Follow us:

Husky Men's Basketball

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

November 14, 2014 at 11:23 PM

Washington 77, South Carolina State 59: Three Impressions

Robert Upshaw had 14 points, six rebounds and seven blocked shots in his first game as a Husky. (Photo credit: Mark Harrison - Seattle Times)

Robert Upshaw had 14 points, six rebounds and seven blocked shots in his first game as a Husky. (Photo credit: Mark Harrison – Seattle Times)

Here’s a three quick impressions following Washington’s 77-59 nonconference win over South Carolina State in Friday’s regular-season opener at Alaska Airlines Arena.

CAN ANYBODY SHOOT? — If Washington doesn’t improve it’s perimeter shooting, it’s going to be a long season. For the second straight postgame press conference coach Lorenzo Romar tried to convince everyone that the Huskies were a better shooting team than what they showed. In Friday’s opener, UW converted just 3 of 21 (14.3 percent) three-pointers. In last week’s exhibition, UW was 5 of 21 (23.8 percent) beyond the arc. Even more troubling, many of the shots Friday were open looks against South Carolina State’s 2-3 zone. Nigel Williams-Goss (0 for 3) blamed the off night on chilly temperatures inside the arena. Sounds a bit like an excuse, but it was cold inside the gym. And South Carolina State also shot poorly (5 of 20) from downtown so maybe Williams-Goss has a point. Still, you got to believe every opponent is going to pack the middle until the Huskies can convince anyone they can make a shot outside.

OTHERWISE IT WAS A GREAT START — Aside from the shoddy perimeter shooting, it was a banner day for Washington. And it was a record-setting day. And no one got hurt, which was vast improvement from last year when the Huskies lost Jernard Jarreau in the opening minutes to a season-ending knee injury. This time, Washington led from start to finish. They dominated inside. They shot 61.7 percent inside the arc. They outrebounded South Carolina State 51-37. They blocked eight shots – seven from Robert Upshaw who tied the school record. And they scored 39 points in the first half and 38 in the second half. Every scholarship player available played and the rotation appears to be set. Shawn Kemp Jr. (17 points, 6 rebounds) may have truly turned things around. Upshaw (14 points, 6 rebounds) made a tremendous impact in 16 minutes. The hype about his shot-blocking ability is warranted. Andrew Andrews (13 points, seven rebounds, six assists) is best when he’s aggressive early and attacking the rim. It’ll be interesting to see if that continues when he sees more zones. Jernard Jarreau (six points and seven rebounds) is efficient at the top of the paint in the high-post offense. He had just one assist, but he’ll get a lot of open shots if Kemp and Upshaw continue to produce. Jarreau was 3 of 4 from the floor Friday. And Williams-Goss (10 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists) nearly had a historic night. He was three assists shy of registering Washington’s first triple double in school history. He gives the Huskies whatever they need. His outside shot wasn’t falling early so he made an impact in other ways. Other than the shoddy perimeter shooting, the other concern was the lack of production from the guards Darin Johnson, Quevyn Winters and Donaven Dorsey who combined for eight points on 3-for-13 shooting, five rebounds and one assist.

WHERE WAS EVERYBODY? – Granted, South Carolina State on a Friday night isn’t a big draw but 2,898 is cause for concern. The folks in the UW athletic department has got to be a little worried about the apathy surrounding a program that once routinely sold out the 10,000-seat arena. Last season, the Huskies averaged 6,009 fans. If the opener is any indication, fans have cooled on Washington after three straight years when it missed the NCAA tournament. The Huskies play their next five games on the road. They return home Dec. 7 against No. 16 San Diego State. It’s going to be interesting to see how many fans show up.

Comments | More in Washington recap | Topics: South Carolina State

COMMENTS

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 seattletimes.com 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 seattletimes.com 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 seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►