Is this the weirdest, most unpredictable Washington team Lorenzo Romar has had?
After Wednesday's drubbing at Arizona, to come back and beat Arizona State 68-59 seemed unlikely, even against a team the Huskies match up very well with. But, they pulled it out after a 13-point second-half lead was reduced to one.
Washington is just a good fit for what has been a cuckoo for cocoa puffs Pac-12 season.
Quick thoughts and ramblings:
> Washington handled Jahii Carson this time. It tried to funnel the elusive Arizona State point guard toward its bigs after he lit up the Huskies for 32 in Seattle. Their job was to close off the corner turn for Carson. Shawn Kemp and Aziz N'Diaye did a great job of it. Carson was just 3 for 14 from the field and rarely got all the way to the rim.
> Abdul Gaddy, who has been playing well for a couple weeks, had his best game of the season. He scored 13 points on 6 of 9 shooting, had seven assists, five rebounds and zero turnovers. Plus, he added a clutch 17-footer and a drive-and-kick to Scott Suggs for a huge corner 3 that sealed the game. He was asked what he can take from this game:
"Keeping faith and staying confident," Gaddy said. "I’m focused on leading and doing what I can for the team.
"I’ve never lost faith and our team has never lost faith. Coach always says we’re one or two weekends away from being right back in it."
One other quick note about him and many other players: Players don't rank themselves on recruiting lists. They don't invite themselves to fancy national high school games and don't put together YouTube highlight packages of themselves. That's other people, and yet, when these guys play, they have to deal with criticism stemming from many of the same people who hyped them in the first place in addition to so many others. Solid is not a four-letter word.
> Scott Suggs had a nice first half from the field and finished with a team-high 16 points. He even had four rebounds. Though, he led the team with three turnovers.
> C.J. Wilcox was happier to get out of Arizona than a liberal senator. He was 6 for 27 from the field in two games (22.2 percent) and just can't find the range. Again, we'll keep harping on the idea that he could use his excellent pump fake and then jump into defenders to draw some fouls. Every defender you talk to in the conference talks about how quick Wilcox's release is. That's why they are easily moved into the air when trying to recover from screens (in addition to his good pump fake). Wilcox was 1 for 11 Saturday, one of his quietest all-around nights of the year, and Washington still won.
> We saw more aggressiveness and a better night from Andrew Andrews, who was 0 for 9 against Arizona. Andrews was 4 for 9 for 13 points and had three offensive boards, helping Washington thump Arizona State underneath once again. The Huskies outrebounded the Sun Devils 35-22.
> Just seven turnovers for Washington. Only five times during Pac-12 play have the Huskies had a positive assist-to-turnover ration and two of those games were against ASU.
> Solid nights for Desmond Simmons and Jernard Jarreau. They combined for eight points and six boards on 3 of 4 shooting. If you take away Wilcox's 1 for 11, Washington shot 58.1 percent for the game.
"Every player that went into the game, contributed in some way, did a nice job," Romar said. "We were patient on offense. Didn’t take many bad shots and it was much needed. There was a lot on the table from Arizona State. I thought our guys met the challenge."
> Washington has three Pac-12 games left, vs. WSU, USC and UCLA, all at home. It also has a big break until it plays again March 3 against the Cougars.
"I’m happy about that," Romar said. "Because we were able to get this on the road before coming back for our remaining three home games. As we told our team, we’ve got to spend this week and not let this week get away from us without trying to take advantage and being as sharp as we can be until the next time that we play."
To fit in with the overall conference theme, equal arguments for Washington winning or losing all three could be made. Should it surprisingly win out and win two in the Pac-12 tournament, that would get it to 20 wins. It seems a reach, but with this team, and this conference, you never know.
|S. Kemp, Jr.||27||4-7||0-0||0-0||0||3||0||1||0||0||2||8|
|Percentages||.481||.333||.750||Team Rebounds: 2|
|Percentages||.479||.333||.533||Team Rebounds: 3|