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Husky Men's Basketball Blog

Seattle Times staff reporter Bob Condotta provides a running commentary on the Huskies.

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March 1, 2008 7:34 PM

Cal post-game

Posted by Bob Condotta

Like the Huskies, I have a flight to catch tonight, so I'll give you what I can now and maybe more a little later.

My connection isn't as tight as Washington's, however. The game here tipped at 3 p.m. and the Huskies were scheduled for a 7:30 flight out of San Francisco. When Cal rallied late and overtime seemed a possibility, it only made sense that maybe those plans would go awry, since so much often has here in the Bay Area.

Instead, UW held on for a feel-good 87-84 win, and they got to the aiport in time, only to then find that they were on the same flight as the Washington State Cougars.

"We're meeting them a week earlier than planned,'' quipped one UW official, a reference to the game in Pullman next Saturday.

It will be a happy flight back for a Husky team that is playing some of its best basketball of the season.

"We're playing more the way we know we can play,'' said Jon Brockman. "It's good to see. Any team, if you could pick a time to be playing your best basketball, it's right now, in March. This is when we want to do it.''

If that sounds like Brockman still has the NCAA Tournament on his mind, you'd be right. At 16-14, the Huskies aren't going to get an at-large bid. But having beaten UCLA and played Stanford tight in Palo Alto this weekend, the Huskies think they can do some damage at the Pac-10 Tournament.

"If we can all play like that on the same night, we are a really dangerous team,'' said Brockman of performances UW got Saturday from fellow underclass big men Joe Wolfinger and Matthew Bryan-Amaning. "And guys are only going to get better.''

Wolfinger was the obvious revelation on this trip, scoring 29 points in two games here, hitting 11-16 shots and six-of-10 three-pointers. The threes were a big part of his game, but Wolfinger also finished on two shots close to the basket, the kind of thing he's struggled with in the past and which will make him only that much more of a threat.

But this was a true team effort today.

Consider:

--- UW won Saturday despite just 10 points and four rebounds from a foul-plagued Brockman, each season-lows.

--- UW had just six turnovers, and only one in the first half. That's the fewest in at least two seasons and possibly the fewest since the Huskies committed a school-record low of three in 2005 against Arizona State. It helped that Cal isn't a very good defensive team and doesn't pressure the ball much. Still, UW did a good job taking care of the ball.

--- Quincy Pondexter also had 31 points for the weekend and led UW with seven rebounds and four assists Saturday while losing just one turnover in 31 minutes. He also went hard to the hoop at one point, showing an aggression that has been missing at some times this season, landing hard on his back on a dunk attempt. He got the wind knocked out of him but returned to play.

--- Justin Dentmon continunes to play well, scoring 24 points in two games here --- 12 in each --- with three assists and no turnovers against Cal.

--- Matthew Bryan-Amaning had six points and five rebounds in 20 minutes, spending much of that time guarding Ryan Anderson, who the Huskies kept in relative check --- 19 points compared to the 33 he had in Seattle. The Huskies changed up their scheme on Anderson a bit, doing away with the trapping they used in Seattle, that too often resulted in guys not rotating quickly enough back onto Anderson and allowing him open looks.

--- Joel Smith had just two points in four minutes, but they were a critical two as he was fouled on the play by Cal's DeVon Hardin, which was his fourth at the 13:47 marl. Hardin then sat for about five minutes. "That was huge,'' Romar said.

--- Ryan Appleby had a solid game with 16 points in a team-high 35 minutes.

The big picture is a win that assures at least a .500 record by the end of the Pac-10 tournament, and a big step toward getting post-season of some kind. And at the least, regaining some momentum heading into the off-season.

UPDATE --- Should mention that Bryan-Amaning tweaked his ankle on a scrum for a rebound of a missed free throw. Romar joked that it was that play "where 15 people fell over.'' Bryan-Amaning said it's not serious.


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Posted by KC

8:47 PM, Mar 01, 2008

P Siva to Louisville??

Posted by junkman

9:24 PM, Mar 01, 2008

Wolf played really well. He's not the fastest guy out there, but he seems a little more mobile and a little stronger than he did earlier in the year. I like his composure - he passes the ball well and never seems out of control. What is really nice about him is Coach can play him to close out games since neither AW or MBA can hit a free throw. He can also be a good defender in the middle of the zone with his length. He made Anderson miss underneath but unfortunately they made a horrendous foul call on him. Hopefully he can stay healthy and get a little stronger and he could be a huge asset. MBA looks a lot like QPon had been offensively - turnover waiting to happen and forcing shots. But still has a lot of upside. Got to give QPon lots of credit too as he really seems to be coming into his own. He's being a lot more aggressive but way more under control than he had been. I also thought Coach Romar coached a helluva game and should get some credit for that.

Overall a great win especially since Brock did not contribute much. It would be nice to be in the 7th spot to face OSU in the first round of the tournament. Not sure if this team can string enough W's together to win it since they can look great one game and terrible the next. But they are capable of beating anyone.

Posted by 206er

11:03 PM, Mar 01, 2008

good game today by the dawgs!

KC, where did you get this info about siva? both rivals and scout say that lousville hasn't offered him a scholarship yet. hopefully it's not true. there's nothing 206er hates more than seattle a kid turning his back on the 206-

Posted by grant

11:23 PM, Mar 01, 2008

Bob,
Did my seats suck, or does Haas Pavilion have some weird acoustics? I could barely understand the public address announcer. The echo/buzz was pretty rough. Someone needs to tell DeVon Hardin to go play in Europe where they encourage all that flopping...that was ridiculous, especially the two quick offensive fouls he drew on Brockman in the 2nd half. Luckily some guys stepped up and filled the scoring void.
Also, did you notice Romar yelling a few times at guys who left the corner wide open or were slow to rotate when they were in the 2-3 zone? That one guy put 20pts on us, and it seemed like they all cam on the exact same play from the exact same spot. Why are guys like Appleby constantly drifting down low when the ball swings away from them? They never get back in time and it almost killed us.

Posted by Bob Condotta

1:58 AM, Mar 02, 2008

Grant --- The acoustics weren't great there, you are right about that. UW was in a zone a lot of the day and the player you are referring to is Verneisel. I think the thought was that it was better to have him shoot than Anderson or Randle or Hardin --- not that they wanted to leave him open, but there are priorities at times. But you are right. There was a time Romar was particularly animated at MBA for leaving him open for one of those threes in the corner. Romar said later the team didn't rotate well early on but did so better, and that seemed apparent given the way the game went.

Posted by UW fan stuck in GA

7:10 AM, Mar 02, 2008

It won't last, for various reasons, but as of this morning, Washington is in seventh place in the conference. :-)

Posted by the

8:15 AM, Mar 02, 2008

WOLFIE!

Posted by Travis

10:50 AM, Mar 02, 2008

Bob -

What would happen if UW, Oregon, and Arizona all finished at 8-10 in the conference, tied for 6th? (UW wins v. WSU, Arizona wins @ OSU, loses v. UCLA & @ Oregon, UO wins @OSU & v. UA, loses v. ASU)

How would seeding play out in the conference tourney?

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