Don't you just adore the expression on his face? (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
This was a fun game to watch. There were moments in the first half where the potential for this team seeped through. The fastbreak was an absolute wonder to watch whenever led by Tony Wroten. Gaddy has had a rough stretch of games, and tonight was no exception. This game overall was a positive so let's focus on that.
Skipping ahead to bullet holes!
- Three point shooting felt like it was effective throughout the game, then I looked at the numbers: 8-25 (.320) which is not exactly strong. However, if we count out the threes shot by Hikeem Stewart, Alex Wegner and Brendan Sherrer (!) the percentage improves to .364. much more respectable. The top three-point threat for the Dawgs, C.J Wilcox, had a strong game. He shot only 2-6 from deep but was 4-5 from inside the arc, giving him a total of 6-11, a very strong game. Hopefully his hip is feeling better. The Huskies could really use him at the top of his game come tournament time.
- Terrence Ross showed up all game. He didn't completely dominate the game, but did not have too. He finished with a game-high 18 points on an efficient 7-13 shooting (4-8 3-pt). If there is one criticism I have about his game, it is the fact that he has begun to settle for spot-up threes much more often than he should be. If he is open, then he is open and should shoot. I cannot, off the top of my head, think of a bad shot he took tonight. In general I believe he should be on the attack and on isolations much more often, giving him the creativity to create his own shot. Then again that may require the team to run isolation plays. So on second thought, maybe not a realistic possibility. Dreams!
- I felt that tonight showed that the Huskies are able to take apart a porous zone defense. They found one thing that worked and the Sun Devils never adapted. A skip pass (a pass that goes from wing-to-wing and "skips" the offensive player at the top of the key) followed by a shot or a quick pass or two got open looks all night long. This is how Terrence Ross was 4-8 from deep and C.J Wilcox was able to get by defenders with pump fakes easily tonight. This will not work nearly as well against Arizona, with more athletic wings and more man-to-man defense.
- Romar, for his lack of offensive sets, is very successful with his out-of-timeout-plays. It seems that once per game he runs some sort of a play out of a timeout that ends up in an open three or a play at the rim. Whether this is Romar or he has an assistant that is amazing at this does not really matter. They have been successful all season and hopefully will be something that continues to sustain our success throughout the remainder of the season.
- It is well-known that the Huskies apply a lot of ball pressure. This is why Romar scouts and recruits long, athletic wings and guards. Wilcox has freakishly long arms for his height, Wroten is a very, very tall point guard. One drawback to ball pressure is the tendency to get beat for drives. This is one constant in Romar that tends to drive coaches crazy. If the Huskies play against wings that excel at driving, watch out for the wings to have big games.
- Lackadaisical second half. Ugly turnovers, poor defensive effort. That's all there is to say about that half.
- One final note about Ross. When he missed his dunk, he didn't put his head in his hands, he didn't sulk, he hustled his butt back on defense. This shows a mature player. Personally I would stand looking listless for a second or two until I realized what was going on. Ross didn't do that. He did not do the typical college player thing and feel sorry for himself. He kept his head up and did his duty to get back on defense.