Husky basketball has already started their season. Despite my excitement for the season, it sort of sneaked up on me.
Terrence Ross is gone, Tony Wroten is gone, Darnell Gant is gone and Brendan Sherrer is gone. Other than that the entire team is intact for this year which is already upon us. This was the first game with Brad Jackson as an assistant coach on the Washington sidelines after spending nearly three decades as the head coach at Western Washington University, where this most recent season they won the Division-II National Championship.
Jackson brought the high post offense to Washington. Lorenzo Romar said that the team had some shadows of the high post already, but the main offense in years past was the motion offense; I like to call the half-court offenses of the Lorenzo Romar era the "dribble around and see what happens" offense. You see, I have a gift for naming such things. My other title for the offense was the "just kidding you can stand there and we probably won't score anyways because we actually aren't running a play" offense.
Bullet holes are how these go right? Bullet holes we shall have!
- My biggest question going into the season was how will the team assimilate to the high post offense. It seems the team is making the transition quite well. There will always be growing pains, but they were kept to a minimum. Granted, the team was able to practice their offense in Europe for a series of games which means they dealt with quite a few of their growing pains overseas. In this high post offense I can see Jernard Jarreau shining. He has guard skills in a big man's body. He will have the ball in his hands quite frequently and will be forced to make decisions. Those decisions very well may be better than those of most big men.
- Speaking of Jarreau, he had a strong game. Maybe he didn't have a statsheet-stuffing game, but he played well. He showed off that he has a great handle for someone his size due to his history as a guard. He can get into the lane with his surprising quickness and dribbling ability to go along with his length. He also uses his abilities in other ways, such as shutting down passing lanes with his aforementioned length and quickness. He does not have great lateral quickness and that will lead to him getting beat off the dribble more frequently than most players. Overall it was a good game for him.
- C.J. Wilcox showed how much the team will lean on him this season for scoring. He lead the team in scoring with 22 points and hit four of his five three-point attempts. He showed that he is more than a shooter. He handled the ball in transition, scored inside and distributed the ball (one assist doesn't give his improvement at passing justice). He had six rebounds, very important considering the wing-rebounding lost by the departure of Ross.
- Andrew Andrews is quick. He is going to be a Venoy Overton-type defender. Not a Venoy Overton-type offender. I hope. He has bought in to Romar's ball-pressure defense and will get minutes thanks to that. He can get into the lane and showed off his athleticism on the and-one dunk attempt late in the second half.
- Aziz N'Daiye is important to this team. He will be extremely important until Shawn Kemp Jr. returns from injury. He looks less like a big guy playing basketball and more like a big basketball player. He can make a massive jump this season. 16 rebounds, a career high, were grabbed by the big man from Senegal.