Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Venoy Overton suspended for Pac-10 tournament
The Washington Huskies(20-10,11-7) announced today that senior guard Venoy Overton will be suspended for the entire Pac-10 tournament. If the Huskies are to advance to the NCAA tournament he will be able to play. Lorenzo Romar suspended Overton today after he was charged with providing alcohol to minors. So now the struggling Huskies will have to deal with Overton being out for the Pac-10 tournament. The Huskies just like they did earlier in the year when Abdul Gaddy went down must have guys step up. In particular the Huskies will need Isaiah Thomas to step up.
The loss of Overton hurts the struggling Huskies quite a bit. Overton is the only player on the roster playing his best basketball right now. This also puts the Huskies in a situation where they have no other point guard on the roster. If the Huskies were to advance to the championship most likely Thomas will have to play every single second three days in a row. Thomas has been struggling as of late which makes things even more complicated. Since winning Pac-10 player of the week Thomas in the last six games(3-3,2-3) is averaging 14.8 points per game, 5.2 assists per game, 2.7 turnovers a game. Thomas is also shooting 31-74(41.9%) from the field, 6-29(20.6%) from three point range, 21-38(55.2%) from the free throw line. So despite playing his worst ball of his career Thomas will be asked to take on even more responsibility.
To make matters worse Overton was playing well too. Now in the last seven Pac-10 games Overton has been averaging 9.9 points per game, 3.5 assists, 3.3 rebounds and six steals during that span. He has also shot 20-38(52.6%) from the field. Overton has been attacking the hole. Overton has been the only Husky lately driving the lane instead of settling on three pointers. At the end of the season having a veteran like Overton would have been nice. Overton has played in the second most amount of games ever for a Husky. Overton is the Pac-10 active leader in career assists and steals. Unlike everyone else on the team his play has improved as the year has gone on. For the year Overton is averaging 6.0 points per game, 3.4 assists, 1.2 steals and shooting 42.8% from the field. The Huskies also lose six games of Pac-10 tournament experience and five games of NCAA tournament experience. Overton has played in plenty of big games in his Husky career.
All in all, ultimately Overton is to be blamed. As a senior he was complaining about his teammates about playing hard when he should have looked in the mirror. Yes Overton plays hard but his actions caused a huge distraction and now his penalty might cost the Huskies an NCAA tournament berth. I don't blame Romar one bit for suspending Overton for the Pac-10 tournament. I don't blame Romar one bit for allowing Overton to travel to the team and play in a possible postseason tournament. I know at one point in our lives we have bought or at least shared alcohol with a minor. Just because everyone breaks a law doesn't mean that law doesn't serve a purpose. Hopefully this is a life lesson to Overton and he uses this to help his life out. College is supposed to prepare young men for the real world. This won't change my opinion of Overton's career one bit. He made a mistake like we all have. Now the Huskies might pay the price of his mistake or rally and repeat as Pac-10 champions.