As expected, the pollsters punished Colorado after its loss at Wyoming and dropped the Buffaloes out of the top 25 rankings. CU was No. 19 last week in the AP and coaches’ polls. Arizona (5-0) is the only Pac-12 team in the polls and the Wildcats climbed to No. 8 in both rankings, which is…More
Topic: top 25
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Here’s the top 25 ballot I emailed to the Associated Press this morning. No. 1 Indiana (8-0) No. 2 Duke (8-0) No. 3 Michigan (7-0) No. 4 Florida (6-0) No. 5 Syracuse (5-0) No. 6 Arizona (5-0) No. 7 Gonzaga (8-0) No. 8 Cincinnati (7-0) No. 9 Ohio State (5-1) No. 10 Louisville (6-1) No. 11 Kansas (6-1) No. 12 Creighton (7-1) No. 13 Missouri (6-1) No. 14 Oklahoma…More
Coach Lorenzo Romar promised the upset defeat to Albany won’t define Washington’s season and nearly a week later it appears as if he’s right. The 63-62 is a glaring blemish on the Huskies’ 2-2 record, however they’re 46th in the latest RPI. The fairly respectable RPI is a result of UW’s win over Seton Hall and Albany’s…More
Here’s the top 25 list I emailed to the Associated Press tonight. No. 1 Indiana (3-0) No. 2 Louisville (3-0) No. 3 Michigan (3-0) No. 4 Ohio State (3-0) No. 5 Florida (3-0) No. 6 North Carolina (3-0) No. 7 Duke (2-0) No. 8 Syracuse (2-0) No. 9 Arizona (2-0) No. 10 UCLA (3-0) No. 11 Missouri (3-0) No. 12 Memphis (2-0) No. 13 Creighton (3-0) No. 14 Gonzaga…More
Washington fell behind midway in the first half, trailed by 10 at halftime and never mounted much of a threat in the second half before losing 77-66 to No. 4 Ohio State at the Mohegan Sun arena. The Huskies had no answer for junior forward Deshaun Thomas, who scored a career-high tying 31 points and…More
Scouting report: No. 4 Ohio State
Game info: 1:30 p.m. Sunday at Mohegan Sun Arena (10,000 capacity)
TV: ESPN2 (Mike Crispino and Derek Whittenburg.)
Radio: KJR 950 AM and 102.9 FM (Mike Gastineau and Jason Hamilton)
Stats/schedule: Click here.
Game notes: Click here.
Coach: Thad Matta is 223-65 in nine seasons with the Buckeyes. His career record is 323-96, which is the third best among active coaches. He’s coached at Xavier (78-23, three seasons) and Butler (24-8, one season).
Prediction: Picked to finish third in the 12-team Big Ten by media who cover the conference.
Series: Washington leads 8-3.
Last meeting: The Huskies won 67-63 on Dec. 1, 1972.
Previous game: Ohio State beat Rhode Island 69-58 on Saturday.
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
— Deshaun Thomas (right) is the heir apparent to Jared Sullinger who was taken in the first round of the 2012 NBA draft. While they’re similar in size, the 6-7 and 225-pound Thomas doesn’t mix it up below the rim like Sullinger. Still, Thomas is very dangerous. His career high is 31 points and he’s capable of scoring 40.
“Thomas gives defenders nightmares and when he gets on a roll, he can rattle off points from all three areas of the floor.” wrote ESPN.com’s Reggie Rankin.
After scoring 19 points in OSU’s first game, he had 25 points and 10 rebounds in Saturday’s win over Rhode Island. He averages a team-high 22.0 points and 6.5 rebounds. Thomas is dangerous on the offensive glass where he gets a lot of putbacks and draws fouls. He’s also a good three-pointer shooter, who has made 7 of 15 behind the arc this season. The biggest knock
Thomas is OSU’s top returning scorer (15.9 ppg.) and rebounder (5.4 rpg.) from last season. Among the starters from the 2011-12 season, he shot the highest field goal percentage (.520/243-467) while scoring 619 points and grabbing 209 rebounds, 100 of which came on the offensive end of the court. Thomas is one of six Associated Press preseason All-Americans. He was also selected to the Wooden and Naismith top preseason lists.
— Don’t let the rosy cheeks faced looks fool you, Aaron Craft (above) is a gritty, defensive-minded enforcer. He won the Big Ten defensive player of the year award last season. In just two seasons, the 6-2, 195-pound junior guard ranks second all-time at Ohio State with 171 steals. His forte is creating havoc on opposing guards. He has decent quickness and solid ball-handling abilities. But what separates him is his high-energy and motor that allows him to dominate despite the fact that he isn’t a great athlete.
