photo credit: AP Photo – Colin E Braley

— Ross’ final shot felt like a dagger that killed Utah’s comeback attempt. However, the Utes didn’t die and kept charging at the Huskies. Ross continued to deliver blows and his free throws with eight seconds left delivered a knockout. In a game like this, Ross’ team-high 14 points felt like 30. He connected on three of five three-pointers and scored five points in the final three minutes. Ross also had a nice game defensively. Late in the game, he had at least two deflections, which is an important statistic for the Huskies.
— It may not be too much longer until Simmons makes his first start. It could happen Tuesday when Washington plays Seattle. It’s not as if Simmons needs to start. In fact, in many ways he’s like Wilcox in that he’s so selfless and always deflects praise to teammates. But here’s an undeniable fact, good things happen for the Huskies when Simmons is on the floor.
Said Ross: “Dez does a lot of things that don’t show up in the box score. He does everything Husky basketball means. He scraps. He plays defense. He’s a warrior on the boards. That’s what we need more of for us to win games like this.”
Romar started Simmons instead of Wilcox to begin the second half because he said at that time the Huskies needed rebounds. Simmons collected six of his 10 rebounds after halftime. It’s the second straight game he’s had 10 rebounds. He also played 28 minutes for the second straight game. Simmons had six points on 3-for-6 shooting.
— Romar used the ‘conductor’ reference again when describing Abdul Gaddy’s six assists performance. Gaddy committed just one turnover. Not sure what he did that was so much different than Thursday’s game when he had just one assist. Gaddy did exactly what Romar wanted. He patiently ran the offense and got the ball to the shooters. Gaddy had a nice play in the final two minutes when he dribbled the shot clock down and scored on a layup that put UW ahead 53-47.
Aziz N’Diaye needs an opposing big man to be effective. Against Colorado he had two points, two rebounds and played just 14 minutes. Utah’s taller lineup allowed Washington’s big man to stay on the floor. Still his pairing against 6-10 Jason Washburn was a wash. N’Diaye had nine points and six rebounds while Washburn had six points and seven rebounds. The best thing N’Diaye was hit 3 of 4 free throws. The three free throws tied a season high.
— Not sure if Wilcox was pressing or not. He said he wasn’t. A few in the media thought he was. He looked fine to me. Same mechanics. Good release. Nice follow through. As Wilcox said: “The shots just didn’t go down.” Wilcox missed 11 of 13 shots and scored five points. He returned to the starting lineup after going to the bench three games ago. Maybe he wasn’t pressing, but Wilcox looked to score early. He missed his first eight shots and was 1 of 9 in the first half.
— Feels like Wroten was muted today. Does that make sense? It felt like he played with 50 percent of his normal intensity. Maybe he was trying to figure out how to be effective when Romar told the team to be patient offensively. Still Washington’s scoring leader attempted a season-low six shots. He made three. Wroten also had eight points, which snapped a 12-game streak when he’s scored in double digits. He expressed his frustration a few times when passes to N’Diaye weren’t completed. Wroten also was given the defensive assignment to stop Utah’s leading scorer Josh Watkins, who had a game-high 18 points.
— After the South Dakota State defeat, Darnell Gant settled into a supporting role in which he plays 15-18 minutes. Today he had 17 minutes and made the most of his time. At one point, Gant led UW in scoring with five points. He never took another shot and finished with two rebounds.
Shawn Kemp Jr. looked good when he was on the floor. He blocked two shots and grabbed two rebounds. Kemp looked like a viable alternative if N’Diaye is struggling. It would be interesting to see Kemp run the pick-n-roll. If he’s able to catch passes that N’Diaye drops, he might carve out a bigger role.
Martin Breunig played one minute and scored one point in the first half.

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


No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.

The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.

The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►