Huskies come together and run away with one
Lorenzo Romar picked up win in his 300th game coached with the Huskies. One night after a dissatisfying win where everyone to a man agreed that the team lacked energy and at times lost focus, the Huskies came out with a different energy and intensity and never struggled in a 93-63 win over Portland.
There was plenty that stood out but perhaps nothing more important than seeing Terrence Ross get comfortable on both offense and defense. Ross had been fairly quiet in the first two games and Romar suspects it may have been because he was focusing on his defense. The focus paid off as Ross held Pilots senior guard and all WCC pick Nemanja Mitrovic to just 2-9 shooting.
“I don’t know if I have been more proud of someone on the defensive end than Terrence Ross,” Romar said after the game. “You are talking about someone who last year was very gifted offensively but was behind on the defensive end and it was tough on him. And now he has come to do what he did tonight, guard a very, very good shooter. And did that while still having a fantastic evening. the great ones are capable of both.”
The fantastic evening Romar is talking about was completed on the offensive side where Ross scored 26 points, hitting six of eight threes. He got off to an inauspicious start, bouncing the ball off his knee and out of bounds on a wide open to the rim breakaway. As embarrassing as that was, he said the moment helped him focus.
“I got way to ahead of myself. I was thinking about what I wanted to do. Just knowing that I let something go like that it really made me think about I can’t think too much. I still need to be attentive to everything going on around me. It really helped me focus and settle down. After that I really just got a hold of the game.”
The Huskies had a hold of this game from the opening buzzer. They responded to the challenge of the coaches to have more focus, particularly on defense. They took a step forward which is exactly what you want to see early on. They were expected to win these three games at the World Vision Classic and they did that and progressed.
Ross got his legs under him on both ends of the court. N’Diaye and Gant each had big games scoring wise but also took care of business under the basket. The freshmen got minutes and the guards really seemed to mix well.
Abdul Gaddy on Ross, “He can score so good, when he’s hot you go to him. Him and CJ balance each other out. Teams have got to guard both of them.”
Gaddy on Wroten who was not a one man highlight reel in the first half, rather a highlight reel that got a good amount of the spotlight but also involved teammates. “He allows me to play the two. Ton can make plays, he is a great passer so I become more of a shooter. He can pick up the ball more so I am guarding off the ball and we can switch that off. We are interchangeable that way.”
Plenty of good in the past three days but Romar wants more.
“We have to rebound better and we still haven’t put that forty minutes together,” he answered when asked what improvement he would like to see.
Maybe not quite forty minutes, but tonight, they were close. And pretty fun to watch.