Idaho- In Review

Dec 12, 2011, 9:06 PM | Updated: Dec 13, 2011, 11:12 am

The Seattle University men’s basketball team just completed the toughest 3-game stretch it will face this season. The latest run has pushed Seattle U’s strength of schedule to 47th in the country. The journey started with a 72-49 loss to a Pac-12 surprise in Stanford. It continued on the other side of country with an 80-70 defeat at the hands of 26th ranked Harvard. It ended last night with the 73-62 potato triumph at home. Stanford sits at 8-1 with their only loss coming to now #1 ranked Syracuse in a game they handed to the Orange. They are one of the few Pac-12 teams that have managed to avoid a non-conference slip-up as they set their realistic sights on a top-5 finish in the Pac-12 and possible Tournament birth. After losing to the defending national champions, UCONN, there is a chance Harvard could win out and enter their second ever NCAA Tournament with only one loss. In the last two weeks Idaho has shown glimpses of a team capable of winning the WAC and earning an invitation to the Tournament.
The Vandals kept their momentum rolling after a loss at the buzzer to Washington State and the demolition of Oregon State in Corvallis on Friday. They were steady last night- shooting 55% from the field and knocking down 45% of their 3’s. They out-rebounded Seattle U by 7 and received some clutch shooting from their bench. Meanwhile, the positives for Seattle U included smothering leading scorer Deremy Geiger. The explosive guard was fresh off a career high 27 point effort, while netting 7 treys against Oregon State. SU held him to just 4 points on 1-5 shooting. Seattle U was also able to make life difficult for 6’10 Kyle Barone. The second leading scorer for Idaho managed just 8 points on 3-7 shooting. Seattle U worked hard on the glass by securing 22 offensive rebounds which helped lead to an eye-popping 76 shot attempts. Unfortunately, Seattle U could not overcome two major obstacles which have haunted them lately. In the last three games Seattle U has shot 18-31 from the free-throw line. The percentage is not great, but the real problem is the number of attempts per game- 10.3. Contrast the tally with their opponents- 53-74= 24.6 attempts per game. Seattle U opponents have had the opportunity to score 14 more points a game from the free throw line. That is a tough total to overcome when you consider the caliber of opponents. The other issue was shooting percentage. Seattle U shot 35% from the field last night including a stretch of 2 points in 8 minutes at the beginning of the second half. They are shooting 42% from the field which is 230th in the country and 28% from 3 which is 309th.
The bottom line is that Seattle U is playing very good defense and certainly well enough to win consistently. The early offensive woes should probably not be a huge surprise given the number of new faces and given the fact they have been competitive with great competition despite the offensive woes it is easy to carve out a scenario where SU could turn a game like last night into a win. They will have their chance again when they travel to Moscow to take on the Vandals again in early February.

– The Halftime guest on radio yesterday was Eddie Miles- “The Man with the Golden Arm”. He will be honored at halftime against Virginia on December 21st. Tony Bennett makes his return to the Pacific Northwest as the ACC school attempts to avenge a loss to Seattle U on their home floor last year.
– The Seattle U women’s basketball team took down Portland on Sunday 69-55 for their third victory in a row. They play Santa Clara next at home on Tuesday December 13th at 7:00pm.

Redhawk

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Idaho- In Review