Wednesday Thoughts and Notes

Dec 16, 2009, 2:48 PM | Updated: Apr 5, 2011, 11:20 am

Coach Lorenzo Romar addressed the media Tuesday and gave some indication as to how he felt the Huskies were at the present, going into the Portland and Texas A+M games. He felt that against Georgetown that UW lost defensive concentration in the second half and didn’t move well enough on offense. Quincy Pondexter and Isaiah Thomas are averaging over 20 points per game each, but Romar feels that there needs to be more from the other players to put UW where they should be.

Some of the guys that he thought could become a third and 4th scoring option were Matthew Bryan-Amaning, Tyreese Breshers and Clarence Trent. Matthew has been shooting at about a 50% clip and if he made a couple of easy lay ins, that would be at around 60% most likely, while Tyreese is shooting also at around 50%. Clarence Trent is at 62%. It seemed as if Romar was insinuating that he’d like that production to come from a front court player.

That makes a lot of sense, because there needs to be a greater balance to the attack at this point, not just from someone other than Q and IT, but from somewhere other than the guard positions. If even one of those guys could give UW a consistent double figure scorer and perhaps Abdul Gaddy and Elston Turner could add another 6-7 points each per game, I think that Washington would be in a very good position this March.

Percy Allen of the Seattle Times printed out the whole press conference on his blog today.

Romar also said that f there were three guys averaging 8-9 ppg along with IT and Q averaging 20, this would be fine, which seems to echo that sentiment. He also deflected criticism that the Dawgs are just not that good in light of the performance against the Hoyas and said that he thought that UW will be fine if they grab a hold of this team concept. He felt that practice on Monday was really good and guys were dialed in.

Romar mentioned that Tyreese finally went the entire day in practice. He did say that his one concern was having enough guys that can knock shots down, but everything else is something that can be fixed. Romar warned that Portland is a senior dominated team that is very tall. He said that the Pilots are very dangerous from three point land and run their offense like a bunch of veterans, which they are.

The Portland game was selected as one of the games to watch by ESPN for this weekend, while Greg Monroe was chosen deservingly as the national player of the week by the network.

Overall I would say that Lorenzo skipped over the one thing that I thought after watching the Georgetown game was kind of obvious. It looked to me that at half-time the Hoyas just decided that they had a tremendous advantage in the paint and to exploit that by basically working it in to Greg Monroe and Julian Vaughn. The way that UW was guarding these two looked as if they were doubling Monroe and thus putting a guard like a Suggs, Turner or Holiday or at best Pondexter on the other guy.

If the ball came into Monroe, either get behind one of those three rather undersized players for an easy lay-up or get it to Vaughn in a position to go back to the basket and either score over the top of the defender or draw another double team allowing Monroe or someone else to be open. It was an easy strategy for GU to execute and it looked to me like Washington’s body language communicated that, “You figured us out, please don’t beat us up too bad”.

The late game run by the Huskies was too little too late and basically about what Idaho did to WSU last week, when that game was all but won. I think the real truth here is that UW does not have front line guys that can go man on man with posts as good as the Hoyas’ right now. The Good news is that no one in the Pac-10 does either, with a possible exception of Oregon, should Michael Dunigan, Josh Crittle, Joevan Catron and company get it rolling.

USC also may have a pretty good group in Alex Stepheson and Leonard Washington, but losing Kasey Cunningham and the questionable supporting cast should allow most teams in the league to maintain a solid advantage over the Trojans. Everywhere else you look in the Pac-10 it’s pretty soft in the middle. Cal has a decent situation with the senior Jamal Boykin and the oversized Max Zhang and Markuri Frison-Sanders, plus the solid undersized Omandi Amoke, but the Bears post players are no Monroe and Vaughn.

UW has probably seen the toughest challenge from a team going right at their weakness, until the postseason, from the Hoyas. The question is at this point, how bad are the UW posts going to play? To me it is a given that opposing coaches will attempt the same strategy. If the UW staff can get them to make adjustments and get close to 20 points and 15 rebounds out of all 4 of them combined (Darnell Gant being the 4th) in conference play, UW is probably going to win the league or finish within one game of doing so.

