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Husky Men's Basketball

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

November 12, 2012 at 12:41 AM

Aziz N’Diaye inside, C.J. Wilcox outside dominates Loyola Maryland

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Every game this season just might be compared to this one. You can knock the quality of the opponent, but even the harshest critic had to be impressed with Washington following an 85-63 win over Loyola Maryland.
The season opener just might be the template that we judge the Huskies this season because in many ways it was a perfect game from a statistical perspective.
Washington received a game-high 22 points in 30 minutes from C.J. Wilcox (right), who looks to be the team’s new star. Abdul Gaddy was aggressive attacking the rim. Scott Suggs shot well and led UW with three assists. Aziz N’Diaye (below) was a defensive force and sank 4 of 6 free throws. Redshirt freshman Jernard Jarreau started in his UW debut and didn’t embarrass himself although his minutes were limited. Andrew Andrews and Desmond Simmons came off the bench and provided a spark while attacking the rim and drawing fouls. Hikeem Stewart looks like a defensive menace and Martin Breunig had a few shining moments.
The Huskies held Loyola to 36.5 percent shooting and they outscored the Greyhounds by 20 points in the second half. Washington led 33-31 at the break largely because it had 11 turnovers and gave up nine offensive rebounds equating to 20 extra possessions for Loyola.
In the second half, the Huskies had just one turnover while scoring 52 points.
There was a whole lot to like for a UW fan. The Huskies shot 73.3 percent (22 of 30) on free throws, received 17 points from the bench and outscored Loyola 20-2 on fast-break points.
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There was also plenty for coach Lorenzo Romar to harp on. Washington allowed 19 offensive rebounds, which might have been a problem against other teams.
The Huskies still struggle against quick point guards like Loyola’s Dylon Cormier who had a team-high 19 points and got to the free throw line 10 times, making seven. Wilcox got the first crack at Cormier followed by Andrews and Stewart. Cormier was still unstoppable at times. However, he was a one-man show and no one else hurt the Huskies.
However, the most disturbing statistic for UW: Just 24 points in the paint. It remains to be seen if the Huskies’ new high-post offense, which tailors to the team’s jump shooters, will be able to score points on the road.
Rebounding is also a concern. N’Diaye collected a career-high 16 rebounds, but no one else had more than one offensive rebound. That could be a serious problem in games when Washington doesn’t shoot 54 percent from the field. If the Huskies don’t shoot well, then who’s going to offensive rebounds?
It won’t be Wilcox, Gaddy or Suggs because they’re taking 10-plus shots each game and their offensive responsibilities keeps them away from the rim. And it may not be Jarreau or Simmons because in the high-post offense, they’re roaming around the free throw line. So it falls to N’Diaye to gobble up almost every rebound much like Jon Brockman did in his heyday. N’Diaye is willing and able, but you have to wonder if he can stay healthy the entire season.
Still all in all, it was a good opening night for the Huskies.

— N’Diaye had 11 rebounds in the first half and it looked as if he tired in the second half. Regardless he makes life easier for the Huskies because he challenges almost every attempt inside. Paired with Jarreau, Washington has two very long shot blockers. In the past N’Diaye struggled against smaller defenders. However, tonight he stayed out of foul trouble and even challenged shots on the perimeter. You had the feeling N’Diaye could have scored 20 points if he had a more polished low-post game.
— Wilcox scored the easiest 22 points you’ll ever see. When Terrence Ross topped the 20-plateau last season, he often labored and needed some amazing shots to either beat good defense or the shot clock. Wilcox looked as if he was running a shooting clinic. He put out more energy while collecting six rebounds and defending Cormier then he did on the offensive end. In fact, Wilcox got dinged up a little when he tried to draw an offensive foul beneath the rim.
“I tried to take a charge and his shoulder hit my head and my neck jerked really quick,” Wilcox said. “I just got a little stinger, but it went away after a little.”
— Gaddy tied his career high with 17 points and hardly anyone noticed or made a fuss about it after the game. That’s a good thing because it appears as if he’ll have many more high-scoring games this season. He converted 6 of 10 from the field and was 1 of 2 on three-pointers. Gaddy insists he’s still a playmaker at heart, but he’s looks comfortable taking shots. It was interesting to UW’s last play in the first half. Leading by two, Gaddy watched the clock run down before cutting into the lane and just missing a layup. You got to wonder if Gaddy will be the one who takes the last shot if needed.
— Three first-half fouls limited Suggs to just eight minutes before the break. He made 6 of 10 shots and was 3 of 5 on treys. Suggs finished with a game-high three assists, which says something about this game because he’s not a natural playmaker. He’s also not someone who draws fouls and he didn’t get to the line tonight.
— On the other hand, Andrews is someone who enjoys contact. In his college debut, he made 10 trips to the charity stripe and made seven. Andrews did a decent job on Cormier and he was steady offensively despite missing three three-pointers. Late in the game, Andrews nearly flushed a dunk on a defender, but missed because he drew a foul.
— Simmons came off the bench and the role seems perfect for him because he provides instant energy. He drew fouls (4 of 6 on FTs), he collected three rebounds and two steals and he added seven points in 22 minutes.
— Jarreau started his college debut and he did a little of everything. He finished with four points, three rebounds, two turnovers, an assists, block and steal in just 18 minutes. Jarreau also made all of his shots, one from the field and two free throws. He wasn’t great, but then he doesn’t have to be. Jarreau just has to box out, rebound and defend. Everything else is bonus.
— The stats say the only Stewart did was commit a turnover in nine minutes. The stats don’t take into account his ball-hawking defense in the first half. Stewart is embracing his role of being a defensive pest. He’ll get more than the nine minutes he had tonight if/when the starters get into foul trouble.
— Not sure how Breunig is stays in the rotation when Shawn Kemp Jr. returns. He’s got to be more active in limited minutes. Tonight he played nine and had just one point and no rebounds.
— Walk-on Dion Overstreet played the final two minutes.

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


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