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Husky Men's Basketball

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

January 26, 2012 at 9:31 PM

Wroten topples ASU; UW back in first place

UW Men's Basketball on WhoSay
Just win baby. Al Davis coined the phrase.
It feels appropriate tonight.
Style points don’t matter although Tony Wroten Jr. certainly earned a a few following a dunk that got him the No. 1 spot on ESPN’s Top Plays segment.
Washington won 60-54 at Arizona State. For the Huskies that’s enough. They don’t need to blow out teams to prove to anyone that they’re making progress and putting their road voodoo away.
It’s not important to them that their road wins have been against teams ranked in the bottom third of the conference. The Huskies are focused on the top of standings and following the victory, they moved into a first-place tie with California, Oregon and Colorado.
Coach Lorenzo Romar said Washington needs to learn to win slugfest games like tonight’s if it’s going to advance to the NCAA tournament. He said these are the types of games that are played in March.
“Want to play to 100? Let’s play to 100,” he said. “Want to play to 20? Let’s play to 20.”
Romar was making an analogy to Michigan State’s style of play. He wants Washington to develop a similar mentality and it’s happening.
The Huskies are able to blowout teams at homes in a shootout, like they did in a 95-80 win over Oregon State. They’re also winning low-scoring games on the road. They did it at Utah and again tonight.
MORE NOTES, QUOTES AND OBSERVATIONS:


— Wroten admits he wouldn’t have been this effective (22 points) and efficient (9 of 12 from the field) if he had played ASU’s difficult zone defense early in the season. He would have had 4-5 turnovers, a few offensive fouls and jacked up some errant three-pointers.
Tonight Wroten didn’t attempt a three-point shot. He was patient and attacked the zone from multiple angles. He raced along the baseline. He darted from the side. And late in the second half, he drove down middle and flushed a dunk over Jonathan Gilling that will be remembered for a long time.
Said Romar: “He’s much more selective now after 20 games under his belt than he was earlier ini the year. Earlier in the year, he would have tried to crash through that zone. … He sees the opportunities now.”
Austin Seferian-Jenkins scored his first basket on an assist from Wroten. Afterward, ASJ joked he should have dunked the ball. Instead, he was a bit hurried and got up a layup. He finished with four points and also collected five rebounds before fouling out in 16 minutes. In just his second game, ASJ is becoming a fixture in the rotation.
— Recently Terrence Ross started slowly before exploding in the second half. Tonight the reverse was true. He scored eight points in the first half and was 0-2 from the field in the second. Still he finished with 12 points. Ross’ biggest impact was on the glass. It can’t be emphasized enough what it means to UW that the 6-6 guard is one of the team’s best rebounders. He had seven against ASU.
— Quiet game for Darnell Gant, who sank 5 of 7 free throws and grabbed five rebounds. He finished with eight points.
Abdul Gaddy played 40 minutes. Wow. He was aggressive with the and a bit careless at times. He had four turnovers. Still Gaddy kept the ball moving offensively and finished with five assists. That’s a big number considering UW had 11.
— Offensively Aziz N’Diaye struggled to find the touch on his hook shot. He was also dreadful at the line where he missed five of six free throws. However, N’Diaye collected a team-high eight rebounds and played decent defense against ASU’s big men before fouling out in 22 minutes.
C.J. Wilcox returned from a three-game layoff and admitted he felt a little winded. He played 10 minutes. He didn’t feel much pain in his hip and said the injury had nothing to do with his 0-for-3 shooting. Wilcox proved his value late in the game when he converted 4 of 4 free throws in the final minute.
Desmond Simmons failed to score for the first time since Nov. 14. He was 0 for 2 and had two rebounds.
Shawn Kemp Jr. was scoreless in four minutes.

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

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