One thing that needs to be pointed out is that this could all look a whole lot better if one or more of these 4 guys all of a sudden catches on fire or as they often put it, all of a sudden a light comes on as young players do all the time. This is one of the things that make college basketball so hard to predict and also so interesting.

Isaiah Thomas is another player that has been getting a lot of criticism for his turnovers and lack of ability to hit the three. Those are big factors for him and UW. Seriously, Isaiah Thomas should call Ryan Appleby. Quincy did, it has done him nothing but good and he would be the first to admit it. IT could learn a lot about getting his shot back that he has seemed to have lost in the process of getting stronger over the last 3 years.

Thomas is never going to be a success at the NBA level without becoming a dead eye shooter from range. He also needs to learn to use that circus game of his where he comes barreling to the hoop and either gets fouled, gets a crazy shot to drop or both to his advantage by selling himself as a pass first point guard. Nobody at the NBA level is going to take him seriously unless he can be a marketable foil for guys that are more traditional NBA scoring options.

His first job at 5’9″, should he get a look from an NBA GM, is to handle the ball and get the ball to a major scoring option. He can use his ability to penetrate and the perception that he can score if you don’t watch out, but the length in the league is such that he is going to have real tough time if he thinks he can go aggressively to the hoop without using that as a decoy for a perfect pass.

He also needs to be able to hit a three from NBA distance with a hand in his face, because that is what going to be there, unlike now when he can’t hit college threes at a 40% clip. He has hit 5 of his last 22 attempts from three.

A perfect example for him to look at is Calvin Murphy. Murphy was the same size, had the same type of game (with a few noticeable differences) and a 3 year career at Niagra (freshman couldn’t play then) where he became a dominant force in college basketball averaging 33 points per game. I believe that Thomas could score more than he does on the right team and Murphy and Niagra would be a similar situation to Charles Garcia and Seattle U today, Calvin being the best player by far on an independent team that was not a power before he got there.

As an NBA pro he shot an incredible 89% from the free throw line for his career and still holds the NBA record for consecutive free throws made at 78. He averaged 96% from the line in that season (’80-81). For his 13 year career he averaged 4.4 assists per game. He was an NBA all-star only one time. Why only one time? Because his role was to get the ball to Moses Malone or maybe Rudy Tomjanovich, Robert Reid or Mike Dunleavy, Sr. in that ’80-81 season.

If he was left open for a second he had to make that shot and make it with a quick trigger because getting it blocked was to be expected not a possibility.

If those previously named players didn’t execute the play correctly or really took a play too easily in setting it up they might get it blocked, but for Calvin it was rare that he had a shot that was open enough for him to get it off and he patterned his game accordingly. For the years before that time in Houston, Murphy’s job was to get the ball to Elvin Hayes, make shots when left open and penetrate, with the ability to make it look like he might try to go to the hoop, just long enough for the defense to commit then make the right pass or draw the foul, then hit 90% at the line for a 13-year career.

He had the uncanny ability to score over bigger guys, like Isaiah, but learned to pass out of it and only take his shot when it was really there. Even though Murphy is in the NBA Hall of Fame, he only had a career as a starter because he was that outstanding. You know there were fans that argued at the time that a bigger player wouldn’t have been as great of a liability of defense, etc., etc, etc. blah, blah, blah.

With his skills and 6 more inches Calvin have been arguably one of the five greatest players that ever lived, but because of it he was the little guy with the free throw record and the privilege of being able to take the ball up and deliver it to a couple of perennial all-star post players. There is little need for Isaiah “test the process”. Instead he needs to put all of his mental and physical energy towards his free throw shooting, three point shooting and most importantly passing out of his circus act.

If he can accomplish this, he may have a functional career in the NBA in a role similar to what Calvin Murphy carved out by sheer determination. Isaiah is just not there yet and needs probably all four years at UW and in the Pac-10 to develop enough of those skills which he has yet to address to give him a chance to achieve that goal. His supporters on message boards and more than likely behind the scenes are not doing him any good talking about him getting 21 and 5, while his team was being embarrassed by Georgetown.

They are not doing him any good talking about how other UW players are not getting the job done in moving without the ball. He has too much work to do to start pointing fingers and whether he is or not, those voices are not helping him get where he needs to be if he really wants to make a career out of basketball.

