Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Wilcox leads #22 Washington over Long Beach State 102-75

By Kshell

The 22nd ranked Washington Huskies(4-2) took care of business over the Long Beach State 49ers(3-4) crushing them 102-75 at Bank of America Arena. The Huskies were led by the three point shooting of redshirt freshman C.J. Wilcox who hit a career high six three pointers with a career high 20 points on the night. The Huskies also featured a new starting lineup for the first time this season. Lorenzo Romar trying to send a message to Senior Matthew Bryan-Amaning benched him for Aziz N'Diaye. Bryan-Amaning took the message well scoring 14 points on seven for seven shooting on the game with four block shots. It was a good win for the Huskies who saw seven guys score in double figures. The Huskies will now turn their attentions to Texas Tech on Saturday who defeated them last year in overtime.

The Huskies with the new starting lineup came out fast on a 10-2 run to start the game. The Huskies were sharing the ball well and playing great defense. The Huskies had a huge spark off the bench from Bryan-Amaning and C.J. Wilcox. Bryan-Amaning in the first half was dominant scoring 10 points on five for five shooting while Wilcox added 11 points on four of six shooting including three of five from three pointers. The Huskies also played some great defense forcing 12 turnovers which resulted in 14 points as the Huskies led at halftime 44-28.

In the second half the Huskies continued to hit the three point shot. The Huskies for the game hit 14 of 26(53.8%) from three point range. In the second half the Huskies hit 10 three pointers including another three by C.J. Wilcox who finished six of eight from three point range for 20 points. Abdul Gaddy showing his range was three for three on three pointers with 17 points, his backcourt mate Isaiah Thomas didn't shoot well but had a solid all around game scoring 19 points, grabbing six rebounds and having six assists. Venoy Overton had a strong game scoring 10 points, hitting two three pointers dishing out eight assists with three steals. The Huskies would roll outscoring the 49ers 58-47 in the second half to win the game 102-75. Justin Holiday continued his stellar play scoring 11 points on five for seven shooting, with four rebounds and three assists. He has came along ways since his freshman year at Washington. Darnell Gant would continue his strong play as well finishing with 10 points on four for eight shooting, including two for two from three pointers with five rebounds. The Huskies had a great team effort which saw seven guys score in double figures and seven guys play over 20 minutes but not one guy play over 30 minutes.

At the end of the day the Huskies did what they were supposed to do. They took care of business against an inferior opponent. The Huskies have a chance to seek some revenge this Saturday when they play Texas Tech who defeated them last year. The Huskies may have found an ace up their sleeve in C.J. Wilcox who played just three minutes against Michigan State. The Huskies are a great three point shooting team and with Wilcox leading the way they can be very dangerous. Of course the Huskies won't get a chance to prove that against a high calibar team until March but until then they have to keep working on improving their play. The Huskies took care of business and at this point that's all they can do.


- Scott Suggs didn't play today as he was hurt. That opened up playing time for C.J. Wilcox and Terrence Ross. Seeing how Suggs has struggled all year and is a defensive liability this could be a good thing. Ross is a good defensive player and there is a reason why Romar played him at the end of the Michigan State and Kentucky games. In 18 minutes today Ross had six rebounds and three assists but also had zero points. Wilcox was the star today with 20 points as he is a pure shooter. He reminds me of Tre Simmons where with his 6'5" size he won't be a total liability on defense like Ryan Appleby was. Look for Wilcox to be a star for the Huskies sometime in the future. As for this year he could be Romar's ace up his sleeve.

- Abdul Gaddy has a higher NBA ceiling than Isaiah Thomas does. This reminds me of Nate Robinson-Brandon Roy where Robinson was always the star of the team but Roy was the better NBA prospect. Gaddy is just smooth and with his height shoots over his defenders. He rarely does something stupid and right now is a better shooter than Thomas. Thomas is quick and like Robinson could be a nice role player on a team. Gaddy if he turned into an NBA All-Star I wouldn't be surprised one bit. Hopefully he gives UW another year if so he'll be the best player in the Pac-10 next season.

- Matthew Bryan-Amaning looked like a different player. Instead of going up softly to the bucket he was throwing down dunks. It's hard to tell if he played this way because Romar lit a fire under him by benching him or if the competition was weak. I'm going to say it was a mixture of both but he controls the Huskies destiny this season. Aziz N'Diaye is terrific on defense but on offense he is still a liability so the Huskies need Bryan-Amaning to step up.

- Justin Holiday is the most improved player in Huskies history. This guy averaged less than a point a game his freshman year. Now he is the Huskies best all around player. Has a great mid range jump shot, can defend anyone of any size, can hit the corner three, is a great passer and rebounder. There is nothing Holiday can't do and he was the only Husky who raised his game up against Kentucky and Michigan State. Holiday after his freshman year looked lost now he looks like he might be playing in the NBA next year. Have to give Romar credit on the player development of Justin Holiday.

The Huskies have a chance to lick their wounds from the Maui Invitational with some home wins. They go on the road just once for the rest of the non conference schedule when they play on December 11th at Texas A & M. The Huskies should destroy Texas Tech at home and continue with the home blowouts. I'm most curious how they'll do at Texas A & M where they have recently struggled on the road against non conference opponents. The Huskies passed the warm up test which shows they can run the bad teams out of the gym. That will be key come Pac-10 season as the Huskies should run tons of teams out of the gym. I'm still waiting for what the Huskies can do in close games though. Unfortunately we won't get a chance to see that very much this season.

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