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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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March 26, 2006

UConn redux

Posted by Bob Condotta at 5:49 PM

So maybe beating George Mason wouldn't have been such a cakewalk, after all.

A certain amount of the disappointment after the Connecticut loss Friday rested on the theory that George Mason figured to be such a favorable matchup for Washington. I still think the Huskies would have beaten George Mason because UW's quickness on the perimeter would have neutralized George Mason's guards much better than UConn did.

But as George Mason showed against UConn, there was a reason it had won its first three games.

And for all the complaining about officiating out here, wait for UConn fans and coaches to begin complaining about how a No. 11 seed got what were basically two home games in the NCAA tournament.

I figure it was probably mostly an oversight — the committee probably never figured George Mason would win its first two games.

But that could have been UW's biggest problem had it gotten to the Elite Eight, battling a crowd that was probably 85 percent George Mason.

As for the on-going officiating saga, I wish the guy touting the Northwest conspiracy theory would stop touting it. It makes us all seem paranoid out here.

For a last word on the officiating, I talked with a college coach I know about what happened in the UConn game and his take was essentially this:

"Look, UConn's the No. 1 seed, the game's on the East Coast in front of what was predominantly their crowd and Calhoun's kind of a bully with the refs. The officials don't go in wanting to favor anyone, but when it comes time to give someone the benefit of the doubt, guess who gets it?''

But again, Washington had plenty of chances to win the game on its own.

Harvey Perry update

Here's a story on Harvey Perry I wrote for some early editions of Saturday's paper — filler in case the game coverage couldn't get in.

But not everyone saw it, and readers of this blog would probably be particularly interested, so here it is:

Harvey Perry glanced around the Washington locker room Thursday and marveled at all of the excitement accompanying being part of a team that's in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament.

"It's a great experience,'' he said.

Even if it's not quite the experience he had in mind when the season began.

Perry, a 6-foot-4 guard from Las Vegas, Nev., was expected to play a key role for the Huskies this season as a true freshman as a backup at all three perimeter positions. He played 13 minutes in Washington's exhibition win against Simon Fraser, grabbing five rebounds and dishing out two assists along with two points. That was the kind of versatility UW coaches were counting on him to contribute this year.

Then a troublesome back acted up — he has struggled with a disc problem since high school — and Perry was sidelined. He returned to practice in early February and UW coach Lorenzo Romar held out hope that Perry could resume playing before deciding it was best to have him redshirt.

"Sometimes I get down because I'm not playing but we are winning so that overwhelms that,'' Perry said.

And though he's not playing, Perry said "I'm still a part of this team practicing with the guys and helping them get prepared for the big games.''

Perry has been practicing all out for about six weeks.

How do those practices have him feeling about next season? "I think I can compete for a starting job unless my back continues to give me more problems," he said. I'm not looking forward to that.''

Perry said his back has been "holding up pretty well'' but has been tensing up at times and that it's possible he always will have problems with his back.

"It could come back and bite me at some time if I don't take care of it,'' he said. "But if I don't forget about it it won't creep up on me at all.''

Perry said he plans to spend the off-season doing more rehabilitation on his back and getting his legs back into playing shape.

"I need to work on my fundamental skills and everything and hopefully when the season comes next year I'll be ready and running,'' he said.

Notes

• Before everyone gets excited about Louisiana State coming to town next December, remember that both of their big guys could easily turn pro. Here's one draft expert who says the draft stock of both players is going through the roof:

http://draftexpress.com/viewarticle.php?a=1240

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