Quincy Pondexter on the other hand, has been where Isaiah is now and taken the proper steps to correct his shortcomings, not just from the standpoint of preparing for the NBA, but more importantly by becoming the kind of all-around player that can have an outstanding senior year in the Pac-10 and garner national honors as well. More importantly Pondexter is having fun, while taking care of business.

Pacific Northwest Ballet is going to have him play the grandfather in the “Nutcracker” performance on December 23rd. Quincy was filmed while looking at the costume that he will be wearing in a humorous clip by the UW Athletic Department.

Seth Davis of Sports Illustrated criticized Quincy’s bravado, stating that the senior shouldn’t be so quick to celebrate.

“Considering the Huskies have lost the only two tough games on their schedule (at Texas Tech and vs. Georgetown in Anaheim), perhaps Mr. Pondexter should let his actions speak for themselves for the foreseeable future.”

I don’t agree with Davis. I think that Quincy has acted appropriately in an attempt to inspire and encourage his team mates. ESPN conversely is buying into the Pondexter parade, as Chad Ford in his draft coverage has Quincy now listed as the #15 pick.

Ford had this to say about Pondexter:

“A lot of people raised their eyebrows when we picked Washington forward Quincy Pondexter as the best senior in the country at the start of the season, but his stellar performance in Washington’s loss to Georgetown this week tells you why he’s the only senior with a legit shot of going in the lottery. Not only does he have an elite physical profile, Pondexter has just gotten better. He is hitting his midrange jump shots with more confidence, has become a terror on the defensive end of the floor and acts like a real leader out there. He started the season ranked in the late 20s on our Big Board and has inched all the way up to the late lottery.”

They then accented that by saying startlingly that, “He’s the Brandon Roy of this year’s draft”. I think that Quincy deserves a lot of credit for the work that he’s done to get himself into this position, but there is still a lot of work to be done to get by the Pilots and Texas A+M, let alone the Pac-10. As a side note, UW just announced that tickets to those all important conference games just went on sale Monday.

Saying that he will be what Roy was in 2005-2006 is also something that is not going to be easy, but it couldn’t happen to a better person if it does for QPon. The high compliments don’t stop there for UW’s power tandem, as Isaiah also got a nice write up from Ford.

“Over the years I’ve pretty much ignored college players who were 5-foot-10 or shorter. Any player under 6-feet will struggle to make it in the league regardless of talent. Washington’s Nate Robinson was a rare exception. And now another product of the Huskies, Isaiah Thomas, may end up following in his footsteps. Like Robinson, Thomas has explosive athletic ability and a good body. He’s also more of a scorer than a point guard a trait that has complicated Robinson’s career in the NBA. While scouts have rarely said much about Thomas, they have begun talking about him in more positive terms of late. While his draft stock is still a question mark, the fact that he’s even in the conversation at 5-8 tells you something about what a terrific player he has become.”

This good news for Isaiah’s chances to have an NBA career, but like I just said, his size makes it so that he really needs to be that all-around player and then some to have a shot, unlike some of his team mates like Quincy, Gaddy and others who are of a more typical NBA size.

The polls came out and UW dropped as was expected. I’m not a fan of the polls this early anyway, so anything to send the message to the UW players that there is work to be done is good in my book. The Dawgs dropped to #24 in the AP poll and #21 in the ESPN/USA Today poll. Gonzaga moved up to #15 in both polls, while New Mexico at #19 and UNLV at #23 in the ESPN poll were the only other teams from the western region to be represented.

Rivals power rankings came out by position for this week and Quincy was near the top of the small forwards list at #2, along with two other players that looked closely at UW. Right behind him in Wesley Johnson from Syracuse and Kyle Singler from Duke is at the top spot.

Isaiah and Romar were mentioned but demoted for their performances over the past few games, but Seattle U’s Charles Garcia was promoted up to the #16 center after not even being mentioned coming into the year. Klay Thompson was chosen as the #12 shooting guard, while Gonzaga’s Matt Bouldin, Mark Few, Robert Sacre and Elias Harris were all listed.

Joe Lunardi’s bracketology came out today and listed Washington as a 5 seed in the Midwest region, though the Dawgs according to this fantasy projection will play their game in Spokane, WA. The only other Pac-10 entrant was Cal, who was listed as a 9 seed who will play in Oklahoma City. Gonzaga was assigned a 5 seed and to also play in Spokane.

