Sunday, January 17, 2010

Hoops: Two Games in a Row!

UW Huskies 84 - U of California Golden Bears 69

Well, they did it again. The Huskies won this game in much the same fashion as Thursday's; excellent defense relentlessly pressuring the passing lanes and good shooting (though not as good as Thursday from the 3 point line).

Quincy Pondexter has raised his game up a notch this year, perhaps several notches. He has a consistent 15-18' jumper, he attacks the rim relentlessly and he has been awesome from the foul line (11-11 in this game). As the only senior on the team and the captain, he has stepped up in a major way, leading by example, which is always best.

Lorenzo Romar's teams have always played an athletic, active style of man-to-man defense. They help each other out alot, but are generally capable of standing on their own and guarding their man. What they are fantastic at is playing ball-denial defense. They make it extremely hard for other teams to move the ball around into the spots they like. This constant frustration really wears on them. It causes shots to be taken from unfamiliar spots and moves the other team way out of its comfort zone. You can see it in the low shooting percentages and low scores of the opponents these past two games. Cal was behind by 19 at the half (50-31) and ended up losing by 15. The score would have been much more lopsided than it was had Romar left his starters in. As it was, many of the guys deep at the end of the bench got playing time. That's when Cal began to make up some ground.

Another standout had been UW free throw shooting. Isaiah Thomas (20 points) was 8-10 from the line. Pondexter was 11-11. Suggs was 1-1, Bryan-Amaning was 0-2. As a team we were 20-24:83%. That's a marked improvement from years passed.

Scoring was again fairly balanced; Quincy got 25, IT got 20, MBA had 10, Holiday had 6, Gaddy and Overton both had 4, though Venoy contributed a massive amount at the defensive end. Suggs had 6, Turner 3, Breshears 2 and Gant 4.

The Huskies are now 3-3 in Pac-10 play. They needed to get these two wins. Next week they go on the road to SoCal, visiting UCLA on Thursday and USC on Saturday. They need to prove that they can win on the road if we are going to be a better-than-.500 club. Given the way they played this week, I think they can do it.

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I'm currently 60 years old. I currently work as the learning management system specialist for American University of Madaba in Madaba, Jordan. I was originally certified as a high-school English teacher and taught school for 13 years (1 year of substituting, 1 year of 7th grade, 2 years of a combined 5th, 6th, 7th grade, 9 years of 8th grade). I've worked for hardware and software companies for the past 23 years doing training, training materials development, certification test development and other education related stuff. My wife and I have raised four children to adulthood; some of them live at home at the moment, but that won't last (they're too independent for that). We live at home with 2 Golden Retrievers, 2 black cats, a crazy cat, and, during the winter, 70,000 coho salmon.