Ladies and gentlemen, your Washington Huskies. This is yet another game that does nothing but define the season this team has had. Struggle in the first half, better in the second half. This game did little to allay the fear that Husky Nation feels any time the Dawgs take a road trip.
The team sleepwalked through the first half, leading to a grand total of 22 first half points. 22. Any Romar-coached team that scores 22 points in a half has work to do. Tempo was in the favor of the Sun Devils all night long. There were very few opportunities for the Huskies to use their superior athleticism to their advantage, as the ball was walked up the court, only for Abdul Gaddy to find four teammates asking him what a "play" is that the Sun Devils kept talking about. What is this "offensive set" that we hear so much about? These are questions that I am pretty sure Romar is asking his assistant coaches while his players take turns attempting to beat their man off of the bounce.
- Free throws were above 60% today. Improvement! Tony Wroten shot 50% (4-8) and Aziz N'Diaye had a 1-6 night. This has advanced beyond pathetic. What else can be said about this?
- Where are the minutes for Simmons? I know that the minutes for Seferian-Jenkins have deservedly gone up, but Simmons just makes plays when he is on the floor. He gets those 50-50 balls that are so integral to winning. He makes the putback tip-in that energizes the team. I have taken a strong liking to him, and his minutes disappeared tonight. He started each half but totaled 10 minutes played. He played in only one-fourth of the game.
- Defensive Rotations left Arizona shooters open repeatedly all night. One man in particular found himself quite a few threes: Jonathon Gilling. He went 5-12 from deep, and finished with 20 points. The Dawgs got lucky with an off night from Chance Creekmur, who went 0-4. Creekmur had several open looks that just did not fall.
- Terrence Ross struggled again in the first half, but this time his second half play did not come close to justifying the poor first-half performance, finishing 4-13 while missing all four attempts from deep. He looked out of rhythm all night and just could never get it going.
- Several attempts were made to get the ball inside to N'Diaye but the big man finished with only five points, but did have a nice dish to Wroten for a bucket. He had several dumb fouls that ultimately got him fouled out of the game. He needs to watch out for not reaching for the foul when he has almost no chance to steal it. On the contrary he had 8 boards, which is a plus.
- Again, Seferian-Jenkins had an impact on our transition defense, and our defense as a whole. If memory serves, the first seven or so minutes that Austin was on the floor the Sun Devils did not have a single bucket. Also he scored his first points in a Husky basketball uniform.
- WIthout Tony Wroten, Arizona St. wins this game, and it probably isn't close. Tony was slashing and scoring all night long. In addition, he had a monster throwdown that was possibly the dunk of the year for Husky basketball. It is between that and the 360 oops that he dishes to Terrence Ross. If bigtrain21 doesn't mind I would love to embed that .gif into this post.
- EDIT: And here it is. Props again to bigtrain21
All-in-all this game did nothing to instill any confidence that the team could play strongly on the road, and one has to fear what team will show up in Tuscan on Saturday.