I do not believe that the Pac-10 will get 2 NCAA bids. I think that Cal and Washington will get bids and that two teams from either Oregon, Oregon State, WSU and ASU will attract the nation’s attention enough during the conference season to get another two bids. The league has too much of a legacy, too many players that are headed to the NBA and more importantly too many current players in the NBA to be taken that lightly.

Non-conference season has been a slow starter for the Pac-10 for years and they almost always do better that ESPN, who seem to lead the charge of the east coast biased college basketball media, project it as. All that said the conference has a lot of problems to address between now and March. I think there is a chance that the league will get three, but that is the least they will receive in my opinion.

According to Cal State Northridge senior forward Willie Galick in Montlake Madness, the Dawgs are not playing up to their individual abilities.

“I have played against many teams in the top 10 over my four years thus far, and unfortunately the Huskies just don’t have the same caliber of a team game as they should. They rely on their talent and skills but seem to only rely on their teammates from time to time. If they can build on their half court game and execute their plays better and lock up their defense a little better, they can make it to the Sweet 16, for sure. But, as of right now, they might struggle against a well-coached team with athletes just as good if it was March right now.”

That’s a direct shot and at the UW coaching staff and perhaps unfair, but I think that there is some merit to what Galick has to say. The coach’s approach seems to be to build their sets up more slowly in the season than other teams. By conference time they seem to start really focusing in, but until then it’s time to experiment and try so many different looks that the players don’t actually have a great chance of “building a half court game”.

On the other hand, this UW staff just won it’s first out right league championship, so how they are doing things is hard to criticize, at least this year.

I’ve talked a lot about the lack of production from the UW front court, but instead chose to address UW’s backcourt needs.

I admit that they make some very good points. UW needs to get better play out of their entire back court. Isaiah Thomas is averaging 20 ppg, but his turnovers have been crippling for UW, as have Venoy’s at times. Elston Turner needs to establish himself as a presence and though Gaddy has looked like the untapped potential that all have projected him to be, in the two biggest games of the year he has really not been a factor. Scott Suggs and Justin Holiday have shown themselves to be good “team guys”, but neither has shown an ability to be counted on for solid offensive production.

UW needs someone to do that from this group, besides Quincy and Isaiah. If UW can get a couple of those guys to consistently pump in 10-12 points per game, even if it means that Q and IT are down in the mid-teens, the Dawgs will be much better off. Like I mentioned before that probably needs to be coupled with someone scoring down low and if one guy can be “manufactured” (as they say in baseball) over the course of this season, next year could turn out to be a 180 degree turn in the front court for UW with the addition of Enes Kanter.

Recruiting News

Everything that we are hearing is that Kanter is probably the best player coming into the Pac-10 next year and one of the top player overall in his class. Not as much has been written about him by the usual recruiting “Experts”, as he has not been part of the AAU circuit or some would call it, “System”. Rivals finally gave Enes a profile, while at the same time awarding him 5 stars and admitting that they haven’t even seen him play. This is pretty typical for the recruiting press which is quick to pass judgment before really having that much first hand information.

The only thing worse than being colossally wrong about a prospect in that world, is to be later than the next guy in adding them to rankings and assigning them a star rating.

Kiwi Gardner is a five-foot-seven 2011 PG that really impresses me. He lists Washington along with Cal and Oregon as his top favorites in Rivals. I would describe his game as similar to that of Isaiah Thomas, but much thinner.

Check out his latest Youtube highlight reel and tell me what you think:

Dwayne Polee is a 2010 small forward that looks to be a dynamite athlete in his latest youtube reel.

The word out there is that Washington is in play for Polee, but trails UNLV and Arizona, who seem to be making a living on kids who commit or sign with USC and go elsewhere.

2011 Husky recruit PF Ryan Anderson is still growing according to ESPN, who gave him a very complimentary review today.

“Anderson is slowly growing (almost 6-8) and his game is making strides as well. He projects as a 4 with a soft shooting touch that extends out to 19 feet. His pivot work in the post has progressed as well, and he’s an outstanding passer. He isn’t a big-time athlete, but he has enough bounce around the basket to make plays on a consistent basis. Anderson is at least a mid-major prospect, and with added toughness and strength he could become a high-major recruit in due time.

