Looking at the four fators, you obviously see the significant edge in free throw shooting. Washington shot 59 free throws in the game and made 37. It was ridiculously ugly game at times last night. And the officiating crew of Deron White, Bobby McRoy and Bill Vinovich allowed the game to get out of hand physically, despite calling 61 fouls, including two technical fouls and two flagrant fouls with 81 free throw attempts.
Cameron Dollar said it best, "Those guys were really excited to be reffing tonight."
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You have to wonder if Seattle U has really closed the gap on Washington, or if the close game was indicative of this Husky team and the struggles it has battled all season.
To me, it's a bit of both.
The Redhawks came out and tried to be as physical as possible with the Huskies. Dollar wouldn't call UW soft, but he hinted that they aren't as physical as past Husky teams.
"It's not like they're not physical, they're just growing," Dollar said. "You don't step out of the womb as Clubber Lang."
Washington still hasn't reached Clubber Lang level yet. But as Romar pointed out, if they hadn't played with a modicum of physicality, they would have lost.
"I don’t know if it against their grain," he said. "I think if it was then we wouldn’t have been able to win. I like to think that we made progress tonight at playing outside of our comfort zone."
Washington expected it.
"That's Dollar," said Abdul Gaddy. "That's how he coaches. That's the type of player he was, and we knew coming into the game it was going to be a physical game."
Obviously, that type of game isn't a problem for players like Tony Wroten, Desmond Simmons and Aziz N'Diaye. But Terrence Ross, Abdul Gaddy and CJ Wilcox are getting better. The Huskies are going need to learn to play that way because team's like Cal, Stanford, UCLA and Arizona are going to be physical in different ways. You can't be a finesse basketball team and win.
Three other thoughts ...
1. Desmond Simmons started and he shouldn't leave the starting lineup. He's simply better than Darnell Gant. Simmons rebounds, he gets garbage buckets and he makes good decisions with the basketball. Gant for some reason still wants to shoot the baseline 3-point shot. I know he can make that shot, and shot 37.5% from beyond the arc last season. But the times he's taking these shots just aren't good. It's just not his role with this team. It's why Simmons is starting.
2. There were two times where Wroten made cuts and Gaddy found him for easy buckets. While Wroten can get his shot off the dribble drive almost any time, if he became more active without the ball in his hands, he could easily average 25 points a game. He's such a great finisher at the rim and he has great hands. When UW plays Gaddy and Wroten at the same time, at least half of those possession should involve Wroten working that baseline area and flashing to get the ball and then creating, instead of always creating off the top of the key.
3. I don't know if Terrence Ross' tendency to disappear at times in games is a function of the team around him or his personality.The recent foul trouble is a result of being more of a factor on defense and his willingness to defend opposing team's best player.
Obviously, people are quick to point out that Wroten is dominating the basketball and thereby taking Ross out of the flow. In some regards that is true, but Ross isn't like Wroten in that he will force the issue in certain situations. Two NBA scouts both praised his willingness to stay within the flow of the game and the offense. But one pointed out, that there are times that Ross has to be more assertive, demand the ball and make something happen. Ross doesn't have the explosive first step like Wroten. But there are ways to be more assertive within the motion offense, particularly staying active and come off screens.