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Husky Men's Basketball Blog

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

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December 20, 2004

Welcome back

Posted by at 10:25 AM

Now then, Husky fans, we may have something special going on here. Yesterday, the Huskies didnít play particularly well. They turned the ball over more than North Carolina State, and they had fewer assists. They only hit two three-point shots. Nate Robinson was taken completely out of his game by a bigger defender and foul trouble. The referees were absolutely terrible. And, we won. Thatís how good this team is. They can get sucked in to playing at another team's tempo and win. There is one reason for all of this. Brandon Roy.

During warmups I noticed that Roy was dressed and shooting around. I almost had a heart attack. I couldn't believe he was ready to go. It had only been three weeks! When he didn't start, I decided that it had just been a decoy and it probably had been a pretty good one. Fifteen minutes into the game though, it was clear that N.C. State was good enough to take us out of our game and not allow us to get into a rhythm. Nate Robinson was rattled, and even though we were leading for most of the first half, I never felt comfortable. Then, I looked and saw who was checking into the game.

The crowd got to its feet when it realized what was going on. Roy played the last four minutes of the first half gingerly, trying to see what he could and could not do. He didn't start the second half. Nate Robinson couldn't get on track. Then Brandon Roy came into the game, and on a fast break took a pass from Mike Jensen and effortlessly finished with a dunk. But he was just getting warm.

After playing stifling defense on All-American Julius Hodge, Roy put his emphatic stamp on the game with one of the most incredible tip dunks I have ever seen. His confidence was back. The Huskies' swagger was back. Hec Ed was deafening. There was no doubt in my mind that the game was over.

While Nate Robinson has been the darling of the college basketball world this season, Brandon Roy proved yesterday that he is the one who turns the Huskies into a legitimate threat to go deep into the NCAA tournament. He passes, defends, rebounds and scores. There is nothing he can't do. Everybody in Romarville knows that, and all of a sudden, everybody in the country knows that too.