2011 guard Gary Bell scored 55 points last night for his Kentridge team against Auburn-Riverside. He is a recruiting priority for the Huskies in my opinion.

Jabari Brown is a 2011 guard that is very interested in UW. He is a close friend of 2010 signee Desmond Simmons, though he has transferred from Simmons high school Artesia in the Bay Area to the top elite prep school in the nation, Findlay Prep in the Las Vegas area. Expect Brown to be on UW’s recruiting radar, as he is one of the top guards in the west along with Tony Wroten Jr. from Seattle’s Garfield High, Bell and Nick Johnson, another UW recruit, who is a team mate of his at Findlay. ESPN did a report on Brown today on their recruiting updates page.

“ESPNU Super 60 guard Jabari Brown poured in 22 points for No. 1 Findlay College Prep in the Pilots’ 96-80 win over Christian Life Center (Texas) on Tuesday.”

Cougar Corner

WSU racked up another win over the Air Force 75-68 to go to a Pac-10 leading 8-2 on the year. Klay Thompson (who else) led the Cougars with 19 points. He was followed by Reggie Moore with 16 and Marcus Capers with 12. Nikola Koprivica made a case for a starting role with 8 points and 11 boards off the bench. It could be that Koprivica is going to be that 5th starter com Pac-10 play, but the Cougars are in serious need of front court help for Deangelo Casto.

On a positive note freshman Brock Motum played 14 fairly mistake free minutes and could become a factor for the Cougs once he gets a bit more seasoning.

Kansas State is looking like it was not such a bad loss for the Cougs. ESPN today did a story that focused on what a good job the coach has done and how the Wildcats are looking to be much better than expected.

Here’s the link:

Redhawks Return Home in Winning Style

Seattle U lost to Eastern Washington at Cheney WA 100-97 in overtime on Saturday. The story for the Redhawks was the ability by EWU to make someone else besides Charles Garcia beat them, which turned out to be a winning strategy. Chris Gweth led Seattle with 24 points and Chuck was held to a season low 12 points and eight rebounds, although he blocked three shots.

Seattle U returned home to face UC Irvine last night at the Key Arena and came home with an exciting 82-81 win. Charles Garcia got back where he left off during the EWU game with 29 points, including the winning pair of free throws. 15.6 seconds left in the game. Alex Jones had as strong night off the bench for the Redhawks with 16 points in 17 minutes, while Gweth kicked in 10 along with Mike Boxley.

Zags Win In Seattle Short Handed 103-91

Gonzaga, without Matt Bouldin, had a little trouble with a Stephen Curry-less Davidson team in the “Battle of Seattle” in Key Arena. It was Elias Harris, who is starting to get quite a bit of mention from NBA scouts as a 1st round possibility for next June, led the way with 27 points. Robert Sacre had 23 points and Demetri Goodson added on 22 in a game that was actually close at times.

It really showed how important Bouldin is to this group of young and mostly foreign Zags, who also got 16 from Steven Gray. The key to the game was that Davidson was called for 34 fouls resulting in 54 Gonzaga free throws.

Pac-10 Notes

Percy Allen of the Seattle Times did a nice job of covering that Pac-10 conference call this week. All 10 teams head coaches answered questions.

Here are the highlights:

Sean Miller:

“We’re a very mediocre team on a quest to get better.”

Kevin O’Neil:

Leonard Washington and Mike Gerrity will be, “Immediate starters when they get back”.

Johnny Dawkins:

“It’s uncertain if junior forward Josh Owens will play this season or ever again. The nature of his medical condition is also unknown. However, Dawkins said it’s not life threatening.”

Lorenzo Romar:

Abdul Gaddy is “Right around the corner from really breaking out.”

Ben Howland:

Tyler Honeycutt has been slowed by a stress fracture in his shin.

Percy also offered his Pac-10 power rankings and demoted Washington to #3 behind Cal and WSU. I can see the logic of dropping UW behind the Bears, but WSU? I guess the Cougs deserve some kudos for winning, while UW has lost two out of three and been exposed as a team that needs work against some pretty stiff competition, but WSU has beaten no one this week to warrant that promotion.

