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Husky Men's Basketball

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

December 3, 2012 at 9:16 AM

Video: UW-Cal State Fullerton highlights

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[Editor’s note: Not sure why this didn’t post last night. My apologies. We had internet problems and a slow connection at the game.]

Desmond Simmons wasn’t sure if coach Lorenzo Romar called him Brockman or Rodman when they passed each other during post-game interviews, but either way it was a compliment.

The sophomore forward played like NBA great Dennis Rodman and former Husky star Jon Brockman when he collected a career-best 18 rebounds and scored 14 points to help Washington to a 74-72 win over Cal State Fullerton Sunday night. Here’s a look at the highlights (above).

It was the most rebounds for a UW player since Brockman snagged 18 against Purdue in the 2009 NCAA tournament.

With Simmons was one of a few unexpected surprises for Washington. The Huskies also received a career-high 13 points from redshirt freshman Andrew Andrews and reserve guard Hikeem Stewart made a couple of nice defensive contributions late in the game.

Washington needed the unlikely contributions because C.J. Wilcox had an off shooting night, Abdul Gaddy sat out the last five minutes due to leg cramps and Scott Suggs missed (plantar fasciitis) missed his third straight game.

Without Simmons and Andrews, the Huskies wouldn’t have been able to flip the game at halftime and overcome a 43-29 deficit. Washington outscored Fullerton 45-29 in the second half.

The Huskies also took advantage of CSF’s last-minute mental mistakes. The Titans fouled UW players unnecessarily twice in the final 21 seconds and the Huskies made them pay at the line. Free throw shooting hadn’t always been Washington’s weapon of choice, but the Huskies converted 22 of 30 foul attempts. CSF was 5 of 10 at the line.

Two interesting notes from this game. The high-post offense and the zone defense aren’t working. At least, they’re not working right now and the Huskies aren’t good enough to overcome the growing pains.

Washington used high-post offense and zone defense liberally in the first half and the Huskies shot 30 percent (9 of 30) from the field and allowed the Titans to shoot 47.4 percent (18 for 38).

The Huskies switched to a motion offense and man-to-man defense in the second half and they shot 50 percent (15 of 30) from the field and allowed the Titans to shoot 36.4 percent (12 of 33).

Coach Lorenzo Romar seems committed to the high-post, but in the past two games the Huskies abandoned the scheme. They spread the floor and allowed Andrews, Gaddy and Wilcox to create scoring opportunities for themselves and others.

It appears as if the the Huskies have an identity crisis that’s as apparent as the two halves they played Sunday night.

MORE NOTES, QUOTES AND OBSERVATIONS:

— Simmons said Sunday’s night performance was the best of his basketball career “because I did it on the college level.” He was a monster on the glass. Simmons had more offensive rebounds (seven) than any other UW player had total rebounds. He also had collected three steals, which is 10 extra possessions for the Huskies. That’s incredible. Even more astounding was Simmons ability to get to the line and convert. He entered the game shooting 88.2 percent (15 of 17) free throws. He was 6 of 9 against CSF, which were both career highs.

Simmons came off the bench once again – he has one start this season – and played 32 minutes.

Romar on Simmons: “Consummate glue guy, consummate intangible guy is what he is. He just does little things like deflections. We had a low number of deflections in the first half and Desmond had over half of them. When he’s active like that, he gets stuff done. This is his second double-double–he had 14 and 12 against Seton Hall.”

— Much like the Huskies, Wilcox rebounded from an awful first half when he missed 11 of 14 shots and had seven points. In the second half he was 4 of 7 from the field and he finished with a team-high 21 points. In the first half, Wilcox didn’t attempt a free throw and in the second half he was 5 of 5, including the game-winning points with 3.6 seconds left. Washington has to live with Wilcox’s shooting struggles at least until Suggs return. He’s averaging 25.3 points in the past three games. Wilcox has become a better all-around scorer and he’s not solely intent on shooting on the perimeter. He’s driving to the middle and has a nice pull-up, mid-range jumper. He’s also trying to be a playmaker and tries to setup N’Diaye on occasions. Given his considerable offensive responsibilities and the fact the played a team-high 37 minutes, you can almost give Wilcox a pass on his sub-par defense on D.J. Seeley, who had 24 points on 9-for-17 shooting.