Defensively, Craft is a game-changer. He plays like a bulldog with immense intensity and aggressiveness. He is strong enough and quick enough laterally to apply defensive pressure in the full-court, keep opposing point guards from getting into the lane, as well as disrupt the passing lanes. He puts himself in good positions and uses his body to steer opponents and beat them to spots to draw offensive fouls.
Craft drained five three-pointers and notched his career-best 20 points against Albany. He had 13 points and four assists versus Rhode Island. While it’s a small sample size, Craft has been amazingly efficient offensively this season. He’s connected on 10 of 19 (52.6 percent) from the field and 7 of 13 (53.8) on three-pointers. Craft has a team-high 11 assists, but he’s a good enough shooter that he can slide to the shooting guard position at times.
Craft is a first team all-Big Ten preseason pick. He’s also a first-team academic all-American last season.
Not sure which is bigger. Colorado beating No. 16 Baylor, which snapped the Pac-12’s 12-game winless streak against ranked opponents, or UCLA winning an appeal with the NCAA that allows star freshman Shabazz Muhammad to play immediately. Both are reasons to celebrate for Pac-12 fans if you subscribe to the rising tide lifts all boats theory. With…More
Aaron Gordon, the top 2013 prospect on the West Coast, has narrowed his list to three teams – Washington, Arizona and Kentucky. The 6-8 forward from Arch Bishop Mitty High in San Jose, Calif. eliminated Oregon, Kansas and California. Gordon plans to sign in the spring. FRIDAY MORNING LINKS: — Isaac Hamilton is going to make his…More
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.
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.
MORE NOTES, QUOTES AND OBSERVATIONS:
IT’S OVER — UW 85-63.
MOP-UP DUTY — Walk-on guard Dion Overstreet is in with many other reserves. Less than two minutes left.
ALMOST OVER — Suggs and Wilcox just drained three-pointers and Loyola is waiving the proverbial white flag. UW 79-58, 3:03.
FIRMLY IN CONTROL — Unless something goes horribly wrong, the Huskies will win the season opener. Washington has just one turnover in the second half. Good halftime adjustment. UW 69-53, 5:20.
BONUS — The Huskies have eight fouls and Loyola is in the bonus. Every UW foul sends the Greyhoudns to the line. UW 62-52, 7:34.
FANTASTIC AT THE LINE — Loyola is 10 of 19 (52.6 percent) on free throws. The Huskies are 12 of 16. UW 59-48, 8:35.
WEARING THEM DOWN — Looks like the Greyhounds are getting physically and mentally fatigued. Cormier is the only serious threat on dribble drives. Everything else is putbacks for Loyola. UW’s defense has forced two shot-clock violations in the second half. UW 52-44, 12:28.
STILL RUNNING — Simmons and Wilcox hit consecutive treys. The Huskies are on a 15-6 run. UW 48-39, 14:54.
NICE LITTLE SPURT — The defense is better and the Huskies are running. UW 42-37, 15:50.
SECOND HALF — Same starters for everyone.
HALFTIME OBSERVATIONS — Everything is seemingly working for Washington and yet for some reason the Huskies only have a two-point lead. The three guards (Wilcox, Gaddy and Suggs) are leading the way scoring. They have 9, 7 and 7 points respectively. N’Diaye is controlling the defense and has 10 rebounds. Loyola is shooting 35.3 percent and UW has more free throws (11 to 9).
Washington is doing many things right. Still the 11 turnovers are a problem. That’s got to change because those are wasted possessions. When you add the turnovers to Loyola’s nine offensive rebounds, that’s 18 extra possessions for the Greyhounds.
The Huskies also need for force more than six turnovers because when they do they’re magnificent in the open court. UW has a 11-2 lead in fastbreak points. Both teams are 2 of 6 on three-pointers.
Maybe this is the new normal for the Huskies. Maybe they can play seemingly well and opponents will remain within striking distance to steal the game. We’ll see if UW’s depth wears down Loyola in the second half.
The only foul issue pertains to Suggs who has three.
Not sure why Jarreau has only played seven minutes. I’m guessing it’s because he’s not boxing out on rebounds. The same goes for Breunig who has played four minutes.
HALFTIME STATS — Click here.