Later in the part about OSU, whom Allen picks at #6, he reports that, “Word around Corvallis, Ore. is highly-touted freshman Roberto Nelson, the Beavers first top 100 recruit in many years, will not be cleared by the NCAA and will be ineligible this season”. That is very bad news for the Beavers, should it turn out to be true. OSU lacks fire power and Nelson would have really helped. I still think that they are a dangerous team, but this development should knock them down a notch in the Pac-10 race.

At this point my feelings about the Pac-10 are as follows:

I think that the conference still comes down to Cal and UW as the top two teams. Cal has more veterans and that is why I think that they will win the league by one game or more than likely a tie breaker over the Dawgs. UW has the best two players in Pondexter and Isaiah, but Cal has more weapons, at least at the present time.

Oregon is struggling, but I think that when they get Tajuan Porter and Catron back, to go with a deep group of up and coming stars they will be tough this year. ASU and WSU are the teams that will fight it out for the 4th spot in the league and right now I’m giving the edge to the Cougars, who have more firepower in Klay Thompson, Reggie Moore and Deangelo Casto.

ASU has a tough coach though and the freshmen are going to have some good outings. OSU I am going to pick at the #6 spot for now, but they have a shot to get into that top-5 instead of ASU and WSU. I look at those three teams as really close with Nelson, but if he’s not there I have to put the Beavs down a notch.

At the #7 spot I’m going with USC right now. When they get back Leonard Washington and Mike Gerrity, they are going to look half way decent. With all of the non-conference losses, the Trojans (along with a lot of Pac-10 teams) are going to have a tough case to argue to the NCAA when it comes time for selection Sunday. This is exactly why I support expanding the dance to 128 teams.

That way teams that are actually better at the end of the year get a chance to prove it over weak conference champions and teams that peak earlier. I’m going with Arizona over Stanford and UCLA at the #8 spot. Though the ‘Cats are young, they have more talent and just enough veterans to get them that high.

UCLA is going to win more than Stanford, by virtue of more talent and a deeper front court. I think that the Bruins are horrible, but Stanford is a two man show in Landry Fields and Jeremy Green that is going to be much easier to contain than UCLA as the year moves on.

ASU beat lowly Delaware State 76-34 on Saturday as Victor Rudd really made his presence felt while leading all scorers with 15 points. The addition of Rudd and Lockett and possible contributions by freshman Demetrius Walker (who also played a decent 17 minutes) are making Sun Devils fans optimistic. The news was all good for ASU, but considering the opponent, I wouldn’t get too excited.

The Sun Devil Scout site did a nice piece on Rudd in which he sounded pretty well grounded for a youngster. He was a team mate of UW’s Clarence Trent at Findlay Prep in Las Vegas, NV tow years ago and you can tell he’s been around a bit.

“Derrick Williams and Tyler Honeycutt are from L.A. too and they (Rudd’s friends) want me to outscore them. I’m just trying to play the game. Since the games started I’m just playing team basketball.”

Senior PG Derek Glasser has been the one consistent force for ASU, as he was on Saturday with 14 points. Glasser is six assists shy of breaking the all-time Arizona State assist mark. He has been a four year starter and having James Harden for two of those and Jeff Pendergraph for three of them has not hurt.

OSU lost to Nebraska on the road in Lincoln, NE 50-44 on Saturday. The star for the ‘Huskers was none other than former Rainier Beach Viking Ryan Anderson (yet another) with 16 points and 14 rebounds. Anderson would have loved to have played at Washington from what we have heard over the years, but instead of the good shooting senior guard that UW could really use about now the UW staff went for Adrian Oliver. Either one would have been good right now, but me thinks that Anderson has proven himself to be a better team guy.

As far as the Beavers, they continued the Pac-10’s woes in it’s quest for out of conference wins and any kind of showing in the Big-12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series, but at least it was a close game on the road, which should help as a learning experience in conference play. This time it was the veterans in Roeland Schaftenaar with 16 points and Seth Tarver with 12 that led the way, while the highly acclaimed frosh choked as they are known to do on the road, Jared Cunningham and Joe Burton combining for 1 point.

Oregon showed little signs of becoming the dangerously talented club that I feel that they can become in losing at home to St. Mary’s on Saturday. The Gaels are an NCAA Tournament team according to Joe Lunardi and this should come as a bulletin to the Huskies who face another WCC power this weekend from Portland. The Ducks lost 81-76 and Malcolm Armstead led Oregon with 14 points.

