Here’s a few thoughts following Washington’s dominating defensive performance, which produced a surprising 49-36 win over No. 13 San Diego State.
On second thought, maybe it wasn’t so surprising after all. The Aztecs are offensively limited and the Huskies have shown defensive prowess this season. Still, few expected them to totally outclass San Diego State like they did Sunday night at Alaska Airlines Arena.
This defense doesn’t rest – We may look back and remember this performance as the time when Washington’s legitimized their season. Before Sunday, the Huskies put together a nice little 6-0 start against lightweight mid-majors. But the Aztecs have a legitimate resume that includes four straight trips to the NCAA tournament and Washington manhandled them. SDSU finished with just 11 field goals. It shot 20.4 percent from the field. It was 2 of 15 on three-pointers. And those numbers could have been much worse if not for a few baskets in garbage time. The 36 points are the fewest for a UW opponent since 1970. That’s a long time. This UW defense may be the best ever under coach Lorenzo Romar.
Andrew Andrews is about that life – At times the UW junior guard who hails from Portland looked as if he was channeling another Portland product – Terrence Ross – who shot the ball like a gunslinger. Andrews isn’t afraid to take big shots. He’ll pull up early in the shot clock and hoist a three-pointer and give every indication that he expects the shot to go down. And when it doesn’t, no one complains. Andrews brings a toughness on the offensive end. He’s also starting to change his reputation as someone who can’t make three-pointers. He shot 27.8 percent his first two seasons, but he improved to 34.4 percent before Sunday’s game. Against the Aztecs, Andrews drained 3 of 7 behind the arc and finished with 13 points.
Williams-Goss does it all – Had a conversation with a NBA front office executive before the game who had questions about Williams-Goss. Last year, he didn’t believe Williams-Goss was a draft prospect. This was his first game this season watching Williams-Goss in person and he wanted to see what the fuss was all about. He’d heard Williams-Goss could take over games and get wherever he wanted on the floor. He heard about the intangibles and his leadership abilities. Still, the NBA scout wanted to see it for himself. I’m guessing, Williams-Goss is starting to change whatever misperceptions anyone had about him. Once again, Williams-Goss finished with an marvelous all-around performance. He did a little bit of everything. He scored a game-high 15 points. He collected a team-high six rebounds. He played 36 minutes. He made 2 of 4 three-pointers. And he delivered three assists.
Give Kemp the ball – I know it’s easier said than done, but Shawn Kemp Jr. needs more than three shots. Especially on a night when he made all three attempts. And this was a game in which points were at a premium. Kemp scored at least one of his baskets on a putback so without looking at the video tape, I’m guessing he didn’t get very many touches on set plays. Still, he finished with eight points and four rebounds in what was a bounce-back performance after producing back-to-back two-point outings.
Not worried about the shooters – Darin Johnson, Quevyn Winters and Donaven Dorsey combined for 0-for-6 shooting and went scoreless. I’ll give them a pass. But the Huskies can’t afford for their backup shooters to give them nothing offensively. They also failed to grab a rebound.