— All you need to know about Andrews’ performance can be summed up in this statement: He never left the floor in the second half. Did he make mistakes? Yes. Several in fact. Did he shoot particularly well from the floor? No not exactly. In fact he was 4 of 14. But playing in his seventh game, Andrews displayed the potential to be solid contributor for many years. It starts with his poise. He never appears rattled. Even when he’s not playing well, it doesn’t show. And he doesn’t seem afraid of the moment. He’s shooting just 24.4 percent from the field, but you get a sense he’ll shoot a little better once he gets more experience and a better understanding of how to get his offense. Andrews dished out five assists and he was 3 of 5 on free throws, including three clutch shots in the final seconds. Andrews also played the final 2:10 with four fouls and it was important that he stayed on the floor because UW would have been forced to play one of its two walk-on guards if he was disqualified.

“We were hoping that he didn’t pick his fifth up because at that point I might would have had to go get my jersey,” said Romar, a former UW standout.

— Gaddy suffered though leg cramps in the second half and he had to leave the game with five minutes. He was in the hallway working with trainer and conditioning coach trying to get the cramps to go away. However, he never re-entered the game. Normally that would spell disaster, but Andrews piloted the offense without its senior co-captain. Gaddy finished with nine points on 2-for-8 shooting and six assists to offset three turnovers in 29 minutes.

— It was inexcusable that N’Diaye had just one field goal attempt in 12 first-half minutes. He had two fouls, but the 7-foot center should have had been more of a focal point of the offense against a Titans team that didn’t have a player taller than 6-7. In the second half, N’Diaye had seven attempts and he finished with 12 points. He also made 2 of 3 free throws and had four rebounds in 30 minutes. In the first half, N’Diaye had just one rebound, which is another reason why the Huskies shouldn’t play a zone defense as much as they did. Interesting to note, N’Diaye suffered a cut over his right eye given to him by Simmons. It’s reminiscent of the friendly fire Brockman used to dish out on teammates.

— If you look at the box score, then it looks as if Stewart didn’t do a whole lot. He had one steal and missed a field goal. Every other statistic is a zero. But that stat sheet doesn’t tell the whole story. When Gaddy went down, Stewart went in and he played solid defense. Working with N’Diaye, they defended the pick-n-roll and forced a critical turnover in the final minute. Stewart also deflected a pass and was credited for a steal when the Huskies had a 71-69 lead with 13 seconds left.

— Redshirt freshman Jernard Jarreau did his best work in the first half when he played 12 of 18 minutes. Perhaps it’s unfair, but it seems that part of the struggles with the high-post offense rests with Jarreau, who has played just seven games. The Huskies need a dynamic playmaker at the high post and that’s putting a lot on Jarreau’s plate at this time. He’s more than capable of knocking down a mid-range jumper, but he’s not ready to be a playmaker. He has five assists and 12 turnovers this season. On Sunday he had two TOs.

— Freshman walk-on Quinn Sterling, who had a stress fracture in his foot, made his season debut. He played just one minute in the first half, but made the most of his time on the court. Sterling forced a turnover before gesturing to the Dawg Pack and trying to interject a little energy into the building. On the next possession, he committed a silly turnover. And finally, he smartly made a hard foul on the last play in the first half to prevent a layup. Deuce Johnson missed both free throws, which proved critical in a game decided by two points.

— Suggs and Kemp didn’t play, but they’re expected to practice this week and could return Saturday for the Nevada game.

Comments | More in Notes, Video | Topics: Andrew Andrews, Cal State Fullerton, Desmond Simmons

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