Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Ross hits career high six three pointers as Huskies beat Pilots 93-63

By Kshell

The Washington Huskies(3-0) led by Terrence Ross making six three pointers defeated the Portland Pilots(2-1) 93-63 to win their third straight game in three days. A day after surviving a 77-71 victory over Florida Atlantic the Huskies came out focused and took it out on the Pilots. The Huskies as a team shot 12-20(60.0%) from three point range as the Pilots had no idea what hit them. Lorenzo Romar saw his team who lost four key players from last years team produce six guys in double figures in scoring. The Huskies passed their first of many tests which was play three games in three days and came out on top in all three. The Huskies are already showing they have plenty of quality players on the roster from last year while gaining back two players. The return of Abdul Gaddy and addition of Tony Wroten gives the Huskies an explosive backcourt that has two point guards who are terrific passers. With those two guys like Terrence Ross and C.J. Wilcox are able to go crazy from beyond the arce. Meanwhile in the paint which was a concern heading into the season Aziz N'Diaye and Darnell Gant have been pretty solid this season. Romar once again seems to have stocked the cubbard full of NBA talented type of players.

The Huskies started the blowout early in the game as they led at halftime 43-23 over the Pilots. Leading the way was Ross who scored 13 points on five for seven shooting including three three pointers. Abdul Gaddy also added 10 points on four for six shooting including a three pointer. Darnell Gant added six points early and Pac-12 player of the week C.J. Wilcox drilled two three pointers to give him six points. Freshman sensation Tony Wroten scored six points off the bench for the Huskies. The Huskies shot 18-32 from the field and 6-11 from three point range in the first half.  Meanwhile the Pilots shot 29.0% from the field in the first half making just 2-11(18.1%) from three point range. The Huskies weren't going to allow the Pilots to hang around like they did last year or like Florida Atlantic did yesterday. The Huskies guards were too much as they would take turns going off on the Pilots in the first half.

The Huskies next challenge was being up 20 points how they would handle that. The only downfall of the first half was Wroten missing all five free throw attempts which could be a problem going forward. The Pilots couldn't make any shots while the Huskies were showing they have NBA players in that first half. The second half would offer much of the same for the Huskies.

The Huskies outscored the Pilots in the second half 50-40 as Romar emptied the bench the final five minutes. The Huskies cruised to a 93-63 win as Ross continued his hot shooting. The Huskies as a team nailed 12 three pointers while shooting 60.0% from downtown. The Huskies also shot 55.4% from the field as well as their five starters along with Wroten were red hot. The Huskies were led by sophomore Terrence Ross who scored 24 points on 9-13 shooting including 6-8 from three point range. The Pac-12 player of the week C.J. Wilcox who is also just a sophomore scored 17 points on five for nine shooting including three for five from three point range. Wilcox also added four rebounds, three assists, two steals and a block shot showing his improved all around game. Abdul Gaddy showing no il effects from his injury scored 15 points on six for eight shooting including two three pointers. Gaddy also added five assists and five rebounds as he'll continue to fill up the stat sheet. Off the bench freshman sensation Tony Wroten scored 11 points on 5-11 shooting while dishing out six assists, grabbing five rebounds and recording three steals. The Huskies big men also stepped up as Aziz N'Diaye scored 11 points on five for nine shooting with seven rebounds and a block shot. Darnell Gant scored 10 points on five for eight shooting while grabbing six rebounds. The Huskies big four along with their two bigs showed once again they'll be a tough team to beat.

All in all, the Huskies bounced back nicely after the previous game's poor performance. This time is your typical Romar team that will try to follow the 2005 #1 seed Huskies model of dominant guard play. This team features four guards who could play in the NBA someday with two being lottery picks. The big men of N'Diaye and Gant showed at times last year they can step up when need be. This year both will have to be more consistent and early on they have done just that. The Huskies three point shooting should be pretty good all season long and when Scott Suggs returns they'll be even more dangerous going forward. The Huskies passed their first of many tests winning three games in three days and now will play their next game on the road at St.Louis on November 20th.


-  I'm so happy to see Abdul Gaddy return to the Huskies healthy this year. Gaddy the talented five star recruit was coming into his own last season before going down with an injury. In a smart move Romar kept him on the bench and had Gaddy be another coach.  Now Gaddy has returned and although he is just a junior this is his team. Gaddy this past game had 15 points, five assists and five rebounds while turning the ball over just once all game in 27 minutes. No longer does he have to look over his shoulder to see Isaiah Thomas or Venoy Overton come into the game if he makes a mistake.

For the year Gaddy is averaging 12.3 PPG, 5.7 assists per game and 4.7 rebounds per game. Gaddy is shooting 56.0% from the field and 42.9% from three point range making a full three pointer a game. Gaddy will fill up the stat sheet all year long. Gaddy is like Brandon Roy was when Roy was a sophomore and junior a solid player who doesn't do anything dumb. With Gaddy's size at point guard he will also help out with the rebounding as well. With a healthy Gaddy look for the Huskies to make some noise this upcoming season.

- The Huskies most talented player who is most likely to star in the NBA is Terrence Ross. Ross has the ability to drive by you at any moment for a dunk much like Nate Robinson can also hit the outside shot as well. Ross was the #3 shooting guard in the nation when he signed with the Huskies.  Ross can simply do it all and he showed that against the University of Portland. Ross naniled six three pointers while having some highlight dunks. Ross finished with 24 points on 9-13 shooting. With Thomas departing to the draft look for Ross and Wilcox to be the 1-2 punch for scoring for the Huskies this year.

Ross on the season is averaging 16.3 points per game and 4.0 rebounds a game. Ross is shooting 47.1% from the field and 47.1% from three point range making 2.7 three pointers a game. Ross can do it all and look for him to have a big season. With Ross freak athletic abililty and his ability to drain shots from the outside he at times can be an impossible matchup. Last year he played the best game of all the Huskies against the North Carolina Tar Heels. He was also first team all Pac-10 tournament team last year as well. With Ross along with the other players on this roster the Huskies should be just fine.

-  From a pure NBA talent standpoint this might be the most talented team Lorenzo Romar has assembled. This is a young team as Romar's three of his four best players were playing in high school two years. This team has two future lottery picks in Terrence Ross and Tony Wroten. When you include C.J. Wilcox and Abdul Gaddy the Huskies have four guys who could play in the NBA. Romar has a tough job of juggling the minutes since all four of his best players play the same position. Wilcox and Ross are both shooting guards while Wroten and Gaddy are both point guards. Which is why Wroten is coming off the bench despite being so talented.

Romar is playing all four on the court at the same time quite a bit and at least three of them are on the court at all times. The Huskies finally have NBA talent which they haven't had in a while. In the past they've had solid college players but this year they finally have guys you know are going to play in the NBA for a long time. This is the ideal Romar team which features good guards and scrappy big men like Gant, N'Diaye, Desmond Simmons and Shawn Kemp Jr. The Huskies are NCAA tournament talent for sure.

In conclusion, the Huskies didn't change anyone's opinions this weekend which is a good thing. The only way the Huskies were going to be the talk of the town is if they had been upset which they weren't. The Huskies won't truly be tested until a month from now. Until then they have to keep improving their play and hope to get better. This is a young roster which has seven freshman including three in the rotation although in their first seven(when Suggs is healthy) only Wroten will play. The Huskies guards didn't disappoint the hype this weekened as the Huskies took care of business. With UCLA having their problems and Arizona already showing they can drop games the Pac-12 appears to be open. Maybe the Huskies can win the Pac-12 regular season title this year with this talented guard play.

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