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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 16, 2008 11:24 PM

Huskies to host Valparaiso

Posted by Bob Condotta

It took a while, but brackets for the CBI have finally been announced and the Huskies will host Valparaiso Wednesday at 6 p.m.

Here is the schedule. And Here are the brackets.

The Huskies received a No. 1 seed in the West and if they beat Valpo they will take on either Nevada or Houston in the second round in a game that apparently would also be played at Edmundson Pavilion on March 24. The Valpo game will be televised on Fox College Sports.

As you can see, if UW wins the West Region it will play the winner of the East (Virginia, Richmond, Old Dominion, Rider).

Valpo went 21-13 this year overall and 9-9 and fourth in the Horizon League, which was won by Butler.

Here is a more in-depth look at Valparaiso from ESPN.com. And here is a story on the matchup from the Valparaiso web wite.

Quickly perusing the stats, Valpo appears to still be a good three-point shooting team, hitting 39.1 percent this year. Indeed, Valpo's leading scorer is forward Shawn Huff who ranks second in the nation in three-point shooting at 48.4 percent. Huff is a 6-7 native of Finland.

Valpo finished with an RPI of 97.

It was 10 years ago this month that Valpo had its best moment when it advanced to the Sweet 16 thanks to this miraculous shot from Bryce Drew.

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Posted by bobcondotashaircut

11:40 PM, Mar 16, 2008

Weclome to da dawg house, Valpo. Dentmon will be all over your Bryce Drew and he'll have no chance for a trifecta.

Posted by JugHead

11:58 PM, Mar 16, 2008

Bob: The bracket says that the teams are re-seeded after the first two rounds. Does the fact that UW is on top indicate they are the number one overall seed and would thus have home court throughout?

Posted by Bob Condotta

12:07 AM, Mar 17, 2008

Jughead --- No. The way I read it, they reseed the whole thing after the first two rounds, so UW could go on the road after the first two rounds.

Posted by tom

12:17 AM, Mar 17, 2008

That was 10 years ago now? Man, time flies.

Posted by Geno

6:12 AM, Mar 17, 2008

Excuse me while I laugh.....

Posted by sequimdawgbob

7:20 AM, Mar 17, 2008

Go Dawgs!

I hope the comment above gets through the mysterious web that controls content.

Again, and this time I really mean it, Go Dawgs!

Posted by Dawgpack

7:57 AM, Mar 17, 2008

Fox College Sports TV? Does that mean not everyone will have access to watch?

Have prices come out for how much tickets might be?

Posted by mattysimone

8:15 AM, Mar 17, 2008

time to fill the brackets out fellas!!!! can you believe nike getting that high of a seed!

espn.com fantasy tourney challenge, join league "pac10 rules" password bobc

Posted by bomberboy

8:15 AM, Mar 17, 2008

Bob, Geno and others...I just noticed...why doesn't the Times have a cougar basketball blog?

Posted by StumpDawg

8:29 AM, Mar 17, 2008

Wow, they cancel salmon fishing season south of Cape Falcon, and all of the trollers end up here.

Looking at the CBI bracket, one notices a number of teams that have experienced tournament success in the past (in some cases very recent past) and now are in a "down" period.

I think more games under their belt for the Dawgs is a good thing, whether Brockman plays or not. This team needs an identity beyond "all Brockman, all the time". It will be a long season next year and we will likely be discussing the heat of Romar's seat here if the Dawgs have another season of "let's stand around and see what Jon can do".

Posted by MT Husky

8:39 AM, Mar 17, 2008

Stumpdawg - as I think about next season and what the Huskies need to do to be a top team in the Pac-10 I think that #1 the offense needs to flow through Pondexter and not Brockman. This isn't a slam on Brockman, I love the guy, but his style of game is not one where the offense should run through him.

Pondexter is a better passer and can post up, face up or go outside.

Not only will the Huskies be a better team, but I think Brockman will actually find more success as will Pondexter.

Aside from FT's, if there is anything I feel strongly the Huskies need to change for greater success is focusing more on Pondexter offensively.

Next year 3 guys need to be on the court a minimum of 30 minutes a game, and ideally 35 minutes: Qpon, Brockman, Overton.

