Usual lurker, lover of basketball, first FanPost with any SB Nation affiliate, be gentle!
Initially I had planned on putting this as a comment in the game thread, but I liked what I had written and it was getting lengthy, so here it is in a FanPost!
I had to watch the game recorded on my DVR, but even though I typically cannot stay interested in a game if I have to watch it on delay, I was very into this game. It got me jumping out of my chair at 1:00 AM! Alright enough with the drivel, here is what you came here to read!
And one more thing: well-played game by us, possibly our best performance of the year, but I cannot help my critical nature and this does have a lot of critical points. I do try to compliment each player/coach as I critique them.
1. Is it just me or does it seem like Wroten is "stumbling onto greatness" similarly to the Golden Tate punt returns from his rookie season. Every time I see a behind the back dribble it appears he is fishing for the ball instead of knowing exactly where the ball is going to be. Having played my fair share I know that on any dribble move you perform in a game you should never have to "fish" for the ball. He does the same exact thing on several in n out moves as well. I am not denying that he is an unbelievable talent, because he shows it, but he just seems lost half the time, and stellar the other half. He is a freshman, so part of that comes with the territory, but it just seems like the learning curve may be steep with his ball-handling and his turnovers. This kid will be a stud, but most of you already know that.
2. We all know Romar doesn't seem to have a half-court set, but if that is the case, why does he have his point guard just dribbling the ball up-top for ten seconds before passing it to the wing? (and typically getting the pass right back) This is a system that could thrive with a creator at the point like how we had Thomas last season, and Tony Wroten has that ability but the aforementioned issues seem to be haunting him. This should and will get fixed just by playing time an improving his comfort level. Gaddy doesn't have the explosiveness to consistently make plays as evidenced by his inability to drive the ball down the court on the last posession and ultimately having to settle for shooting while being (legally) sandwiched by two defenders. But I digress, he needs to get the ball to Ross and Wilcox more if he is going to have this style of half-court offense. It really feels like what I call "Y ball." That is players trying to make individual plays based off of their athletic talent and not running any sort of cohesive plays and system. Luckily Romar recruits pure athletes who can make this somewhat work.
3. C.J Wilcox.This game was great for him. He hit his shots, and he hustled. My favorite play of the game was when he had his shot blocked, then recovered and did the exact same to either Johnson-Odom or Mayo. Sorry, It is two in the morning and my memory isn't the best right now. He has really developed from a pure spot-up shooter into an all-around offensive threat. One thing I do want to see is how he attacks off the dribble from a triple threat position. I see him attacking the rim off of a catch, but I haven't seen him attack the basket from a pure triple threat position and get to the rim. I have seen him use screens to get step-back jumpers, which are successful just because of his pure shooting ability. One other thing that is not a criticism, as I know I do this too when I play, but I noticed towards the end of the game, Wilcox sort of went into a mini-slump shooting wise. What I noticed was that he was kicking his legs into fadeaway jumpers when there was no need to, and he should have squared his feet up to the basket and just let it rip. He reminds me so much of my favorite player, Ray Allen, it is crazy. With Ray, I often see him leaning forward into a shot trying to get the shot past defenders to his sides. This is a bane to the accuracy of his shot, and I see Wilcox doing a similar thing with his fadeaways. I am very excited every time this guy puts up a shot.
4. Free Throws. We need to attack the rim, and we need to make our free throws. Not much else to say about that.
This was an amazing effort by our Washington Huskies and I am glad to have been able to watch it. For those of you who made it through this trek and read my entire post, thank you for your time. Feel free to agree, disagree, critique or praise my work. If my schedule allows it, I would like to re-watch the game and if there are any players or habits of players you would like me to take a look at, just mention it in the comment box and I will take a look at it.