Kyle’s brother E.J. Singler followed with 12 points for the Ducks and Dunigan added 10. Seniors Porter and Catron did not play for a team that could be a good one if they can get healthy AND overcome potential chemistry issues that caused them to under perform last season.

UCLA was soundly beaten once again, this time by the Mississippi State Bulldogs, in the game after the UW/GU game down in Anaheim on Saturday. John Wooden had to be have been embarrassed by the Bruins, who gave the Huskies some solace after their poor performance with one that literally dwarfed Washington’s. UCLA lost by a score of 72-54, but it was really not that close and the Bruins looked like a team that Coach Ben Howland is in serious danger of losing.

The Bruins came back strong against New Mexico State though last night, winning 100-68, as Malcolm Lee led the way with 20 points. Lee was followed by freshman Reeves Nelson with 16 points, senior Mike Roll and freshman Tyler Honeycutt with 14 points a piece and heavily maligned PG Jerime Anderson with 13 points and 7 assists. Though the Aggies are no great shakes (they lost their opener to St. Mary’s by the exact same score), this was a good sign for the Bruins, who have lost to teams like this earlier in the year.

Perhaps UCLA has taken an important step in righting the ship, or at least in finding some of the leaks.

‘Zona fans were hoping to get a pretty comeback win after the ugly loss to Oklahoma, but instead the San Diego State Aztecs literally pummeled the ‘Cats 63-46 on Saturday night. Arizona had no answer for SDSU freshman Kawhi Leonard, who outperformed his higher ranked and much greater hyped counterparts from Tucson, AZ. It was a contest of frosh as Arizona’s Derrick Williams led ‘Zona with 13, while Lamont Jones came off the bench to score 12. For the Aztecs Tyrone Shelley, a former UW recruit, had a great night defensively with 3 blocks and 3 steals,

Last night Stanford had an easy time with UC Davis, a team known to give Pac-10 teams trouble, winning 85-69. Landry Fields led the way for the Cardinal with 21 points, while Jeremy Green added 16. All 5 Stanford starters scored in double figures. Stanford appears to be a team that could give more talented, but younger teams in the Pac-10 a few lumps along the way. The loss of Owens though accents the fact that they are woefully thin and lacking marquee players.

More NW Notes

Idaho recuperated from their loss to rival WSU, with a victory over Eastern Oregon from LaGrande, OR 82-77 in Moscow, ID. Mac Hopson tied a school record with a perfect 12-12 from the free throw line.

College Hoops

The dolt pictured above is Mark Emmert, former president of the University of Washington who is pre...

Danny O'Neil

Feds wasting time (and your money) on college hoops

Why in the world is the FBI worried about $10,000 that may have gone to the best player on a Washington team that won all of two conference games?

5 years ago


Eric Mandel

Gonzaga earns No. 1 seed in NCAA tournament

The Gonzaga men's basketball team earned a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament and will face South Dakota State on Thursday.

6 years ago

Eric Mandel

Washington’s Markelle Fultz, Gonzaga’s Nigel Williams-Goss named to Wooden Award list

University of Washington freshman Markelle Fultz and Gonzaga junior guard Nigel Williams-Goss are among the 20 finalists for the 2017 John R. Wooden Award.

6 years ago

Kyle Wiltjer and Gonzaga are a win away from a second straight trip to the Elite Eight. (AP)...

Brent Stecker

Gonzaga is back in the Sweet 16, but it’s not the same old Zags

The Zags have been up to their old antics with a pair of upset wins in the NCAA Tournament, but their strength is not the play of their guards like in previous years.

7 years ago

No Author

Washington men take control early, defeat Montana 92-62

Marquese Chriss scored 22 points and Dejounte Murray added 16 as Washington took control early and rolled to a 92-62 non-conference victory over Montana on Saturday.

8 years ago


No Author

Washington QB apologizes for off-field incident

Washington quarterback Cyler Miles apologized Wednesday for his involvement in an off-field incident after the Super Bowl that led to his suspension for the Huskies' season opener at Hawaii.

9 years ago

Wednesday Thoughts and Notes