Posted by junkman

8:55 AM, Mar 17, 2008

MT Husky, I mostly agree with your comments. QPon was really beginning to assert himself late in the year and it would be great to see him finish out the season strong. Not sure if he is the guy to run the offense through though - he is a better passer than Brockman (who is a terrible passer - just not his game) but not much better. That is the area of QPon's game that he really needs to improve still - ballhandling and passing. He really has made great strides on D, rebounding, and shot selection.

I'm glad for the extra games (s). MBA and VO in particular need all the court time they can get for next year.

Posted by MT Husky

9:08 AM, Mar 17, 2008

love your comments junkman, I differ with you on one point - I think QPon is a terrific passer. I agree on the ball handling but I'm not sure what he could do to improve his passing. The games i watched (and granted, I did not see all of them so perhaps you're referring to some incidents in games I didn't watch) I thought he showed court vision 2nd only to Overton and I would consider him the 2nd best passer on the team (who would you put there?).

The only reason I didn't put MBA in the list of players who need at least 30 minutes a game is because i feel he still hasn't shown the consistency and we don't know what Bresheers and Gant will bring next season and perhaps should be on the court in lieu of MBA. (for the record, I'm a tremendous MBA fan, but he hasn't shown he can shoot outside (I think Gant might be able to) and he hasn't shown the strength that reportedly Bresheers brings)

Posted by Josh

9:22 AM, Mar 17, 2008

The good news is that the Husky basketball season is not over. The team will get some extra practices and at least one more game. I’m not sure I buy into it, but, supposedly, that can only help with next season. One great thing about this team is the positive attitude, there doesn’t appear to be any egos or personality clashes. Perhaps that ‘s what came out of the Greece trip.

Needless to say, this season was a disappointment. However, considering the History of Husky Basketball, we really shouldn’t look at a 16-16 record as a bad season. But, we all have short memories. I actually thought they would do better. I figured with Hawes gone they would run more, i.e., play that recent successful style. Then there was the NIT snub/chip on shoulder and the extra practices, games, bonding of the Greece trip.

So what went wrong? I have no doubt, especially with the Pac-10’s overall coaching emphasis on a more deliberate style, Hawes would have lead the team to the NCAA Tournament, the top of the Pac-10, and Player of the Year. Losing Hawes hurt a lot more than I expected. The next negative possibly came from the improper chip on the shoulder; the “we deserved to go and got snubbed” chip. This chip comes from blaming someone else, the “we were wronged” chip that’s good for a short period of revenge motivation, but in the end, taking it up an extra notch just isn’t there. If it was someone else’s fault, then the previous effort was fine. The proper chip comes from realizing it is your fault, the “I let myself, teammates, coaches, school down” chip that motivates a sustained effort of improvement. I’m not saying this team didn’t put forth a tremendous effort in the off-season, during practices, or games but this is the prefect time to use the proper, rather than improper, chip and take it up a notch, rededicate your effort. This is all the more possible with that good attitude of the team. Unlike last season, nobody can blame the NIT, and, more importantly, nobody (presumably) is blaming their teammates.

I’m looking forward to next season, as cliché as that is to say after a let down year from the fan’s perspective. But, there is no Spencer Hawes to label as the one and done distraction or to accommodate with a change in the style of play and no outside force to blame. Obviously, this season was full of what-ifs, making free throws being at the top of the list, but that’s fixable and I still believe Coach Romar is doing the right thing. He is moving this team out of the constant losing seasons. Sustained winning, even if it means the team goes .500, is an improvement from every Husky era since Detlef, Welp, and Coach Harshman. Sure there were ups, but they were always followed by downs. This is the fifth year in a row the team was .500 or above (of course, that could change with a loss to Valparaiso).

The Pac-10 is going to be completely different next year: WSU and UO lose a group of seniors (and possibly their coaches), UA, ASU, UCLA, USC, Cal and Stanford could lose their top one or two players. UW loses two guys that, frankly, are replaceable; maybe not an exact skill, leadership replacement, but what they bring to the table overall can be replaced. Jon Brockman is All Pac-10, Pondexter can score, he just needs to realize that’s what has to be done (Brockman should not be their first option on the offensive end), Venoy Overton showed promise at the point, which means Dentmon can move to the two guard where he also showed promise, and Matthew Bryan-Amaning showed a high ceiling. Factoring in year to year improvements, that’s a nice starting five; definitely better than this season. Throw in Artem Wallace being a capable bruising back-up for Brockman and Bryan-Amaning, Justin Holiday playing hustle ball and defense, some contribution from the freshman and the rest of the bench, this team will have another winning season. How far they get, will depend on having the right chip and using it appropriately.

