After getting off to a slow start that included a 10-0 run by Seattle University, the Washington Huskies prevailed with a 88-78 victory in the "Battle for Seattle" to open the 2013-14 season.
It was a good win. We saw the Dawgs battle adversity with a slow start early on, and weather a lack of depth nobody would have seen coming in the frontcourt, after Jarreau went down with a knee injury two minutes in.
Several players made their debut for the Huskies: Darin Johnson, Gilles Dierickx (I just learned his name is pronounced jeel), Nigel Williams-Goss and Mike Anderson.
Oh, and for those of you who read this article, sorry I lied to you. The game was not yesterday. I hope you figured that out.
Points came from all over the place for Washington. The game's leading scorer was C.J. Wilcox with 22 points on a night where he struggled from the field outside of two threes within a minute of each other. He was 5-12 from the field and 2-7 from deep. Andrew Andrews put together his career-high in points with 21 of his own.
Wilcox, despite (to me) not having the best shooting night, was his usual self in filling up the box score with 7 rebounds, 4 assists, a steal, a block and 5 turnovers. That last one is bad but it is a big number to put up! Wilcox actually accounted for over half of UW's turnovers tonight (Dot idea!).
The biggest lead that Seattle U had all night was ten, most of the way into the second half. However, once UW took the lead 33-36 with less than two minutes remaining in the first half, they never relinquished control, leading throughout the entire second half. They held a comfortable lead for the majority of the second half.
Ex-Dawg Clarence Trent led Seattle U with 18 points to go along with 12 rebounds for the only double-double of the game. Mike Anderson came close with 8 rebounds to go along with his 12 points. Trent has become a nice player for Cameron Dollar, and the broadcast mentioned that the team was built around him. UW really could have used him in the frontcourt today.
Five players scored in double digits for Washington, with Johnson and Shawn Kemp Jr. joining the fun.
The first basketball post-game Dots of the season:
- Mike Anderson looked really good. He reminded me a little bit of Scott Suggs in his movements. He looks very graceful moving around the court, and used his up-fake to get into the lane frequently. The stats bear out his contributions: 12 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, a steal and a block. His line looks very similar to Wilcox's sans a few points.
Anderson was very invaluable to the team with his ability to rebound. He averaged 10 rebounds per game when he was at Moberly Community College, and his eight rebounds tonight showed that will transfer to the D-I level. With the decimation of the frontcourt, he and Wilcox needed to make an impact on the glass, and they did.
His defense on Isiah Umipig (after NWG was burned several times) was a big reason that UW stopped allowing so much dribble penetration.
A spot in the starting lineup may be coming his way if he keeps playing like he did tonight.
- When the broadcast switched over to the game from Oregon State versus Coppin State - Seriously OSU, Coppin State. At home. This could be another rough year for the conference. - The first thing that viewers see is some long body surrounded by three or four trainers. What a way for fans to open the season, right?
Jernard Jarreau, oh man I just can't recount what happened. Find it elsewhere. My stomach turns every time I think about it because, although the MRI is Monday, he tore his ACL. That is one of the few injuries I can tell just by looking at it, but it is really tough to see. I'll have a news piece up as soon as I find out the news.
It is a big loss if it is indeed the ACL, as Jarreau was looked on to make a big impact this season.
- Dierickx did nothing to inspire. He is a big guy on the interior who can intimidate with his size and will get some blocked shots, but that is about it. Well, hopefully it won't be about it, but that is all that he showed. Zero shot attempts. He does look strong, and he is supposed to have a very good mid-range jumper. I guess it is wait-and-see with him. He was pressed into way more minutes than was expected with Jarreau going down.
- The pair of freshmen were a mixed bag. Williams-Goss showed flashes of his vision, but looked timid and was blown by defensively repeatedly in the first half. Johnson had a strong game on the other hand. He made some freshman mistakes, being over-aggressive at times when he should have given the ball up or taken the ball out to set up the offense.
I am not worried one bit about Williams-Goss. I will make this comparison that many of you may not like: he looked like Abdul Gaddy in Gaddy's first game as a Dawg. He looked timid but showed flashes. He looked young out on the court. He isn't going to wow anyone with his athleticism, but shows passing ability and poise. His jumper doesn't look very natural, but that is something I expect Romar to improve during his career.
Johnson is an athlete. That is why he was brought to Washington, and that is what he did. He used his length, explosiveness and strength to get to the rim. His 16 points were not as a result of other players making plays for him but were results of tenacious attacks of the basket and finding lanes in transition. He hit a three, but missed four. Time will tell on his jumper. Seven rebounds, pretty good for a wing.
- Speaking of wing rebounding, perimeter players accounted for all but FOUR rebounds. Dierickx had one rebound while Kemp had three. That is just plain sad. I know Blackwell will be a monster inside once he returns, and Desmond Simmons will be a force on the offensive glass when he heals up from his surgery in January, but that is pretty sad.
- Washington did not shoot themselves in the foot with either of these two common bugaboos among fans: free throw shooting or turnovers. 33-41 from the stripe. This is a direct result of perimeter players getting into the lane.
Wilcox has had some high turnover games over the years. Two of them were charges, so he got them being aggressive. I will assume that he will use his runner more in the future to avoid such calls.
Jernard, I hope I am wrong. I really, really hope I am wrong.
UW plays again on Thursday, hosting the UC Irvine Anteaters. Don't underestimate the Anteaters, they eat lots of ants. They are also a good basketball team.