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November 30, 2014 at 11:41 PM

Five impressions: Washington 68, UTEP 65

 Washington guard Nigel Williams-Goss, left, goes up for a shot as UTEP forward Cedrick Lang defends during the second half an NCAA college basketball game at the the Wooden Legacy tournament, Sunday, Nov. 30, 2014, in Anaheim, Calif. Washington won 68-65. (Photo credit: Mark J. Terrill - AP)

Washington guard Nigel Williams-Goss, left, goes up for a shot as UTEP forward Cedrick Lang defends during the second half an NCAA college basketball game at the the Wooden Legacy tournament, Sunday, Nov. 30, 2014, in Anaheim, Calif. Washington won 68-65. (Photo credit: Mark J. Terrill – AP)

Good week for Washington, which will leave Southern California with the DirecTV Wooden Legacy title and their record unblemished at 6-0 following a 68-65 win over UTEP at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif.

It’s the Huskies’ first out-of-state holiday tournament title since winning the Great Alaska Shootout in 2004.

Here’s five quick impressions from Sunday’s game.

Wouldn’t be surprised if Washington picks up a few AP votes – Not sure if the Huskies are into statements, but their stellar start will certainly gain the program a little notoriety around the country. I don’t believe they’ll break into the Associated Press top 25 rankings, which are released Monday. However, they should pick up some votes. And if Washington can upset No. 16 San Diego State next Sunday at home, then UW will return to the top 25 for the first time since the 2011-12 season. Perhaps more important, the Huskies beat a UTEP team that’s one of the favorites to win the Conference USA title and will help UW’s strength of schedule.

UW’s backcourt looks like one of the best in the Pac-12 – The big men were the early stars this season, but there’s a reason why Nigel Williams-Goss and Andrew Andrews were voted co-captains. They’re the real stars on the team and they’ll be the ones who ultimately decide how far the Huskies will advance this season. This week, Williams-Goss displayed his all-around brilliance and captured the Most Outstanding Player award at the Wooden Legacy. He averaged 16.7 points, 8.7 assists and 5.3 rebounds in three games. On Sunday, he finished with 16 points, six assists and three rebounds. Andrews, who was voted to the five-man all-tournament team, was nearly as good. He averaged 11.3 points, including a season-high 20-point performance Sunday in the title game. Andrews also drilled two three-pointers in the final minutes of Friday’s semifinal. The Huskies need Williams-Goss to direct the offense with dribble drives and passes to the perimeter. And they need Andrews to knock down a few perimeter shots. He was 4 of 7 on three-pointers Sunday and 2 of 6 Friday.

What’s going on with Shawn Kemp? – No one expected Kemp to finish the season averaging 14.5 points like he did in the first four games of the season considering he averaged 4.4 last season. However, he’s fallen off in the past two games in a major way which is somewhat alarming. On Friday he scored two points in 23 minutes and collected more fouls (four) than rebounds (two). Sunday’s performance was a repeat of his previous outing. He had two points in 20 minutes and had more fouls (four) than rebounds (two). Kemp, a senior, has earned the right to battle out of his slump. But it’s going to be difficult to keep backup center Robert Upshaw on the bench for much longer if Kemp doesn’t bounce back. The Huskies also need his offense because he’s been their best low-post scorer.

Romar rolled the dice and came up a winner – Down 53-52 lead with 6:10 left coach Lorenzo Romar put Upshaw in the game despite the 7-footer being saddled with four fouls. Upshaw managed to avoid his fifth foul and helped shore up a leaky defense. He nearly picked up his fifth foul three times, but didn’t draw the whistle and finished out the game. Upshaw played 14 minutes and had six points, six rebounds, two blocks and two steals. Trailing 63-62 with 1:07 left, Upshaw forced a turnover and the Huskies took the lead for good on the next possession. They went 6 for 6 at the free throw line the rest of the way while UTEP was 1 of 5 from the field. Romar started defensively in man to man, but switched to the zone in the second half for the second straight game.

Donaven Dorsey knows his role and he’s OK with it – Gotta love freshmen who come into a program, survey what’s going on and carve out a little role for themselves. That’s exactly what Dorsey has done and it kind of reminds me of C.J. Wilcox. Dorsey has taken 26 shots this season and 23 have been three-pointers. That’s so cool. He may not be able to make a layup, but it doesn’t matter. What’s important is this team needs shooters who can stretch the defense and Dorsey has converted 52.2 percent (12 of 23) three-pointers. You could make an argument he deserved a spot on the Wooden Legacy all-tournament team and he probably would have gotten it if he scored a few more points Sunday. He drained five three-pointers for 17 points Thursday, but had six in the title game. If Dorsey wants to expand his game, he can do it on the defensive end. Offensively, he seems to know where he can be most effective and that’s on the perimeter.

Comments | More in Game recap, Lorenzo Romar | Topics: Nigel Williams-Goss, UTEP

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