Posted by UW Alum

9:39 AM, Mar 17, 2008

Josh, i like your comments up until you mentioned dentmon. dentmon is terrible and i'd love it if he decided to leave the program, he never progressed and was better as a frosh than soph or junior which is a large reason the UW hasn't finished better. I can only hope that I. Thomas takes minutes away from him next year.

Posted by MT Husky

10:10 AM, Mar 17, 2008

Your comments UW Alum, though a bit harsh, are the reasons why:

1) I think Romar receives way too much blame for Huskies lack of success the past 2 years; and

2) That Huskies WILL be a dramatically better team next year.

Other than Brockman, our Jr.'s and Sr.'s are not as good as the majoriy of Freshmen and Sophmores in the Pac-10.

If ANY of the next year's freshmen guards are as good as advertised they should see much more floor time than the current Jr. class.

Others have indicated that some of the players read this blog and I hope that isn't true - but if it is - the sad truth is the Jr. guards on this squad just make too many poor decisions with the ball...beginning with trying to be a hero rather than just making their team better by smart passing and good/quick ball movement along with better defense.

Again I'll say (and get use to it because you'll hear me saying this for 6 more months)

Next year...

IF the offense flows through QPon (I INSIST it has to be QPon unless one of next year's guards can do it better); and

IF Overton stays on the floor the majority of the game (why he doesn't receive more credit for his court vision and passing is beyond me...maybe his #'s aren't flashy but I think he will prove to be one of the best point guards in Husky lore); and

IF Brockman plays his game (hard nosed defense, crashing the board and his shots not being forced); and

IF at least one of the frosh guards comes in as advertised; and

IF MBA continues to progress...

Huskies WILL be a top 4 Pac-10 team.

Posted by

10:22 AM, Mar 17, 2008

UW Alum,

Thanks for recognizing my Post. To ensure that I don't lose credibility, please let me clarify. Three things to consider regarding my comment about Dentmon. First, I said "showed promise." I think most of us can agree that Dentmon stinks, especially at the point. He looked good as a freshman but now, in retrospect, it is obvious that was a result of playing next to Roy. Still, Dentmon had some good games and moments this season, most, if not all, came while playing the 2.

Two, I also said "factoring in year to year improvements." As almost everyone improves year to year, this is an assumption on my part. Dentmon, of course, has not; so in this case, it is a bad assumption. However, I am basing this assumption on Dentmon playing out of position when at the point and "showing promise," i.e., playing better, at the two.

Three, I am not predicting anything from the freshmen; as I wrote, "some contribution." Thus, I am assuming nothing more from next year's freshmen than what was provided by this year's freshman. Basically, I'm not counting on anyone contributing like Love, Harden, Bayless, Mayo, etc. I do believe that Suggs is going to be very good and Thomas will be, at least eventually, a big time scorer. But I’m making no predictions, anything the freshmen do above “some contribution” is gravy.

This basically means we are stuck with Dentmon starting at the 2, which he plays better than the 1. Thus, since he showed some promise at the two and there being a true 1 on the team, he is now in a better position to improve his game. Obviously, he is still not going to be anything special and I'll gladly give minutes to Suggs or Thomas if they deserve them. But, a backcourt of Overton/Dentmon is better than Dentmon/Appleby and Overton/Appleby, especially if my assumptions are moderately true.

Posted by

10:22 AM, Mar 17, 2008

fully agree MT FULLY! but the big key is IF I.T qualifys

Posted by

10:27 AM, Mar 17, 2008

Granted, I.T. looks exciting, but I have concerns about his size (defensively I think our small guards the past 2 years have really hurt us...and I want Overton on the floor!) and will he be a team player?

Personally when I make my 'dream' starting 5 for next year I pencil in Suggs at 2 guard. 6'7", intelligent, crashes the boards, can score inside or outside...if he is a great passer, look out!

FYI - my dream starting 5 next year:

1) Brockman
2) QP
3) Overton
4) Suggs
5) MBA

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