I have been busy the last three weeks with projects at work and at home so sometimes the articles get out a little late and I apologize for that. Today was no exception and rather than hammer out the Monday Morning Wash I substituted it temporarily with the first defensive position review of the spring pre season which was actually earmarked for Tuesday.
So to make a long story short you are all getting your Monday Morning Wash in the evening today and there happens to be lots to talk about. First of all how about our basketball team? How many of you would have predicted Sweet Sixteen in January?
To me this team looks like it is getting better every time it hits the court and that is a good thing because West Virginia is on tap for Thursday night and if they get by that opponent to the Elite Eight it looks like Kentucky will be waiting or the Dawgs.
When the brackets first came out I liked our draw a lot better than Gonzaga's and California. That turned out to be true since both were eliminated this past weekend. Looking ahead the Final Four seems to be a realistic goal because Washington has the ability to play toe to toe with WVU and Kentucky.
The thing that is driving this surge has been the play in the middle by Matthew Bryan-Amaning. Make no mistake that every Husky who hits the floor is contributing in a big way but the play of Bryan Amaning is deflecting the pressure on Thomas and Pondexter. his extra push in the middle has helped Washington push its level of play up a couple of notches and the experts are noticing.
In the last game I heard one of the announcers comment on the way he runs the court. It is a real advantage for your big man to get down the court as quickly as the guards. He is also playing some stellar defense, rebounding well, and blocking shots. If Washington continues to advance Bryan-Amaning will be one of the reasons.
West Virginia is no pushover. They are the #2 seed in the Eastern region and are a battle tested Big East squad who can play with anyone. If Washington is going to knock these guys off they need to contain Da'Sean Butler who racked up 28 points in a victory over Missouri. WVU is really going to challenge the Husky defense.
The Mountaineer's are excellent defensively and may be the most tough nosed group of defenders Washington has faced this season. A year ago we faced Purdue and lost because we couldn't hande the defense they were dishing out. This will be a similar challenge with WVU getting the nod over last years Purdue squad on offense. the huskies are going to have to continue shooting well to advance to the Elite Eight.
RB Chris Polk, OT Cody Habben, DE Andru Pulu, DE Kelani Aldrich, S Victor Aiyewa, and DE Everrette Thompson will all miss spring practice while recovering from injuries.
The latest to go down is Thompson who tore his achilles tendon. That isn't good news for the DE position. Jason Wells suffered the same type of injury last pre season and missed most of the season. Not exactly sure what the prognosis is for Thompson who does have a RS year he hasn't used.
Vic Aiyewa is targeted for LB in the fall according to Coach Holt. Another safety to be named may be headed that direction this spring. Marquise Persley has moved over to safety from CB to help fill out the depth in anticipation of future moves.
DeShon Matthews who started his career as a DE will be moved back to the position this spring because of depth concerns. He was buried at DT but moves into a starting spot for now at DE. The Huskies will struggle to stay two deep at DE this spring.
Not exactly sure what is going to happen to Andru Pulu. The details of the incident he was involved in are pretty gruesome. He turned himself in to Seattle police last week. His future with the football team is very cloudy even though he hasn't been dismissed from school as of yet.
Kelani Aldrich is sitting out this spring in an attemt to get completey healthy. He has a knee that had to be drained once a week during the season and it has hindered his development. When healthy you can pencil him as a starter and that is what the coaches are attempting to do this spring...get him healthy.
All these great tidbits come from the Seattle Times Bob Condotta who has been spending some time with Coach Holt over the past week.